ICYMI, the internet (aka TikTok universe) was buzzing earlier this year when Bella Hadid posted a carousel of images from a friend’s birthday to her Instagram account. Or rather, the TikTok universe was completely enamored with the seventh picture of Hadid from said carousel. (See exhibit A below.)
While the photo might not immediately strike you as anything all that different from Hadid’s usual content, the masses collectively freaked the eff out over the model’s ultra-sculpted, light-catching jawline. And in typical TikTok fashion, a handful of creators began posting videos demonstrating how to hack your way to a Hadid-esque jawline with just one key product—highlighter.
One TikTok user by the name of @rachelocoolmua, in particular, led the crusade and captivated the TikTok beauty community’s attention by re-creating Hadid’s suddenly famous jawline glow in a video on January 27. What did she do? With a known celebrity-loved highlighter in hand (Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Beauty Light Wand, $40, which is sold out practically everywhere), she simply drew the highlight along her jawline, a technique you might use with traditional contour, and then lightly blended it in with a few taps of her finger for a seamless finish. Even the biggest skeptics can’t lie: The results were impressive, and @rachelocoolmua‘s jawline looked significantly more pronounced and defined sans the streaky, sometimes heavy-looking vibe of a normal contour job.
But the saga didn’t end there. Just one day later, Rachel took to TikTok again with a similar, albeit slightly different, highlighting strategy. Instead of just using her handy highlight wand to create Hadid’s glowy look, she contoured her jaw first, then placed a powder highlighter over her jaw. According to Rachel, the second experiment was inspired by some helpful suggestions from her followers, and she seemed to like the results better than her first try.
Now, in no way am I a huge TikTok person. I’m more of a lurker (when it suits me) than an avid participant, but the frenzy Hadid’s radiant jawline created had me curious, and after watching even more TikTokers try their hand at the technique with honestly super-stunning results, I thought I’d give it a swing. I opted for a hybrid approach, melding both of Rachel’s techniques. First, I did a very light application of contour right underneath my jaw and chin, similar to what Rachel did in her second video. Instead of a contour wand, I used my trusty Sephora Collection brush I’ve had forever and my favorite bronzer/contour formula of the moment, Refy’s Cream Bronzer in Sand ($26). (I also added a bit right underneath my cheekbones and to the sides of my nose and my temples to keep everything looking balanced and sunkissed.)
Next, the highlight! I magically lucked out and just so happened to have the famed Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Wand ($40) on hand (it’s one of my all-time absolute favorite highlighters, after all), so instead of opting for a powder formula like Rachel did in her second vid, I kept to her original technique and used my wand to trace a nice little L right at the base of my face along my jawline, which you can see below. Again, this highlighter is so famous on TikTok right now that it is quite literally sold out *almost* everywhere. I did happen to find it available on Revolve, so if you’re craving a similar glow, I’d go ahead and buy it right now before it’s gone.
After drawing on my highlight, I used my finger to blend it into my jawline. (One of the many pros of Tilbury’s best-selling wand is how flawlessly it melts and blends into the skin.) And that was it! This hack truly couldn’t be easier, and while it’s hard to get a good look at the results—lighting and the way the light catches your face and jawline are key—I could definitely see a difference in the way my jaw looked. Will I highlight my jaw all the time? Probably not. I try to use the least amount of product on my face day-to-day, but for special events or parties or, honestly, whenever I know there will be photo ops or dim lighting that will allow my shimmering jawline to shine, I will no doubt put it into play.
It’s also worth pointing out that your results will depend on your facial and bone structure. Personally, I think I’ll always get more bang for my highlighting buck by highlighting the tops of my cheekbones, my Cupid’s bow, and around my temple and brow bones.
Keep scrolling to shop the rest of my look, including the skincare I used for skin prep and the makeup products I used as finishing touches.
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