5 Unexpected Places You Can Wear Highlighter

by Kim Carpluk
Kim Carpluk

If you watched the 2017 Golden Globes on Jan. 8, you know the awards weren't the only things glistening at the event. Celebrity skin sparkled brighter than the stars themselves, all thanks to highlighter and illuminators. If you've only been highlighting your cheeks, that's rad: But, there are other places you didn't know you could wear highlighter, and celebs proved it on the Golden Globes carpet.

Giuliana Rancic sported shimmer on her shoulders, thanks to makeup artist Daniel Deleno. Pro MUA Mary Phillips applied Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter in Rose Gold, Topaz, and Champagne Pop to Chrissy Teigen's neck, arms, and décolleté. Heidi Klum looked like an illuminated goddess, thanks to St. Tropez's One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion and One Night Only Finishing Gloss, a new product that will be available in March 2017. Linda Hay was the pro MUA behind Klum's look, and explained why highlight on certain parts of the body can really make a difference.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, $41, Sephora; St. Tropez One Night Only Wash Off Face & Body Lotion, $18, Sephora; St. Tropez One Night Only Finishing Body Gloss, $25, Sephora

“To highlight details, i.e. collar bones, shoulder, a line front and back of the arms and legs, will help create a more 3 dimensional figure," Hay tells Bustle. "If you're wearing a gown on the red carpet waiting to be flashed by HD cameras and you've covered all exposed skin with a uniform shining glow, the result may look wet, too reflective and very much out of place. Highlighting captures the light and avoids creating this result. It’s important to balance the glow on the face and the body. One should not out shine the other.”

There is a lot of info on highlighting the face, and its become fairly common practice in the beauty world. However, these are parts of the body you may not have known you can highlight — and how to do it.

1. Décolleté

Sephora Collection #79, $34, Sephora | MUFE Pro Light Fusion Highlighter, $39, Sephora

To attract attention to your beautiful natural structure, use a light, yet precise fluffy brush like Sephora Collection's #79 to distribute Make Up For Ever's Pro Light Fusion Highlighter in sheer layers onto the collar bones using a horizontal sweeping motion, following along the natural protrusion of the bones.

If you're not sure where your collar bones lie, lightly jut your shoulders forward until you can see your bone structure. If you sweep shiny highlighter all over the décolleté, the result can look sweaty. Instead, strategically place it onto the high points of our bone structure. Remember: it's always easy to add more, but much harder to take it away once it's there.

I chose the Make Up For Ever Highlighter for this step because it's bright and impactful without the use of glitter. It made my model's skin the core focus rather than the product itself.

Pro tip: if you have a warm undertone, or medium tan to deep skin, use shade #2, which reflects gold light. If you have a cooler undertone, or fair skin, use shade #1, which reflects pink light. If you have neutral, medium-toned skin, you can layer both colors on top of each other for a multidimensional finish.

2. Cleavage

Since light, shiny colors pop forward, and darker, shadowy colors recede, strategically utilizing highlight can even give the illusion of going up a cup size — or highlighting what you've already got going.

To highlight my model's cleavage, I used my favorite Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator to draw attention solely to the top parts of her breasts. The Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick doesn't really have a color in itself, as its main purpose is to reflect light. It's great for that I'm-glistening-because-I'm-an-actual-angel-from-heaven-not-because-I'm-wearing-makeup type look.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator, $42, Sephora

Pro tip: because cream products blend more easily into the skin with warmth, I recommend using your fingers to blend in this product.

3. Shoulders

Becca Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector, $38, Sephora

Shoulders are so sexy, and using a little bit of illuminator can make them even more seductive. To draw attention to my model's shoulders, I applied the ever-amazing Becca Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector with my precise, yet fluffy brush and circular motions to the high points of her shoulders - the place where light naturally hits.

I used Champagne Pop because it just looked like my models skin, but with a bit of glow. If you're more fair, you may want to choose Pearl, and if you're more deep, Topaz might be more your speed. Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfectors reflect so much light, they truly make an impact.

Pro tip: If you want to make even more of an impact, after you apply a sheer layer of the Perfector all over the shoulder, you can wet your brush and apply a small layer of more-concentrated product to the highest-most point of the shoulder bone.

4. Shoulder Blades

If you're wearing a backless dress, why would you want your shoulder blades to be matte when they can be glistening under the red carpet lights? Because there's not much going on in the back fashion-wise, I decided to be a bit more dramatic with the shimmer. Using my same fluffy brush, I applied Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighter in Sin to the points where the shoulder blades naturally precede.

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighter, $26, Sephora

I applied the product in a big backward C and C shape, following along the natural bone structure. For a little extra drama, I added a second layer using Urban Decay's Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder, which contains a lot more glitter.

Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder, $32, Sephora

Pro tip: If you want a light grow all over the back area, you can scrape off a bit of the Shimmering powder using a clean brow spoolie, dump it into a small size of Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray, shake it up, and lightly spritz your back for a subtle all-over glow.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray, $32, Sephora

5. Legs

Highlighting legs is a must on the red carpet. If you choose the right color illuminator, you can effectively make legs stand out in short dresses, under the lights. For this step, I mixed my own liquid illuminator by scraping off a bit of the powder pigment from Pat McGrath's Kit in Gold (which is still available at select Sephora locations) and mixing it with about two tablespoons of Mehron's Mixing Liquid. The result was liquid shimmering gold, which I then applied to my models legs with Sephora Collection's fluffy #55 brush.

Sephora Collection Brush #55, $34, Sephora

This pigment mixture was high shine and photographed beautifully, perfect for that red carpet glow. Shimmery pigments also reflect light back at the camera, allowing the legs to appear smoother and softer than they do in person.

Pro Tip: If you have cooler skin, try mixing a bit of the silver pigment in with the gold. If you have deeper skin, try using a bit of the bronze instead.

You don't have to be a celebrity to look like a glistening goddess. Highlighting the body might seem like a daunting task, but just a little bit of glow can help your entire look really pop.