The One Place You're Forgetting to Highlight (That Makeup Artists Always Do)
We've been putting highlighter under, above, or around our eyebrows ever since we can remember. What we can't remember? Where and when we learned our signature technique. Which had us wondering: Are we even doing it right? And further, how do makeup artists who cater to some of the most brow-blessed celebs like Lucy Hale, Jennifer Connelly, Priyanka Chopra, and Ashley Graham approach eyebrow highlighter in a way that reads "come hither" versus "come help me"?
To satisfy our wonder, we reached out to four different celebrity makeup artists who cater to the gorgeous women above (and then some!) What we learned: There is some strategy involved. Fortunately, they had a font of helpful tips, tricks, and product recommendations to help us overhaul our outdated approach to eyebrow highlighter. Curious to see what they had to say? Keep reading for eight makeup artist–approved secrets to achieving your best brows yet.
1. Try it on the tail
Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow ($27)
Your eyebrow tail, we mean. First things first: The placement of your eyebrow highlighter will dictate the overall look and effect the highlighter has on the shape, size, and definition of your eye and brow area. "Placing a small amount of highlighter at the end of the brow around the temple area will add dimension and give an overall glow to the skin," explains makeup artist Kelsey Deenihan. You can use a powder, cream, or highlighting pen, and we're fans of this triple-tasking pick from Make Up For Ever—quaintly sized to enhance the end of the brow with a subtle sheen.
2. Define your brow
Thrive Cosmetics Brilliant Eye Brightener ($24)
"Highlighting under the brows was all the rage in the '90s, and it's back, but not in the same way," makeup artist Jamie Greenberg tells us. "I like to add a very light, well-milled highlighter on the eyebrow to create more of a shape." She loves this one by Thrive Cosmetics for its eye-catching hint of shimmer.
3. Try a fluffy brush
TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer ($23)
According to Deenihan, a fluffy brush can work wonders when it comes to applying highlighter in the brow area, regardless of whether you're using a cream or powder formula. (However, we're partial to this cheeky powder highlighter from TheBalm—the glowing finish is one of the best bar none and looks great on the eyebrow.)
4. Use Your inner corners as an accent
Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlighting Duo Pencil ($23)
As Greenberg explains to us, the main goal of highlighting the brow is to define your eye area to make them look bigger. To amplify the effect and create a "spark," she loves to place highlighter in the corner of the eyes in addition to under the brow bone. (An editor favorite, we think this double-ended highlighter duo from Anastasia Beverly Hills is the perfect size and shape.)
5. Don't Go overboard
Dior Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder ($56)
When it comes to highlighter in the brow bone area, a little goes a long way, warns makeup artist Sabrina Bedrani. "Too much highlighter in this area can look distracting, so the key is to be subtle with your application. This one by Dior in 001 Nude Glow is my absolute favorite. The powder is really fine so you get a nice subtle shine, and the pigment is perfect for any kind of skin tone."
To ensure a feather-light application, she reaches for a fluffy brush. "I start under the arch of the brow and brush outward along the brow bone so I get less product at the end of the brow. I then check in the mirror, turning the head right and left to see how much reflection I get, and apply more if needed."
6. Make it matte
Kelley Baker Brows Kelley's Must Have Highlighting Duo ($48)
"Your eyebrow highlighter can be cream or shadow, and it doesn't have to have a lot of sparkle to it to create impact," explains Greenberg. "Just make sure it's a lighter color than your brow, and make sure to blend it in." This highlighter and brush set by Kelley Baker Brows is a matte cream and is one of Greenberg's top picks.
7. Get your hands dirty
Marc Jacobs Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator ($42)
"This one from Marc Jacobs is my favorite highlighter to use on the eyebrow. It's really creamy and works on all skin shades," makeup artist Morgane Martini shares. Her pro application tip: applying it with her fingers, which not only makes for a smoother blending process, but it makes for more intensity as well.
8. Give your eye a "lift"
Sisley-Paris Phyto-Sourcils Design 3-in-1 Eyebrow Pencil ($62)
According to Bedrani, eyebrow highlighter can lift the appearance of the eye and fake a wider, perkier gaze. Her suggestion: to give the brow an instant lift, apply a smudge of highlighter directly under the brow bone. This option from Sisley-Paris is beloved by team Byrdie and makes for the ultimate triple threat. Smudge the highlight underneath the eye per Bedrani's instructions, comb, fill in your brows, and then blend, baby, blend.