As someone with oily skin, I’ve always avoided highlighters like the plague and at the same time longed for those dewy cheekbones one so often sees on magazine covers. But recently I started to feel like my makeup life wasn’t complete and that I needed to experiment with illuminators to see if I could somehow make them work for me. Long story short, I am now the proud owner of The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer.
After the initial hesitations about voluntarily adding shine to my skin, I think I’ve found a way to make it look flattering on my oily face. To me the secret to wearing highlighter without looking like a disco ball is to only apply it where I don’t normally get oily and keep everything else completely matte (OK, ‘secret’ probably wasn’t the best word choice here!). My typical look featuring highlighter consists of:
- A mattifying primer: I use Make Up For Ever Step1 Skin Equalizer (read full review here).
- A matte foundation: I recently got a pretty generous sample of Estée Lauder Double Wear and think it’s amazing, possibly the best foundation for oily skin I’ve ever tried!
- A matte setting powder: I love using Too Faced Cocoa Powder Foundation or Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Powder – the first one paired with light coverage foundations and the second one with higher coverage options, like the DW.
- A matte bronzer: Chanel Les Beiges is my favorite of all time, but Essence make a great affordable alternative (both featured in my bronzer edit).
- Matte eyeshadows: For this particular look I used the two matte shades from the Urban Decay Naked. I applied Naked on the lid and Buck in the crease and on the lower lash line.
- A matte lipstick: In the pictures, I’m wearing Tarte Lip Surgence Matte Lip Tint in Fiery.
I often wear matte eyeshadows and adding highlighter to the inner corners is a great way to liven up the look. Another little spot to highlight even if you have oily skin is the cupid’s bow (I’m sorry the glow didn’t translate well into picture). It really does make your top lip look fuller, try and see! Finally, I also put highlighter on top of my cheekbones, making sure I avoid the center of the face, where I have enlarged pores (as sparkle tends to emphasize them).
Obviously, I’m not saying that if you have oily skin you need a highlighter like you would need a setting powder, BUT if you like playing with makeup as much as I do, just know there’s another product you can have fun with and make it look good.
Do you guys use highlighter? What’s your skin type and where do you usually apply it?