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How to Highlight Your Face and Get That J. Lo Glow

J. Lo has famously flawless skin. Find out how to apply makeup to replicate her look.

J. Lo has famously flawless skin. Find out how to apply makeup to replicate her look.

How to Look Like J. Lo

Jennifer Lopez is famous for many things, among them her flawless makeup! Catch a glimpse of her on the red carpet, on set, or relaxing at home, and one thing is for sure—she always has a natural-looking glow. It’s so common, in fact, that her perfect makeup look has been dubbed “The J. Lo Glow."

Let’s face it: We could all use a little more brightness in our lives, complexions included. Many times, foundation can fall flat, leaving a dim or ashy finish. This is especially true if you have oily skin and need to use matte makeup. While dewy foundations can create a glow for those with dry skin, they relinquish to a sticky mess on those with an oily complexion. If you have acne, using dewy foundation coats the skin in a harsh gloss, drawing attention to breakouts. Follow these steps to get J. Lo’s Glow without sacrificing the skin-perfecting qualities of matte foundation!

Step 1: Apply Primer and Foundation

Following your usual makeup technique, apply primer and foundation. To avoid competing with the highlighter you will apply in Step 4, don’t use foundation that has a shimmery or dewy finish. Matte foundation works best and provides the most flawless finish. It's also important to look for oil-free products. Any oils lurking within primer or foundation can mingle with highlighter, causing your complexion to look greasy instead of glowy.

Apply primer, foundation, and concealer.

Apply primer, foundation, and concealer.

Step 2: Apply Concealer Under Eyes

To brighten up the eye area, select a cream concealer 1–2 shades lighter than your skin tone to apply under your eyes in an inverted triangle formation. The eyes often create shadows underneath, which are intensified if any dark circles are present. Application of a light concealer will add brightness to the area and diminish any shadowing. Try NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer or ELF’s All Over Color Stick. They both blend seamlessly and provide excellent coverage.

Step 3: Apply Oil-Absorbent Setting Powder

Using a powder puff or brush, apply a light layer of finishing powder to lock foundation in place and absorb excess oil. Try Mattify Cosmetic’s ULTRA Powder, which has excellent oil absorbing capabilities and provides a color-free finish, while minimizing the look of pores. (This dual tasking powder can also be used as a primer before foundation in Step 1, and works better than a cream primer if you have oily skin.)

Powder application is an essential step! It allows makeup to last longer, stops foundation from creasing, and prevents highlighter from mingling with foundation. Be sure to select a transparent powder, as colored powder can add cakey layers the complexion & often causes highlighter to look muddy.

Step 4: Apply Highlighter

Following the tutorial map above, apply your favorite highlighter using finger tips or a brush applicator. This technique adds a light reflecting gleam to select areas, allowing you to duplicate the famous J-Lo Glow!

There’s no shortage to the amount of luminizers and highlighters on the market. Every makeup company from drugstore brands to high end brands have their own versions. Most are workable, regardless of cost. Just be sure to avoid any that have large gritty glitter or a dull tint. You want something that will blend smoothly, to create your best glow.

  • For dry skin, select a silky cream highlighter, like MAC’s Cream Color Base in Hush or Benefit’s High Beam. Cream and liquid highlighters are best suited toward dry skin, but they tend to crease & look overly greasy on oily skin.
  • If you have combination or oily skin, powder highlighter works best, and has the longest lasting finish. Try MAC’s Highlighter - Mineralize Skin Finish or Mattify Cosmetic’s Strobing Highlighter. They are both mineral based and designed to be long lasting on oily skin types.

Step-by-Step Makeup Routine

Looking for a step-by-step tutorial on how to apply foundation, concealer, and highlighter? Check out this makeup application video and watch her complexion change from plain to glowy!

What's Your Strategy for Glowing Skin?

What are your favorite highlighting products and techniques? Let us know in the comments!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2016 Ashley Bergin


Traci olmedo on January 18, 2020:

Exactly the type of tutorial i was looking for! Thank u!

Nancy Sciolino on October 16, 2017:

I wish you would have given brands and exact colors you used, I loved your colors you chose❤