Tutorial: The Perfect Glow


The Perfect Glow

Highlighters can be hard to figure out. Though they appear relatively simple at first glance (apply here, look like an angel), they’re actually quite difficult to master.

Placement itself is pretty easy: applying highlighter of any kind on the tops of your cheekbones will instantly give you a gorgeous, fairy-like complexion. But what happens as the day wears on, when it’s three in the afternoon and instead of having flawlessly dewy cheekbones you have a barely visible film of shimmer and glitter all over your cheeks and nose? If you’re like me and want to look like an ethereal baby cherub all day long and not just in the morning, then let me introduce you to the ultimate highlighter technique.

The answer to all your highlighter problems is layering, both of products and of textures. When I want to create the perfect long-lasting glow (which is every day, for the record), I take my two favorite highlighters and double up.

On its own, Benefit’s High Beam liquid highlighter creates a soft gentle glow. It’s nice, and the liquid formula makes it last for quite a while, but it just doesn’t have the oomph that I crave. That’s where my MAC Iridescent Powder in Silver Dusk comes in. It’s a loose powder, and it is absolutely packed to the gills with heavenly shimmer. I say gills with extra emphasis because the powder’s beautiful lumosity can really only be compared to the scales of a mermaid. Not just a fish, but a mermaid. Am I communicating my intense love for this stuff adequately yet? However, no sooner does it touch your skin than it starts falling out all over the place.

As you may have guessed, things don’t get truly magical until I combine the two. First, I use the included brush applicator to swipe a few drops of High Beam on top of my cheekbones, then gently blend it in with one or two fingers. Then, using MAC’s Large Angled Contour Brush, I pick up the tiniest bit of Silver Dusk from its container, tap off the excess, and delicately dab it directly on top of the High Beam I’ve already applied. Ideally, you should dab on the powder before the liquid base has fully dried. This way, the liquid acts as an adhesive and keeps the mixture solidly in place from sunrise to sunset. Be sure that you don’t use any rubbing motions with your brush—this will only wear away at the liquid and powder mixture you’ve so carefully laid out. Instead, continue to use dabbing motions until everything is blended in (no hard edges allowed here) and you have just the right amount of glow.

Here, I’ve swatched both products, as well as the finished effect of layering them together:

Left to right: Benefit High Beam, MAC Iridescent Powder in Silver Dusk, and Silver Dusk layered on top of High Beam. Nail polish is “In the Cable Car Pool Lane” by OPI

As you can see, High Beam creates a consistent, soft luminescence, while Silver Dusk creates an exceptionally light-catching dusting of powder, and the two combined create the perfect glow with an unmatched and otherworldly intensity. It may take some experimentation, but I guarantee that this technique will let you love the magic of highlighter like never before.