Inner Eye Highlighter: Guide + Full Tutorial

inner eye highlighter

Sometimes all it takes is a dot of makeup to make a huge difference. Inner corner highlighting, also known as eye strobing, is a quick and easy way to make your eyes stand out, and make you look more awake.

This popular trend has recently taken the world by storm, but some of you have asked me how to properly highlight the inner eye, what are the best products to use and how to highlight the inner corner of the eye when earing eyeliner.

So today I am showing you a full inner eye highlighter tutorial, plus everything you need to know about inner eye highlighting.

First, let’s talk about what exactly highlighting the corner of your eye does, benefits, who is the right fit for this makeup trick and best products to use.

how to do inner eye highlighter step by step tutorial

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Inner Eye Highlighter: How to do it

The best way to highlight the inner corner of the eye is by applying a liquid/cream light shade to start, and then, apply your highlighter or shimmer eyeshadow on top. After that, apply your eyeliner as usual and reapply highlighter with a small flat precision brush right next to the inner corner eyeliner you just applied.

The exact area where you need to apply your inner eye highlighter varies depending on the eye makeup look you want to achieve, also you need to pick the right inner eye highlighter shade, as well as the right formula.

I’ll cover that and a full inner eye highlighter step-by-step tutorial below.

What does putting a highlighter in the corner of your eyes do?

woman wearing inner eye highlighter

When it comes to trends, you can never know if something is actually effective in doing what it promises. But, putting a small amount of highlighter in the corner of your eyes does so many amazing things for your face.

This quick trick can make your eyes pop, it can enhance the rest of your eye makeup, and it can make your makeup look lighter.

With all of these awesome benefits, this is definitely a trick you want up your sleeve!

Keep reading for exactly how to highlight the inner corner of your eye!

When to use a highlighter in the inner corner?

You might be wondering, will this work for my type of eyes?

This depends on how your eyes are set. If you have close or normal-set eyes, doing this makeup trick is a perfect fit!

But, if you have wide-set eyes, this makeup trick might not work in your favor.

Instead of highlighting your eyes, it will actually make your eyes look even wider, so if that isn’t what you are going for with your wide-set eyes, this might not be the best fit for you.

TIP: You can measure how far away your eyes are by taking your thumb and index finger and placing them in between one eye. Then hold that same space between your eyes. If the gap is larger than your one-eye length, you have wide-set eyes. 

What can I use to highlight the inner corner of my eye?

There are three different types of highlighters. You can use all three to highlight the inner corner of your eye, but applying each type looks a little different. 

Cream highlighter

When you use a cream or liquid highlighter, you can use the applicator tip to highlight the eye. Dab a small amount of highlighter in the inner corner of your eyes to achieve the desired effect. 

Check my favorite drugstore cream highlighters for every skin tone!

Powder highlighter

When you use a powder highlighter, there are two ways that you can highlight.

1.You can use your finger, which is a great way to highlight if you are in a rush or on-the-go.

For this technique, simply dab your finger in the powder, and press into the inner corner of your eyes.

2. If you want to get a little more precise, you can also use a brush. I recommend a small, pointed eyeshadow brush like this one

TIP: Use your pinky finger for the most precision. 

Inner corner highlighter pencil

A highlighter pencil won’t give you the same finish as a powder or cream, but a highlighter pencil will give you the most control, which is great for highlighter beginners! 

Check this highlighter pencil by L’oreal, once it drys it shines all day! I love that.

Can I use a highlighter as an eyeshadow?

When applying a highlighter so close the eye, you might be wondering if you can use your highlighter as an eyeshadow. The answer: yes! Using a highlighter as an eyeshadow will work relatively the same, especially on the inner corners of your eyes! 

My current favorite highlighter that I also use as eyeshadow, especially when I want a base for my shimmery shades on the inner corner of my eye is this amazing jelly highlighter from e.l.f.

On the flip side, you can also use an eyeshadow as a highlighter!

If you choose to do this, I highly recommend getting your eyeshadow brush wet first to ensure precision and the right pigmentation.

Also cream eyeshadows like this one can work amazing to highlight the inner corner of the eyes. AND of course, shimmer liquid eyeshadow is also GREAT to wear as highlighter, especially to highlight the inner corner of the eye.

The BEST shimmer liquid eyeshadow is this one here by HAUS laboratories.

Best inner eye corner highlighter

I can’t talk about highlighter without highlighting my favorite inner corner highlighter. Check it out below!

Julep Cream-to-Powder Stick


  • Waterproof: With eye products so close to your waterline, having a waterproof feature is a must! This stick is waterproof and doesn’t crease!
  • Cream-to-Powder: This stick is truly the best of the cream and powder worlds. It starts off as a cream and glides effortlessly on your eye. Then it dries as a powder, which sets (and stays) in place even easier! 
  • Variety of Shades: This stick has over 20 shades to choose from! While I recommend the pearl shimmer shade to properly highlight your eyes, you might just find yourself adding a few more shades in your cart for other fun makeup looks! 
  • Nourishing: This Julep stick also has a few nourishing ingredients for your skin. It is crafted with Vitamins C and E, which protect against free radicals, and treats skin tone and texture. Plus, it is free of nasty chemicals and parabens!


  • Sparkly Finish: While I love a good shimmer, a pearl finish might not be your favorite. This stick will make your eyes sparkle, so if you prefer a not-so shinny finish, Julep’s stick is not the best fit for you.
  • Goes on Light: If you want a bold inner eye look, you might have to apply a few layers of this stick, as it goes on a little lighter. 

How to Highligth the Inner Corner of the Eye

There are different ways to wear highlight the inner corner of the eye. Below I’ll show you examples of 4 of the most popular ways to enhance your inner corners with highlighter.

1. Light shimmer color eyeshadow

blue eyeshadow makeup with green inner corner highlighter

To highlight the inner corner of your eye you opt for a light shimmery color to combine with the rest of your eye makeup. For example, if you are wearing blue/green eye makeup, you can highlight your inner corners with a light green shadow, like the eye makeup look above.

another example will be, wearing a golden shade with a brown smokey eye.

Or like on this colorful orange eye makeup, the inner corners are highlighted with a lighter orange shade.

orange eyeshadow with light orange inner highglither

The standard is to wear a light shimmer eyeshadow with pearl, white, gold tones.

But wearing shimmery light shades with some color is also a great option!

2. Highlighting the whole inner corner of the eye

This is my favorite way to highlight my inner corners.

If you have close-set eyes OR you want to make your eye look bigger, this is the best way to enhance and highlight your eyes.

This technique consists in applying your best shimmery shade in the whole inner corner of your eye, including some of the upper and bottom lashlines.

3. Highlight the inner corner of the eye with a Matte eyeshadow

matte eyeshashadow as highglither of the inner corner of the eye

Another way to wear enhance your inner corner is by applying a matte LIGHT eyeshadow shade.
for example, a matte beige or white eyeshadow.

If you are not a shimmer-lover, wearing a matte beige eyeshadow (or white) would be your best option to try! It works about the same and brings light to your eye makeup.

4. Highlighting the inner corner of the eye when wearing eyeliner.

When we wear eyeliner applying the inner corner highlighter can lead to some makeup struggles that I want to address here.

Applying an inner corner highlighter the wrong way when wearing eyeliner can lead to having a not-so-bright inner corner OR a not so pigmented eyeliner.

If you have tried wearing black eyeliner while you wear inner highlighter, you should probably find that your eyeliner gets mixed with shimmer making it not so black OR your inner shine gets lost after you apply your eyeliner.

So, Here’s a full tutorial on how to apply inner highlighter especially when you are wearing eyeliner in the inner corner of your eyes, with tips and tricks to make both your eyeliner and your inner highlighter look good.

How to highlight the inner corner when wearing eyeliner

If you are wearing eyeliner and you also want to do the inner corner highlighter technique, you can either apply your eyeliner only on the outer corner of your eye like the picture below.

if you go for that eyeliner, you just need to highlight your inner corner without being afraid of messing it up with your eyeliner.

BUT, if you want to wear the inner corner eyeliner (for example, the famous foxy eyeliner) you need to take into consideration some tips and tricks to do your eyeliner AND get a shimmery inner corner highlighter at the same time.

woman applying inner corner highlighter
Areas where you need to reapply inner corner highlighter

Step 1. Select your inner eye highlighter technique to wear (I’m highlighting the whole inner corner of the eye with a pearl/beige shimmery shade)

Step 2. Apply a liquid/cream base. I’m using my jelly highlighter from e.l.f as a base.

Step 3. Apple inner eye eyeliner. Once the liquid/cream base has dry, apply your eyeliner in your inner corners. This will make your eyes look more feline, elongated, and sexy.

If you have wide-set eyes, doing this eyeliner technique will help to make your eyes look more close together.

Step 4. Once your eyeliner is completely DRY, use a small flat precision brush, I’m using this one by e.l.f. and take a powder highlighter OR a powder eyeshadow in your preferred shade (I’m using a beige/pearl shimmery highlighter) and set your inner eye highlighter only right below and above the eyeliner you just did.

Using a super small precision brush like the e.l.f one allows us to apply the highlighter right where we want to highlight without having sparkles or shimmer on our eyeliner.

The point that we want is to keep our eyeliner with the inner eye highlighter separated as much as we can.

Final step. Reapply eyeliner or highlighter as needed to get your desired look.

Final thoughts on Inner Eye Highlighter

It’s no wonder that the inner eye highlighter is so popular!

This easy trick, which only takes a minute once you have it mastered, is an easy way to make your eyes pop!

If you have close or normal-set eyes, highlighting your inner eyes can make you look more awake, and it can make your eyes look bigger and bolder.

Make sure to keep this guide and tutorial on hand the next time you want to experiment with highlighting your inner eye!

Best of all,
Valeria H.

What’s Next? Check these related makeup posts:

Inner Eye Highlighter: Guide + Full Tutorial

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