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How to highlight when you don't have highlighter

Left your favourite glow-getter at home? Just breathe and read...

11 Apr 2018

We've all been there. You've gone to get ready at a friend's house, been asked on a last-minute date, or just decided to have an impromptu photoshoot because your profile pic is looking well old when... GASP! Your highlighter is nowhere to be found.

How are you meant to get that pop of shimmer now? Or that dewy goodness that looks oh-so-delish on the cupid's bow? Only Nelly and Kelly could relate to such a dilemma.

Well don't stress, little glow addict! There are plenty of alternatives...

1. Check your eyeshadow palette

A lot of eyeshadow palettes will often contain a base or highlight shade, very similar to your usual trusty powder. Hell, you've probably used it on the inner corner of your eye before. Well, don't stop there. Sweep it across your brow bone and the tops of the cheeks, too.

2. Use Vaseline for instant dew

More of a cream and liquids gal than powder? Go for skincare instead. Vaseline works wonders as a dewy, glossy substitute, as do all sorts of salves - or even your lip balm.

Victoria Schofield, from the Education Team at Dermalogica, also suggests facial oil. "Try adding a couple of drops to your foundation," she suggests. "Not only will this keep skin looking dewy and fresh, it will give your skin a little more protection from cold temperatures."

Or for a more precise highlight, rub a drop between your fingertips before lightly pressing onto the skin after makeup.

Victoria recommends for a lightweight, non-greasy but dewy finish.

3. Use a little lip gloss

Speaking of lips, if you have a clear gloss nearby, it will also give you a similar wet and shiny look. Pop it on your finger first and then lightly dab across your cheekbones as the final step in your routine. If you want to use it to define your cupid's bow, pair it with a matte lipstick; the contrast will really make it pop.

4. Concealer

If you suffer from dark under eye circles, it's likely the concealer you carry is two to three shades lighter than your skin tone. Lucky for you, this also means it can be used to highlight. Apply it after your foundation (as you should), but this time extend it to your cheeks, add an extra dab to the inner corner of your eyes, and pop a little on the cupid's bow for good measure. It's not a beaming, shimmery light, but it will create some natural-looking light and shade.

5. A radiance primer

If you've used an illuminating or radiance primer to prep your skin, bring it back for an encore. Both and can be used as the finishing, shimmery touch, as well as a prep-step. Just press it gently atop the areas you really want to shine.

Prefer to just go out and buy a highlighter? Here's our edit of the best powders, liquids and creams: