How to Highlight Your Face in Under 30 Seconds

Updated 01/03/18

The whole highlight and contour process is great when you’ve got the time to sculpt a photo-ready face, but what about those busy mornings when you need to do something fast? You’re in luck because there’s an easy three-step approach to highlighting that will brighten up your face and make it look slimmer—all in 30 seconds or less.

Keep reading for the quickest highlighting hack you’ll ever try.

Down the Middle

The trick is simple: Highlight the center of your face to make it appear longer. By hitting just three points—the top of your forehead, along the center of your nose, and your Cupid’s bow—you pull all of the attention into one line and away from the wider areas, like the sides of your face. (No contour required.)

You can highlight with powder, liquid, or cream, but when you want to brighten up in record time, we recommend cream formulas that you can blend with your fingers. Keep scrolling for five luminizers we love!

Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up! $30
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This creamy highlighter gives a pearly sheen, sans any glittery flecks. 

Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo #4 $28
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We love Kevyn Aucoin's contour-highlight duo for the velvety, shimmer-free finish. 

Jouer Highlighter in Champagne $22
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This champagne-hued cream highlighter gives just the right amount of glow and blends easily with just your fingers. Plus, the shade is universally flattering. 

Tom Ford Shade & Illuminate Highlighter & Shader Duet $77
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Look into any makeup artist's kit and you'll find this chic compact from Tom Ford, and for good reason. The contour looks just as good on pale skin as it does darker skin tones, and the white highlight part sculpts cheekbones out of thin air. 

Nars The Multiple Stick in Luxor $39
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If subtlety is more your vibe, try this pearlescent highlighter from Nars. It glides on smoothly and blends out to give you a barely there, lit-from-within glow. 

What's your favorite highlighter? Sound off below!

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