Rae Morris’ essential guide to highlighting

Rae Morris’ essential guide to highlighting

Just in case you weren’t aware, Rae Morris is a genius. Not only is she incredibly talented at creating the most gorgeous beauty looks, but she also knows her stuff. As in, realllllly knows her stuff. She’s essentially a make-up encyclopedia in human form.

As the Beauty Director of Priceline, she recently worked on the Festival of Beauty campaign (along with The Hillsand The City star, Whitney Port), and created eight stunning beauty looks. Here are just two examples of this woman’s brilliance. 

I had the opportunity to chat to Rae and pick her brain about all things make-up. And while her wisdom covers anti-ageing tricks to the weirdly useful ways to use your beauty products (she swears by dry shampoo in a sweaty shoe/foot scenario), I was most impressed with her tips for highlighting. 

We all know highlighting is going mainstream (um, hello there, strobing!), but it was a make-up artist technique long before it had any fancy names or official steps, so naturally, Rae had some brilliant advice to dish.


You know how you’ve seen different coloured illuminators? Like, some are gold, some bronze, and some even a bit creamy coloured? Well, according to Rae, you should pick the shade of your highlighter based on your skin tone. 

“For pale skin, use an eggshell coloured highlighter. For pale-to-medium skin, use gold, and for medium-to-dark, use a bronze highlighter. And if you’re not sure if the highlighting colour is right, test it above your lip or on your collarbone – you shouldn’t see any colour, only shine. If you put your highlighter there [on your collarbone] and it’s orange or brown, it’s too dark. It’s gotta be your skin, just a bit shiny.”

It’s also a good idea to avoid anything that’s too white or silver, or lighter than your skin tone, as this will end up looking frosty.


It depends on your skin, really. 

Rae says, “If you’ve got quite good or unlined skin, use a luminising primer all over to give you that glow straight away. If you don’t have the most amazing skin, then an illuminating primer will enhance lines and blemishes, so it’s best to use the foundation that you love and highlight certain areas. How you do that is just down the centre of your nose and high cheekbones (but avoid this if you have a lot of smile lines) and then do the inner corners of your eyes, above your lip and if you are a little dry, you can highlight the centre of your forehead.”

The other reason you’d highlight the centre of your forehead? “It’s actually quite anti-ageing,” explains Rae, “because when you’re younger, you have a rounder forehead. As we age, our foreheads flatten – that’s why contouring around the hairline and highlighting the centre works so well. In surgery, they actually fill that part of the forehead to give it more fullness. If you highlight, you get that beautiful, youthful, rounded effect.”


Whatever formulation of foundation you use, follow suit with your highlighter.

“If you’re using cream foundation, highlight with creams, because creams blend with creams. And if you’re using powdered foundation, use powder because once you powder your skin, you don’t want to break it up with cream,” explains Rae. 


Some people don’t factor in the light when highlighting, but according to Rae, it’s crucial! She says, “My main tip is this: you have to highlight with light on the area, so don’t do a part that’s in the shadow. You’ve got to have light on your face – highlight, and then when you turn away from the light, you shouldn’t see it all. It’s like that little surprise as the light hits it. That’s how you should do it.”

Do you use highlighter? Would you try Rae’s tips?

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