The Beauty of Highlighting

I for one am certainly not done talking about having skin that looks radiant and healthy! My easiest and quickest tip for achieving this is a high-quality highlighter.  It just may change your life.  If you’re a highlight junkie and love all things dewy, glowy, shimmery, then this post is definitely for you!

Who doesn’t love a beautifully applied, healthy looking, gorgeous highlighter on a perfectly applied foundation routine?  Or on its own, with just concealer and brows? Or, maybe it’s just a highlighter and lip balm kinda day, that works too!  My point is, you literally cannot go wrong, by incorporating a high-quality highlighter into your makeup routine.

best makeup highlighters women of color

However, all highlighters aren’t created equally!  Just like foundations, you still have to do a little legwork and figure out which ones will look better for your skin tone.  If you are a darker skinned girl, or woman of color, you have to be a bit more selective with your highlighter of choice!  Don’t worry, I got you, girl, keep on reading!

Why We Love It

glossier haloscope topaz
photo: glossier.com

I know we all love a good highlighter mainly for aesthetic reasons–it IS quite pretty to look at, no?

Yet, there are a few more benefits to wearing a highlighter:

  • it makes you look younger.  That’s what the “glow” is all about! Glow = youth and health!  Which we ALL could use an extra shot of, lol!  With a good highlighter, you can easily look like you’ve been drinking 8 glasses of water every day.
  • highlighters can make your face look more structured, aka, make you look a tad bit skinnier.  When you go for a concealer method (we’ll get into that later) highlighter approach, you ‘sculpt’ the face, by making the cheekbones appear higher. This adds a slight ‘lift’ to the face and, BOOM, skinny minny in all of 5 seconds!
  • it’s fun!  Why not add one more easy little makeup technique to your expertise?

Who It’s For

What’s awesome about highlighting is that’s it a tool anyone can use!  It looks phenomenal on young fresh faces and can do wonders for mature skin as well. There are a variety of techniques available when it comes to using a highlighter, but we’ll stick to the main 2 below.

3 ways to find the perfect highlighter for darker skintones

The Two Types of Highlighting Techniques

Concealer Method

The concealer method is an oldie but still a goodie!  It originated amongst the drag queen community to give them a more dramatic effect facial ‘sculpting’ effect.  However, a slew of reality stars like Kim Kardashian, and just about every ‘housewife of so and so’, made the method hugely popular in the last few years!

glowkit highlight contour makeup
photo: glowkit.com

It’s not for the faint of heart, yet there are still some ways to maintain a natural look with this technique!  First, aim for a concealer to use under your eye and onto the tops of your cheekbones, just one shade lighter than your natural complexion.  This method will open up the undereye area, making your eyes bright, alert, and fresh!

I prefer this method when working with more mature skin!  This is due to wrinkles having the ability to soak up anything you apply over them, so when I want to highlight the face of an older woman, I rarely use shimmer. Shimmer settling into wrinkles will make the wrinkles look even MORE pronounced!  So if you’re blessed with some fine lines, try this method, it will still open up your face and give you a fresh look.  Remember to keep it natural looking by only going 1 shade lighter, not 2-3!

Shimmer Method

best highlighters dark skin

Finally, we get to talk about my favorite method of highlighting–the shimmer!  Now, we’re going to get into exactly how to pick the perfect shimmer highlighter in just a second, but we must address the cardinal rule about this product first.  When going for a shimmer highlighter, please be sure to take the product and smear it onto the back of your hand.  If you see huge chunks of glitter that won’t seem to smooth out onto your hand when you rub them–run!  Because this is just what it will do on top of your cheekbones, lip, and nose–sit there, lol.

Chunky glitter is a no when it comes to shimmer highlighters!  It doesn’t look natural, is so hard to blend with your already applied makeup, and photographs HORRIBLY!  Trust me on this.  Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into how to pick a great highlighter to suit all of your melanin goodness!

Women of Color & Highlighters:  Here’s What You Need to Know

find the perfect highlighter for women of color

Look for Trigger Words

Okay, when you’re shopping for a new highlighter, there are certain trigger or keywords to let you know if this product will be brown girl friendly.  Some of those keywords may even be in the name of the product!  For example, Tom Ford makes an AMAZING highlighter that I love, called the, ‘Illuminating Highlight Pen’.  There are 3 shades of that product, one being, ‘amber eclat’.  Now, when I’m scanning the options available, and see this term, amber, I know it’s probably going to be suited for darker skin tones.  This is because amber is a bit of a ‘burnt’ copper.  Anything described as warm, burnt, or golden will always look awesome on women of color!

Here are some other trigger words to look for when choosing a highlighter:

  • bronze
  • golden
  • toasted
  • amber
  • cinnamon
  • topaz
  • rose gold
  • warm gold
  • copper

Skip the Icy Pink; Choose A Warmer Toned Pink

glossier ciate highlighters women of color

I love an icy pink highlighter, no doubt about it!  But I love it on my fair skin sisters, not my brown girl beauties.  The ice pink highlighters have a blue undertone–similar to foundation, which I wrote about HERE if you missed it, and those undertoned products look far better on fairer skin.

But if a pink toned highlighter is what you’re looking for, you still have options.  When you’re scanning the bottle, look for a bit of “warmth” in the bottle.  You may have to shake the product if it’s a liquid or swatch it on your hand if it’s a cream or powder. If there appears to be some warmth, and the product doesn’t swatch straight ashy on your hand, you may have a winner!  Usually a warmer pink will lean towards a “coral” or peach.  So if the pink highlighter looks like it has a bit of orange in the mix, give it a go!

Opt for A Golden Tint; Not Champagne

A tint of gold or bronze will always look phenomenal on deeper skin tones.  If you find a great high-quality highlighter, often times you won’t even need a contour!  Because dark skin is already so, well…dark, it can create it’s own illusion of a shadow, when a beautiful highlighter is applied.

Champagne tinted highlighters fall into that ‘icy’ undertone more often than not, so while there are some exceptions–you can’t go wrong with a golden tint!

My Top Highlighters for Darker Skintones

cosmetics highlighter dark skin women

Alright ya’ll, these are my favorite highlighters of the moment!  Now, I won’t lie to you, this isn’t my complete list of favs, but these are HIGH up there!  I’ve carried all of these at some point in my professional makeup kit as well over the years.  So not only do I trust these products on my face, but on my clients as well:-)  If these are new to you, be sure to give them a click and tell me what you think!

Creams & Liquids Application

This is my favorite formula of highlighter!  There’s something about being able to touch it with your fingers that I love.

The warmth of your fingertips help the product to seamlessly melt into your skin.  Making it look more like your actual skin that’s glowing, not makeup.

The power of makeup girls, I tell you!  If I don’t use my fingers for cream and liquid highlighters, I use a stippling brush like this:

mac 188 small duo fibre brush
perfect for grazing the tops of your cheekbones, nose, and lip. Click image!

Cream & Powder Highlighters Great for Deeper Skintones

highlighters makeup dark skin

  1. GLOSSIER | Haloscope, Topaz
  2. CIATE LONDON | Dewy Stix, glow
  3. NARS | Illuminator, Orgasm
  4. BECCA | Shimmering Skin Perfector, Topaz, Opal
  5. GLEAM BY MELANIE MILLS | Body Radiance, Rose Gold
  6. THE BALM COSMETICS | Betty Loumanizer
  7. MAC COSMETICS | Mineralize Skinfinish, soft & gentle
  8. SONIA KASHUK | Chic Luminosity bronzer, goddess …(technically it’s a bronzer, but I wouldn’t dare use it that way because of the shimmer!  More matte bronzers give a more realistic look)

Powders Application

Sometimes I’ll layer a similar looking powder highlighter on top of my liquid or cream.  But you can totally get away with using either or, you don’t need both!  For powders, I always look to see if they’re finely milled, because again, big chunks don’t sit well on the face.  You want to look smooth and natural with your glow!  My favorite brush to apply powder highlighters is this one:

mac cosmetics 116 brush
the best size for those smaller highlighting areas and the hairs apply the powder so evenly.  Click image!

Shop My Absolute Favs

 

My Highlighter Wish List

black woman beauty blogger dark skin

So real quick, I just wanted to blab about my little wishlist!  These are the highlighters I’m dying to try soon!  Have any of you gotten around to them yet? Are they everything I dream of?! lol 🙂 Let me know below!

 

I hope you guys enjoyed this little post all about highlighters and how to choose the perfect one for you deeper skin tones.  Can I tell ya’ll, I seriously LOVE me some beautifully bronzed, sunkissed, highlighted, ebony rich skin! I mean who doesn’t?!  Don’t forget to shop my favs above and tell me what you think!

perfect highlighter makeup for dark skin

Share this post with all your beauty junkie friends!  Until next time, bye Lovaas!💋

Psst! Don’t forget!  Before you go, please, don’t forget to join my Love Letter Crew!  It’s my email list full of amazing women just like you, who love hearing about minimalist makeup, fashion, healthy living, and faith-based topics!  I send out my mini mag, called Love Letter Mag, to inspire, motivate, and edify my Crew of ladies at the end of each month!  I also give a weekly content recap in case you missed my posts and videos!  That’s it, I hope you’ll join us, by signing up below.

 

Author

Hi, I'm Alexis, Most days you can find me glued to my computer, or creating beautiful content! I'm mostly known for my work as a 10 yr professional makeup artist, but nowadays I focus more on my lifestyle brand, Alexis Loves. I love serving the world by: dishing out all my knowledge on wearable makeup, sharing my journey with Christ while encouraging others along theirs, and inspiring women all around the world to seek self improvement. If you crave a community full of artistic visuals, spiritual growth, and witty real talk, you'll love it here :-)

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