Friday, July 27th, 2012

Choose or Lose

Is a cheek highlighter essential?

  • No! (61%, 2,242 Votes)
  • Yes! (39%, 1,437 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,679

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66 thoughts on “Is a cheek highlighter essential?

  1. omg absolutely! After reading Carmindy’s 5 minute face book I ALWAYS put a highlighter on, subtle for daytime of course. Mascara and highlight and I’m good to go. 

  2. jeneyg

    Not essential, but pretty! I love highlighters :)

  3. BonnieSeifert

    Not essential, but it can give a nice effect! It’s one of those things I don’t bother with/ have time for every day, but I do like the way it looks for special occasions.

  4. doctorbeautymd

    I don’t think it is essential…. But I like the way it looks!

  5. Not essential, but I do like to use it on models for photoshoots.

  6. Mariella

    I like highlighter but it’s not part of my every day/workplace makeup but I sure do like it for special occasions. I like a highlighter that is sort of “multi-use” (I guess they almost all are) – one I can use on my cheekbones or on my brow bone or lids, if I want, as well as on my Cupid’s bow or the bottom of my lower lip.  For that reason, I really like TheBalm’s Mary Lou Manizer.

  7. mimi_maldonado

    Not ESSENTIAL. I guess I agree with most people who have posted before me, I don’t necessarily use it for everyday makeup but will definitely use it for special occasions. Sometimes just using a lighter colored concealer or powder also works to highlight quite well, I love this when I don’t want my highlight to look all shimmery.Otherwise if I want shimmer my go-tos are Mary Lou Manizer and Guerlain’s Parure de Nuit. 

  8. Can I put down as maybe as I don’t always use a shimmer/dewy shade as highlighter but I always use a matte shade.

  9. Very pretty and I love it for special occasions and for when I’m playing with my makeup and want to feel pretty…and when I have time doing my everyday makeup, I include it! Sometimes, though, my skin is too oily to put it on. I don’t want to have THAT much shimmer and shine! 

  10. Cat G

    Not essential, but I LOVE it if I use it! It just depends on what look I’m going for, sometimes I like a really REALLY understated look, where I don’t do highlighter OR blush and just wear a matte foundation with a soft neutral eye. If I’m doing full makeup and have some time to put together my look, I usually wear highlighter. And nearly always for special occasions!

  11. Absolutely!  I don’t think my look is finished without it.  I do not go for anything super shimmery though and use a blend of Guerlain meteorites for day to day use.  If I’m going glam, I will stipple Benefit High Beam in a C shape around my temples and on top of my cheekbones and also down my nose.  Depends on the look I’m trying to achieve as well.

  12. paneradfisk

    Depends on what look you are going for. If it’s just concealer and mascara then I wouldn’t bother with highlighter but if I’m going all in with eyeshadow, contouring and full coverage foundation then I think highlighter is a big part of the whole look

  13. Steph

    Not essential, but I do love it! 

  14. Kafka

    Not *essential* per se but, thanks to Copacabana, it’s pretty much an everyday thing with me now. In fact, I don’t think I’ve gone out once since I bought it without wearing it (or, now, some sort of Multiple). Always *under* the foundation though. Under is your friend. lol  No Shiny Disco Balls for me, thankyouverymuch. And, dammit, now I have that song back in my head. Grrr.

    • helen

      Kafka I couldn’t agree more.  It’s not essential but it works as quite the enhancer that just ommphs the face without realizing what the culprit is.  I use Lorac’s (Perfectly Lit? – can’t recall the name) and it’s gorgeous!  Underrated product but is just enough illumination without (as you say) disco ball affect.PS:  How did you get your name?

      • Kafka

        @helen  You’re so right. I love it when it’s so subtle that people can’t realise “what the culprit is.”  Highlighters like that just adds such depth and dimension to the face, I can’t believe that I went for so long without using one! But, as you say, only so long as it’s subtle, and not shiny or in your face.”Kafka” is the name of a very famous existentialist author, Franz Kafka, who is one of my favorites. If you’ve ever heard of The Metamorphosis, it’s likely to be either by Ovid or by Kafka. It’s the well-known story of a man who woke up one morning to find he had turned into a cockroach and of how society, even his own family, suddenly turned on him. The other reason for the name is that I name all my pets after writers I like (Pushkin, Kafka, Zola, etc.) and “Kafka” was my late, soul dog German Shepherd. So, choosing that as my moniker on boards or sites like this one is a bit of my homage to him.  :)

        • helen

          Kafka I’m delighted that you are aware of the author.  It’s a name very close and dear to me, too.

  15. I think highlighter can look awkward on days when I’m wearing very light makeup, so no, it’s not essential. But I do think it’s a great addition to a full face of makeup to help things look balanced! 

  16. DaniChartreuse

    When you have oily skin like me, anything shiny or shimmery is the LAST thing you want! If I want my cheeks to stand out, I’ll put on a matte blush and let my skin do the shiny work lol.

  17. bulletwitch93

    Not essential but its one of favorite things in makeup! 

  18. glamazon5

    I always use a cheek highlighter. It is a must have for me. I feel it adds a nice glow and perks up my skin. Of course I never use one that is too shiny. My favorite is The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer. Awesome stuff and the perfect champagne shade.

  19. Paula Hines Myers

    Absolutely essential!

  20. Patty Yaple

    Not for me! highlighters usually make my pores look bigger and my overall face look oilier. I love how they look in other people though!

  21. Kimberly A Jorgensen


  22. Meghan Chapman

    Not essential, just nice sometimes.

  23. Jolene Post

    Not really necessary every day

  24. Emily Sanders

    Not for me, I have oily skin.. It shines enough as is!

  25. Ayesha Haroon

    I can’t find a highlighter to suit my nc42 skin. Nothing gives me that glow. Any suggestions? I wanted to try bronzer but I feel I’m too dark

    • Kafka

      @Ayesha Haroon  I’m not an NC42 but have you ever looked at NARS Rapa Nui Bronzer Multiple? It might be close to your skintone but it should still give that bronzy glow that a bronzer manages to do.  Check Google images for some swatches of it and see it would work with your skin tone. Also, have you had no luck with Copacabana, Portofino, Mustique (I think it’s Mustiques) or other NARS Multiples? I’ve seen people on Makeupalley who have NC45 skin comment on how they love random multiples for a glow and highlight. 

    • AmyHe

      Marylou Manizer would be great but here is also a darker version called Bettylou Manizer (both by TheBalm). Becca also had amazing liquid highlighters. I think they’re called Shimmering Skin Perfector. They come in many different shades ^-^

  26. Hannah Lothary

    I wouldn’t say it is ‘necessary’ but it is a nice thing to have.

  27. Jennifer Phoebe

    I’m not sure. I thought I was sold, now, in the summer, not so sure!

  28. Jennifer Wallace

    Not essential and not for every day…but it can be nice for evenings out!

  29. Jasmin Rahman

    If you are contouring your face then definitely.

  30. Ivy Cardinal

    I only go for it when I’m doing a full face for a night out or job interview or some such thing. Otherwise I’m a “powder foundation, mascara, go!” sort of girl.

  31. Elizabeth DeGroate

    I don’t think so. It’s a nice add on, but not necessary. NONE of it is necessary.

  32. Ana Jennifer Marte

    Of course!

  33. Bianca Ghazzo

    for me yes!

  34. Kristin Fields

    @ayesha haroon, have you tried Benefit Sun Beam? Or Mary Lou Manizer by TheBalm? I’m darker than nc42, but those work fantastic for me

  35. Shelley Weyand

    I don’t wear it everyday but its an essential item in my collection.

  36. Sierra Brehan

    @ayesha smashbox has a liquid bronzey highlighter that is gorgeous! i also mix it with lotion for a pretty glow.

  37. Caroline Giostri

    It is for me!! Love it!!

  38. Emma Norman

    very essential

  39. Beverly Jones


  40. Alina Sparou

    Not an essential for me ! Since I have oily skin and have the tendencie to shine easily during the day, no need to emphasis this effect by using a highlighter.

  41. jessica2688

    I like to use them now and then but I wouldn’t say they’re essential. Onyl when I’m going for a specific look.

  42. Veronica

    I wouldn’t say essential, but I really love the way they look.  I generally wear them on most days when I do a full face of makeup.

  43. blueraccoon

    Not for me, but I have oily skin, so I go easy on things that give me glow or shine. But I’m still practicing with blush – can anyone give me advice on how visible it should be? I was trying on a blush yesterday and couldn’t seem to get a good balance between “barely visible” and what felt like too much blush. Thoughts?

    • blueraccoon It’s all about the application and good brushes really help.  The key to wearing nice blush is diffusing the outside perimeter of the blush.  You can apply as lightly or as heavily as you want and still get a more natural look if you diffuse the outside.  If you want a soft fresh pretty look, apply the blush using a soft not giant sized blush brush.  Don’t use a brush that is bigger that the apples of your cheek or you will get product where you don’t want it.  Pick up colour on your brush and apply in a series of soft presses to the apples of your cheek.  Do not use a circular motion or brush aggressively.  What you want to do is deposit colour onto the cheek area.  Now comes the cool part..either using a small duo fibre brush or if you do not have a fan brush will work as well.. blend the outside edges out lightly.  This will remove any obvious blush lines and make your flush look more natural.  Practice until you get the hang of it.  If you want a more sultry cheek, apply the blush to the apples and then sweep out and up your cheekbones.  Oh, and little trick to find the apples of your cheeks… Big smile and that shows you the area perfectly.  I hope this helps!!!  If you are really into brushes favourite blush brush of all time is a MAC 128.  It’s pricey at $41 CAD.  But here’s the kicker.. I apply blush with the one side (dark bristles) and then diffuse with the other side (cream coloured bristles) and it’s like magic and does all the work without much effort.  I hope this helps and apologies for the long answer.. I get excited and go on at length

      • blueraccoon

        wwendalynne Thank you so much for the tips! I thought I was doing something wrong because I wasn’t getting a lot of color, and now I realize I was. I tried this technique just now with a blush I thought wasn’t giving me much color and holy crap, clown cheeks. I’m going to have to rethink how much color I put on my brush now. I will keep the MAC 128 in mind – I have two blush brushes that I actually kind of like right now, now that I’m learning more how to use them. But I need a duo fibre brush, so maybe I will pick that up. Thank you!

  44. Liz9969

    I used it on my wedding day.  I’ll also use it when I’m going out and I really want to pull out the stops.  I don’t think it’s something I need when the rest of my makeup is light.  I also don’t think I would pair it with a sparkly blush.  The highlighter that I have is pretty good, yet it wasn’t expensive. It’s perfect for me since I don’t use it that often.  

  45. Essential, not at all, but I like using it to give my otherwise flat, dry face a bit of glow. :)

  46. Katherine Sheridan

    No way. I don’t even think cheek COLOR is essential.

  47. Allison Tucker

    Nah, not for me.

  48. Christina Allen

    I’d rather wear a highlighter instead of blush.

  49. Anne Kulaszewicz Wolf

    Not essential to wear every day but essential to have on hand as an option

  50. Snakes in the basket

    not essential, but i do love it.

  51. Liz

    For myself, I find a highlighter really makes my face.  I use Benefit’s Watts up in the winter, and Prestige Golden Sun (actually an eyeshadow) in the summer. 

  52. Zoe

    I use highlighter every day –  also contour every day – it’s just part of my normal makeup routine and is as necessary for me as foundation!  I very rarely wear blush though – I’m quite into strong eyes and lips at the same time so I always feel it would be overkill. But, yes to the cheek highlighter. I’m a huge fan of a completely matte base with highlighter added in certain places for a bit of light and texture for a really sculpted look. I use highlighter everyday on cheekbones, browbones, tear duct area of the eye, cupid’s bow etc.

  53. huh – I’m surprised by the results actually! I’ve grown accustomed to wearing it all the time now – it’s just become a normal part of my routine and I feel weird if I don’t wear it. I should also admit though that I’m quite the highlighter addict. I tend to use certain ones according to the makeup style – you know like Mary Lou Manizer for evening smokey eye stuff or a lil’ bit of High Beam for regular day stuff

  54. Chandra Salas

    its nice to add sometimes especially if im wearing a matte blush

  55. AmyHe

    Yessss rather it is by a dewy blush, an actual highlighter, or moisturizer you need to have that glow if you’re gonna use makeuo. I really hate a totally matte face, looks so unnatural and dehydrated.

  56. Angelcat47

    At my age…50…hell,yes!!

  57. No way! Highlighting and contouring to change the face shape is a neat technique, but there’s no reason it should be a part of every look for every face.There’s always highlighting to make your face glow, but, well, some of us have way too much of that natural glow no matter what makeup we wear.

  58. Brianna

    I dont think its necessary considering most people dont highlight, but personally i love the way it looks on my skin! i love the dewy fresh look! but i do it when i have time, but it  isnt the most important to me.