How To Use Sunscreen As A Guide For Applying Highlighter

Confused about where to put highlighter? Sunscreen can help! (As if you needed another reason to wear it.)
Publish date:
July 10, 2013
How-To, skin, highlighters, sunscreens

I didn’t start wearing highlighter until, like, two months ago. I had no idea how to wear it! Is it blush? No. And it’s definitely not bronzer. So what do I do?

I know a lot of my friends feel this way, too, because before writing this, I asked them if they wear it, and they were like, “Ummm, no. Too much work.” (Look at that journalism research I did, guys.) But come on--it only takes about 30 extra seconds, and it makes you look more fab than you already do.

If you’re confused about highlighter and what it does--like I used to be--then you just need to know that it’s what makes celebrities look really glow-y on the red carpet. Don’t you want to look like you’ve been off in St. Tropez instead of staying in all weekend thinking you should go out but then getting exhausted at the mere thought of leaving, like I do? Duh.

But how do you apply it? This is where sunscreen comes in.

As if you need another reason to wear it (maybe preventing cancer and premature aging aren’t enough for you?), sunscreen can tell you where to put your highlighter! Once you put it on, certain parts of your face will glow, and that’s where you put the highlighter!

In the morning, I’ll start with a totally clean, makeup-free face. After I put on moisturizer, I’ll put on some sunscreen. Right now I’m using Trader Joe’s Refresh Face and Body Sunscreen because it’s light, doesn’t clog pores, and it’s really cheap. It’s also broad-spectrum and SPF 30.

I just take a tiny dollop and rub it all over my face and neck (please don’t forget your neck--it probably takes just an extra three seconds to cover it). Here’s what it looks like once the sunscreen is on my face:

Notice that certain parts of my face light up and glow and other parts remain dull and lifeless. These shiny parts are where you’re going to want to put the highlighter.

I’m using a powder highlighter right now because I absolutely cannot use creams during the summer, but when it’s not face-meltingly hot outside, nothing beats Benefit High Beam.

I use a little bit and build on it until I achieve the brightness that I want. I just swipe it on in a line and sweep over it a few times--none of that small circles fanciness.

You’ll probably notice while you’re doing it that the places you are highlighting are where all of your face bones are. That’s a good guide to use, too. Where your eye sockets end, highlighter begins! (Also, I know I skipped foundation, but in the summer I don’t really wear it.)

Look how fresh faced I am! Once you get used to this and learn where to put highlighter, you don’t have to use the sunscreen as a guide and can layer on foundation, primer, or any other face goop.

But that doesn’t mean you can forget the sunscreen altogether because I just watched the Jodi Arias movie on Lifetime, and I don’t know if I'll get that mad at you if you don’t wear it, but I’ll probably write you a mean tweet or something.