How to Choose Highlighter Based on Your Skin Tone

By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | by L'Oréal
How to Choose Highlighter Based on Your Skin Tone

There’s no way to deny the highlighting trend that has dominated our Instagram feeds over the last few years. And with all-over dewy, radiant skin an official year-round staple in the makeup category, highlighter is becoming as classic and essential as blush and eyeliner. But with the endless number of shimmery options out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Ahead, we rounded up the best highlighters for your skin tone, with a little guide as to why we love each one. Without further ado, let’s get sparkling.

Highlighter for Fair Skin Tones

If you have pale to light skin, you should opt for highlighters with a pearlescent, icy silver or champagne sheen. The light pigment adds just enough radiance to your complexion. You also want to avoid going with shades that are too warm or contain dark red undertones, and opt for shades that have a little bit more of a light, pinky-peach finish. For fair skin tones, we absolutely love the Urban Decay Sin Afterglow Palette because it’s an easy way to play with color and highlight, all while accentuating your complexion. If you want that crisp, ice finish, we recommend the Pixi by Petra Glow-y Powder in London Lustre. This yellow-based highlighter will work to add the ultimate velvet-like shine to your already pearly skin tone.


Highlighter for Medium and Olive Skin Tones

To keep your complexion from looking too frosty, warmer skin tones pair well with highlighters that have gold-bronze or iridescent undertones. The hint of color is just enough to give you that sun-kissed glow or a double-take worthy highlight as you please. A daily go-to for olive skin is Glossier Play Nightshine in Pale Pearl, which provides a sparkling, blendable highlight that will pop out against your skin tone. We also adore the NYX Professional Makeup Away We Glow Liquid Boosters to give a ton of personality to your highlight on medium-toned skin.

Highlighter for Deep Skin Tones

Rich variations of rose gold or bronze work wonders on darker complexions. Just be sure to look for options that pack a ton of pigment and steer clear of frosty, opalescent shades, as they can cause the skin to appear dull instead of lit-from-within. Instead, keep your focus on warm hues. We are absolutely enamored with the Maybelline New York Master Chrome Highlighter in Molten Gold for this. For another gorgeous highlighter for deeper skin tones, we recommend the Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer, which is a liquid formula you can easily blend into your foundation or face product for some extra sheen.

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