Mar 272013

MAC Cosmetics Prep and Prime Highlighter

Ever wondered why highlighter has suddenly become such a big deal for makeup artists? It was only yesterday that shimmer was considered oh-so-60’s, but today it is the magic wand of makeup. Read on to know why (and how!) highlighter can become your new best friend in makeup, and why contouring is incomplete without it.

Highlighter overdose has become a fashion statement, and gleaming cheekbones seem to work when adding contour to the face. Remember the rule of thumb: your makeup is incomplete without contouring and accentuating the features. It makes the face look slimmer, and makes the cheekbones and eye makeup pop. Highlighting is the complete opposite of contouring, but both these techniques go hand in hand.

Here is what you need to know to get your shimmer on:

Choosing the Perfect Highlighter Product

Illuminator products mainly come in three variations: cream, powder, and liquid. My personal favorite is the Benefit High Beam, which is a silky smooth liquid highlighter in a cute nail-polish like bottle. Like all other liquid highlighters, it blends beautifully onto the skin, aiming lesser challenge when applying. Liquid highlighters add a soft, beaming touch.

Cream highlighters last longer, but need some effort to apply because they are not lightweight like powders or liquid. Cream illuminators blend very well, if applied properly; always apply it with the fingers in small, gentle strokes. Try the ‘pearl’ Cream color from MAC if you’re looking for a creamy variation.

Powder highlighters are lightweight and easy to apply, but often come off as harsh in pictures. However, they are perfect for oilier skin types and humid summery days. Apply the powder in lesser amounts for a more natural glow. One of my favorite powder illuminators is the MAC Iridescent Loose Powder in ‘silver dusk’.

NARS Illuminator

Illuminator Colors

Bronzers are often used for illuminating, but you can also use pearly white, gold, soft pink or even silver shimmer. Always choose a color according to your skin color. For lighter skin tones, choose a light color with no dark color pigment in the base. Deep gold and bronze shades work perfectly for medium to dark skin tones. Your highlighter should only leave a trace of shimmery glow, not color.

You may choose the color according to the accessories you are wearing. For instance, you should opt for a silver shimmer to go with a sterling silver jewelry piece,some of which you can find at Fantasy Jewelry. Also choose the color according to the color of your ensemble.

How to Highlight?

Highlighter doesn’t only go on the cheekbones. For a perfect glow wear the highlighter on the top of your cheekbones (above the blusher area), under the brow bone, on the bridge of your nose, and on the ‘v’ of the Cupid’s bow to add shape. When applied under the brow bone, it makes the brows appear higher. Applying it on the Cupid’s bow transforms your lips into a stunning pout. You may also add some highlighter near the tear ducts for the perfect evening look!

Contouring and Highlighting

So, what’s the difference between the two? Contouring is done using a darker color to create a ‘hollow’ in places like the lower cheekbones, above the nostrils, and under the jaw line. When done together, contouring and illuminating create an effect that mimics perfectly sculpted cheekbones and a slimmer nose.

Highlighters are best suited for evening makeup looks, but you can add a hint of soft creamy shimmer during the day as well. A highlighter helps the jewelry to pop and glimmer even more, and adds a subtle glow to your pictures. Happy highlighting!


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