The Best Highlighters For Deeper Skin Tones
With summer finally here, most makeup routines become minimal — but an illuminating highlighter is always a sunny day priority. As many beauty lovers know, finding the best highlighters for deeper skin tones isn't always the easiest shopping experience. The most common shades on shelves (icy and ivory hues, for example) tend to leave darker skin looking washed out rather than luminous, which is totally against what we're going for here.
"In order for a deeper skin toned woman’s eyeshadow to not appear ashy, she should lean towards highlighters with dark gold, bronzer or cooper undertones," Jessica Smalls, whose clients include Janelle Monae and Halima says. And Sean Harris, Lori Harvey's go-to makeup artist agrees, emphasizing that makeup lovers should look for more radiant hues. "Black women should look for rich vibrant colors in their highlighters," he says.
But it's also important to note that it's not just the highlighter itself that can help you avoid looking like a disco ball; it's also the application. "Highlighter is meant to mimic the way light naturally hits the face," Harris says. "Allow the shape of the brush to guide your placement." And while we all want to look like we've just returned from a tropical vacation, it's important not to coat the face in shimmer. "You don’t need to use all your might to get the highlight to appear," Smalls says. "Use a soft, fluffy brush and gently swipe the highlighter above your cheekbones, under your brow bone and little bit across your Cupid's bow. If you are using a liquid or cream highlighter, take a tiny bit of product and apply it to the back of your hand. Using your ring finger lightly rub the product on your skin to, to warm the product up, and then lightly dab the product to the same areas until blended."
Luckily, there are plenty of highlighters dedicated to warmer skin tones (think gilded honey and rich gold). Radiate the room with a hint of these across your cheeks, down the bridge of your nose and on your Cupid's bow. Take a look at a few of our favorite highlighters for darker complexions below.
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The Best Highlighters For Deeper Skin Tones: Fair
If you like a bolder, more metallic look, Maybelline's fan-favorite highlighter delivers a heavy dose of glow that isn't too overwhelming.
Sheer yet fabulous, this strobing powder will specks of glitter, is the perfect date night highlight for when you really want to glow.
This vegan, paraben-free formula is packed with mango butter and coconut oil, adding a glow to the skin while also improving its condition.
The Best Highlighters For Deeper Skin Tones: Medium
"Danessa Myricks Beauty Enlight Illuminators are my go to," Harris says. "I love the colors 'Gocha Glow' and 'Passion.' These create the most stunning glow and the color selection is unmatched."
"My favorite powder highlighter is Fenty Killawatt Highlighter in Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule because it has the perfect cooper undertone to make deeper tones look like they are glowing from within," Smalls says.
This multi-dimensional highlighter radiates any skin tone. Oil-free, it's the perfect formula for the summertime.
The Best Highlighters For Deeper Skin Tones: Deep
This ultra-smooth formula glides on the skin like no other, creating a wet glow effect on the high points that will give a luxurious shimmer.
Adoringly called "liquid sunshine in a bottle," just a little of the radiant formula goes a long way. Just dab a little bit on your cheekbones and nose and blend.
Everyone's favorite highlighter, the blinding hue of Trophy Wife will make you look like just that.
The Best Highlighters For Deeper Skin Tones: Dark
"One of my favorite liquid highlighters is the Luxury Liquid Illuminator by Iman Cosmetics in “Strut' and 'Slay,'" Smalls says. "The texture is so creamy and blends easily into the skin."
A highlighter and blush all in one. The top layer delivers a radiant bronzed glow, while the bottom half distributes a rosey blush that's perfect for deeper skintones.
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