Coordinating Your Highlighter With Blush And Bronzer Gives You The Ultimate Glow-From-Within Look

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There are no hard-and-fast rules for highlighter use, though most makeup fans agree that the product is a go-to. However, if highlighter is taken too far, you might end up looking like a '90s jelly shoe: super sparkly and a bit like plastic. The trick is balancing highlighter with the other shading tools at play in your look.

If you begin with a primer base followed by foundation, then you might progress toward bronzer or contour, then blush. Whether you want your contouring to go basically undetected or be in HD, highlighter can complement and accentuate your choices. The same goes for blush: You might be into a light dash on the apple of your cheek, or go all the way for the cold-girl aesthetic, aka blush on every extremity, like the tip of your nose, your cheeks, and even your ears. Highlight can be the wintery gleam for your chilly look or a subtle trick of the light, but either way, it's a physical manifestation of your inner shine.

We all want to know if our foundation and bronzer are working with our highlighter rather than against it, and looking out for blush and highlighter hacks help us up our glow factor. Thankfully, there are also some cardinal rules you can follow to ensure that you're highlighting to your full potential.

Play with color schemes

Two Broke Students on Instagram posted about their newest pink-inspired look, shouting out products like L'Oréal's paradise enchanted blush and Physicians' formula's butter bronzer and highlighter. She even chose an eyeshadow palette to match her spring-informed cheeks, creating a doll-esque look completed by her natural pink lip color. Shading the inner eyelids a more peachy color helped bring out the brightest pink on the rest of her lids. The blush on the apples of her cheeks was slightly darker and perfectly complemented by the champagne-colored highlight tracing her cheekbones, which also made an appearance on her nose, along with a pat of blush on the tip. 

Highlight your bone structure

Picking the right highlighter and focusing on placement are the most paramount tasks involved in balancing this show-stealer with the other powders and creams supporting your look. Celebrity makeup artist Daniel Bauer told Vogue India that highlighter should go above the cheekbones and avoid the bones themselves, and that it should not go past your temples when gracing your forehead area, though it may curve upward under the end of your brow to further emphasize your bone structure. 

Bauer shared, "Highlighting is all about getting a youthful glow on your face by accentuating the high points and creating the impression of a pronounced bone structure. This could mean highlighting your nose, forehead, chin, and sometimes your Cupid's bow." It's also important not to go too pale with your shade, but going two shades lighter than your skin tone should be safe.

Pair highlight with this shaping technique

Contouring your nose may feel like a superfluous step in your beauty routine when compared to such vital areas as your jaw, cheekbones, and eyebrows, but creating the ultimate sculpted effect includes letting all the planes of your face look like a work of art. Adding highlight on top of other shading or contour can add an otherworldly dimension, and a straight streak down the nose is enough to keep you photo-ready and glowy without looking oily. Makeup artist Daniel Bauer recommends a slightly off-center line to elongate the look of a bump on the nose (via Vogue India).

Help your eyes pop

Under eyes are a tricky area for the face, since the super sensitive skin is subject to sagging when you haven't gotten a good night's sleep, and may succumb to dark circles or even irritating dryness. This is an area to treat with care — ideally, an under-eye cream with a nourishing formula and maybe a hint of caffeine to help you look awake and bubbly. You should stay away from too many layers of product in this area, though you might distract from dark circles by adding a dash of your favorite highlight after concealer and above the blush on the apples of your cheeks. The product's reflective quality will help you shine through the darkness.

Pay attention to warm versus cool undertones

Last but certainly not least, it's important to get in touch with your skin's undertones. Aimee Morrison, a makeup artist for Bobbi Brown, shared with Good Housekeeping that your undertone is "the permanent, underlying color that your skin tone casts: cool, warm, or neutral." She differentiates this from skin tone, which is "the color you see on the surface of your skin: fair, light, medium, olive, dark, or deep."

For cooler undertones, you might stick with silver tones or ones that give your look an ethereal spacey quality. For those with warmer bases, your best range for highlight hue will be bronze to gold, or like warm palette colors. For a bronzer and highlight combo, you can try the Mary Kay cream bronzer duo stick and highlighter duo stick together; the compatible products both have the potential for a matte finish or added shine, and can be blended together for a seamless and stunning look. And your best bet for the ultimate complementary trifecta of blush, bronzer, and highlighter is buying them all in one set or palette.