How to Choose Highlighter Based on Your Skin Tone

May 20, 2020
By: Alanna Martine Kilkeary | Makeup.com 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 past few years. And considering that all-over dewy, radiant skin is officially a year-round staple in the makeup category, highlighter is becoming as essential as lipstick and mascara. But with the endless number of shimmery options out there, how do you know which highlighter is right for you? Ahead, we rounded up our favorite highlighters for your skin tone. So 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 the right amount of radiance to your complexion. You also want to avoid going with shades that are too warm or contain dark red undertones, and look for shades that have a bit more of a light pinky-peach finish. For fair skin tones, we absolutely love YSL Beauty Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen for a lightweight, glossy touch that you can apply over your favorite foundation or CC cream. If you prefer a liquid finish, try the Maybelline New York Masterchrome Jelly in Metallic Rose.
ysl touche eclat, maybelline masterchrome jelly

Highlighter for Medium and Olive Skin Tones

If you have a warmer skin tone, keep your complexion from looking too frosty by going for a highlighter that has a gold-bronze or iridescent undertone. A daily go-to for olive skin is the NYX Professional Makeup California Beamin’ Face & Body Liquid Highlighter in Pearl. This icy highlight is sparkly and blendable, but it contrasts nicely with neutral or olive undertones. For a more sparkling finish, try the Patrick Ta Major Glow Highlighting Mist in We Need Her.
nyx california beamin' liquid illuminator, patrick ta highlighting mist

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. You want to keep your focus on warm hues. We are enamored with the NYX Professional High Glass Illuminating Powder in Golden Hour for this. Another gorgeous highlighter for deeper skin tones that we recommend is the Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer, which is a liquid formula you can easily blend into your foundation or face product for some extra sheen.
nyx professional makeup high glass highlighter, giorgio armani fluid sheer