January 11, 2024

Where to Apply Highlighter on Your Face? An Easy Highlighter Placement Guide

In the world of makeup, highlighter is a must-have makeup product to bring out your natural radiance and add a sun-kissed glow to your complexion. Whether you're a makeup enthusiast or a beginner, understanding the proper placement of a highlighter is essential to achieve a natural and luminous finish.

In this beauty blog, "Where to Apply Highlighter on Your Face?" we will talk about the different areas of your face where you can apply highlighter to achieve the best results. So, let's dive in!

What is Highlighter Makeup?

What is Highlighter

Highlighter makeup is a makeup product, designed to add luminosity and radiance to the skin. It typically comes in a powder, cream, or liquid form and contains light-reflecting particles that create a glowing effect when applied to specific areas of the face. Facial Highlighter is used to accentuate the high points of the face, giving the illusion of a youthful and healthy complexion.

Choosing the Right Highlighter Shade

Highlighter comes in a variety of shades, ranging from champagne to rose gold, and you should consider your skin tone, undertone, skin type, and the makeup look you want to create when selecting a highlighter shade. Here are some general guidelines:

Fair Skin

If you have fair skin, opt for highlighters with a pearl or champagne undertone. These shades will complement your complexion and give you a natural, lit-from-within glow.

Medium Skin

For medium skin tones, golden and peachy highlighters work beautifully. These shades add warmth and radiance to your skin, enhancing your natural glow.

Dark Skin

Darker skin tones can rock bold and intense highlighters. Look for shades with deep gold or bronze undertones to create a stunning, luminous effect.


Consider your skin's undertones when choosing a highlighter. If you have cool undertones, opt for highlighters with a silvery or pinkish hue. For warm undertones, go for shades with a golden or peachy undertone.

5 Key Areas to Apply Facial Highlighter for Maximal Glow

Where to Apply Highlighter on Your Face

When it comes to applying highlighter, it's essential to know where to apply highlighter on your face. You need to figure out the high point of the face that naturally catches the light and is ideal for highlighting. By strategically applying highlighter to these areas, you can create a beautiful, sculpted look. Here are the main high points of the face where you can work for highlighter placement.

1. Cheekbones

One of the most popular areas to apply highlighter makeup is on the cheekbones. This technique helps to accentuate the natural contours of your face and create a lifted effect. To apply highlighter on your cheekbones, start by using a fluffy brush or a fan brush to lightly dust the product on the highest point of your cheekbones. Blend it outwards towards your temples for a seamless finish. This will give your face a beautiful, sculpted look.

2. Brow Bone

Applying highlighter makeup on your brow bone can instantly lift your eyes and make them appear more awake and youthful. To do this, take a small brush and apply a small amount of highlighter on your brow bone, just below your eyebrow. Gently blend it out using your finger or a clean brush. This will create a subtle highlight that will make your eyes pop.

3. Cupid's Bow

Another popular area to apply the highlighter is Cupid's bow. The cupid's bow is the area right above your upper lip, and highlighting this area can give your lips a fuller and more defined look. To apply a highlighter on your cupid's bow, take a small brush or your finger with a light hand and apply a small amount of highlighter in the center of your upper lip. Blend it outwards towards the corners of your lips. This will create a beautiful, pouty effect and add dimension to enhance the beauty of your lips.

4. Bridge of the Nose

Highlighting the bridge of your nose can help to create the illusion of a slimmer and more defined nose. To do this, take a small brush and apply a thin line of highlighter down the center of your nose. Blend it outwards using your finger or a brush. Be sure to blend it well to avoid any harsh lines. This will give your nose a subtle glow and make it appear more sculpted.

5. Inner Corner of the Eyes

Applying highlighter to the inner corner of your eyes can brighten up your entire face and make your eyes appear more awake and refreshed. To do this, take a small brush and apply a small amount of highlighter to the inner corner of your eyes. Blend it gently using your finger or a brush. Applying highlighter in the inner corners of the eyes will instantly open up your eyes and give them a beautiful, luminous look. 

How to Apply Highlighter on Your Face? A Step-by-Step Breakdown:

Once you know where to apply highlighter, it is also important to know where to apply highlighter. Remember that the application process depends on the highlighter formula you're using. Applying a highlighter on your face can add a beautiful glow and increase your facial features. Here's an easy step-by-step breakdown of how to apply highlighter:

  • Prepare your face: Always start your makeup routine with a clean and moisturized face. Moisturizing your face helps to hydrate your skin and helps in the easy application of other makeup products.
  • Apply your foundation and concealer: Apply your foundation, concealer, and any other base makeup you usually wear.
  • Choose the right highlighter: Select a highlighter shade that complements your skin tone. Look for a highlighter that includes ingredients that do not show a negative reaction to your skin type. Generally, fair skin tones look great with champagne or pink undertones, while deeper skin tones can opt for gold or bronze shades.
  • Determine the areas to highlight: Before applying highlighter makeup, it is essential to determine the high-area points of the face that can naturally catch the light. These typically include the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, the cupid's bow (the area above your upper lip), the inner corners of your eyes, and the brow bone.
  • Pick your tool: You can apply a highlighter using makeup sponge, a brush, or even with finger tips. Each tool provides a different level of strength, so choose one that suits your preference.
  • Apply the highlighter: Take a small amount of highlighter on your chosen tool. If you're using your fingers, dab them lightly into the product. If you're using a brush or a makeup sponge, blend it gently and dust off the extra products. Apply highlighter gently on the areas mentioned above.
  • Check the overall effect: Take a step back and assess the overall effect of the highlighter on your face. Add a little more product or blend further for a softer look if needed.
  • Set your makeup: If you want your highlighter to last longer, you can lightly dust a translucent setting powder or mist the setting spray over your face. Be careful not to apply too much, as you don't want to diminish the glow of the highlighter.

Remember, the key is to apply highlighter with a light hand and gradually build up the intensity. Practice and experimentation will help you find the application technique that suits your desired look and help you achieve the desired results.

Common Highlighting Blunders To Avoid

Using improper highlighting techniques can leave you looking more disco ball than refined radiance. Follow these quick tips while applying highlighter on your face to avoid common blunders.

Applying too much: Always start with less and blend well before adding more product. More doesn't mean more glow.

Using too dark a shade: The highlight should be lighter than your natural skin tone for a seamless lit effect. Too dark and it's just regular bronzer.

Not blending properly: Harsh lines of unblended highlighter come across as unattractive stripes on the face. Take time to blend edges well.

Over-powdering dry skin: Powder formulas can emphasize dry patches and fine lines if over-applied on dehydrated skin. Use creams or liquids here.

Highlighting unevenly: Stick to emphasizing both sides of the face symmetrically for balance and harmony - like both cheekbones, temples etc.

Forgetting nose: Don't ignore your nose - highlighting it balances out the overall look without being over.

Final Thoughts on Correct Highlighter Placement

Highlighter is a versatile and essential beauty product that can elevate your makeup look and give you a radiant and gorgeous glow by highlighting on face. By knowing where to apply highlighter on your face and following the proper techniques, you can achieve a natural and luminous finish. Embrace your inner glow and let your face shine! Happy highlighting!

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FAQs on Highlighter Application

Can I use the same highlighter for all areas of my face?

Yes, you can use the same highlighter for all areas of your face. However, you may want to consider using different shades or intensities of highlighter for different areas to achieve the desired effect. For example, you can use a more intense highlighter for your cheekbones and a softer, more subtle highlighter for your brow bone or cupid's bow.

Should I apply highlighter before or after foundation?

It is generally recommended to apply highlighter after foundation. This allows the highlighter to sit on top of your foundation and gives a more natural and blended look. However, you can also experiment with applying highlighter before foundation for a more intense and dramatic effect.

Can I use a liquid highlighter instead of a powder highlighter?

Yes, you can use a liquid highlighter instead of a powder highlighter. Liquid highlighters give a more natural and dewy finish to the skin. To apply a liquid highlighter, use your fingers or a sponge and gently dab it onto the desired areas of your face. Blend it out for a seamless and radiant look.

Can I apply highlighter on oily skin?

Yes, you can still apply highlighter on oily skin. However, it is important to choose a highlighter that is oil-free and has a matte finish. This will help to control shine and prevent your skin from looking greasy. Additionally, be sure to set your highlighter with a translucent powder to make it last longer.

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