How to Highlight Dark Skin Tones
A shimmering highlight can breathe in new life even to the most minimalistic made-up face! With the vast array of pressed powders, and other formulae on the market, it sure can get confusing to make the right pick. For those of us with deeper skin tones, making the right choice can be difficult, because a highlight gone wrong can be disastrous. We’ve got you covered with a complete guide on how to highlight dark skin to make it an effortless part of any makeup look!
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Guide list of tips for Highlight Dark Skins Tones
- Identify your skin tone and type
- Pick the right foundation shade
- Mark highlighting points on face
- Use a lighter tone concealer
- Blend in all makeup well
- Apply highlighter strategically
- Use the right tools
Here we go highlighting all the way…
1. Identify your skin tone and type
For us, women of color, the key to faultless makeup is to identify the skin undertone of our complexion. Dark skin tone does not mean all have the same undertone. While some dark skins have red undertones, come others have olive undertones. Red/pink undertones pair famously with highlighters having a hint of silver color; if it’s olive, then it’s got to be a golden-based highlighter. A lot of celebrity makeup artists would say that golden highlighters work best on all dark skin undertones.
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When picking a contour color, look for a shade that has the same tone as your foundation, but is 2 shades darker than your skin. If you happen to have very dark skin, skip contour, sculpt your face using a highlighter. Make sure to use a highlighter that is at least 2-3 shades lighters than your skin color, but stay away from anything white. Add some under the eyes, along the bridge of the nose, under the brows, and above and under the cheekbones. A good way to apply it is to mix it with the foundation and blend it well.
Not all dark skin tones are oily as is the common misconception, so it’s important that you understand your skin type before picking products. Cream-based and powder-based highlighters call for different application methods. The best way to find out which suits your skin best is to swatch highlighters on the face, and not on the hand. This way you can be sure of which type sits best on your face.
2. Pick the right foundation shade
Once you’ve primed your face with a moisturizing liquid primer, it’s time to apply a foundation that matches your natural skin tone. Use a brush to even it out with circular motions, or take a wet sponge, and use soft patting motions for an even finish. Whichever tool you use, the idea is to get an even skin canvas that smoothes out uneven patches, covers blemishes, and acne. Even the most colored skin should come out as naturally smooth glowing skin with a flaw!
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3. Mark highlighting points on face
Before you apply any product that will highlight your high points, it’s important to mark out the areas on your face where light hits naturally. As per WikiHow, much of the highlighting involves accentuating natural cheekbones, forehead, bridge of the nose, inner eyes, and cupid bow. Once you know these points, it’s time to move on and begin with the task of highlighting the face. You can choose either a liquid highlighter for dark skin or one with pressed powder formula.
4. Use a lighter tone concealer
Applying concealer is the first step towards highlighting your face. The idea of using a concealer on dark skin is to define areas where the light hits naturally. It’s a move that’ll make your face look slimmer and more defined. Pick a concealer shade that is 2-3 shades lighter than your natural skin tone. Cover up the area under the eyes for a neat look easing away all those dark circles.
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Start by applying the product with a large brush, or your fingers making 2 isosceles triangles just below the eyes. The triangle base should sit under the eye, and its pointed tip downwards, in line with the nose. This will also give an illusion of slimming down the nose. Try a powder highlighter that is specially designed for colored skins.
Move on to the top of the cheekbone, just above where you wear blush color. Now, draw a thin line down the bridge of the nose, and another line along the natural curve of the brows. Proceed to the forehead, and draw lines of radiating sunrays with the center between your brows.
Pick a concealing highlighter for brown skin that comes with a warm chestnut, copper, or gold undertone.
5. Blend in all makeup well
Use a large kabuki brush or a high-quality wet sponge, and dab on the highlighting concealer. Keep in mind that these are lighter shades compared to your natural foundation. The best way to work with the highlighting concealer is to dab delicately moving all around the face until you’ve blended it all without leaving streaks. Use a smaller brush, or the pointed tip of the sponge to work on the nose area. Use small circular motions as these areas are difficult to work on. Follow the same method for the area under the eyes.
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6. Apply highlighter strategically
Now that you’re ready with the canvas, it’s time to hit the light with the shimmer highlighter and give your face that soft natural glow! You’re going to accentuate the high points of your face, and this is best done using a soft, fluffy, and angled brush. The soft bristles of the brush let you move along the high points with light sweeping moves for smooth application. Using the right brush is extremely important as it won’t pick up too much of product. A good way of getting a natural highlight is to rub some on the hand and then apply it on the face.
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Start by working on the high point above the cheekbone blending it away from the center of the face towards the hairline. Make soft sweeping movements to give your colored skin a touch of natural glow. Move on to the nose, working downward to the tip, beginning with the top bridge part. Dab a little highlighter around the inner corner of the eyes using a small brush, this will help bring alive your eyes. Next, highlight the brow bone following the natural curve of the brows.
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It’s time to brighten up the forehead area with some highlighting glow. Sweep the brush using upward movements for best results. Give the cupid bow above your lips a dash of the highlighting shimmer, blending in with your fingertips if necessary to give your lips a voluminous look. Finally, use a large fluffy brush to blend in everything for that smooth, streak-free finish for the bright glowing look! Also checkout the how to pick right lipstick shade for dark lips.
7. Use the right tools
All said and done, we cannot wrap up our how-to highlight dark skin guide without emphasizing the importance of using the right tools. When blending in your foundation, or concealer, you need a brush with high-quality bristles that lets the product spread out smoothly on the skin. For those of you using a sponge to do the blending, wet it adequately for the product to blend on the skin instead of getting absorbed by it. Concealer brushes come with smaller tips for more precise application and concealing of imperfections. Highlighting should be done using a fan-shaped brush with soft bristles that makes the gentle sweeping of the highlighter easy. Blending brushes are soft, less dense, and have more rounded and tapered ends for the gentle strokes that smooth out the transition between shades.
An ideal pick of makeup tools comes from De’Lanci that offers a set of 16 brushes, covering all your makeup tool needs.
Wrapping it up
When it comes to applying the best highlighter for dark skin 2022, little goes a long way! What you really need is a pop of glow on melanin that comes out as natural looking as possible. As women of color, we need to be mindful of our skin undertones, and pick the right foundation, concealer, and ultimately highlighter. The best bet is a universally flattering highlighter that looks stunning on dark women. For those of you with not having too strong a melanin cover, create your custom highlighter for medium skin tone that will flatter your complexion. The only thing that you need to be mindful of is that the highlighter should not come out as chalky against your complexion. Swatch it on your face instead of the hand, and you’ll never go wrong with your highlighter. A single swipe should bring out the radiance of the sun!
De’Lanci Highlighter Palette for Dark Skin is a complete collection that suits all dark skin shades and undertones. The highly pigmented, waterproof palette comes with 3 contours and 3 highlighters to make you glow naturally!