Follow Vogue Arabia

Liquid Highlighter: The Beauty Girl’s Guide To The Ultimate Glow-Up

On days when you are in the quest for that million-dollar glow, all roads in your vanity kit can only lead to a liquid highlighter. Sure, you have your powders and your creamy formulas, but there’s no denying the megawatt luminosity that can only be achieved by swiping on a luminous highlighter on your cheekbones. If you have been looking to make of this party staple, here’s all that you need to know:


What is liquid highlighter used for?

First things first, what is liquid highlighter used for in makeup? After years of caked-on mattes, dewy skin has caught the fancy of the beautyverse. The pursuit of a shimmering lacquer of radiance is where a fluid highlighter comes in as a one-stop tool for the ultimate glow-up for every skin tone

Featuring shimmering metallic pigments, this fluid highlighter serves as a satiny-smooth formula that can be applied on the cheekbones, browbones and any other contour of the face that catches the light with targeted spot application. For those looking to imbibe a subtle hint of radiance in their everyday looks, it can even be blended in with foundation and skin tints for all-day shine. 

Liquid highlighter: Every question you have ever had, answered

Where to apply liquid highlighter

  • The most frequented place is the cheekbones for a dose of shimmer, so apply the formula along the apples of your cheeks and blend it towards the hairline. 
  • For an extra dose of shimmer, you can even apply it along other areas of the face that catch the light, such as the browbone, above the Cupid’s bow and the inner corners of the eyes. 
  • Remember: A little goes a long way with this product. For a seamless finish, begin with a small dose of highlighter, and keep building up the product until you reach the perfect level of shine.

High beam liquid face highlighter, Benefit Cosmetics

Does liquid highlighter go on before foundation?

  • How to use liquid highlighter with foundation might well be one of the greatest mysteries of our time. 
  • To set the record straight, you can apply a dose of metallics both before and after applying foundation. 
  • For a natural hint of radiance, a touch of highlighter can be smoothed into the skin before applying foundation. 

Maneater blush & glow cheek plump – hybrid blush highlighter, Tarte

How to apply liquid highlighter without smudging foundation

  • To ensure that the carefully applied layers of your base makeup do not budge while you apply highlighter, a little care is necessary. 
  • The gentlest approach is to go in with a soft bristle brush and lightly dab the product in for an even finish. 
  • Less is always more in matters of shine, so start out with a minimal amount and then work your way up to buildable layers. 

Positive light liquid luminizer, Rare Beauty

How long does liquid highlighter last?

  • While highlighters were initially reserved as an after-hours staple, they are now finding favor in all-day looks.
  • To ensure that your handiwork doesn’t fade through the day, beauty insiders like to dab a touch of powder highlighter to lock it in place. 
  • If you have the time for touch-ups in your day, skip the brush and go in with your fingers—the warmth of the skin will melt the product and ensure that it settles comfortably into the face for the rest of the day. 

What do you apply liquid highlighter with?

  • The ultimate tomato-tomahto question with an answer that will please everyone: there is no wrong way here. 
  • Love applying makeup directly with your fingers? Simply squeeze the formula onto your fingers and then apply it as needed on targeted areas of the face.
  • If you prefer using a liquid highlighter brush, apply some on the back of your hand. Pick up the product with the brush and blend it in quickly before it has a chance to settle. 

Cheek-hugging highlight brush 120, Fenty Beauty

Can you use liquid highlighter as eyeshadow?

  • The versatility of this makeup staple can be found in the fact that it isn’t just relegated to a touch of shimmer on the cheekbones anymore. 
  • For a glamorous look, apply a liquid eye highlighter on the center of the lid as a shimmery finishing touch for any matte look. Buff it out with an eyeshadow brush for an even-toned look. 
  • If you are looking to brighten up your peepers, a liquid highlighter pen can also be used at strategic points on the inner corner of the eye. 

Touche eclat le stylo – highlighter pen, Yves Saint Laurent

How to find the right highlighter for every skin type 

As with all forms of makeup, it helps to factor in your skin type when making a purchase decision. Ahead, we round up what you need to know about making the most of this statement-making staple for every skin type:


Liquid highlighter for sensitive skin

Sensitive skin doesn’t take kindly to parabens, synthetic preservatives and fragrance. But opting for a formula enriched with skin-loving ingredients will help your skin stay calm and soothed while helping you achieve those va-va-voom cheekbones.

Liquid highlighter for acne-prone skin

Acne-prone skin might require some extra TLC, but it helps to look for non-comedogenic alternatives that will deliver a silky smooth formula without settling into your pores and give you that flawless finish. 

Liquid highlighter for oily skin

Is liquid highlighter good for oily skin is the top question for anyone whose sebum production tends to lean on the active side. But the good news is that a formula free from paraben and mineral oils will offer the glow that you crave. 

Liquid highlighter for mature skin

As your skin ages like fine wine, the right highlighter and contour can help you highlight the areas that you wish to draw attention to. If spot application feels tricky, dot the formula all over your cheekbones and blend it in for effortless shine.

View All
Vogue Collection