The Best Highlighters For Dark Skin, Pale Skin And Everything In Between

Whether you want a dewy, luminous, radiant, reflective, shimmering, beaming, bronzing or brightening glow.
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Whether you prefer a natural, dewy dumpling sheen or want a beam so bright you’ll look beat for the gods, everyone looks good with a glow. Highlighter is the beauty bag must-have for creating a shining, luminous look, but finding the best highlighter for your skin tone — whether you’re fair or dark — and making it last all day isn’t all glitz and glam. We turned to the experts for tips and tricks on mastering the perfect highlight.

Finding The Right Highlighter For Your Skin Tone

Myiesha Sewell, Sephora’s beauty director, says the highlighters you choose depends on what look you’re trying to achieve. The thing you should be paying attention to when buying a new highlighters is its shade depth, which can create completely different effects on different skin tones. A darker highlighter on one person might be a brightening highlighter on someone else, even if at first it seems like it’s just a difference between shades of gold and pink.

But, what does that mean IRL? Sewell’s hack for finding the perfect highlighter shade for any skin tone is somewhat unconventional, but totally brilliant.

“Go ahead and swatch a few [highlighters] on your arm and snap a pic in black and white,” she said. “The one that is almost invisible is the one that matches your skin’s intensity the closest.”

Sewell’s go-to highlighter at the moment is Charlotte Tilbury’s Hollywood Flawless Filter ($44), which comes in seven shades for a broad range of bronzing and brightening. It can be massaged onto the skin like a primer, mixed into foundation or tapped onto the high planes of the face like a traditional highlighter.

For fair and deep complexions who can’t seem to find a flattering highlighter in their shade range, Sewell recommends the brand Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Powder Highlighter ($38), which comes in 11 shades. She said “Chocolate Geode” is a good highlighter for dark tones and “Pearl” is a good option for fair skin tones. (Personally, I’m obsessed with Champagne Pop, a soft gold with pinky-peach pearl tones, that I have “hit pan” on multiple times.)

Becca Cosmetics

Maintaining An All-Day Glow

Now that you’ve found the perfect shade, how do you keep all that glow from sliding off your face in the summer? Helen Philips, Sephora Collection’s national makeup artist, has a few tricks up her sleeve to make that highlight last in the heat.

“When I apply most highlighters, I focus on the high points of the face, cheekbones, tip of the nose and inner corner of the eye,” Philips said. “I love using highlighters all year round, but with the hot summer months, my makeup tends to melt so I have found two ways to achieve long-wear.”

After applying foundation or tinted moisturizer, Phillips recommends tapping a few dots of a cream or liquid highlight into the skin with a finger or sponge. (She loves the Sephora Collection’s Bright Future Radiant Luminizer ($14).) Next, layer a powder highlight on top to ensure longevity, working the product with a brush and blending for a long-lasting finish.

If you’re truly committed to creating that lit-from-within look, Philips shared that underpainting is a tried-and-true trick, but it only works if you apply it to the high points of your face under your cream or liquid foundation so it seals in the shimmer.

We’ve rounded up some of the best-selling highlighters at Sephora so you can get your glow on. And, if you want more of our editor-sourced products and reviews, sign up for HuffPost sales and deals newsletter.

Take a look “be-glow”:

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Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter
Sephora Collection Illuminate Palette
Sephora Collection Bright Future Radiant Luminizer
FENTY BEAUTY by Rihanna Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter
YVES SAINT LAURENT Touche Eclat All-Over Brightening Pen
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder
Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Liquid Highlighter
PATRICK TA Major Glow Highlighting Mist

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