Highlighting 101 + Best Highlighters for Fair Skin

If you like makeup at all, you know the past year or two has been the era of the GLOW! No matter what your skill level is, a little glow is really lovely for adding that extra oomph to your look. The look can vary from subtle to over the top, whatever your preference is! Now that it’s such a trend, there are TONS of options out there – various brands, formulas, colors, no matter what you like, there’s something out there for you.

After tons of trial and error (and giving away lots of highlighters that didn’t work for me), I’ve narrowed it down to four amazing highlighters that I think are really fool proof for people with fair skin like me. But first….let’s go through some highlighter FAQs!

What’s the best way to apply a highlighter?

It depends on the formula! If it’s a cream or liquid I like to use my fingers to pat and blend product in. Make sure to blend out the edges so it’s not too harsh. With a powder, use a light and fluffy brush so you can blend carefully. If you’re new to highlight, a large fluffy eyeshadow brush (clean of course!) works really well and will help you get your application down.

Where do I apply highlighter?

There are a few options – the most common place is on the top of the cheekbones. I ALWAYS apply here. I usually apply it to my cupid’s bow as well (this is where your top lip puckers out right underneath your nose), in the inner corner of the eyes and just below the brow bone. You can also apply it to the middle of your chin and right between your brows but this can go wrong very easily so if you’re a newbie, I’d avoid those spots.

How do I know a highlighter is too dark for me?

Apply the highlight to your cheek bones, now look straight forward in the mirror. (Make sure you have good lighting on you for this!) If you can see any kind of darkness underneath the highlight, it’s too dark. You should be glowy and bright with no dark line of demarcation underneath!

Can I use more than one type of highlighter at once?

YEP! If you want a really intense glow, start with a cream or liquid formula, let it dry and then apply a powder over it. This is not for the faint at heart, so practice first!

When do I apply a highlighter?

If it’s a cream formula, after your foundation but before setting powder. If it’s a powder, it needs to be after your setting powder (but before setting spray).

Best highlighters for fair skin

Obviously these are just my picks, but if you have fair skin, this is a great place to start. I think these would work best with cool or neutral undertones. The Pixi highlighter I mention below should work for all undertones.

NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator – This is one of the first highlighters I ever tried, and I still love it. It’s nice for that “lit from within” glow and it’s really easy to blend with your fingers. I like to layer this one with powder on top of it, like I mentioned above. There’s also another shade if you have more of a medium skin tone! Click here to shop the NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit – Ohhh this palette…swoon. I was worried some of these shades would be too dark for me, but surprisingly they’re not! This palette is great if you want something a little more unique, but the formula is exceptional. The highlighters aren’t very neutral, each one of them has a bit of a color to them but they’re so beautiful on the skin. These have me feeling like a unicorn and I LOVE it. Click here to shop the Moonchild Glow Kit.

Colourpop Super Shock Cheek in Monster – Another one of those “unique” colors, this one is like the NYX Illuminator on steroids. The formula is a cream, but if you’ve never used their cheek or eye products, just know it’s unique. In the pan, it’s almost bouncy! I usually apply with my fingers and then blend out with a Beauty Blender. The color on this is light pink but since it’s a duochrome highlight it gives an opal effect on the skin. So beautiful and (according to reviews online) it looks amazing on all skin tones. Click here to shop Colourpop Monster.

Pixi Glow-y Powder in London Lustre – This is my new ride or die highlighter (pictured below). It has a subtle gold undertone and I think would work with a LOT of different skin tones. They also have one that’s a tad darker as well. GET this highlighter – it’s so easy to blend, shiny without being glittery…it’s great. I reach for it almost every time I wear makeup and I think this is the perfect formula for beginners. The price is on the higher end for drugstore, but a little goes a long way and it’s a huge pan. Click here to shop the Pixi Glow-y Powder in London Lustre.

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight – My favorite travel highlighter, this one requires no tools and blends super easily. It’s also a little pink so it will work really well for fair skin. It’s also a really creamy formula that dries quickly so it’s easy to layer over powder. It’s VERY intense at first, much more than I originally expected, but once you blend it out it’s much more subtle. For a cruelty free option, NYX has a similar formula but I haven’t tried it on my face yet so I can’t speak to it’s staying power. It swatched well, though! It’s the NYX Dose of Dew Face Gloss. Click here to shop the Clinique Highlight or here for the NYX Dose of Dew Face Gloss.

I swatched these on my arm and had a hard time getting them to pick up on camera, so I decided to do a video instead! Hopefully this gives you a better idea of what highlighter will work best for you, they’re in the following order from left to right: ColourPop, Clinique, NYX, Pixi, and then the rest are from the Anastasia palette!

I know there are SO many amazing products out there, so what are your favorite highlighters?! Definitely let me know in the comments if I’m missing a big one that you’re obsessed with 🙂

If you liked this post, one of the best things you can do to support me (and this is true for all my blog posts) is to pin it! It would mean the world to me!


Introducing…Mail Monday

Happy Monday, y’all! I’ve seen people do videos of packages they have received recently and I always think they’re fun, so I wanted to join in! Unfortunately I can’t do videos right now (soon, I promise!) so instead it’s here on the blog!

The items you see here are items I’ve received in the mail over the last week or so – some I have purchased with my own money and others I received from brands. Of course, all opinions are my own and I’ll make sure to denote if the package is something I received for free. Also, I probably won’t do Mail Monday *every* Monday…I don’t get that much stuff. So expect to see these posts once or twice a month, and let me know if you like them!

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Gentle and Affordable Skincare Routine

This post isn’t sponsored but it does contain some affiliate links, which means if you click and/or make a purchase I get a few cents back. Thanks for your support! 

This Skincare Routine is perfect for acne prone skin, especially those with rosacea, eczema or sensitive skin. Click through for the best skincare products for these skin types and an affordable skincare routine!When you’re a teenager, people tell you lots of lies, but my favorite one is “Once you’re past puberty, your skin will clear up.” I mean, that’s nice for some people, but not all of us have that luxury. I’m heading towards 30 at a rapid pace and I have the pleasure of fighting adult acne AND wrinkles. Joy! I know I’m not alone so I’m here to share with you how I have improved my skin over the last year.

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GVP Skincare Review – Amazing Skincare at a FRACTION of The Price

Need to find the best inexpensive skincare? I’ve got you covered! Amazing quality, high end formulas, half the price. Click through to read more on these high end skincare dupes!How often do you roll your eyes at the cost of skincare products? For me, it’s OFTEN. Most of the time I don’t even buy “high end” products and I still hate how expensive they can be.

My ride or die moisturizer is made by Neutrogena and runs about $18/tub. I’ve bought at least five of these and until recently I had no intention of changing. That is, until Sally Beauty completely BLEW MY MIND and came out with a new line of Generic Value Products skincare. Here’s a video of me and celebrity hairstylist Gregory Patterson chatting it up about these new skincare products and giving a quick GVP skincare review.

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How to Never Have a Bad Haircut Again

Going to a hair appointment can be nerve wracking but there’s no need to fear the shears! These haircut tips will make sure you’re completely happy when you leave the salon every single time.Before I forget, have you entered to win this hair haul from me and Sally Beauty? It’s super easy! (Seriously it takes about ten seconds to enter…enter here!

If there’s one thing I excel at…it’s having great hair appointments. Is this a skill? I say it is! How many times have you left the salon disappointed or upset? I can tell you honestly that in the last five years, I haven’t had a single bad hair appointment. No tears shed over these locks! I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to help you make sure you have an amazing appointment every single time you go get your hair done, whether you’re getting a trim or a full blown platinum blonde pixie.

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Best Products for Color Treated Hair

It can be tough to know where to begin when you’re searching for products for color treated hair. It’s especially difficult when you have fantasy colors like purple, blue or pink. Lucky for you, I’ve been coloring my hair for quite some time and have nailed down my top picks for the best products for color treated hair (all available at Sally Beauty!) Click through to find out what made the list!I have had bright colored hair for a while and let me tell you I have tried LOTS of products. Some awesome and some terrible. Recently, Sally Beauty gifted me some products to try and lots of them have quickly become favorites for me. These are products I use regularly and, just to be transparent, not everything they sent to me made it on this list. This is the real deal, babes. If you’re not shopping at Sally Beauty I would *highly* recommend making a trip! It helps to know what you’re looking for when you go into the store, but there are some GEMS. These are my favorites that are must haves for people with fantasy and color treated hair but honestly, the majority of them will work for any hair type. You probably just won’t need as many different products if you’re not bleached to a level 11 like me. Click on each product name to visit the website and buy – happy shopping!

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THINX Period Panties | Everything You Want to Know and Probably More

Disclosure: I received a pair of THINX underwear to post about on Instagram – I knew it would draw a lot of questions so I wrote this post! I wasn’t asked to write this post and before I partnered with this brand, I already owned four pairs that I bought with my own money. Also if you click on any of the links below, I receive credit for your purchase.

This post is about periods. If you’re squeamish about periods, this one is not for you. But also, you should kind of get over it because half the people have to deal with it and you’re an adult (probably).

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Ink Box Temporary Tattoo Review

One of my goals for 2017 is to have more guest posters so that I can introduce y’all to some other amazing bloggers you might not know otherwise. Today we have Rachel from A Bleach Life sharing a super interesting product review! Like me, Rachel has kind of an edgy style, which I’m a total sucker for. I’m so excited for today’s post so let’s get to it! Also don’t forget to show Rachel some love on her blog and social media (she’s @ableachlife everywhere)!

Hi guys! My name is Rachel, from ableachlife.com (come say hi!), and I am taking over Valery’s blog today! As you all know, Valery has some SICK tattoos, and tattoo virgins, like me, can get just a tiny tiny bit jealous of all that art! I have been wanting to get a tattoo for a while now, but I am a very non-committal person, I get bored of things very easily, and am always changing things up. So instead of going out and getting a full blown tattoo and potentially hating it the next month, I picked up this product called Ink Box.

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Lipsense: An Honest Review

I received a Lipsense kit to try to facilitate this review. Per usual, all opinions are my own.

This honest review of Lipsense shows how Lipsense wore throughout the day (even after a workout!) and goes through the pros and cons of Lipsense.I’ll admit it: the first time I heard about Lipsense, I rolled my eyes. The claim of a lipstick that lasts 8 hours, the videos of people rubbing their lips, the photos of wine glasses with no residue…it just seemed like such a gimmick. But I’ll confess another thing….I was curious.

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