Highlighting: 2016’s Top Beauty Trend

With beauty becoming less and less uniform over the last decade or so, every year has seen its big trend.  2015 was obsessed with contour, 2014 loved a good smoky eye.  While it may only be halfway over, 2016’s beauty favorite is looking pretty clear: highlighting.  Glowing cheekbones have been all the rage this year, but what’s all the hype about?  What products and applicators are best?  How do you even wear it?  Here is everything you need to know about highlighting.

What is it?// Highlighting, or placing lighter/shimmery pigments on places such as your cheekbones, under your brows, and any other features you want to bring forward, has always been a practice of makeup artists, but it has seen hype in recent years seeing as it goes hand-in-hand with contouring.  Think of highlighting as contouring’s polar opposite best friend, working together to make your face look flawless.  Highlighting has taken off with new celebrity lines (Jeffree Star, Jaclyn Hill) as well as the crazy highlighter challenge that’s sweeping the makeup corner of YouTube.  It’s a fun way to make your face appear to literally be glowing, and it’s not too difficult.

The Best Products// For starters, what are the best products to use for highlighting?  There are a few different formulas to choose from that all achieve the same effect in different ways.  The first, traditional form of highlighter is in a pressed powder.  Applied with a fan brush, a powder formula is packed with shimmer and is easy to blend.  MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish is a definite favorite among makeup lovers.  Another popular formula is liquid, which is easy to use and can be applied with your fingers.  Liquid highlighters are great because they’re super blendable and extremely user friendly.  NARS has liquid illuminators in tons of different shades that can fit any skin tone.  Along with sticks, creams, and tons of other formulas, it’s easy to find the one that works for you.

How to use it// everyone’s routine for highlighting varies a little, but they all follow the same base ideas.  Using a fan brush, a flat brush, or even your fingers, apply the product to your cheekbones, brow bones, down your nose, and anywhere else you want to bring out and contrast against your contour.  Make sure to blend, blend, and blend a little more to make sure it’s completely seamless against your face.  Go forth and glow!