How to Use Highlighter on Different Skin Tones

Glow get em, henny!

You can never have too much highlight, right? Wrong. Contrary to popular YouTube tutorials, highlighter should be used to do exactly what it says on the packaging – highlight the high points on your face. It’s not an all-over product, and it’s certainly not a one-colour-fits all. Your highlighter should create a “glowing from within” effect, and using the right product is vital. The right shade will make it seem like you’ve got some otherworldly skin, which is the kind of beauty content your IG following signed up for. Here are our top tips on how to highlight for different skin tones.

Highlight for Different Skin Tones

Fair Skin

If you’ve got fair skin, stick to shades ranging from pearlescent whites to light pinks. Using anything too dark or warm can make your skin tone look uneven or your makeup look appear ‘muddy’. Not a result! Lighter, more pearly shades will accentuate your complexion by adding just a subtle radiance. how to highlight for fair skin

Medium Skin

If your skin is olive to medium toned, you’ve got a lot more room to play when it comes to shade options. Go for peachy hues and gold-bronze colours, which will complement your natural skin tone. Just be careful – opting for a shade that’s too light will look unnatural and could make your skin appear ashy. how to highlight for medium skin

Dark Skin

The light, pearly colours that suit fair skin tones have the opposite effect on darker skin. Going too light will make your skin look dry and washed out rather than giving that lit-from-within glow. Rather go for rose golds and bronze shades. Even better if the formula is packed with pigment or comes in a liquid form. how to highlight for dark skin

Crowd Pleasers

These easy-to-wear shades and formulations will work on just about any skin tone. The secret is just to blend, blend and blend some more, so that the product becomes part of your skin, instead of just being on your skin.


Shop our fave highlighters for every skin tone at 20% OFF using our voucher code COSMO20 at checkout

1. Maybelline FaceStudio Master Strobing Stick Illuminating Highlighter

How to: Swipe across your cheekbone and massage into your skin using your ring finger until it looks like you’re glowing from the inside out. Shade: Light Voucher code: COSMO20

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2. Foschini All Woman Highlighting Palette

How to: Experiment with blending colours until you find the shade that’s just right for you. Voucher code: COSMO20

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3. Smashbox Spotlight Palette

How to: Dust a little of the same shade over your eyelids and cheeks to create a subtle all-over glow that pops. Shade: Medium Dark Voucher code: COSMO20

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4. Urban Decay Naked Skin Highlighting Fluid

How to: Liquid highlighters give a beautiful juicy glow. Dab a little on your cupids bow and inner eye to add dimension and draw attention to your best features. Shade: Sin Voucher code: COSMO20

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5. Maybelline Master Chrome Highlighting Powder

How to: Really work this product into your skin by blending well to create that “I woke up like this” look. Shade: Molten Bronze Voucher code: COSMO20

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6. Rimmel Kate Sculpting Palette Just Toasty

How to: Use the darker shade just under your cheekbones, while blending the lighter shade into your facial high points to get a multidimensional glow. Voucher code: COSMO20

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7. CROWD PLEASER: Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand

How to: Blend a little into your skin from the outer corner of your under eye area inwards, using your ring finger, to get a juicy glow that makes you look wide awake. Shade: Gold Voucher code: COSMO20

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8. CROWD PLEASER: Gosh Lumi Drops

How to: Mix a tiny amount with your foundation for a subtle all-over shimmer to give tired or dull skin a boost. Voucher code: COSMO20

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9. CROWD PLEASER: Yardley HD Highlighter Pen

How to: This narrow tipped pen makes precision application really easy. Draw it across your brow bones, down the tip of your nose, onto your cupid’s bow and across your cheekbones then blend well. Voucher code: COSMO20

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T&Cs: Promo end-date is 15 May 2019 or while stocks last. Voucher code cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount or promotion. One redemption per item per customer. Prices correct at time of publication.

This post was sponsored by The Foschini Group. 

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