We’ll assume that at this point, if you so much as roam the social spheres of Instagram and YouTube, you have heard of strobing or highlighting. Essentially, we use this technique to achieve that healthy, youthful, sun-kissed glow that you’ve seen on every single Kardashian or within the pages of any summer editorial. Celebrity makeup artist Allan Avendaño breaks down the key products and techniques for flawless highlighting that will make your complexion look expertly lit instead of like disco ball.
Does someone’s face shape determine how you highlight?
Yes definitely. Everyone has different high points and different areas that are more complimentary to highlight. In theory, highlighting with matte products (i.e. to lighten areas of the face) and highlight with shine (to brighten and make the face look glowy and dewy) would be in the same areas for everyone but not each face might be a candidate to highlight all the same areas. (For instance, highlighting one’s nose may not be a place someone wants to draw attention to.)
Name one of your favorite highlight looks you’ve created on one of your clients and tell us why.
There are many but one of the latest is Sarah Hyland at the 2016 Teen Choice Awards! I loved the glowing face and the touch of winged liner from underneath the eye. It was fun and edgy, but chic! The glow was very subtle on her cheeks, brow bone, nose and cupid’s bow which resulted in a luminous, effortless, fresh-faced look. I used the lightest shade in the PÜR Moonlight Glow Palette and used my finger to strategically place it in the areas I mentioned. It’s a creamy texture so it really blends into the skin, even on top of foundation. It gave a subtle yet effective sheen. I then used a fan brush with the Afterglow Illuminating Powder and lightly dusted it over the apples of the cheeks to give this area more of a pop.
What’s the biggest mistake women can make when highlighting?
Too much highlighting is not ok as well as shimmer all over the face.
Where should you highlight and where shouldn’t you highlight?
Highlighting with a lighter matte concealer to brighten up would be used on the center of the forehead, brow bone, inner corners of the eyes, under the eyes, Cupid’s bow, and sides of the mouth and under the cheekbones.
Highlighting with sheen would be for the bridge of the nose and tip, inner corners of the eyes, brow bone, Cupid’s bow, cheekbone/orbital bones. Never highlight with sheen under the cheekbones (jaws), under your eyes, on the sides of the nose, on the forehead or chin. Too much highlight in these areas makes you look like a greasy mess.
What are the best types of products to use when highlighting?
I love the Moonlight Glow and Sun-Kissed Glow palettes. It’s got every range of highlighters for every skin tone. I love cream because it really blends seamlessly into the face. I also love powder highlighter like the Afterglow Illuminating Powder. It gives a more vibrant highlight and works on most skin tones. I also love Dior Glow Maximizer (that can be used as an overall primer) if you prefer a more liquid consistency.
Does warm versus cool tones give you a different highlight effect?
I would use cooler tones like white, cool pink, champagne on fair to medium skin and warm tones like gold, bronze and cooper for medium dark to dark skin tones. I think it’s more about making sure that the highlight matches the skin tone. I certainly wouldn’t use a copper highlight on porcelain skin.
Should you prep the skin before highlighting?
If you’re wearing a full face of makeup, moisturizing and priming helps the face become a perfect canvas and I prefer to apply highlighter on top of foundation. (Some people mix it into their foundation, but that tends to get all-over shiny which I don’t like.) However, girls who don’t fuss with foundation everyday don’t need to prime. Just moisturizing would be great and it can go directly on the skin for that dewy effortless look.
Does a matte versus satin versus dewy complexion create a special effect when paired with a highlighter?
I think highlighting to create dewy and shiny skin is perfect with a satin finish because the canvas isn’t completely matte which creates a drastic contrast.It can be done on matte skin, but I would use powder highlighters because the matte texture of the skin makes it difficult to blend the cream highlighter. On a dewy complexion, it goes without saying that highlighting is pretty, but you don’t want to highlight too much. If your skin is dewy, you already have highlights happening with the dewy texture on your skin.
Do you foresee any new highlighting trends?
I do believe that highlighting is here to stay. The skin looks alive and healthy. Gone are the days of completely mattifying your face. Although it’s not a new look for editorial looks, glossy highlighting might make a strong presence in everyday life. With the release of many gloss balms for the skin, people might replace the cream or powder shimmer for a greasy shine. It adds an extra dimension to the skin and women with pulled back hair can rock this look subtly with a simple product like a heavy moisturizing cream dabbed and blended into the skin on the highlight points.
Follow Allan on Instagram @allanface for more celebrity makeup inspiration.