Nothing says gorgeous to me like healthy, glowing skin.  It’s not my style to hide my clients behind a mask of make-up, as a face full of matte foundation can look dull and flat, whereas glowing skin always looks more healthy and youthful.  You only need to look at runway and red carpet photos to see how luminous skin is just as in as a good smoky eye.

They look pretty good when paired together too!


Photo by Robin Li. Make-up + Hair by Rhia Amio.

Now shimmer can go wrong fast.  Too much and you can look borderline greasy; the wrong texture and it can look too juvenile.  Here’s how to add some glow without looking you’re entering a dance competition:

1.  Know where to highlight.  The usual spots are:

  • atop the cheekbones
  • under the brow
  • the inner corner of the eye
  • top of the lip
  • down the nose – You can this to to make the nose appear skinnier, but I’m wary to suggest it here unless you’ve got the application down to a T.  I’d use something in a non-shimmer texture too, as it can easily end up looking too shiny.

This picture from the ultimate make-up guru and my original artist inspiration, Kevyn Aucoin, is forever etched into my memory.  One of the best gifts I ever received was his Making Faces book [actually, it’s a beauty bible].  My best friends in high school (and I’ll let you do the math) gave it to me for my some-teenth birthday and it’s one of my favourite books to this day, as it gave obviously in so many ways.  The lighter parts are where to highlight and the darker parts are where to contour:

kevyn aucoin highlight contour artistrhi

from Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces

Before and after blending it all in:

kevyn aucoin highlight contour artistrhi

from Kevyn Aucoin’s Making Faces

Side note:
Highlighting and contouring go hand-in-hand like yin and yang.  When you contour, your highlight stands out even more.  These techniques have seen a recent resurgence into beauty pop culture because of a new generation of social media.  YouTubers, Instagrammers … and oh yes, the Kardashians (and their kontour) all post pics with painted stripes on their faces.  It’s nothing new here, contouring and highlighting are techniques make-up artists have been doing for the longest time!  As Kevyn Aucoin even says above, the pictures of where to contour and highlight are meant to be an ‘exaggeration’ … so please please please BLEND.  There is no need for all the harsh bacon-strip-looking contouring I’ve been seeing around lately!  Unless you’re a Kardashian sister, you’re likely not being followed by a TV crew and lighting all the time, so you really don’t need that much pronounced contour.  If you’ve done it right, then it shouldn’t look like make-up.  Wise words from the master Aucoin himself:

While blending, concentrate on keeping the product on the general area that it is applied, but use enough blending to eliminate any obvious lines

In other words, no more bacon strips!  Products have improved way too much since the time I was in high school for contour to look like make-up.

End side rant and which brings me to my next point….

2.  Choose the right product.

The right product will vary depending on your skin type and your level of shimmer preference (i.e. subtle shimmer vs. rockstar sparkle).  This post here on my favourite glowing skin products might help you.

3.  Use a minimal amount of setting powder.

Sometimes it’s not what you apply, but it’s what you don’t apply.  You don’t necessarily need to powder everywhere.  I would powder only lightly on the highlight areas but use a heavier dusting of powder on other areas to set make-up.

4.  Try your luminizer UNDER your foundation.

Sometimes it’s not what you apply, but it’s how you apply it.  I always used to do liquid/cream luminizers  as the very last thing I applied before powder (likely because past formulas of luminizer blended better that way).  It blew my mind to read that Jennifer Lopez’s make-up artist applied highlighter FIRST, even before foundation.  The key is to keep the the luminizer in the highlight area – as you blend, use a patting motion so you don’t drag it down and spread the blending to areas that aren’t supposed to be highlighted.  Heck, if it’s one of the tips that makes J-Lo look that good always, then sign me up for it and teach me more!!!

5.  Lastly, it might have been a ‘make-up artist trick’ you heard about in the past…but DON’T, just don’t, mix that highlighter with your liquid foundation.

Well, because … nobody needs to be sparkly all over.



Shine on, friends and Happy Weekend!

Welcome to my journal and journey as a make-up and hair artist with all the beautiful people and products I encounter along the way.

Be first to comment