9 Best Highlighters For Dark Skin Tones (2024) – A Makeup Artist’s Picks

Enhance your face with smooth and creamy highlighters that leave you a radiant glow.

Reviewed by Savanah Norman, Professional Makeup Artist Savanah Norman Savanah NormanProfessional Makeup Artist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English) Baishali Bhattacharya MA (English) linkedin_icon
Edited by , MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijita De MA (English & Literature), Certified Style & Image Consultant linkedin_icon Experience: 2 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant Srijani Roy Chowdhury MA (Journalism & Mass Communication), Certified Style & Image Consultant linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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Ladies with dark skin tones deserve a royal and attractive look like anybody else. Well, using highlighters for dark skin tones can do the magic. The strokes need to be just right to blend the product evenly and get that natural sheen on your face!

Did you know that there are shades especially made for dark skin tones like rose gold, metallic nudes, light and dark bronzes, plus, all shades of browns? Here is a cumulation of the 9 best highlighters to add to your enhanced beauty routine for that extra shine!

Top PicksCHECK PRICE
Best Highly Pigmented:Milani Baked Highlighter – Dolce PerlaPrice on Amazon
Best Affordable :Maybelline New York Master Chrome By Face Studio Metallic Highlighter – Molten Rose GoldPrice on Amazon
Best For Smooth Application:Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Killawatt Foil Freestyle HighlighterPrice on Amazon
Best Non-Cakey:Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed – Champagne PopPrice on Amazon
Best For Radiant Glow:Milk Makeup Highlighter – Champagne PearlPrice on Amazon
Best Blendable:Eddie Funkhouser Glow DropsPrice on Amazon
Best Subtle Look:theBalm Mary-Lou Manize HighlighterPrice on Amazon
Best Travel-Friendly:L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette – Moon-KissedPrice on Amazon
Best For Sensitive Skin:Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Highlighter – Rose Gold
Price on Amazon

9 Best Highlighters For Dark Skin Tones

1. Best Highly Pigmented:Milani Baked Highlighter – Dolce Perla

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4.4

The super buildable Milani Baked Highlighter takes illumination to an all-new level. It is specially baked on Italian terracotta tiles and loved by dark-skinned women for its highly pigmented and light coverage formula. It is formulated with ultra-fine multi-tonal luminescent powders that leave a light shimmery finish. Reviewers on online forums have noted that this perfect highlighter only takes a single swipe of the brush to give a high-impact natural glow for the evening. The highlighter is in powdered form and comes in a round compact that fits easily in your handbag for touch-ups. Ethically conscious consumers love this highlighter as it does not undergo animal testing.

Color: DOLCE PERLA | Product Dimensions: 2.88 x 0.99 x 2.88 inches | Weight: 2.12 Ounces

Pros

  • Highly pigmented
  • Blends well
  • Oil-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Not transfer-proof

protip_icon Quick Tip
Put a little bit of power highlighter on your fingertip and lightly dab it at the center of your lip to make your lips appear pouty and plump.

2. Best Affordable:Maybelline New York Master Chrome By Face Studio Metallic Highlighter – Molten Rose Gold

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4.4
Maybelline New York Facestudio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter Makeup, Molten Rose Gold, 0.24 Ounce Image: Maybelline New York

The Molten Rose Gold metallic highlighter from the celebrity-endorsed brand Maybelline contains reflective pigments for a metallic sheen chrome effect. It spreads evenly across the skin and attracts light to accentuate and enhance your best facial features. The formula helps you customize your look just the way you want it. The powdered highlighter contains pearl pigments that reflect shimmer, accentuating the bridge of the nose and enhancing cheekbones, brow bone, and cupid’s bow. Savanah Norman, a professional makeup artist, suggests, “Spray the brush lightly with clean water, before swiping it on this highlighter to get more pigment on the skin.” Check out this video to learn more about a tester’s experience with the product.

Color: 050 MOLTEN ROSE GOLD | Product Dimensions: 2.85 x 0.63 x 2.85 inches | Weight: 0.24 Ounces

Pros

  • Dermatologically tested
  • Seamless application
  • Metallic finish
  • Skin-friendly
  • Long-lasting
  • Value for money

Cons

  • None
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

It has received over 14,888 rave reviews on Amazon, proving it is a mass favorite.

3. Best For Smooth Application:Fenty Beauty By Rihanna Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter

If you have a deeper skin tone, have your makeup pop with the statement-making Fenty Beauty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter that features rule-defying shades. The versatile nature of this cream-powder hybrid palette offers seven must-have shades for a glamorous look that can be applied solo or in duos. The hyper-metallic finish accentuates your features with color and contours your face. The colorful range of highlighters ranges from subtle shades of icy blue, peach, and pink to darker lavender, metallic plum, and fiery copper. You can check this video to learn more about a reviewer’s experience with the product.

Color: Chrome

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Long-lasting
  • Highly pigmented
  • Smooth application

Cons

  • Expensive

Our Tester's Experience

"This highlighting palette is my favorite. The colors spread without me having to rub them on my skin for hours. I like that it gives me a metallic finish that is ideal for highlighting."


4. Best Non-Cakey:Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed – Champagne Pop

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4.2

Champagne Pop from Becca is a mix of soft gold with peachy pink pearl. This highlighter offers basic coverage and has a buttery soft texture. It also offers a seamless blend and coverage. Swipe with a brush to accentuate your best facial features. The micro-pigments melt into the skin and flawlessly complement your skin tone. The unique formula of this cult classic blends pigments with liquids, creating a creamy feel. To find out more about this formula, check this video review that details a tester’s experience with the product.

Color: Champagne Pop - Soft gold with peachy-pink pearl | Product Dimensions: 6 x 2 x 2 inches | Weight: 2.4 Ounces

Pros

  • Soft texture
  • Smooth application
  • Non-caking
  • Sulfate-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons

  • None

Our Tester's Experience

"This highlighter gives me a natural glow. It enhances my features with a subtle sheen. I like it because it does not overwhelm me. It is ideal for casual makeup."


protip_icon Quick Tip
Use your highlighter as a glitter eyeliner. Take a flat, angled brush dipped in micellar water and apply the highlighter on your lash line with it.

5. Best For Radiant Glow:Milk Makeup Highlighter – Champagne Pearl

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4.2

The creamy pearlescent Milk Makeup Highlighter comes in a stick form for convenient application. The shade leaves a shimmery and pearlescent finish on deep skin tones and illuminates your favorite facial features. It features a blendable micro-shimmer for a fresh-faced dewiness that can be amplified with more layers. The highlighter is infused with coconut oil, mango butter, and avocado oil, which gives you soft, hydrated skin. Several reviews on online forums have indicated that the skin absorbs the formula instantly, exuding a radiant complexion and glow! The product is not tested on animals, which makes it ideal for makeup lovers seeking ethically conscious options.

Color: Beige

Pros

  • Creamy texture
  • Shimmery finish
  • Easy to apply
  • Vegan
  • Phthalate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Talc-free
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Feels sticky

protip_icon Quick Tip
Apply some highlighter on your beauty bone or collar bone to make it pop out in your low-neck dress.

6. Best Blendable:Eddie Funkhouser Glow Drops

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4.3
Eddie Funkhouser Glow Drop Liquid Highlighter Image: Eddie Funkhouser

This liquid highlighter plus primer from the high-end brand Eddie Funkhouser accentuates your skin with a lit-from-within glow. It is one of the best drugstore highlighters for dark skin that delivers a youthful glow and buildable coverage, letting you customize it from sheer to intense. It also serves as a diffuser to brighten up or even tone your skin. You can also use it solo or blend it with your moisturizer, liquid foundation, or other cosmetic products to create the look that you desire. Reviewers have praised the highlighter’s ball tip applicator offers better control over the product and enhances coverage.

Color: Silver

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Blends easily
  • Travel-friendly
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • GMO-free
  • Soy-free
  • Vegan

Cons

  • None

7. Best Subtle Look:theBalm Mary-Lou Manize Highlighter

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4.4
theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter Image: Thebalm

The theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter offers a relatively innocuous, honey-hued shine that grabs everyone’s attention. It imparts a youthful, lit-from-within glow to your skin. The creamy formula of this highlighter glides easily on your skin. You can use it alone or mix it with your moisturizer, lotion, or liquid foundation to gain dewy, shiny skin. Many reviewers have mentioned that the amped-up sheen highlighter adds a subtle glow to deeper complexions and is a must-add to your makeup essentials!

Skin Type: DryColor: Mary-Lou | Product Dimensions: 2.75 x 0.5 x 2.75 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces

Pros

  • Easy to wear
  • Compact
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • The compact can break easily
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

There are more than 4,511 Amazon reviews attesting to the quality of the product and endorsing its value.

8. Best Travel-Friendly:L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette – Moon-Kissed

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4
L’Oreal Paris Makeup True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter – Moon-Kissed Image: L’oreal Paris

The highlighter palette from the celebrity-favorite L’Oreal Paris offers four pearlescent, cool-toned nude shades that give you a multi-dimensional effect. The shades include Moon for glowing ivory with a pearl finish, Venus for a luminous glow and a radiant finish, Jupiter for radiant taupe with a natural finish, and Twilight for shimmery bronze. Each of these highlighters is crafted to help you achieve the perfect shade and shimmer on your skin. The mix-and-match highlighter makeup shades give you a naturally illuminated and sculpted look. Reviewers adore the product for its magnetic cap closure that preserves the formula and keeps the vibrant shades intact.

Color: Moon-Kissed | Product Dimensions: 0.51 x 3.55 x 3.56 inches | Weight: 0.26 Ounces

Pros

  • Light coverage
  • Natural finish
  • Universal shade
  • Travel-friendly

Cons

  • Lightly pigmented
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 2,128 reviews, this product has become a fan favorite among users.

9. Best For Sensitive Skin:Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Highlighter – Rose Gold

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4.5
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Highlighter Powder Makeup, Rose Gold Image: Physicians Formula

The Murumuru Butter Highlighter from Physicians Formula gives you a radiant golden glow while highlighting your best facial features. It is made with hydrating ingredients like murumuru, cupuaçu, and tucuma butter to nourish your skin. The multi-dimensional cream-to-powder formula feels soft and satiny as it glides across the skin. The soft-focus pigments offer light coverage with exceptional results. The fatty acids and pro-vitamins in the formula condition your skin and make it smooth. This highlighter helps contour your eyebrows’ curves, pop your cheekbones, and accentuate the nose bridge and Cupid’s bow.

Color: Rose Gold | Product Dimensions: 0.89 x 2.38 x 3.63 inches | Weight: 1.8 Ounces

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Mild fragrance
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Blends easily
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Natural finish
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

  • Not long-lasting
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Highlighters are the number one beauty product when you want to achieve a dewy, dreamy look. Just a few swipes are all that it takes for a warm glow and to enhance your best features. Today with the beauty industry being more inclusive, there are a variety of stunning highlighters available for darker skin tones. Just remember to keep in mind the following pointers while choosing the best highlighters for dark skin tones.

What To Look For In A Highlighter For Dark Skin Tones

  • Know Your Undertones

The color of your highlighter should match your undertone. Your undertone never changes even though your skin tone may change at different times of the year, depending on exposure to the sun. Shades like gold, copper, and bronze complement warm undertones while champagne and warm rose are good for cool undertones. It is advisable to go a couple of shades lighter than your own skin tone for a highlighter. For neutral or yellow undertones, opt for gold highlighters.

  • Types

There are various types of highlighters that suit different skin types. Powder highlighters deliver a sheer, shimmery finish and are suitable for oily skin types as they help to absorb excess oils. For dry skin types, liquid highlighters are a good option. They are easy to use and can be mixed with your foundation for a natural glow.

The other type of highlighter is the stick highlighter which is good for all skin types. They are travel-friendly and ideal for on-the-go touch-ups. Look for the ones that have hydrating ingredients like fatty acids and pro-vitamins along with SPF.

  • Degree Of Shine

Most highlighters offer high-impact shine. This shine comes from emollient oils or finely milled shimmer flecks. For a dewy glow, choose a creamy formula enriched with oils, and for a shimmery look, opt for a powder highlight with flecks of glitter, mineral, or pearl pigment.

  • Additional Features

A buildable formula sits easily on top of your base makeup to give a sparkly highlight. Look for this feature in your highlighter as it will allow you to apply just the right amount to various parts of your face. Powder highlighters have great buildable formulas. Smooth application also depends on the blendability of your highlighter. This is easy to achieve with a creamy wet formula.

  • Ingredients To Avoid

Choose an expertly crafted hypoallergenic highlighter that is free of parabens, phthalates, nonylphenol, ethoxylate, triclosan, triclocarban, and hydroquinone. A dermatologically-tested highlighter is ideal to keep your skin free of allergies and irritations.

Infographic: Tips To Apply A Highlighter On Dark Skin For A Sculpted Look

Dark skin looks gorgeous on its own when you prep it properly before makeup, but brushing some highlighter on top can make your skin glow. Not only that, applying a highlighter strategically can help define your facial contours. Check out the infographic below and familiarize yourself with the tips for applying a highlighter on dark skin to get that chiseled look.

Tips To Apply A Highlighter On Dark Skin(infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Highlighters are a great way to provide a glow highlighting the high points. But only certain highlighters match your skin tone. A dark skin tone needs highlighters that blend well on the skin. From rose gold to metallic nudes, and from light brown shade to dark brown shade, the products listed above provide a great finish, impart a natural finish, and enhance facial features. It would be best to invest in highlighters that are free from harmful chemicals, as chemicals like paraben and sulfate are harmful to the skin. You may try the Milani Baked Highlighter – Dolce Perla for a highly pigmented light coverage formula and the Maybelline New York Master Chrome By Face Studio Metallic Highlighter – Molten Rose Gold contains pearl pigments that accentuate your best features. For effortless blending, easy application, and a smooth texture, the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed – Champagne Pop is the best. However, conduct a patch test on a small part of your face before committing to a formula for long-term use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which highlight color is the best for dark skin?

Highlighters with a gold or bronze base look the best on dark complexion tones. Warm colors compliment dark complexion the best and don’t look ashy.

Do highlights look good on brown skin?

Yes. Highlighters with warm undertones look great on brown skin.

Do highlights make you look younger or older?

You can get younger-looking skin by applying highlighter to the high areas of your face, such as the cheekbones, nose bridge, cupid’s bow, and forehead temples. It draws light to your face and gives it more definition.

What kind of highlights make you look younger?

A highlighter that enriches your complexion, gives you brighter skin, and blends in flawlessly can make you look younger.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Baishali Bhattacharya, the author of this article, is certified in makeup artistry and believes that highlighters create a great impact on your makeup. So, she browsed online reviews about highlighters and checked the user feedback from various sites and forums. Apart from providing instant glow and highlighting the high points, they enhance your facial features. Moreover, they come in a matte and shimmery finish.

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Savanah Norman

Savanah NormanProfessional Makeup Artist

Savanah Norman is a full time professional makeup artist with six years of experience in the field. She originally started college studying fashion design but took a leap of faith to start accepting clients when she knew makeup was her passion. Since 2017, she has put her whole heart into becoming a better artist and business owner. She was recently...read full bio

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