The 3 Most Common Highlighting Mistakes Women Make (and How to Fix Them)
Anyone obsessed with strobing (or as most makeup artists have always known it—highlighting), can tell you who Ania Milczarczyk is. The Insta-famous makeup artist has been painting faces professionally for just four years, but in that time she’s amassed a cult following (208k fans and growing) who LOVE her aesthetic. (See: Brushed-up brows, neutral eyes and glorious highlighting.) Almost a year into her ambassadorship with Laura Mercier—a natural fit considering Milczarczyk used to work on counter for the brand—we're revisiting her lesson on all things highlighting.
Keep reading for the top three strobing mistakes Milczarczyk’s sees.
Using the Wrong Shade of Highlighter.
Think you know your skintone? You could be wrong. According to Milczarczyk, in addition to yellow and pink undertones, there are two more skintones to consider: “It’s also possible to have green or peach-toned skin.” Green undertones are generally found in darker complexions, and peach is a hybrid between yellow and pink (if you suit both silver and gold jewellery, this is probably you). Yellow or peach tones look luminous in gold-toned highlighters (Laura Mercier’s Face Illuminator in Indiscretion, $42, is a solid pick), while pearly pink shades suit pink-toned skin.
Now you know your skintone and which shade of highlighter to choose, but this is where things gets tricky—you shouldn’t always aim to match highlighter to your face. “If you have yellow-toned skin on your body but rosacea on your face, you should be matching both your foundation and the shade of your highlighter to your body,” advises Milczarczyk. This makes total sense, which begs this question: Why haven’t we thought of this before?
Sticking With the Wrong Formula.
While cream formulas for everything from foundation to blush are often cited as the secret behind a “natural look”, Milczarczyk says that when it comes to highlighting, powder is actually the way to go. “Cream highlighters can move your foundation around when placed on top, and give the skin a sweaty look,” she explains.
Following the Wrong Method.
Like anything makeup-related, proper application is key. Milczarczyk says despite popular advice, you should never highlight the middle of your forehead or chin. “One of my social media photos was reposted along with guidance to apply highlighter to the middle of the face. I do not advise that—it will make you look oily,” she clarifies. For foolproof highlighting, apply product to cheekbones (taking the product up to the temple), Cupid’s bow, inner corner of eyes and tip of the nose. Use a light hand—you can always add more—and blend well with a small stippling brush.