Yes, you can absolutely be guilty of too much shimmer

06 November 2019 | Leigh van den Bergh

We all love a bit sparkle, but when it comes to highlighter can too much of a good thing be bad? We asked an expert to weigh in.


Simply put, it’s a resounding “yes.” Any highlighter, be it a powder, cream or liquid, can do amazing things for your face, but if you wear too much of it, it’ll just look weird. 

A highlighter reflects light in a way that creates the illusion of things being larger, wider or more pronounced. Contouring products, however, have the opposite effect, as these darken areas to make them look smaller, narrower or sunken. 

Easy does it

“A shimmery product plays with light, so you need to use it carefully, only applying it to areas you want to enhance – provided they’re features that would reflect light naturally,” says makeup artist Tamryn Jefferies. “Your brow bones, cheekbones and cupid’s bow are all areas that could reflect light, so you could highlight them,” she says. “The apples of your cheeks, the centre of your forehead and chin would not, so don’t touch those.”

Tamryn offers a word of warning on the effects of a heavy highlighter hand: “If you apply highlighter to your brow bones or cheekbones be careful not to get it anywhere near your crow’s feet, as shimmery products emphasise fine lines. They can also draw attention to your pores, so stay away from the sides of your nose and the apples of your cheeks where pores typically tend to be bigger.”

Let’s talk about your nose

“I see so many vloggers and Instagram stars placing a touch of highlighter on just the tip of their nose and it just looks completely bizarre,” says Tamryn. “The only instance in which you’d want to do this is if you wanted to make it look bigger or more bulbous and 99% of people don’t want that. So, don’t do it; it’s not flattering, it’s just strange.”


IMAGE CREDIT: 123rf.com

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