Make-Up Masterclass: How To Highlight Mature Skin
Make-Up Masterclass: How To Highlight Mature Skin

Make-Up Masterclass: How To Highlight Mature Skin

Highlighter can enhance your bone structure, softly define your features and, in turn, make you look more youthful. It just comes down to the right textures, tools and correct application. We asked five make-up artists to share their tips for getting the most out of your highlighter.
Image: ILIA

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Firstly, Know The Areas To Avoid

“The best areas to apply your highlighter are where you want to enhance volume –for instance, your cheekbones, forehead and Cupid’s bow. Avoid highlighting an area where the pores are enlarged or where texture is uneven and wrinkled, because you’ll only draw attention to this further. If you’re someone with rough skin, highlight with a lighter, brightening concealer instead. Look for a product that’s matte but doesn’t have any iridescence, as these formulas will just draw attention to problematic skin.” – Valeria Ferreira, make-up artist

Choose Textures Wisely

“Women with mature skin often steer clear of highlighter but, providing you use the right texture, you’ll find it can be very youthful. I recommend trying Vieve's Skin Dew which is a liquid and easy to work with. Apply it once you’ve finished the rest of your look – dot it over your cheekbones for a smattering of luminosity. The tiny flecks of shimmer catch the light well and mean you get soft, subtle definition as you move. Creams and liquids are best as they have a youthful glow to them – powders can crinkle and settle into fine lines. That said, it’s always worth setting a cream or liquid with a very light, translucent setting powder just to ensure there’s no slip as the day or evening wears on.” – Zoe Taylor, make-up artist & SL beauty contributor 

“Texture is key for defining the structure of your face. I recommend Stila’s Heaven’s Hue Highlighter which feels like putty. Bouncy and mousse-like, it’s a hybrid between a cream and  a powder, which also means it lasts that bit longer. It has light-diffusing particles that give skin a soft, luminous glow. These formulas are so easy to apply and blend, making sculpting your skin a quick and easy task.” – Sophie Tilley, make-up artist

Keep Shimmer To A Minimum

“Avoid shimmer highlighters and anything with big glitter chunks. Mature skin attracts product into fine lines like a magnet, so you want to avoid anything that brings too much attention to the skin. My advice is to forget heavy products and try gloss sticks instead – or anything cream-based. SUQQU’s Glow Highlighter Stick looks great on cheekbones and I love it as a touch-up tool for tired, midday skin. Just pop a little onto your fingers and pat onto any areas of skin that need a bit of life.” – Tania Grier, A-list make-up artist

Take A ‘Lip To Ear’ Approach

“When it comes to applying highlighter to ‘define’ your skin, use the outer corner of your mouth as a guide. Then, imagine a vertical line travelling up to the top of your ear. Start by buffing the colour – be it a cream highlighter or powder – down this line, then stop when you reach where the centre of your pupil would meet your cheek. You want any colour to stay beneath the cheekbone, not above it. This helps to ‘lift’ the bone structure rather than flattening it.” – Jessica Kell, make-up artist

Women with MATURE SKIN often STEER CLEAR of highlighter but, providing you use the RIGHT TEXTURE, you’ll find it can be VERY YOUTHFUL.

Apply Highlighter Before Foundation

“If you’re aiming for an overall glow, apply a small amount of your highlighter before your foundation for a more luminous base. This may sound odd, but it’s a make-up artist trick that works every time; your dewy highlighter breathes through your make-up more naturally. It’s also worth mixing your highlighter with your foundation or concealer if you’re after more general radiance that doesn’t need too much thought. But remember, using the latter technique will give you an overall glow, not a targeted highlighting effect. Opt for formulas like Crème de La Mer’s Hydrating Illuminator if you want a pretty sheen that blends with the rest of your make-up or Charlotte Tilbury’s cult Glowgasm.” – Valeria

Stick To Brushes

“Apply highlighter with a soft, fluffy brush – this is my preference for mature skin. It helps everything settle into the skin better and will give you more of a soft-focus glow that’s even, but also very believable and youthful looking. Don’t be afraid to keep buffing a formula in either, as this allows for a more seamless blend and ensures you’re not depositing too much into one area of your face.” – Tania

Mix A Little Into Your Blusher

“If you want to tint your highlighter, mix it with a liquid blush or bronzer before buffing it into your skin. The Armani A-Blush is great for mature skin as it is so sheer and buildable. Another trick is to use a cream blusher, then apply a highlight powder over it. This will boost the volume of your cheeks and give both colour and shine.” – Valeria

Don’t Forget Your Nose

“Highlighter should be thought of as a product that helps amplify your features. With this in mind, don’t just focus on your cheekbones. A little on the bridge of your nose and on the top of your forehead will help bring structure to your face. Light brings your features forward, so you want to keep this in mind – think of where the sun would naturally hit your face. I recommend applying a little to the inner corners of your eyes, too. This will give a wide-awake finish and unify your glow – especially if you’re out for the evening. Opt for a pale, sheeny formula.” – Sophie 

Finally, Match Your Tone

“While it’s hard to go wrong, it is possible to choose an incorrect highlighter shade. This happens a lot with darker skin tones, as shading can really vary. If you end up with the wrong colour, it can give more of an ashy appearance and this isn’t flattering on anyone. If you’re unsure, always ask a beauty advisor or swatch it when you’re out shopping – the same as you would for a foundation or concealer. Both Fenty and Danessa Myricks do wonderful formulas for darker skin tones, with plenty of bronze undertones that blend beautifully.” – Valeria

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