Everything You Need to Know About Drugstore Highlighter

Curious about highlighter? We can help. Here's what you should know about drugstore highlighter

The lowdown on drugstore highlighter makeup

With their ability to multitask, highlighters are quickly becoming a must-have in every makeup bag. Whether you are looking to perfect your makeup look or need to appear bright-eyed despite a night of poor sleep, a highlighter is going to be one of your go-to items. Drugstore highlighters can usually stand up to their more expensive counterparts and offer just as much variety. Whether you are new to highlighter or an experienced make-up hobbyist, read on to learn more about the wonderful world of highlighter.

How Highlighters Work

If you hear the word highlighter, you are thinking about either makeup or school. This article is definitely focused on makeup highlighter. The two aren’t that different in terms of their effect but a makeup highlighter will highlight areas on your face.

You can use a highlighter to contour your makeup look almost anywhere on your face, from cheekbones to eyebrow arches. Some highlighters have added shimmer, while others provide a more matte look.

Types of Highlighters

Liquid: These are the most versatile and easiest to apply. You don’t need much of this highlighter to enhance your cheekbones, or even just add an overall shine to your face. These are super easy to use, so they are great for beginners and quick touch-ups.

Powder: The intensity of powders can vary from matte to metallic. You can find some variety in powders ranging from peachy pink to silver for some brands, while others give you a full selection. If you are using a dense powder you may want to apply slowly and with a light hand — it’s easier to add intensity than to have to start over if you go overboard.

Contouring powder palettes often feature powder highlighter as well. Depending on the palette, you may have a highlighter, concealer, bronzer, and blush in one, easy-to-access place.

Stick Highlighters: These can come off as a little intense and are usually challenging for beginners. However, the sticks are great for highlighting smaller areas of your face or creating contrasting tones, depending on your skin tone. If you want to make your eyes pop or accentuate your cupid’s bow for fuller, poutier lips, sticks are a great asset. These can be shimmery or help you achieve the perfect “no makeup” glow.

Pot Highlighters: These tend to give you a light shimmer that’s compatible with a variety of skin tones. They are dense enough to be easy to apply but won’t be too difficult to fix if you make a mistake.

Best Places to Apply Drugstore Highlighter

Where on your face (or even your body) you apply your highlighter will depend on the look you desire. Before you start your makeup for the day, you should choose an end goal. Do you want a subtle natural glow, or are you aiming for an ethereal gleam? Your desired end result will then guide your makeup application.

Cheekbones: Adding a little bit of highlighter on the apple of your cheeks can create a subtle, natural shine. If you are going for a more dramatic look, opt for metallic or stick highlighter and add contrast to the look with a bit of blush or bronzer.

Eyes: Applying highlighter at the edges of the lower lid margin can instantly draw attention to your eyes and make you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. You can also use a highlighter to emphasize the arch of your eyebrows. Just follow the natural line under your eyebrow with a pencil or powder and brush.

Cupid’s Bow: Adding a bit of highlighter to your cupid’s bow can accentuate your lips: just dust a little bit of highlighter right above the center of your upper lip. For additional pout, try using a pencil highlighter to create a more defined cupid’s bow on top and use a lipliner at the edge of the bottom lip.

Center of Face: For a truly contoured look, apply small amounts of highlighter at the center of your forehead, bridge of your nose, and the tip of your chin. Depending on the type of highlighter you use, and your desired look, you may need to blend a bit with a foundation or powder.

Tips for Basic Looks

If you are new to highlighters, here are a few general tips.

Moisturize: Well-moisturized, healthy skin, is key to a natural glow. A healthy diet, plenty of water, and diligent skin care routine will allow the highlighter to accent your features.

Matte for Subtle: If you want a subtle look, matte highlighters work best. Non-metallic powders and highlighter pots are ideal. If only have metallic or stick options, be prepared to blend a little.

Metallic for Bold: If you want a bolder look, metallic powders and sticks can give you the most contrast with the least effort. Certain liquid powders can be great for this as well!

While highlighters can be tricky, there are plenty of tutorials online to help you master this makeup tool. As with any new makeup, be prepared to be patient and give yourself some extra time to practice the first few times.

Resources — Bustle, The Trend Spotter, L'Oreal Paris,

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