Photography Kenneth Wong Styling Jeanette Ejlersen, assisted by Chia Ying Na Hair Dennis Seah, assisted by Owen Ouyang/Toni & Guy @ The Star Vista Makeup Melissa Yeo/Fac3inc, using Becca Model Boglarka/Looque Outfit H&M Illustrations www.dianengrose.com


Highlighting your face to bring out your best features is not rocket science. We get professional makeup artist, Larry Yeo, to break it down for us  –  so you can highlight like a pro regardless of your face shape and makeup expertise. 

7 general face shapes = 7 types of highlighting

Bring out your features by highlighting the shaded areas.


Highlight the under-eye area and the middle of your chin to make your face look longer.


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Add highlight to these areas to soften the look of your strong bone structure.


Highlight these areas to broaden the upper part of your face.


To slim a broad or rectangular face, highlight the vertical centre of your face and the under-eye area to make your features pop.


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Use a highlighter on the middle of your forehead and chin, and from the brow bones to the middle of the under-eye area.


To make an elongated face look fuller, highlight under the eyes. No matter the length of your face, add highlighter from the under-eye area to just above the nose level.

Four more highlighting tips:

1. Go for glowing, not shiny.

Focus only on the areas you want to accentuate, such as from the temples to the outer corners of the eyes, and just above the cheekbones, says Larry. Don’t highlight your entire face – you are not a disco ball.

What happens if you have oily skin and don’t want to shine even more (click here for our top makeup picks for oily skin)? “Avoid the T-zone and highlight just your cheekbones,” says Larry. Alternatively, use a radiance foundation, which creates less shine, in place of a highlighter.


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2. Pick a highlighter with the right sheen.

For fair to medium skin: Use one with a pearlescent or frosty sheen. 
For medium to light olive skin: Go for one with a light golden sheen.
For tan or ebony skin: A reddish-copper sheen works best. You can never go wrong with Nars Illuminator ($45), which has a lustrous sheen that makes dull complexions look fresh and hydrated.

3. Blend like a pro.

Feel free to experiment with cream, liquid, pen and powder highlighters. You can use your fingers to blend the first three types, but use a fluffy synthetic brush (here’s how to clean your makeup brushes in seconds) for a powder highlighter.

“Such a brush will not pick up excess product and spreads the highlighter better too,” says Larry.

Try Cle de Peau Beaute Luminizing Face Enhancer ($140). It comes in four beautiful shades to match different skin tones.

4. Know when to apply your blusher.

If you want a natural-looking flush, apply it before a highlighter. For more vivid and vibrant cheeks, apply it after the highlighter.

Your makeup primer – two ways to use it

Besides acting as a base for makeup, a primer can double as a highlighter. Larry shares: “To create a lit-from-within glow on fair skin, use a primer with blue, pink or lilac undertones; on tan skin, use one with yellow, peach or orange undertones.”
Try: Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer ($70), a colour-correcting primer that creates the illusion of inner radiance, clarity and well-rested skin.


This story was originally published in the June issue of the digital edition of Her World magazine.