The right color and amount of shimmer can make you look healthier, give a sun-kissed “I just got back from the beach” glow, and make your eyes look wider, more alert, and a bit sexier. Too much shimmer…well, makes you look like a Christmas tree.
So what’s the secret to using shimmer? Makeup experts tell you where to put it, when to hold back, and how to apply it on top of different kinds of makeup.
Cream shimmer versus powder shimmer
Both are great—it all depends on your skin. If you have normal to dry complexion, a creamy shimmer is best. Powder shimmers are good for oily complexions.
However, you can still use powder shimmer if you have normal to dry skin, especially if you use a makeup base or primer. Powder shimmers are actually better for those high-impact, high-shimmer looks because their colors tend to be more intense.
Finding the right shade
Ideally the highlighter you are using seems to melt into your skin, leaving just a hint of a glow. If you have light, almost porcelain like skin, then silver or platinum shades are best for you. If you have a light to medium skin tone, then reach for pale rose or gold shimmer. If you have browner skin, then bronze is your best bet.
Testing the product
Don’t trust the packaging. Shimmer is deceptive, and you need to see how it feels on your skin—not just to test for allergies, but for consistency. It should spread easily and leave a soft and even gleam. If it breaks up into glittery chunks, walk away—not even your most expensive makeup brushes will help with the application.
Applying the shimmer on your cheeks
Most cream shimmers come with a sponge applicator. But if you’re putting it on top of your foundation, it’s best to use your hands. The sponge will just disturb your foundation, and gives you less control over where you put the shimmer, and how much. If you are using a powder shimmer, use a small brush.
Applying the shimmer on your eyelids
One favorite trick of makeup artists is to put highlighter right under the arches of the eyebrow. This can help your eyes look wider. Pick a natural looking shade. White shimmer can be too obvious, especially in the daytime. Stick to something beige or with a slight hint of gold.
Use shimmer to hide wrinkles
If your skin is dry and is showing signs of wrinkles, you can use shimmer to make it look smoother and even poreless. The secret? Take a makeup brush, pick up a small amount of shimmer, tap, and then lightly brush what’s left on the bristles on your face. Apply powder foundation or translucent powder after.
Use shimmer on your lips
You can use a lip brush to dust a small amount of shimmer on your cupid’s bow, or the middle of your upper lip and bottom lip.
Photo from womansday.com