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How to Highlight with Facial Oil

Skip traditional highlighter makeup and use facial oil instead

Written by: 100% PURE ®
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Before quarantine hit, blinding highlighter makeup was really having a moment. But once confined to our homes, that trend gave way to a fresh, more natural look that didn’t transfer to our masks.

Sheer tints and light coverage became our go-tos, creating skin that gleamed nicely on Zoom calls but didn’t take too much time. And even as we’re spending more time outdoors, we’re still clinging to that celebration of our natural skin. As a result, full-coverage, matte foundation is making a bit of a retreat.

It’s all about glowing skin, an airy complexion, and a fresh, dewy finish. So where does that leave powder highlighters?

Believe it or not, highlighter is making a comeback – and it’s reinventing itself. Did you know that using a facial oil can make your highlighter pop, or replace it altogether?

You might think facial oil would make your skin look greasy, but it’s all in how you apply it. Knowing how to use a facial oil can actually give your skin some added vibrance, and replenish it with hydration and fatty acids.

And here’s the best part: if you’ve ever dabbled in liquid highlighter before, learning how to highlight with facial oil will feel pretty familiar.


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What You’ll Need

To highlight with facial oil, you’ll just need a few tools to create a sheer, luminous look.

First, you’ll need a facial oil. Make sure you’re using an oil that’s suitable for your own skin and skin type. This is important: if you use the wrong oil for your skin type, it might not blend well, could create a filmy finish, or could clog your pores.

  • For those with dry skin, jojoba oil, marula oil, and sunflower oil pack a lot of hydration without feeling heavy.

  • Those with normal skin will benefit from the balanced profile of rosehip oil.

  • For those with oily and acne-prone skin, hemp seed oil, argan oil, and grapeseed oil will hydrate your skin without clogging pores.

To accentuate the high points of your skin with a more definite glow, start with a cream or liquid highlighter. Powder highlighters may become cakey when blended with oil, while highlighters with a liquid or cream consistency will blend nicely.

Using a damp makeup sponge can also be a huge help when blending, but the warm pad of your ring finger works just as well. Those with more textured skin might find that a sponge provides a more seamless, effortless application.


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How to Highlight with Facial Oil

While this look doesn’t take a lot of effort, it’s important to know how to highlight with facial oil without looking greasy. These 5 steps should help your skin look fresh (and feel fabulous).


Step 1: Create Your Base
Before you highlight with facial oil, start out with a clean base. This can be done with your usual foundation, or with bare skin. A great in-between step is a skin tint like our Fruit Pigmented® 2nd Skin Foundation, or a tinted sunscreen. Either way, make sure you’re still using SPF!


Step 2: Prepare Your Facial Oil
When it comes to knowing how to highlight with facial oil, the amount of oil you use is key. As a general rule, use no more than a dime-sized amount of oil. If the oil starts to drip, you’re using too much! Dispense the oil on the back of your hand and warm it with your fingertip. This will prepare the oil to mesh with your skin.


Step 3: Apply Your Facial Oil
Apply the oil to the high points of your face: the cheekbones, bridge of your nose, brow bones, and cupid’s bow above your lips. Apply with dabbing motions from your fingertips, or blend in with your makeup sponge.

PRO TIP: Want a super subtle highlight effect? Stop here!


Step 4: Prepare Your Highlighter
Now it’s time to repeat the process of warming and applying with your cream or liquid highlighter. Dab a small amount of highlighter onto the back of your hand, and warm it up with your fingertips.


Step 5: Apply the Highlighter
With a gentle, dabbing motion, apply the highlighter with your ring finger to the high points of your skin once again, taking care to blend the highlighter into the oil for a flawless, iridescent shimmer.

Now that you’re glowing and dewy, you can call your look done. Or, you can finish off with mascara, brows, and a spritz of Rose Water Face Mist for setting power.

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.


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