Highlighting 101: Three Tips You Need to Know

Welcome to Beauty School!  Every Monday, JET experts will teach you how to preserve your sexy.  This week, make-up and hair expert Dre Brown shares her tips for proper highlighting.


I once heard “all that is done in the dark, must come to light.” But I don’t think that adage was meant to apply to makeup. Because in that case, what is done in the dark may very well need to remain there — at least when it comes to the ever so trendy technique of highlighting.

As a makeup artist, I appreciate the nuances of defining and accentuating the beauty of one’s bone structure.But with that art comes a fine line that can easily be crossed with too heavy of a hand or a lack of precision in application.

If you’re not careful, you can easily go from a J-Lo glow to a clown-like catastrophe. Here are a few of my go-to tips and tricks for hitting the mark with highlighting:

Amplify under-eye:

Whether it’s heredity, stress, or lack of sleep, dark circles are often the hardest hill to climb when concealing and highlighting. Many women who suffer with this issue try product after product to brighten stubborn under-eye skin with less than satisfying results. But, in my experience, the difference is made before any makeup meets the face.

Tip: Before you break out the cover-ups and powders, treat these areas to soften skin and cool the tissues in effort to improve the tone and texture ahead of applying makeup. Try makeup artist secret weapon and quick eye reviver Embryolisse Radiant Eye stick to cool and brighten eyes instantly.


Embryolisse Radiant Eye ($45,


Baby your powder:
Banana powder can often be a makeup “banana peel” when hands get heavy. Instead, opt for a gentle approach with your highlighting powders for a more natural and flattering look (lest you end up looking like former Saved by the Bell star Lark Voorhies).

Tip: When giving your cheeks, under-eyes, forehead and chin a flash of light, opt for a soft fluffy natural fiber brush, like MAC Cosmetics’ 109 Small Contour Brush, as opposed to heavier applying sponges or synthetic brushes. Gently buff highlighter onto skin in small amounts building the contrast gradually, while blending the area evenly into the bordering contour color.


MAC Cosmetics 109 Small Contour Brush ($35,


Flash then set:
We’ve all witnessed the red-carpet celebrity makeup “fails” where heavy highlighter meets ferocious flash bulbs. Even if you aren’t being pursued by the paparazzi, be sure that your beloved brightening holds up in both the sun and selfies.

Tip: Take a flash photo of your look before setting your makeup. Adjust your highlight if the application reads too bold by softening with a moistened Beauty Blender sponge.


Beauty Blender ($19.95,