Another day, another TikTok beauty trend. This time around, it’s jaw highlighter. The glow-giving makeup technique that’s typically reserved for the cheeks, nose, and brow bone is now making its way to the jaw all thanks to one Bella Hadid. After photos of the model with a shockingly glowy jawline surfaced, the internet went wild trying to recreate the look, evolving into the latest viral makeup trend.
It seems like makeup artist and TikTok creator Rachel O’Cool was the first to call out Hadid’s illuminated jaw; back on January 26th, she posted a video gushing over the look and attempting to try it out for herself. “The way her jaw is highlighted here…it just makes me think, can we recreate this with makeup?” she says in the clip, which has since racked up 1.7 million views. O’Cool then applies a Charlotte Tilbury highlighter along her jawline, resulting in a glow that’s undeniably similar to Hadid’s.
So, why exactly is jaw highlighter so flattering? “Jaw highlighting uses light to accentuate and create definition,” Terri Bryant, celebrity makeup artist and founder of GUIDE BEAUTY, tells GLAM. “Applying highlighter just above the jawline creates a spotlight effect, and as the face moves and catches light it illuminates natural bone structure.”
Brittany Lo, professional makeup artist and founder of Beia, adds she’s not surprised to see this trend emerge. “Jaw highlighting is highlighting the area to create a sculpted, chiseled flawless-looking jawline,” she says. “Given the increase in jawline fillers being requested, I believe this was a natural trend to become popular.”
If you’re familiar with TikTok, you know that users’ obsession with chiseled jawlines is nothing new. In 2021, a number of TikTokers began touting special fillers, “jaw exercises,” gua sha, and even surgery. Just search #jawlinecheck on TikTok, and you’ll find videos with millions of views, featuring people sharing tips for how to get a more defined jawline as well as before and after photos.
How to try the viral jaw highlighter trend
Luckily, you don’t need fillers or surgery to mimic Bella Hadid’s modelesque jawline. For an everyday approach, it’s all about finding the right jaw highlighter for your skin and applying it strategically. “Look for a skin illuminator that’s as close to your skin tone as possible, opting for sheer textures that mimic skin and no heavy pearls, shimmers or glitters,” says Bryant.
“I like to start with some light contouring, shading just under the jawline. This creates a shadow that helps to accentuate the area above that you’ll be highlighting,” Bryant continues. From there, simply blend and diffuse the highlighter along the jawline, keeping in mind less is more with this look.”
“I recommend applying a liquid highlighter at the edge of the jawline up to the ear and then blending it out,” Lo adds. “Keeping it soft, dewy with a subtle shimmer is key.” And while you can certainly use a brush or beauty sponge to blend our your jaw highlighter, to get the most natural look, try using your fingers to tap on the product.
The best products for jaw highlighter
Avoiding cakiness is key for jaw highlighter, so you want to stick with lighter formulas that are either liquids or balms. Bryant suggests using the Merit Day Glow Dewy Highlighting Balm, which has a sheer, lighweight formula that looks natural on the skin. She also loves the ILIA Liquid Light Serum Highlighter and Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand, which is what O’Cool used in her TikTok video.
Lo recommends the Temptu Brilliant Glow Illuminating Primer & Skin Perfector (which, as the name suggests, can also be used as a glowy primer before foundation), the Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo, and the RMS Living Luminizer Highlighter.
As far as viral beauty trends go, this one is pretty simple to recreate and certainly has the potential to become a go-to trick in your makeup routine. After all, who doesn’t love an extra bit of glow?
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