Highlighter is one of the worst kept beauty secrets: Everyone knows that if you want to fake a healthy glow, it's not really bronzer you're after — it's highlighter. Consider it concealer's sexy older cousin. While a good concealer can hide a multitude of late-night sins, highlighter uses reflective properties to distract the eye away from those sins. When well-executed, it lends an effect that amounts to having your own personal lighting team wherever you go, adding dimension to your face without delving into some pro-makeup artist epic contouring session. Available in powder, liquid, or cream forms, with or without shimmer, the amount of highlighters available are endless.
However, not all highlighters are created equal. Just like foundation, not every highlighter is made for every skin tone. Depending on what the product is, where you place it, and — not the least of your problems — what your coloring is, you can end up with a shiny, frosty, and dare we say it, somewhat stripper-ish effect. A pearlescent white highlighter just really isn't the best choice for naturally tan or olive skin.
Celebrity makeup artist Stella Kae, who is responsible for the glowing faces of Alyssa Milano, Brandi Cyrus, and Toni Braxton, says she always highlights "as a final touch," after she's completed the full face, to add more dimension. "The ideal places to highlight are underneath the arch of the brow, in the inner corner of the eyes, the bridge of the nose just between the eyes, on the high points of the cheeks, and right above the lips at the Cupid's bow. On a look that is more natural or uses light/neutral eyeshadow shades, you can also highlight just in the center of the eyelid."
Keep clicking to find the illuminator that's perfect for your skin tone.
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!