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Accentuating facial contours with highlighting products was a thing long before the Kardashians made it part of our cosmetic lexicon. In the days since different iterations such as contouring (combining lighter and darker shades to enhance facial features) and strobing (essentially extreme highlighting) have been adopted by amateurs.
But if you’re not a pro, take heed… Less is more when it comes to this makeup trend, unless you want to look like a disco ball. The key to looking naturally radiant is light-handed application on spots that are naturally hit with light first (i.e. cheekbones, brow bones, down the center of the nose and just above the lips) since it’s easier to add a bit more than it is to take away too much, and remember to blend, blend, blend!
Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in “Candlelight” ($44)
Kevyn Aucoin is known for some of the silkiest powders around, and this cult-favorite highlighter is no exception. A light dusting with a fan brush serves up the perfect amount of luster, and it can be used over foundation, or bare skin and even all over the face for a lit-from-within glow.
Bobbi Brown Bobbi to Glow Shimmer Brick Palette Palette ($69)
No one does the “natural” look better than Bobbi Brown, and her Shimmer Bricks deliver subtle radiance plus a light wash of color. This limited-edition palette features “Gold,” “Bronze” and “Wild Rose” hues to give your cheeks, eyes and entire face a healthy glow from day to evening and season to season.
Hourglass Cosmetics Ambient Lighting Powder ($46)
You can’t underestimate the power of good lighting, and Hourglass Cosmetics has created an entire line of highlighting powders, blushes, bronzers and more that help you recreate it anytime, anywhere. Start with one of the six universally-flattering shades of the Ambient Lighting Powder applied to the cheekbones, under the brows an on your cupid’s bow—and get ready to start fielding the compliments.
Sigma Beauty Liquid Highlighter in “Afterglow” ($12)
If you prefer a liquid-based highlighter as opposed to a powder (and you’re on a budget), you’ll love this easy to apply golden-peach hue. The perfectly portable tube makes tool-less touch-ups easy when you’re on the go, and the universally flattering formula is designed to stay put even in heat and humidity.
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer ($38)
Lauded for its sheer, natural glow and lack of any questionable ingredients, this cream highlighter is a must in any makeup bag. It imparts an easy-to-blend, colorless sheen that enhances any makeup look from barely-there to dramatic. P.S. Don’t be afraid to try it on your lids—you can totally pull off subtly glossy eyes! P.P.S. For a touch of rose-gold glow, try the Master Mixer, which transforms any eye, cheek or lip color as it provides a radiance boost.