Is your complexion as dreary as the winter weather? Get glowing again with these expert tips.
We get it: Winter can suck the glow right out of your skin. But that's no excuse to settle for dull skin. That's where highlighter comes in. Applied correctly, highlighter can give you luminous, radiant skin in practically an instant. Put it on wrong, and you'll look like you're sweating glitter. When walking such a fine line between gorgeous and crazy, it's best to turn to the experts for advice. We promise these tips will help you look like you just chugged a gallon of water and spent the weekend on a juice cleanse (minus the hunger pangs).
Don't Make This Mistake!
When it comes to shimmery highlighters, more is definitely not more. To avoid disco-ball/popular-clan-of-vampires territory, Blushington pro makeup artist Jessica Scantlin's top tip is to apply little by little, and avoid highlighting products that have chunks of glitter. "You want to have a glow, but not look like you owned Studio 54," she says.
Know When to Say No
If your skin is on the oily side, avoid liquid luminizer, as these can start to look greasy very quickly after you apply them. Celebrity makeup artist Nick Barose, who has worked with Lupita Nyong'o and Gabrielle Union, recommends the "dry shine" of a powder highlighter over a liquid or cream. But if you've got dry skin, definitely go for those liquids. "When you are dry, you want to add as much moisture to your skin as possible," says Scantlin. Liquid- or cream-based shimmers give dry skin a glow without looking chalky.
Get Your Glow On
Where you apply your highlighter is just as important as the formula you choose. Makeup artist Nico Guilis, who has worked with Dree Hemingway and Bar Rafaeli, says that it's all about achieving a "controlled glow." The obvious place to highlight is on your cheekbones to make them pop (which is a must for glowing skin), but Scantlin loves to place highlighter down the nose and on the tip. "It creates a defined nose and brings attention to the rest of your face," she says. She also applies it above the lip to make the mouth look more "pouty." Placing a little highlighter above and below your brows will also help make you look more awake and radiant.
Choose The Right Glow: Fair Skin Tones
If everyone else's "winter" skin tone is your natural shade of pale, opt for a peachy highlighter, says Barose. Anything darker could be too harsh against your skin tone. Scantlin also recommends using a lighter luminizer with a bit of a white base to illuminate skin.
Choose the Right Glow: Medium Skin Tones
"If you are a medium skin tone, go a little more ivory in color," Scantlin says. "This way it won't wash you out." Choose a highlighter with a golden sheen if your skin is a darker medium shade.
Choose the Right Glow: Dark Skin Tones
On darker skin, color shows up much more saturated, which can work against you when highlighting, says Guilis. Steer clear of white or frosty highlighters because they give darker skin tones a gray, ashy appearance, says Scantlin. Opt for red-based products (think: coppery bronze) and golden highlighters instead.
Hate Shimmer? No Problem
With the matte trend going strong, sometimes even a little glimmer can seem OTT. Choose a concealer about two shades lighter than your skin tone and apply it over the areas you would apply a shimmer, and then balance it out by applying a foundation two shades darker than your skin tone right under your cheekbone and blending. "This way you have lightened the area without shimmer, and it's just as beautiful," says Scantlin. Another easy way to get glowing sans sparkle? Use a tinted moisturizer, which adds luminosity without the shimmer, says Barose. He also recommends avoiding powder on the bridge of your nose or the top of your cheekbones to let your natural glow show.
The Difference is Night and Day
We know we advised against lots o' shimmer earlier, but at night, (almost) anything goes. Guilis says that you can amp up the shimmer in the darker hours. But remember: The point of highlighter is to mimic light hitting your face in a flattering way, so put highlighter on the parts of your face that would naturally receive the most light, such as your cheeks, nose and brow. If you have a feature that you don't want to emphasize (like a prominent nose), avoid putting anything gleam-y there. Bonus tip: Apply highlighter to your eyelids at night. Guilis promises this will give you a glow you just can't get during the day.