We’ve seen our fair share of makeup trends come and go on the metaphorical beauty conveyor belt, some of which we can politely say we’re quite glad to see the back of (barbed-wire brows – it’s a no from us). But when it comes to the humble highlighter, we’re in it for the long haul. It’s the go-to product for faking an ethereal glow to be proud of. (This? Oh, it’s just my natural inner radiance, darling.)

HOWEVER… highlighter application can be tricky – you can easily misplace it or cake on too many layers. Yep, we’re not ashamed to admit that we’ve channelled more of a glow worm than glowing goddess on a fair few occasions.

So we chatted to makeup artist Louise Maddison, who has tended to the faces of Cara Delevingne, Little Mix and Madison Beer, to find out about her top tips for nailing highlighter, no matter what the formula…


Place the product on the back of your hand, then use a sponge to tap the product lightly into place. You can also use a brush. I often use duo fibre brushes, which grab the liquid easily, and apply it in a lightweight feathering motion across the skin. What’s great about liquid highlighters is that they can be applied both underneath foundation and makeup, and on top. The duo fibre brush and feathering technique will make sure that the makeup underneath doesn’t get moved. Liquids are also great for mixing into moisturisers and applying to the body.

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I like to apply cream highlight with my fingertips. I usually warm the product up by rubbing a little with my middle or ring finger on the back of the hand. Then I can use the same fingers to apply to the skin. Alternatively, use a flat synthetic brush, which will hold the cream and deposit it easily onto the skin.


Brushes – especially fluffy ones – are best for applying powder highlighter. I use different sizes depending on which area I’m working on. For eyes, I use small, flatter ones, and for cheeks I go slightly larger, using ones that will sit perfectly on the cheekbone. When I’m highlighting models’ bodies, collarbones and legs, I use the biggest fan brush I can find. Generally speaking, the softer the brush, the sheerer the application. 

To see some of Louise's ah-mazing work, check out her Insta @louisemaddisonmakeup