Home » Makeup » WHERE TO APPLY HIGHLIGHTER & How To Guide


In this article you will learn how to apply highlighter, where to apply highlighter, but keep reading until the end, because there is also a full buying guide to help you get the most of this technique!

how to use highlighter makeup

What Is highlighter Makeup?

Highlighters in makeup are shimmery finalizers that can be found in different textures such as cream, pressed or loose powder or liquid, that gives a touch of glam to any makeup look.

what is highlighter makeup

What Does Highter Maleup Do?

In makeup, everything that we add light and make it more clear will be accentuated and pop up. In addition to giving a pretty texture to your skin, highlighters will enhance some facial areas such as eyes, lips, making your face more illuminated, giving you a natural glowy and glamorous look altogether. 

Where To Apply Highlighter Makeup

Where To Apply Highlighter Makeup

Before we get started, have in mind that highlighters emphasize parts of your face so you need to apply it on the areas you want to bring evidence for. Generally speaking you can apply the highlighter on:

  • The “T zone” of your face, more precisely 
  • Center of the forehead
  • The center and the tip of the noze, making a vertical line, 
  • Before of the lips (on the V line or cupid arch) on the central area
  • The face temples
  • Right after the eyebrow

In the next lines you will learn why it is a good idea to apply highlighter in these areas and some extra tips to improve your makeup application.

highlighter makeup

1. Where To Apply Highlighter Makeup On the Entire Face

Do you know you can use highlighter on the entire face? Sometimes people do that to achieve a matte glam effect but it is also a great idea for those with fine lines and want to disguise them. 

Matte foundations may crack the makeup a bit. This hack can prevent your foundation from being cracked, giving you the matte effect you desire. 

How To Apply 

To achieve this you will firstly need to apply a very thin layer of highlighter before applying the foundation. Another way to do this is by mixing a few dots if highlighter with a little amount of foundation, blend it well and apply on the entire face. 

2. Forehead

The center of the forehead is a great place to add highlights because it gives a nice point of glowy light, leaving your face more harmonious. Make sure you apply and blend it naturally on the center of the forehead, and that you choose a highlight that is more discreet.

How To Apply

After applying foundation, concealer and after contouring your face, I find the best way to do it is by applying a medium sized dot of the product with the fingers and with the help of a beauty sponge, gently taps the area, until you notice it is well blended with the makeup.

3. Below the Eyebrows

By applying the highlighter below the eyebrows you enhance your eyes and lifting eyes and eyebrows altogether. You can do it both on the day or at night for a radiant look!

How To Apply

After applying and blending the concealer, choose a small and precise eyeshadow brush and trace a line all the way below your brows. 

4. Inner Eyes Corner

This technique is great for everyone, especially those with small and too close eyes. Also, this will go really well for those days when you look more tired because it gives a natural glow, making your eyes pop up and more vivid.

How To Apply

To apply highlighter on the inner corner of the eyes, you can use your finger, a small brush or even the tip part of a sponge and apply a dot on the area. You don’t need to perfectly blend the highlighter in this area because you want to give an effect like a point of light.

4. Between Cheekbones And The Eyes

By applying highlights between the cheek bones and the eyes help you put the eyes in evidence making them look more vivid. For the day, you can apply a creamy highlighter to naturally enhance the blush. For the night, you can combine cream and powder which contains a bit more of shine for a more luminous and long lasting effect. 

How To Apply 

Trace a C, starting from the between the cheek bones all the way up close to the outer eye corner, you can do it with the fingers if you apply it with a creamy product or with a small brush, if you are using the powder version. 

5. Where To Apply Highlighter Makeup On The Nose

When used in conjunction with the contouring, you can apply highlighter on the nose to make it thinner and more pointy. For this apply it on the center of the nose, tracing a vertical line and on the tip of your nose.

How to apply Highlighter Makeup On The Nose

With a small and precise brush or with the tip of the beauty sponge, trace a central vertical line starting from the top of your nose all the way to the tips. Then blend it well and if needed, apply more on the tip of the nose to give a lift effect.

5. Lips Cupid’s Bow

To enhance your lips and remark your lipstick, apply highlighter on the above the lips, tracing the V area or lips cupid’s bow area. This will also give a lift effect to the area which will make your lips more defined.

Where To Apply Highlighter Makeup

What Do You Need To Highlight Your Face?

Apart from the highlighter, you will need proper brushes, but you can simplify the entire process by applying it with your fingers or the pointy part of your beauty sponge. 

If you want to use a brush, make sure to choose the right brush for each area of your face. For example, use a firm small brush to apply the product in the inner eye area, below the brows, and on the lips cupid’s bow.

For the cheekbones, use a fan brush fan brush, and for the nose, you can use an eyeshadow blending brush or the beauty sponge.

How To Apply Highlighter Step By Step

  1. Firstly, prep your face, applying foundation, concealer, blush, contouring and powder
  2. Choose a highlighter of your choice and apply it on the center of the forehead
  3. Apply it below eyebrows, inner eyes corners, center and tip of the nose
  4. Now, apply it on the inner eyes corners, between the cheeks
  5. Lastly apply it lips cupid bow, and on the tip of chin. 
  6. Gently tap de areas to blend each area individually with a sponge or with the adequate brush for each area.
  7. Finalize settling spray

How Choose Your Highlight 

1. Pay attention to your skin tone

There are global highlighters that are made for all skin tones and if you have any trouble deciding which tone to choose, you can easily opt for these types of products.

But if you don’t find a universal highlighter, you choose the products based on your skin tone and subtone:

  • Fair Skin: give preference to perl, champagne or pinkish highlighters
  • Mid Tone skin: you choose golden, champagne and medium pinks
  • Darker skin: you can take advantage of intense golden tones, bronzing and rose gold tones.

2. Choose The Texture

This is not exactly a rule, but if you have oily skin, then you may slightly (or totally) prefer powdery matte textures, while dry skin will get along very well with creamy textures. 

Apart from that, there are some other tips you can have in mind while deciding the texture of your highlighter.


Powder highlights are easy to apply and to blend. For better results, make sure that the powder is very thin, pretty much like a loose powder, which will provide a better and more natural look.

Luckily, you’ll find great variations of colors, and you can choose between the pressed and loose powder products and you can also find specific highlighters for the face and even the body.


Creamy highlighters are pretty popular and easy to apply even with your fingers. They can come in a little pot, can be sticky and on a tube. Use a creamy highlighter for a more natural effect and will combine really well with your foundation.


The liquid highlighters will give you an extra touch of glow to the look, and in my opinion it requires a little more experience to be applied, but nothing you can’t master with a little practice. The secret is to apply liquid highlighter before the foundation dries out, so it can be blended well and provide a more natural look.

3. Decide On The Shine

I think it is a good idea to have two types of highlights, one that’s more shimmer and another one that is more opaque. This way I can have an option to choose depending on my moods.

For a natural and minimalist makeup, give preference to products that contain a velvet finish, which is less shiny. If you are aiming for a glowy effect, choose highlighters with higher particles of shine.


Now you know how and where to apply makeup, as well as to choose the right product based on your skin and the occasion you are planning to use it on! If you still have questions, you can use the comments below to leave your message!

Read Also: Makeup 101 Series

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