March 27, 2023


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. This 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 Fortunately, they had a ton of helpful tips, tricks, and product recommendations to help us overhaul our outdated approach to eyebrow highlighter.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.

Try It on the Tail

Makeup For Ever Artist Color Pencil
Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil: Eye, Lip & Brow Pencil $27.00

Your eyebrow tail, that is. First things first: The placement of your eyebrow highlighter dictates 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, highlighting pen, or pencil. We’re fans of this multitasking pencil from Make Up For Ever in the shade Boundless Bisque.

Define Your Brow

Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye Brightener
Thrive Causemetics Brilliant Eye Brightener $24.00

“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 Causemetics for its eye-catching hint of shimmer.

Try a Fluffy Brush

Fenty fluffy brush
Fenty Beauty Tapered Blending Brush 210 $24.00

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 theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer ($24)—the glowing finish is one of the best, bar none, and looks great on the eyebrow).

Use Your Inner Corners as an Accent

highlighting duo pencil
Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlighting Duo Pencil $23.00

As Greenberg explains, the main goal of highlighting the brow is to define your eye area and 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 beneath the brow bone. (An editor favorite, we think this double-ended highlighter duo from Anastasia Beverly Hills is the perfect size and shape).

Don’t Go Overboard

Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder 003 GOLDEN GLOW 0.21 oz/ 5.95 g
Dior Nude Luminizer Highlighter Powder $48.00

When it comes to highlighter around the brow bone, 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.”

Make It Matte

Kelley Baker Brows Highlighting Pencil
Kelley Baker Brows Camo-Light® Highlighter Pencil $22.00

“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.” The Camo-Light Highlighter Pencil by Kelley Baker Brows is a matte cream and one of Greenberg’s top picks.

Get Your Hands Dirty

Ami Cole Light Catching Highlighter
Ami Cole Light Catching Highlighter $22.00

A balmy highlighter is a great choice to add a natural glow to the brow bone. The best way to apply is to take a bit on your finger and gently tap along the brow bone and along the temples.

Give Your Eye a Lift

Phyto-Sourcils Design 3-In-1 Eyebrow Pencil -
Sisley-Paris Phyto-Sourcils Design 3-in-1 Eyebrow Pencil $66.00

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 is the ultimate triple threat. Smudge the highlight underneath the eye per Bedrani’s instructions, comb, fill in your brows, and then blend, baby, blend.