The quest to achieve the ‘glow’ seems eternal. We’re forever dusting golden pigment across our nose, pressing creamy highlighter into our cheekbones, sweeping golden flecks across our cupid’s bow – all in an attempt to garner some kind of ‘glow’.

But according to celebrity makeup artist, Michael Brown, there is a new way to highlight, and one which is refreshingly subtle compared to the overly photoshopped variety on social media.

“Highlighting, or strobing, is bigger than ever, but applying it naturally and not looking artificial is definitely a new trend in itself,” notes Brown “As a makeup artist, I am big on skin prep, as a lot of my work is for red carpet events – meaning my clients need to stay looking fresh hours after I leave them – so a thorough skin prep is vital for makeup to sit correctly and freshly for long periods of wear.”

But what is the secret? A little beauty role reversal. “A lot of Instagram beauty pushes boundaries and is there as an art form, so highlighting can appear very visible. But in real life, it’s great to take it down a notch so you don’t see any visible start or end signs of application,” adds Brown. “You want your glow to appear as if it’s natural, so I love to apply highlight, usually in a creamy formula, before foundation – just lightly dabbing on the cheekbones, peak of brow, above inner brow, and top lip line.” Whilst most would apply highlighter as a final step – post-foundation – Brown does the opposite. “Once foundation is applied over the top rather than underneath, it immediately looks brighter with added glow, relating back to real-looking skin and not dense foundation.”

For a more natural look, “adding highlight under foundation can be all the glow you need, but for more dressy and glam beauty looks, I love to add a touch more highlight on the top cheekbone especially, to create extra dimension and lift.”

But his real trick? “I put Rosehip Oil on the high points of the face, to give extra glow and better bond for foundation later on.” Pressing a little Rosehip Oil – Brown loves Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ – acts as a highlighter in itself (plus offers a host of glorious skincare benefits. “I usually do the eyes first, so it sinks into the skin really well, then apply foundation and concealer.”

That natural Brown highlight on client Jesinta Franklin

But for those who want extra glow, add a highlighting product, too. “I find creamy highlights the best for a natural, hydrated-looking glow-factor,” says Brown. “Powder highlights are more metallic, therefore they can look more artificial if heavily applied – a little can go a long way – and make sure you apply in lighting similar to where your surroundings will be.”

For those with oilier complexions, you don’t even need to reach for the highlighting palette, your highlighting hero is actually an everyday coverage product. “If you are oilier and don’t necessary want a sheen-style of highlight, just using concealers in two different shades can work well,” adds Brown. “I sometimes use a deeper tone for shading and then a lighter on highlight points to lighten an area, it will still add contrast which gives off a highlighted effect, but with no sheen or metallic texture which can work better for some.”

Adding light to the face gives lift to the areas applied, so when in need of a little skin pick-me-up, this new way to highlight will be your new (very natural) best friend. Let there be the right kind of light, always.

Tile Image: Instagram, @patrickta