Skip to Main Content

How Highlighting Can Erase Years Off Your Skin

June 25, 2019 | BY Stephanie George

I love the feeling of a fresh face that’s free from all that heavy makeup, layers of dirt and impurities…but it’s not every day that I leave the house without an ounce of makeup on. The older we get, genetics, lifestyle factors etc, can cause our skin to appear dull, tired and with the loss of elasticity not only will we start to look older but it’ll begin to make us feel older. The truth is, when you look good you feel good! Then there’s highlighting, a way to show off your best features. The technique of highlighting allows you to choose what you want to conceal (for me it’s the darker areas under my eyes) and the areas you want emphasized and accentuate. Magically, with the swipe of a brush you can transform yourself into looking younger instantly.

WHAT DO YOU NEED? Unlike the process of contouring where a person uses dark shading to minimize areas, highlighting involves you ‘filling’ in areas with lighter colors. To allow this optical illusion to work you must use colors that are about a few shades lighter than your natural color. The products I’m listing are ones that I also tend to use and can be found at your local drugstore. If you find others you use or love let us know!

*As for most beauty products they work differently on everyone, so you may need to test out a variety to see which are right for you.

You’ll need:

1. Primer. A primer I have been using a lot of lately due to its feel and look is L’Oreal’s Infallible Glow Lock

2. Lightweight Foundation. Neutrogena’s Hydro-Boost Hydrating Tint is one of my favorite lightweight foundations as it’s great for aging skin with Hyaluronic Acid and moisture that last up to 24hrs.

3. Illuminator or Highlighter. Rule of thumb is find colors 2 to 3 shades lighter if you are using a concealer to highlight. I also use illuminators that include light reflecting particles to finish off the look so when the light hits it your skin appears dewy and radiant.

4. Blending Brush and an optional silicone beauty blender


I’m not talking just primary colors but knowing so will help you in disguising as well as accentuating areas properly with makeup. The basic rules should be followed and applied prior to foundation. If more color correction is needed, a light reflecting concealer is a great product to apply after your foundation.

Always Remember:

1. Green> neutralizes reddish areas of the skin…acne, rosacea

2. Purple> yellow undertones become eliminated once carefully blended

3. Tangerine/Red> wakes up tired, fatigued eyes and lifts sunken areas. *great on olive skin.

4. Yellow> disguise unsightly veins, blues and purples. *great use as a under eye and eyelid primer.


Ready to look younger instantly? It may take a little practice but it’ll become a quick technique that you’ll love doing daily. Here’s a simple ‘How To’ for highlighting aging skin…This may seem obvious to most but in order for you to achieve a beautifully bright and healthy glow, a skin care regimen must continue to be followed. Products like Retinol help in appearing to diminish fine lines and wrinkles as well as using your Vitamin C that allows your skin to appear brighter when used religiously allowing your skin to not only appear to look healthier without makeup but won’t require a heavy amount in order to give that bright glow and highlight you’re looking for.

1. Apply your skin care regimen and wait a couple of minutes for the products to fully absorb.

2. Prep skin with the proper color correctors…yellow or red/orange under the eyes to disguise dark circles, green on cheeks that have become red with age. Use a blending sponge or use your middle and ring fingers gently patting the color blending into the skin (My preferred way).

3. Apply lightweight foundation.

4. Under the eyes with lighter concealer shade create upside down triangles under your eyes to brighten the area.

Apply the highlight to bring up some of these dark shadowed areas:

- In between brows ‘11s’
- Under cheekbones
- Crevices of nose
- Creases in chin
- Under eye circles

Lastly, you mustn’t forget the details. In order to give yourself a brow lift apply the highlight to the arch which will lead the eye to look at the area reflecting the light giving the illusion it’s being lifted. Another little trick I like to do to have thinning lips appear fuller and smoother apply the highlighter above the lip line and cupid’s bow and a small dab of highlight in the middle of the bottom lip. In the insides of your eyes closest to your nose apply a gentle dab of illuminator with your pinky fingers to waken up your tired eyes instantly. Many of us highlight our faces and think we are complete but applying a soft swipe of highlighter or illuminator on our clavicles gives the skin a healthy looking glow…wake that skin up!

Check this video out on how to use highlighter on skin over 40:

Coming from a person who doesn’t typically apply much makeup, highlighting takes practice and a very light hand in order to not shine like a glowing disco ball at Studio 54! Once the idea is understood that in order to make the optical illusion appear natural you want those dark and shady areas to appear lighter and lifted, it will become easier the more you do so. The technique of highlighting is an instant fix…an optical illusion and will not lead you to younger, brighter looking skin once the makeup is removed…BUT continuing your daily skin care regimen, drinking your daily water intake and eating nutritious foods will lead you in the right direction of radiantly healthy skin that will illuminate on its own…no makeup needed!



About the Author:
Stephanie Ivonne is a freelance writer and Licensed Esthetician and mother of 2.  She spends majority of her free time with her family and friends.  When she is not learning about Beauty and Wellness, Stephanie is a Florida girl and loves spending time doing Yoga, running 10ks, Snorkeling and her absolute favorite, Disney!

Learn more about Stephanie here:

Leave a Comment