The Best Highlighted Skin On Instagram

I remember the first time I heard the word strobing, and I remember what I did when I heard it: I rolled my eyes and carried on eating my lunch. Why? Because, as a beauty writer, your life is very much inundated with cosmetic innovations and techniques that are as ludicrous as they sound. Then I watched the — nothing short of hypnotic — YouTube tutorials, and I started to get rather caught up in the frenzy.

For those who aren't familiar with the term, it's basically shorthand for complicated highlighter. I came to highlighter young in life (Benefit's Moonbeam, anyone?) and then, like most of my teenage beauty habits, grew out of it. It's only now, years down the line, that I've fully gotten back into the glow. This is partly due to celebrity experts singing the praises of some well-placed highlighters, but also largely due to highlighter being one of the least time-consuming, most effective, and easiest ways to make your skin look like a million bucks.

After applying your base of choice — foundation, tinted moisturizer, face oil, whatever — pick out points like your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, under your brows, and your Cupid's bow, and apply highlighter. You will look like you just slept for 10 hours, guaranteed. It's A-list skin in one hack.

Ahead, we round up the Insta girls who are shedding light on the highlighter hype. Glow on, beauties.
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Photo: Via @biancavenerayan.
@biancavenerayan
Bianca's studio-light glow comes down to some well-smoothed illuminator on her cheekbones and the inner corners of her eyes. Try a light powder, like Bobbi Brown's cult brick palettes, and swish it in circular movements with a large brush.
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Photo: Via @erikabowes.
@erikabowes
Style guru Erika has focused on the bridge of her nose and under her brows. Dewy or what?
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Photo: Via @leomieanderson.
@leomieanderson
Model Leomie has subtly applied highlighter to her Cupid's bow, ensuring her natural look is extra #flawless.
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Photo: Via @makeupvincent.
@makeupvincent
Bella Hadid's makeup for the Met Ball was a master class in lighting. Her expertly placed highlighter (also on her décolletage) makes her look like she's glowing from head to toe.
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Photo: Via @malaikafirth.
@malaikafirth
Malaika complements her '90s mulberry lipstick and shadow with some pearl highlighter. Try the foolproof liquid favorite, Benefit's iconic High Beam.
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Photo: Via @neelamkg.
@neelamkg
Neelam has balanced her light-touch contouring with spotlights on her cheekbones and temples. We're copying...now.
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Photo: Via @ohlydiagraham.
@ohlydiagraham
Model Lydia Graham's lightly done highlighter on the bridge of her nose and Cupid's bow draws attention to her natural beauty.
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Photo: Via @palomija.
@palomija
Paloma Elsesser's skin is so dewy, she looks like she's fresh from the gym — in a good way. Don't be shy, make like Paloma and skirt your lip line and the bridge of your nose; just add a translucent powder along your T-zone to prevent a sweaty finish.
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Photo: Via @phoebelovatt.
@phoebelovatt
Phoebe's glow enhances her olive skin tone. Try something with a golden base, like Laura Mercier's Face Illuminator in Indiscretion.
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Photo: Via @shamaanwar.
@shamaanwar
DJ and model Shama has accentuated her natural-finish makeup with some sheen on her lids for a sexy result.
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Photo: Via @venedaanastasia.
@venedaanastasia
Veneda Budny's no-makeup makeup is textbook. The addition of some lightness around her eyes and nose makes her skin look airbrushed.
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Photo: Via @cocobaudelle.
@cocobaudelle
Model Coco Baudelle's near-perfect complexion is made angelic with the addition of some illuminator on her cheeks and browbones. Heavenly.
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