The Best Highlighter For Your Skin Tone

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When it comes to finding the perfect highlighter, skin tone is one of the most important things to consider. Per TheTrendSpotter, highlighter can add dimension and depth to your face much like contour, however, choosing the right shade is key. Just like how some clothing colors look better on certain skin tones, certain highlighters will suit one skin tone more than another.

There are four main skin tones: fair, light, medium, and dark (also known as deep). These tones help to categorize the color of your skin and make it easier to pick out makeup shades. You may already know the best makeup colors for your skin tone, but highlighter is a whole separate area to consider. Unlike bronzing and contour products, highlighters come in a whole host of shades, from ultra-warm champagne and peach golds to pearlescent silver and crystal-esque pinks. The finish of highlighters also varies widely, whether you prefer holographic highlighters or want to stick to a more subtle shimmer.

It can seem confusing, but we've rounded up some of the best highlighters so you're guaranteed to find one that suits your skin tone.

Those with cool undertones should opt for a pinkish base

It can be difficult to find a highlighter for cool-toned skin, but that doesn't mean you don't deserve to shimmer. Unlike regular golden or silver highlights, those with cool skin should opt for a highlighter on the pink side to complement the naturally pinker undertones of their skin. As swatched by YouTuber Taylor Wynn, the Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighter in "Pink Pearl" is a gorgeous choice for those with cool pink undertones. Instead of making you appear pinker, a pink highlighter will work with your natural skin tone, resulting in the perfect glow.

Fair/light skin with warm undertones can go for gold

Those with warm-toned light or fair skin should lean less toward pearly and white highlighters and more toward peachy and golden shades. Though those with a very pale complexion should stay away from an intense golden highlight, a subtle golden shimmer can really emphasize the undertone of warmer skin. YouTuber Julie Camille shows the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand in the shade "Spotlight" is a match made in heaven for warm-toned light skin. Featuring a rose gold tint, it is designed to give you a look that's reminiscent of soft candlelight. 

Medium skin tones should get their golden champagne glimmer on

If you have a medium skin tone, you've probably noticed that you suit warm colors like gold better than you do silver. For medium skin tones, makeup artist Cinthia Osuna recommends the Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter in the shade "Mean Money/Hustla Baby." A combination of a softer champagne shade paired with a more exaggerated champagne peach shimmer, this highlighter duo will take you from day to night. Another good highlighter for medium skin tones is the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact in "Highlight 101," a golden nude shade that will provide an understated glow.

Both light and medium skin tones can have yellow undertones

Some light and medium skin tones have more prominent yellow undertones. Warm gold highlighters, especially lighter gold shades, will complement warmer yellow undertones without being too warm and making you appear overly yellow. Beauty YouTuber Arshia Moorjani recommends the Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder in "Sunglow," a light gold shade with subtle champagne undertones. Additionally, The Balm Bonnie-Lou Manizer will suit skin with yellow undertones, a product that isn't too much but can be built up to create a dazzling shimmer effect.

Bright gold is the way forward for olive skin

If you have a neutral skin tone that is on the olive side, gold is your friend and will complement the greenish/yellow undertones often those with olive skin usually have. As demonstrated by beauty YouTuber Preksha Motwani, the Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter in the shade "Molten Gold" matches perfectly with olive skin and will give you an all-over glow. Unlike olive skin with obvious yellow undertones, olive skin that is more on the neutral side will suit light gold highlighters more than pure and rich gold shades.

Medium deep skin tones should focus on warm highlighters

You will suit both gold and champagne shades if you have a skin tone between medium and deep. Medium-deep skin tones can still have an olive undertone, so champagne gold shades are a good go-to. According to YouTuber Samantha Jane, the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Soft Light Liquid Highlighter in the shade "Golden Champagne" is ideal for creating a natural glow and can be mixed in with your foundation. Similarly, the e.l.f Monochromatic Multi Stick in "Glowing Mango" will give both medium and deeper skin tones a fresh and slightly bronzed glow.

Darker skin often requires a more pigmented highlight

For darker/deeper skin, you'll need to ensure you go for a highlighter that's pigmented enough to show up well on your skin. YouTuber Oré Otun, who specializes in creating makeup tutorials for dark-skinned women of color, recommends using the ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter in the shade "Wisp." A champagne color with golden pearls, this highlighter will make you glow both inside and out. When it comes to applying highlighter, Otun likes to blend her blush and highlighter together, as well as dab it in the corner of her eyes for an additional glow.