Highlighter is an excellent — and easy — way to give your complexion a healthy, lit-from-within glow. It also has the power to illuminate specific areas on your face, like your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and around your temple, for example. But there’s another area that you might be overlooking when you apply your fave luminizer: your Cupid’s bow.
This simple lip-enhancing hack has been a secret weapon among makeup experts for quite some time. Romero Jennings, global director of makeup at MAC Cosmetics, calls it “strobing for the lips.” The pro tells Bustle that “[the trend] adds brightening effects to the lips while amplifying dimension and creating definition.”
The look is an easy way to contour your lips — just dab a little bit in the center of your upper lip — but there is a method to it. Sarah Tanno, Lady Gaga’s longtime makeup artist and the global artistry director of Haus Labs, suggests first using an angled brush with a little concealer to sharpen the edges of your lips so that your pout looks extra defined. Then, for the highlighter, use a small eyeliner brush on the Cupid’s bow. “I love using this trick for photos. It's actually a very fashionable way of doing your lips,” she tells Bustle. Jennings also touts the trend as being particularly suitable for FaceTime calls and Zoom sessions: “The camera loves lip lighter effects, so [it] could be an undetectable enhancement for the lips.”
What’s more, Cupid’s bow highlighter is perfect for making your lips look more full in a pinch. “Using a bit of highlighter on the Cupid’s bow is a great way to give the appearance of fuller lips,” says Megan Curtin, lead makeup artist and head of education at Cover FX. “I love using Cover FX’s Custom Enhancer Drops (just a tiny bit) in a shade close to my model’s skin tone to create the right light bounce for a perfect pout.”
Below, see four examples of lust-worthy lip lighter moments — plus tips and tricks from Jennings, Tanno, and more makeup experts.