The Marie Reyes Blog

The Only Way to Highlight

  • By Marie Reyes

The Only Way to Highlight

I ran across this amazing blog on the New York Times covering the perfect way to highlight - it's a must-share!  

The powdered, matte face has long been out of favor. But its replacement, the look of the moment, is a moving target.

It wasn’t long ago that contouring was a YouTube obsession, followed soon after by strobing and assorted batty offshoots. Whatever the technique, though, the focus was always on using light (or its absence) to enhance one’s features. During the fall 2017 fashion shows that just ended, some makeup artists did just that in the prettiest way possible, using a combination of blush and highlighter. The collections were autumnal, but the models were aglow with springlike dewy skin.

“By adding both highlight and blush, it gives a liveliness to the skin, which is very beautiful all year round,” said Kelli Bartlett, the vice president for makeup and new services at the beauty-services booking app Glamsquad. She created an understated glow at the Erin Fetherston show at New York Fashion Week.

That freshness is the look’s key. And getting it is easy. Swap out powdered versions of blush and highlighter for cream and liquid formulas.

“There are two types of glow that can be achieved on the skin,” said Troy Surratt, the makeup artist and founder of Surratt Beauty. “‘Light-reflective’ uses shimmer, and ‘humectant’ adds glow with dewy moisture. And sometimes a product is a combination of both.”

Creamy blushes and highlighters give skin that “No, really, I’m just this luminous” look, rather than “I’m wearing highlighter.” The look is also noticeably without contour.

“Contour intimidates some women,” Ms. Bartlett said. “They can end up with stripes on the face. You have to be an expert blender. So this idea that you can ‘non-tour’ is great. You can change the face structure with just highlighter and blush.”

People tend to think of highlighters as universal shades. Not so, according to Sir John, the makeup artist and L’Oréal Paris brand ambassador. He suggests cool-toned colors like silver or frosty pinks for fair skin. Olive and medium skin tones are best lit with gold. And for dark skin, try rose gold or copper.

The right shade of blush matches the color of your cheeks after you’ve had a good workout. For deep skin tones, Ms. Bartlett advised opting for vibrant colors. “Otherwise you risk them not showing up or looking muddy,” she said. “Bright oranges and reds add warmth to the skin. Deep plums and raisin tones add depth.”

Before applying blush or highlighter, make sure skin is moisturized or primed.

“Cream products can drag on the skin and deposit supersaturated color that’s more difficult to blend out,” Mr. Surratt said. Apply blush first, starting on the apples of the cheeks, then sweeping up toward the temple. This will frame the face and create structure without contouring.

With the index finger, tap cream or liquid highlighter along the bridge of the nose, on top of cheekbones, in the middle of the eyelid, at the inner corners of the eye and the cupid’s bow. Buff the highlighter with a small fluffy brush.

The results will be beautiful — but don’t overdo it. Highlighter isn’t meant for the center of the face toward the nose.

“You’ll end up looking greasy,” Sir John said.


Big thanks to Crystal Martin on the initial write up! 

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