Makeup » How to Choose the Best Highlighter for Your Skin Tone & Type?

How to Choose the Best Highlighter for Your Skin Tone & Type?

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Strobing is a simple makeup step that can instantly brighten up your look. But which formula and color would best work for your skin type and tone? In this article, we’ll break down all the different forms face highlighters take and we’ll make it easy for you to choose the best highlighters for your skin tone and skin type.

In this article:

How to Choose the Best Highlighter for Each Skin Type?

Once you know all the types of makeup highlighters, it’ll be much easier to pick one for your skin type. Follow the tips below!

Best Highlighters for Normal Skin

If you have normal skin you can use any kind of highlighter you like. Simply choose a liquid, cream, or powder highlighter (or all of the above) based on how much glow you would like to have.

Best Highlighters for Dry and Mature Skin

Those with dry and mature skin are better off opting for strobing creams – especially ones that create more of a dewy effect than a shimmery one. These strobing creams will add a lot of light without catching on any dry spots or emphasizing the look of wrinkles.

Powder highlighters tend to emphasize dry patches, while an excess of shimmer tends to exaggerate any unevenness in the skin. On the other hand, wet-finish highlighting creams will make the skin look healthier, more youthful, and more hydrated.

Best Highlighters for Oily Skin

Those with oily skin are likely to find themselves preferring powders that are not too high on the shimmer. Shimmer can look a little greasy on skin that gets very oily, and it also has a tendency to emphasize larger pores.

You may even opt for a fully matte strobing powder that will give a highlight to the skin just because it is a few shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Another option is to use a concealer below your foundation that is 3-4 shades lighter than your natural skin tone.

How to Choose the Best Highlighters for Skin Tones

How to Choose the Best Highlighter for Every Skin Tone?

Besides taking your skin type into account while choosing highlighters, it’s equally important to consider your skin tone so that the final strobing makeup looks just perfect.

Best Highlighters for Fair Skin with Cool Undertones

To find out if your skin is cool, look at your forearm. Veins that seem blue, and a pinky tinge to the skin are a sure sign of having cool skin.

The best highlighters for fair, cool skin are going to complement your skin and fit in with your undertones. This means you want to use either pearl, silver, white, or very light beige shades.

A matte highlighter is less likely to show up on your fair skin, so try and find something with either a dewy or shimmery finish.

Avoid warm highlighters with golden or champagne undertones, as they will look odd against your skin and might even create a sickly effect.

Best Highlighters for Light Skin with Warm Undertones

If your skin is on the lighter end of the spectrum, but your veins appear more greenish, and overall there you seem less pink and more yellow, then you have light, warm skin.

Very pale golds will look beautiful against your skin, as would neutral beiges, and glowy champagnes. A very soft peachy-pink can also work, but stay away from overly cool highlighters, as they will look grey and ashy against your skin.

Best Highlighters for Light Skin with Olive Undertones

Olive skin is not exactly warm, but it’s also definitely not cool. It has a touch of green to it that tends to become tan beautifully, but can still be fairly light.

Those with olive skin should avoid highlighters that are overly pink or peach. However, they can look fantastic in both the golden highlighters that suit warm skin, and the pearlescent highlighters that flatter those with cool undertones.

Best Highlighters for Medium Skin with Cool Undertones

Even if your skin isn’t very light, it can still have cool undertones. Blue veins, a touch of pink, and a lack of yellow or orange undertones is a surefire sign of medium skin.

The best highlighters for medium skin will be slightly pink, although pearlescent highlighters may also work assuming your skin is on the lighter scale of medium.

Best Highlighters for Medium Skin with Warm Undertones

Most people with medium skin have warmer undertones that can be recognized by a yellow or golden natural tint to the skin. Much like for those with lighter warm skin, golden highlighters look very beautiful, as do peaches.

For skin on the darker end of medium, even very sheer copper highlighters can work. It is best to stay away from anything overly cool or overly pale, so avoid pearl and champagne highlighters.

How to Use Highlighters Right

Best Highlighters for Medium Skin with Olive Undertones

If your skin is not particularly light, with a slightly green tint that is not really cool nor warm, then you have medium olive skin. The most beautiful highlighters for your skin would by far be the golden ones, although slightly bronzy ones might also work if your skin is on the darker end of the medium spectrum.

Avoid highlighters that have a lot of pink, as they will make your skin look unhealthy.

Best Highlighters for Tan Skin with Orange Undertones

Many people, after spending a lot of time in the sun, notice that their skin develops a tan that has orange undertones. If your skin has this kind of tan (whether natural or from a bottle), you want highlighters that will complement that new undertone.

Golds, peaches, coppers, and even pinks can all work extremely well with your skin! Avoid highlighters with a very cool or silvery tint, as they will not play nicely with your coloring.

Best Highlighters for Dark Skin with Warm Undertones

Darker skin tones, especially on the lower end of the darkness spectrum, often have warm yellow undertones. If your skin leans in that direction, the best highlighters for your skin tone would also have those golden tones, but perhaps just sitting as a shimmer in an otherwise darker powder that matches your skin tone closely.

Metallics like copper and bronze can also look extremely beautiful. With warmer skin, it is definitely key to avoid overly cool or silvery highlighters, although any highlighter that is too light for your skin can create a chalky effect.

Best Highlighters for Dark Skin with Red Undertones

If you recognize an orange or brown-red tint to your skin, then much like your warm toned counterparts, you can rock darker golden highlighters with ease and grace. In addition to that, darker copper and bronze highlighters will certainly work well with your skin.

Best Highlighters for Dark Skin with Blue Undertones

Often paired with very dark skin is a blue undertone that is sometimes referred to as “ebony”. This kind of cool, dark skin is best complemented by cooler highlighters. Metallic purples and cool silvery-bronzes reign supreme to give an unparalleled glow.

Gold and copper highlighters tend to clash with your skin tone, however, so you’re best off avoiding them.

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