We all want skin that looks luminous, glowing, or even ethereal, right? However, with all of the extreme highlighter trends —holographic, unicorn, mermaid, chroma— the ‘natural’ part of highlighting has gone to the wayside.

We love products that glitter, sparkle and strobe for a festive face, but they aren’t highlighting a feature, they’re the main attraction!

Here’s all you need to know about achieving a natural glow:

Why do we highlight?

The goal of highlighting is to catch light and add dimension to a feature on your face that you wish to accentuate. Highlighting the cheekbone has been common for decades, and in recent years, highlighting other high points like the brow bone, bridge of nose and cupids bow have become popular. Conversely, If you don’t want to draw attention to an area, DO NOT apply a highlight on that area.

How to choose the right product?

For a natural highlight, choose a product that blends into your skin, leaving a luminous or opalescent finish. Highly reflective formulas that sit on top of the skin alter the overall color of the skin, which results in a more dramatic strobe/shimmer effect.

+ Light Skin: Bobbi Brown Cream Glow Highlighter in Pink Opal

+ Medium Skin: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Gold Deposit or Soft and Gentle

+ Dark Skin: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter

How to Apply?

The tendency to over-apply highlighter is common. We don’t have the perspective to see light bouncing away from the skin, so we apply too much over a larger area, resulting in a disco ball cheek. For that natural look, just apply along the highest point of the feature (cheek, cupid’s bow, bridge of nose) and blend out into surrounding areas.

+ Powder highlight: a medium sized brush like your setting brush or your soft finishing brush is great for a light dusting over the cheekbones. For smaller spots try the multitech set point xs or xxs.

 + Cream and liquid highlight: dip the tips of your concealer brush or miracle sculpting sponge into product, apply to the high point then blend out the edges with an expert concealer brush or clean side of the sponge.