What’s your go-to tool & technique for applying highlighter?

I like tapered highlighting brushes overall, and ones I reach for often are:
Hakuhodo B5521BkSL (also have other hair variations of this one), Chikuhodo Z-4, Wayne Goss Brush 10,
Wayne Goss Brush 14. I usually pat the highlighter along the tops of my cheekbones and then lightly sweep to blend.

— Christine
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21 Comments

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I used to really like tapered brushes like Wayne Goss 02 (now 10, I think?), but ever since I bought his fan brush #15, it has become my go-to! I love how I can get a very concentrated, yet diffused glow that follows the cheekbone.

I love using a fan brush to apply highlight, it allows me to sweep easily and softly. I find that to especially helpful when applying the colorful highlights that seem to be on trend, makes it seem less loud on my fair skin.

I have an IT Cosmetics fan brush that I bought for highlighting. It’s very nice and soft, but I’m totally awkward at using it.

I use subtle highlighter on top of my cheekbones using a black handle e.l.f. brush that I think is called a “blending perfector” or something like that. I’m not happy with it, so I look forward to reading what everyone else posts.

Or maybe I just need to practice using my fan brush!!!

For precise highlighting I use Hakuhodo B5521. For a light dusting of highlighter I use Sonia Kashuk Duo Fiber Fan Brush. I also have Ecotools and Mac fan brushes but I don’t use them as much.

I have broad bones, and I like a lot of highlighter, so I actually prefer to use the e.l.f. Angled Blush Brush. I strobe with powders, so I use HL on the tops of my cheekbones, center of forehead, cupid’s bow, and chin. I use my ring finger to highlight my Cupid’s bow.

For my eyes, I either use my ring finger or the Real Techniques accent brush for the inner corner. I use some ancient, small Sonia Kashuk eye brushes for the brow bone.

My favorite brush to apply highlighter is actually Real Techniques’ Contour Brush. It’s the perfect size and shape for me for precise application. I use it with powder and cushion highlighters. With cream or liquids I usually use my fingers.

Any of these 3: my Royal Langnickel Fan brush, Luxie 524 or my own fingertips. I definitely prefer the precision of all of these, as I’ve got some very high cheekbones, leaving little space for the highlighters to be applied to. But I also apply a bit to my cupid’s bow, down the center of my nose and just above my brows. So, having precise application tools is a must! Once it’s where I want it, all 3 also work nicely to buff the edges, too.

For cream or liquid highlight I usually use my fingers, but for powder highlight I usually use a tapered brush like the Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt brush or the Zoeva 105 Luxe Highlight, and occasionally a fan brush.

Wayne Goss fan brush or sometimes a scratchy synthetic like Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt brush. I will sometimes use the original Wayne Goss 18 brush to apply liquid highlighter when I want a precise placement.

I use the Wayne Goss air brush. Since Iโ€™m old I like it blended with a light touch.

I would like to get a fan brush and I might get a Goss one with my beautylish gift cards. I like the Goss brushes,and Iโ€™m no expert but the Haukahodo seem better.

The recent WetnWild blush brush is a bit less dense then the original and is perfect shape and softness to it! Most of my highliters are powder but Iโ€™m liking cream ones also just find it a bit more challenging to apply. I use at top of my cheeks mostly and for evenings in that โ€˜Cโ€™ form top of cheeks, side of eyes to hairline and above. I have a small face so it helps to brighten up that C shape and wear it very lightly Iโ€™m pale. Always dreaming of being a nice tanned girl. Ah! Especially my two bottles of milk jar legs! Lol!

For day to day looks I use a Wayne Goss fan brush and apply lightly on my cheekbones. When I want to really shine I may use a Sigma tapered brush that really packs on the glow. Once again though only to my cheekbones (maybe on the bridge of my nose depending on the highlighter.)

Wayne Goss Air Brush. The application of highlighter is pretty much the same as my blush in that I don’t like to disrupt the foundation/concealer underneath as that is where my hyperpigmentation is located. I tap it on with the WG and then lightly blend it out. I think it is part of the reason that I like the Ciate Glow to Illuminate blushes as it means I really only have to apply one product into the area and that means less chance I am disturbing things.

I use the Sephora Pro Highlight brush #98 and sweep along the top of my cheek bones and up to my temple in a backward C motion, down the center of my nose, Cupidโ€™s bow. I would like to try more of a contour type brush. I also use a mini beauty blender for my liquid highlighters!

I have several highlighting brushes and I can’t say any of them are a holy grail ๐Ÿ™ I do find certain brushes work better with different formulas, and it’s a constant experiment. For example, Becca highlighters go best for me with very loose, soft brushes, and stiffer or gelee formulas with brushes like the Anastasia or dense contouring brushes. More powdery or baked highlighters work best with larger powder brushes for me as to not look chalky, like a flat, floppy powder brush and a light hand.

I always use the Real Techniques Setting Brush! It’s the perfect size and fluffiness to buff the highlighter into the skin! It just makes any highlighter look so pretty!

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