How to Use Illuminating Makeup

Highlight your best features with shimmery creams, pens and powders

For years, only makeup artists knew the secret to using illuminating makeup to highlight best features and play down worst ones. Until now. Now these illuminating tricks I share below (along with contouring tricks) are all the rage and it's about time you learned the great tricks of the trade.

Illuminating makeup comes in many forms including powders, creams, pens and lotions. The glow is much more subtle than shimmer and comes from tiny, light-reflecting particles found in milled minerals or even pearls.

Illuminating makeup is just one tool in my arsenal of beauty tips. Find out much more in the following articles:

01
of 08

Make Your Nose Appear Thinner

kim-kardashian-line-down-nose.jpg
Kim Kardashian via Twitter

Kim Kardashian, pictured here, is famous for using a TON of contouring makeup (she taught us how in 2012, read all about it).

Her sister Kourtney is also a big fan of contouring. She recently admitted she does a simple trick every day to make her nose appear thinner. She learned it from a makeup artist (of course). Here's how it works: Take an illuminating or highlighting pen and draw a thin line down the middle of your nose. Tap in the color so it's not obvious.

For a more detailed explanation and other tricks to make your nose appear thinner, seeHow to Make a Wide Nose Appear Thinner.

02
of 08

Make Lips Appear Plumper

Digital Vision // Getty Images

I kind of have thin lips and while I don't envy Angelina Jolie's or Scarlett Johansson's bee-stung lips, I love giving my lips the appearance of plumpness by contouring them using bronzer and finishing them off with lip gloss.

It's a pretty simple process and it works. Get detailed instructions in my article, How to Make Lips Appear Plumper.

03
of 08

Brighten Your Eyes

108318595.jpg
Iconica for Getty

To make eyes pop, press your finger into a light pink or even white eyeshadow and then press this finger into the inside corners of both eyes. This is a makeup artist trick that I use for special occasions.

04
of 08

Look More Awake With Illuminating Cream or a Pen

If there's one illuminating trick I use all the time, it's this one. It brightens the face, makes you look more awake and naturally "lifts" the face without the need of fillers and Botox. Here's how it works...

  • Looking into a mirror, tuck your chin in so you're looking up.
  • Take a highlighter pen (my favorite is Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat) and swipe a line of Touch Eclat where the shadows lie.
  • Blend the lines with a tip of the finger.
05
of 08

Highlight Your Decolletage

decolletage.jpg
Stone for Getty

If you have fabulous decolletage or want to mimic the appearance of a fuller bosom, you basically have 2 options:

  1. Dip a powder puff in reflective powder and then pat it on the tops of your breasts, making sure to blend well.
  2. Take a big fluffy brush, fill it with glimmering powder, blow off excess and then run the brush over your collarbones, right where the sun would hit you first.
06
of 08

Define Your Cheeks

how-to-get-dewy-skin.jpg
Stone for Getty
I love a shimmery cream. I apply just over my eyebrows and on the tops of my cheekbones to give my face a soft, dewy glow. Nothing defines your cheeks and lifts your eyes quite like this trick.
07
of 08

Lengthen Your Legs

Maria Teijeiro/Getty Images

You can make your legs appear longer by applying a spray illuminator along the shin bones. Always moisturize first. 

And make sure you wear high heels -- nothing lengthens the leg like a higher heel.

08
of 08

Show Off Your Shoulders in Spring & Summer

dewy-shoulders.jpg
Stone for Getty
If you have great shoulders, show them off with a light-reflecting moisturizer. Apply it to the tops of your shoulders, blending well. Run your hands down from the shoulders to your arms for added sheen.