In The Spotlight: Flare Highlighter

Just when we thought the highlighting hype was starting to die down a little bit, one viral trend has sparked it back up again in a major way.

Instagram user @thestudyofmakeup has left our jaws on the floor and eyes bedazzled with her gorgeous, solar flare like highlighter. Her gorgeous glow has caught many eyes (understandably), leading Allure to interview her to pin down exactly how she gets that blinding beam.

Speaking to Allure, @thestudyofmakeup has spilled the beans, to our excitement. Pen and paper at the ready? She mentions that application tools play a big part in achieving the look, saying, “Most people apply their highlight with a large fan brush. I use a very dense wet eyeshadow brush,” as it “condenses the pigment and centralizes it.” As per the laws of physics, using a fluffy, fan brush will evenly distribute the product, whereas a more dense brush will pack a more powerful punch on a specific area. Dampening your brush also makes reflective product more intense, so density mixed with moisture make for the highlight formula made in heaven.


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Not only are the tools an essential part of this pretty process, but the products are key too. According to the woman behind @thestudyofmakeup, the trick is to use a white undertone highlighter. She says, “Since white doesn’t absorb light, it only reflects it, it is much brighter and reflective than pink or gold highlighters, which are more popular.” We knew what we learnt in science GCSE would come in handy some day.

If that wasn’t enough to think about, there’s something else @thestudyofmakeup believes plays a hand in creating her flare highlighter… We definitely didn’t think achieving this look would be easy and we were right! “Artificial ring lights give out very cool-toned, harsh light and that dulls reflection,” she says. “Natural lighting gives my highlight the most intense finish.” Amazing.


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If you’re frantically raiding your makeup bag to find the perfect highlighter and brush to achieve this gorgeous glow, look no further. Here are the products you need to Get The Look…

The Highlighters

MAC Strobe Cream in Silverlight

The iconic Strobe Cream now comes in heavenly hues, including the silver toned Silverlight. The liquid formula makes for a highly reflective, iridescent finish which is ideal for the flared effect.

Laura Geller Baked Gelato Illuminator in Diamond Dust

This lightweight Laura Geller illuminator gives a beautiful delicate wash of glow. This silver has a slightly pink tone to it, making this the perfect choice for paler complexions.

Make Up For Ever Star Lit Liquid in Shade 1

Designed to reflect as much light as possible, this liquid highlighter is exactly what the doctor ordered for this trend. The gel formula applies fairly sheer but can be layered to build your perfect glow.

Illamasqua Beyond Highlight in OMG

Darker complexions will adore this silver gold toned highlighting powder. This product is baked for an even stronger pigment, meaning a little goes a really long way.

The Brushes

Urban Decay Moondust Brush

Designed to be used wet with reflective shadows, this Urban Decay tool is the perfect match for this technique. Its dense, synthetic bristles are perfect for picking up and putting down the maximum amount of product.

Make Up For Ever Round Shader Medium Brush no. 240

The fat, short shape of this brush make it ideal for stamping your glow in an impactful way. It also works great with both liquids and powders, meaning you can switch between the two worry free.

Bare Minerals Luxe Performance Brush

Looking to make your highlight bigger and better than ever? Instead of an eyeshadow brush, opt for a face brush which mimics the shape of a dense shadow brush but on a larger scale.

Nude By Nature BB Brush no. 18

Especially effective with liquid formulas, this brush will blend your highlighter gorgeously but the density of the brushes will still guarantee that flared effect. Dreamy!

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