We love a good beauty two-fer: lipstick used as blush, lip balm as an eyeshadow, eyeliner that works as brow filler. We’ve remixed a little bit of everything in a pinch. And recently model Joan Smalls revealed to US Weekly that using sunscreen to highlight and contour is her favorite double-duty tip. Wait, what? We’ve heard of using oil to give the face a sweaty-on-purpose gleam, but sunscreen as highlighter is a first.
Apparently, Smalls uses the shiny and iridescent qualities of sunscreen (something most women complain about) to emphasize the bridge of the nose, shoulder blades, and cheekbones. You’d apply the sunscreen the same way you’d use highlighting drops. She also said, “It makes the skin lighter because you’re not tanning as much there.” Essentially the area of your face that isn’t coated in sunscreen gets exposed to more sun than the rest of your face, which creates a naturally bronzed look.
While there’s no denying how creative this hack is, we advise that you cover your entire face with your favorite sunscreen and maybe just add a little less in the areas you typically contour. Dermatologists would probably faint if they heard about Smalls contouring hack, because all parts of our skin should be protected before coming in contact with the sun. (At least she's using lotions with SPF 30 and up.)
If you are looking to highlight with sunscreen, we’d recommend getting a product that is shiny but not ashy. Some of our favorite picks are Glossier Invisible Shield (because it's completely clear), E.L.F. Stay Out & Play SPF 50 (which is sweat-resistant and only $10), and Palmer's Eventone Suncare Sunscreen Stick SPF 50 (the stick format is easy to swipe on in specific spots). Even if you decide to buy a bronzer to get a contoured look, keep these sunscreens on hand to protect your skin from damage.