Where to Apply Highlighter for the Best Look

Where to Apply Highlighter for the Best Look

Highlighter has become one of the new buzzwords in the makeup industry over the last several years. And for a good reason. 

By effectively adding highlighter to your daily beauty routine, you are adding a vital step for a fresh, dewy, natural-looking glow-up. However, with so many different highlighter options, you may wonder where to apply highlighter for the best look for your skin and facial features.

The secret is less-is-more approach is best for a naturally glowing dewy shimmer. 

So now, let’s explore which type of highlighter to choose from and determine where to apply highlighter for the best look for you.

Should You Use Highlighter in Your Beauty Routine? 

The benefits of adding a highlighter to your daily makeup routine are considerable for anyone who wears makeup, regardless of skin tone or skin type. But does that mean adding a highlighter is right for you?

First and foremost, a highlighter, at its core, accentuates the facial features you want to enhance and downplays the facial features you want to minimize. So it’s an essential step for adding contrast to your full-coverage makeup look or adding a little glow for your softer daily makeup look. 

And who doesn’t love that? 

Suffice it to say, applying highlighter is perfect for anyone wanting to make their makeup look healthy by giving your skin a natural, dewy, hydrated complexion. 

Great! Now we know everyone can benefit from adding highlighter to their makeup routine. But, where should you apply highlighter to give your skin the most flawless, natural look?

Let’s break down what you should consider when deciding where your ideal location for a highlighter might be. 

What Face Shape Do You Have?  

Knowing where to apply highlighter for the best look can vary depending on your face shape. So to determine the most refined and perfected look for you, let’s first determine your face shape. 

  • Oblong Face Shape: Your face is twice as long as wide.
  • Heart Face Shape: You most likely have a more narrow chin and cheeks. 
  • Round Face Shape: Your face is most likely the same length as it is in width.
  • Diamond Face Shape: Your face is the widest in the cheek area. 
  • Square Face Shape: Your face is the same length as its width, except with sharper edges. 

Now that we know your face shape, let’s determine the best type of highlighter to learn where to apply. 

Which Type of Highlighter Do You Use? 

The correct application of your highlighter depends considerably on the type of highlighter you use. There are three most common types of highlighters on the market for you to choose from as of now. 

Highlighters come in liquid, powder, and cream formulas.

Liquid Highlighter Formula

Liquid highlighters tend to be heavier in their application, causing the highlighter to rest on top of the skin. Therefore, the liquid is an ideal of a highlighter formula when you are performing or being photographed under heavy lighting and need your makeup to stand out more. 

Powder Highlighter Formula

Powder highlighters tend to work well with oiler skin and don’t need as much cream or liquid formula to add hydration to the skin. Powder highlighters are somewhat noticeable, but you can lightly dust your highlighter powder to a natural glow depending on your application technique. 

Cream Highlighter Formula

Cream highlighter brightens most skin types, including sensitive skin, and supports a smoother, more youthful-looking complexion. Cream highlighters are the most natural of the highlighter formulas on the beauty market. Cream formulas help support the skin’s hydration and soothe your face for more supple-looking skin.

Cream-based makeup has increased in popularity in other products, including eyeshadow and blush. Swipe-and-go products are ideal when you have a busy schedule and want to get back to what’s essential in life. 

After all, cream-based products are the most versatile and easy-to-use. 

What Are The Differences? 

There are some noticeable differences between all three formulas, and it’s best to try them for yourself and see which one is best suited for your skin type and overall desired makeup look. It’s best to stick to one highlighter formula at a time and not blend any of the three for a more natural look. 

However, using any of the three highlighter formulas: liquid, powder, or cream, goes a long way toward glowing up your makeup routine; the question is which is best for you.

That being said, our Stack the Odds: Blush, Bronzer, Highlighter compliments many skin tones and skin types. Our 3-in-1 stackable compact is one of our bestselling products, complete with three essential makeup products: blendable cream blush, bronzer, and highlighter. 

In addition, our creamy formula infused with key moisturizing ingredients like Jojoba and Sunflower Seed Oil, a natural anti-inflammatory, consists of the perfect amount of pigment for a full, natural glow. As always, our products are multi-functional and stackable in a lightweight compact to fit anywhere you need to go. 

Now that we’ve discussed which type of highlighter you should use, we can determine where you should apply for your best look. 

Where Should You Apply Highlighter?  

There’s no need to worry about where to apply highlighter to your face to achieve the most natural look. Just remember, the key to applying highlighter is to focus on the high points of your face or where the light naturally hits your face. 

Through a bit of trial and error and studying your facial features and face shape, you will find the best spots to apply highlighter to your face. 

Once you have determined where the light naturally hits your face, try these six most common places to achieve the most natural, glowing look for your face. 


As common as it may seem, the cheekbones are the perfect place to start when learning to apply highlighter. It’s one of the most forgiving areas on the face, and it’s where the face naturally catches the most natural light for cream highlighter application. 

So first, use your finger to swipe up on the apple of the cheeks to give the cheekbones a natural glow. Then, for liquid or powder application, simply glide or brush an even light dusting over the apples of your checks. 


When highlighter is applied correctly to the nose, it elongates the nose, making it look thinner and softer. When using a cream-based highlighter, simply dot the highlighter in the center of the lower section of your nose and blend upward. 

If you are using a liquid or powder highlighter, it is best to gently swipe up from the center of the lower section of the nose along the bridge of the nose toward the eyes. Remember, a little highlighter goes a long way, especially in the nose area. 


Highlighter is a superb makeup choice for hiding tired eyes. Brighten your eyes by simply swiping along the brow bone and into the inner corners. A small amount of highlighter in the corner of your eye can brighten your entire face and give the appearance of well-rested, naturally glowing skin. 


The proper highlighter placement to the lips can add fullness and plumpness to achieve a chic glow-up. Highlighters can illuminate the small area of skin around the lip area, known as the cupid’s bow. It is just above the upper lip and is one of the most common areas light naturally touches.

Thus, making it one of the perfect areas to dab a little cream highlighter on the upper area of the lip and the V part above the lip. If you use liquid or powder, gently swipe a small highlighter just in the cupid’s bow.


The center of your chin typically receives some natural light, and by highlighting a small amount of the chin area, you can round out your face. 

Simply blend your highlighting directly into the center of your chin until your highlighter blends entirely with the rest of your makeup. Highlighting the center of the chin is best if you have a longer face and wish to round it out. 


It may sound a little excessive but adding a little highlighter to your collarbone is a perfect way to add a shimmery glow to complete your look.

Dusting just the right amount of highlighter accentuates the collarbone area and adds a sultry shine perfect for a night out on the town. 


To effectively know where to apply highlighter to look your best, you must first know which highlighter formula is best for your skin type. Then, whether you choose liquid, powder, or cream, it’s quite simple learning where to apply your highlighter to accentuate the features you want to highlight and where to downplay the facial features you want to minimize. 

All in all, highlighter is best applied where the light naturally touches your face. By studying your facial features and your face shape, you will be a pro at knowing exactly where to apply to achieve your best look. So, take your time and have fun learning more about your skin and makeup routine!

Are you looking for more ways to find multi-functional skin and makeup products to cut the clutter from your beauty routine once and for all? 

Take our Declutter Quiz to get a personalized bundle of compact, time-saving products specifically chosen just for you! 

Have you already been using our products and want to share how it’s helped minimize your beauty routine? We’d love to hear from you! Join #alleyooptroop to share your story! 


Jojoba Oil: An Updated Comprehensive Review on Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Uses, and Toxicity | NCBI 

Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils | NCBI

Facial Cosmetics Exert a Greater Influence on Processing of the Mouth Relative to the Eyes: Evidence from the N170 Event-Related Potential Component | NCBI

Sunsational Sunsational Duo Lip Goals Stack the Odds Refillable 11th Hour


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