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How To: Apply Highlighter in All the Right Places


There’s a small divide here at Birchbox HQ between those of us who love wearing highlighter and those who are a tad mystified by it. Thanks to my job testing products  and interviewing makeup artists, I definitely fall in the former camp, but I’m well aware that knowing where to apply highlighter doesn’t come naturally to most of us.  Ali, our brand new Marketing and Merchandising Manager, is one of those novices who never used to feel comfortable enough to incorporate highlighter into her daily look. 

Armed with theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer, a honey-toned shimmer, I set out to convert Ali to my highlighter-happy ways. Click through to read the crash course I gave her in how to spotlight her features using nothing more than the powder highlighter and her fingertips.

Above Your Cheekbones

One of the biggest mistakes women make with highlighter is dabbing it onto the apples of their cheeks. According to makeup artist Reiva Cruze, this is a big no-no. You should actually apply highlighter just above your cheekbones, sweeping upwards towards your brow bones, for the best contouring effects. Blend with your clean fingertips. 

Just Below Your Brows

Next, sweep on a thin layer of highlighter directly underneath your arches, following the outline of your orbital bone.

Eyelids and Inner Corners of Your Eyes

To brighten your whole eye area, dot a tiny bit of highlighter to the inner corners of your eyes. You can also apply it to the center of your eyelids, below the crease, by layering it on top of your other shadows (or wearing it alone). 

Cupid’s Bow

Extra credit: try dabbing a bit of shimmer right above the center of your upper lip. This helps create the illusion of fuller lips—and who doesn’t want that?

The final verdict according to Ali? “I used to think highlighter was only for the brow bones, but now I know I can also use it on my cheek bones, eyes, and lips.” Success! 


P.S. Watch how BB staffer Deepica demonstrates how to use theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer in action here!

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