I think it’s pretty much true for most of us – we could use a little brightening. A little luminance, no matter what age we are, is flattering. It’s that “youthful” glow. And, unfortunately, as we age, the glow dims a bit. However, there are subtle tricks we can use with makeup to bring that luminosity back – and it doesn’t take very long to do it.
I highlight as part of my regular makeup routine. That’s a little different from contouring. I don’t contour my face. I know that when there are articles or videos about highlighting, contouring is also included. Contouring involves applying a darker shade than your natural skin color to make the contoured area recede or not be as obvious. It’s often used in the hollows of the cheeks (below the cheek bone) to give the appearance of high and more prominent cheekbones or along the sides of the nose to make the nose appear narrower. I think contouring is tricky. You have to be really careful or you end up looking a bit like a scary clown. It’s not that you can’t do it, you just have to focus on being subtle.
This post is focusing just on highlighting.
The goal of highlighting for me is to give me that youthful gleam. Everything you highlight (lighten) comes forward, draws the eye, and looks more prominent. The areas that I highlight are those where I want a little more definition or where I want the light to “bounce.”
Here’s what I do (refer to the diagram for the highlight areas that listed):
- Face Primer – I always use a primer for my face before I do anything else. I use BareMinerals Face Primer, but almost every cosmetic line has their version of a face primer. Think of it as getting the canvas ready for a work of art!
- Highlight – After face primer, I apply highlighter. I don’t use the exact same highlighter for every area of my face, although you can. I like to experiment with different cosmetic products, so I’ve developed a routine for highlighting using some of the products that I like on different areas of my face. Take a look at the diagram for a visual of where I apply highlighter.
- Forehead – I apply BareMinerals Well-Rested, a sheer but brightening highlighter, in the center of my forehead. (Bare Minerals has two products called Well-Rested – I use the pen with the creamy product. The other version is a loose powder, but it makes my skin look dry.)
- Above Eyebrows – I apply Well-Rested just above my eyebrows.
- Cheekbones and Apples of Cheeks – I use Well-Rested in these areas as well.
- High Cheekbones – I know I already talked about highlighting the cheekbones. I like to go back to the high cheekbone area and add a little shimmery highlighter (NOT sparkly). The product I really like for this is Benefit’s High Beam.
- Center of Chin – This is the last place I use my favorite product . . . Well-Rested! (Seriously, I’m addicted to it.)
- Jawline– I use a concealer type of product that’s just a shade lighter than my skin color for this area. This sounds like a strange place to apply highlighter, I know. Here’s why I do this. As we age, our skin loses elasticity – it isn’t as taut. Also, as women age they have more facial fuzz (the joys of getting older!). Both of these contribute to a less defined, less youthful looking jawline. We know that areas that are highlighted appear more prominent – they come forward visually. So I add highlighter just above the perimeter of the jawline for a more defined jawline and younger appearance.
- Cupid’s Bow – I dab a little highlighter right there.
- Under Eyes – I don’t highlight this area, but I do use an under-eye concealer. If you’re one of those lucky ladies without a dark under-eye area, there’s no need for this step.
- Brow Bone – I highlight a little bit on my brow bone with a Benefit pencil product, High Beam. Super easy to use. You can blend with your fingers or a concealer brush. I use the brush because it’s a little easier in a small area than finger blending.
- Inner Eye Corners – I use a very light application of white eye shadow just at the inside corners – subtle, no sparkles or glitter.
- Don’t Forget!! The most important step to a beautifully glowing look is to BLEND and then apply foundation or powder and blush to finish the look. This part is what turns what could look overdone into a very natural, luminescent look.
Just running down this list might conjure up images of an overdone face. But the key is to blend, blend, blend. And really look at the finished effect. Does it look natural, but better? Great!
If you haven’t tried this before, practice and start with one or two areas of your face. I would focus on the cheekbones and apples of the cheeks to start. And remember – this is one of those cases where less is more!