How to Choose The Best Highlighter For Your Skin Color

If you have ever followed Marylia Scott on any social platform you know highlighter is a must-have in any makeup routine, adding that perfect touch of glow to your features. 

Choosing the right highlighter can enhance your natural beauty, providing a luminous finish that complements your skin tone. Whether you prefer a subtle, natural look or a bolder, glam effect, the right highlighter can make all the difference.

Understanding Highlighter Shades

When selecting a highlighter, the general rule is to choose one that is 2 shades lighter than your skin tone for a natural look and 4 shades lighter for a brighter, more glamorous effect. It’s essential to pick the right shade to ensure it blends seamlessly and enhances your features.

Highlighters are a big trend in 2024 and we don’t see them going anywhere!

Identifying Your Skin Tone

Determining your skin tone is crucial in finding the perfect highlighter. Here’s how you can identify your undertone:

  1. Warm Undertones: Your skin has a golden or yellow hue.
  2. Cool Undertones: Your skin has a pink, red, or blue hue.
  3. Neutral Undertones: Your skin has a mix of warm and cool tones.

How to Identify Your Skin Tone

Identifying your skin tone is essential for choosing the right makeup products. Start by looking at the veins on your wrist. If they appear blue or purple, you likely have cool undertones. If they look green, you have warm undertones. If it's hard to tell, you might have neutral undertones. Additionally, consider how your skin reacts to the sun: if you burn easily, you likely have cool undertones; if you tan easily, you likely have warm undertones. Neutral undertones usually fall somewhere in between.

Another method is to think about which jewelry suits you best. If gold jewelry enhances your complexion, you likely have warm undertones. If silver looks better on you, cool undertones are more probable. Neutral undertones often look good in both. Understanding your undertone can help you choose the most flattering makeup shades and achieve a harmonious look.

Highlighter Shades for Different Skin Tones

Fair Skin

  • Natural Look: Choose highlighters with champagne or pearl tones.
  • Glam Look: Opt for icy or light pink shades.
  • Best Palettes: Look for palettes with a range of light, cool-toned shades.

Medium Skin

  • Natural Look: Go for gold or peach-toned highlighters.
  • Glam Look: Rich golds and bronzy shades work well.
  • Best Palettes: Select palettes that offer both gold and peach options.

Olive Skin

  • Natural Look: Opt for rose gold or warm gold shades.
  • Glam Look: Bronze and deep gold shades will complement your skin.
  • Best Palettes: Choose palettes with a mix of warm tones and bronzes.

Dark Skin

  • Natural Look: Use copper or bronze highlighters.
  • Glam Look: Deep golds and rich bronze shades are ideal.
  • Best Palettes: Look for palettes with rich, warm tones that enhance deeper skin tones.

Types of Highlighters

There are various forms of highlighters, each designed to cater to different skin types and desired effects. Whether you have oily skin and need something long-lasting, or dry skin craving a dewy finish, there's a highlighter for you.

Powder Highlighters

  • Best For: Oily skin and long-lasting wear.
  • Application Tips: Use a fan brush for a light, even application.

Cream Highlighters

  • Best For: Dry skin and a dewy finish.
  • Application Tips: Apply with fingers or a damp sponge for a natural look.

Liquid Highlighters

  • Versatility: Can be mixed with foundation or applied directly.
  • Application Tips: Use a beauty sponge or your fingers for a blended finish.

Stick Highlighters

  • Convenience: Great for on-the-go touch-ups.
  • Application Tips: Swipe directly onto the skin and blend with fingers.

Application Techniques for Different Looks

Natural Look

  • Techniques: Apply highlighter subtly to the high points of your face.
  • Areas to Highlight: Cheekbones, bridge of the nose, brow bone, and cupid’s bow.
  • Tools: Use a brush, sponge, or fingers for a soft glow.

Glam Look

  • Techniques: Apply more boldly for a striking effect.
  • Areas to Highlight: Same areas as the natural look but with more intensity.
  • Tools: Use a damp sponge or a dense brush for maximum impact.

Now that you have the perfect highlighter ready, here is a cute date night makeup look!

Common Mistakes to Avoid

To achieve the perfect glow without going overboard, remember that less is more when applying highlighter—it's best to build up gradually. Choosing the right shade is crucial; always opt for tones that complement your skin to avoid a mismatched look. Additionally, proper placement is key: highlight only the high points of your face, such as the cheekbones, brow bone, and bridge of the nose, to prevent an overly shiny or greasy appearance.