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.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
The Best Highlighters For Deeper Skin Tones: Fair
The Best Highlighters For Deeper Skin Tones: Medium
The Best Highlighters For Deeper Skin Tones: Deep
The Best Highlighters For Deeper Skin Tones: Dark
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