Combining Liquid and Powder Highlighter Is the Secret to a Radiant Glow

September 21, 2020
Alanna Martine Kilkeary
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
How to Combine Liquid and Powder Highlighter for a Blinding Dream
If you ask us, highlighters are an important part of every makeup routine. We love them because they deliver luminosity and brightening qualities that can completely transform your complexion. If you were to ask us to choose between liquid and powder highlighter, we’d say both. Here, we’re breaking down the basics of how to apply liquid and powder illuminators, and how to combine them for a beaming, radiant glow.

The Difference Between Liquid and Powder Highlighters

Liquid illuminators are typically more pigmented than powder formulas and can be used to accentuate or brighten specific spots on the face. Remember strobing? Liquid illuminators are perfect for that.

Powder highlighters typically have softer application and deliver more of a sheer, shimmery finish. These types of products work well over foundation or blush to give your skin that all-over dewy look.

How to Apply Liquid Highlighter

When using a liquid highlighter, make sure you use a blending sponge or your fingers to work it into your skin. After applying foundation — before you reach for a concealer — dot the liquid along the areas of the face that are naturally hit by the sun (the top of cheekbones, bridge of nose, brow bone, Cupid’s bow, etc.).

If you’ve got a bad case of under-eye bags or dark circles, simply dot highlighter under the eye area and in the inner corners, blending downward toward the lower cheekbone. This will brighten your eyes and make you look more awake (even if you’re running on a couple hours of sleep).

Some of our favorite liquid highlighters are the NYX Professional Makeup A Bit Jelly Gel Illuminator and Dermablend Glow Creator Highlighter Drops
NYX Professional Makeup A Bit Jelly Gel Illuminator

How to Apply Powder Highlighter

When using a powder-based illuminator, use either a medium-sized fluffy powder brush or an angled powder brush for application. After applying foundation, dust highlighter on areas like the cheeks, chin, nose and top of forehead. Because the application is less localized than that of liquid highlighter, the result is more of an all-over glow, as opposed to a contoured one. 

We love the L’Oréal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator and the NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Highlighting Palette for this. 

How to Combine Liquid and Powder Highlighters

Start by applying a liquid highlighter on your cheekbones, down your nose and on your Cupid’s bow. One to two drops is all you’ll need for this, and blend it out with your fingers or use a stippling brush. Next, lightly apply a powder highlight on top with a fan brush for a soft touch. Your highlight will be officially blinding and beautiful. 
NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Highlighting Palette
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn

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