The Best Highlighter for Every Bride's Skin Tone

Your key to an ultra-flattering, high-wattage glow

Updated 03/21/19

Photo by Hatnim Lee

With all the excitement that your wedding day brings, you'll naturally be rocking a lit-from-within glow on the big day. But the right highlighter can take that radiance to the next level—especially when it's flattering for your particular complexion. That's why we've brought you the best highlighter for every skin tone.

The correct shade of highlighter can deliver enviable, glowy skin that will look gorgeous under your wedding photographer's flash. But with so many highlighter hues on the market, it can be hard to figure out which highlighters will look the most flattering and natural on your skin tone. And we haven't even started on the formulas! Liquids, balms, gels, and powders...the possibilities for a natural or more glamorous glow are virtually endless.

No need to get overwhelmed: We reached out to makeup artists and beauty experts to find the most flattering highlighter for every skin tone. Consider this guide your key to an ultra-flattering, high-wattage glow.

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Fair Skin

For fair skin, celebrity makeup artist and beauty expert JoAnn Solomon recommends that brides steer clear of anything pink- or yellow-based and opt for pearl-based highlighters, like the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter in Pearl, instead. She explains, "Highlighters are not color-correcting and should be used to enhance...one's own natural coloring." That's to say, your highlighter hue should enhance your natural bridal glow, as opposed to masking it with tons of glittery shine, for a more flattering look.

Solomon's pro tip for achieving that lit-from-within glow on every skin tone? Layering. "Often, the light-reflecting particles in highlighter get lost underneath the foundation. So it is very important to repeat the highlighting step by going over a liquid highlighter with an additional highlighter in a powder form." Liquid highlighters can be applied to the high points of the face either under or over foundation.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter in Pearl

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SHOP NOW: Sephora, $41

Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in Flexitarian

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SHOP NOW: Ulta, $8

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Double Gleam

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SHOP NOW: Ulta, $34

Medium Skin

For medium skin tones, Solomon recommends lighter golds and natural shades of rose gold. One of her faves is the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Highlighting Powder, which has a soft blurring effect and an ethereal glow. Brittany Lo, founder and CEO of Beautini, recommends gold tones as well but notes that your skin's undertone is another important factor to consider when choosing a highlighter. Lo says, "If your skin has warm undertones, then golds and champagnes will work well. For cooler undertones, icy pearl and subtle pinks compliment best.

Some highlights have both silver and gold shimmer to work on most skin tones." The trick to figuring out your undertone is in your jewelry box, Lo explains. "If you tend to wear more gold or silver jewelry, it will help guide you to selecting a cool or warm highlighter."

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Highlighting Powder in Sunlight

Courtesy of Brand

SHOP NOW: Dermstore, $44

Dior Diorskin Nude Luminizer Shimmering Glow Powder in 05 Rose Glow

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SHOP NOW: Sephora, $48

Too Faced Love Light Prismatic Highlighter in Ray of Light

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SHOP NOW: Macy's, $30

Tan Skin

Solomon says that brides with tanner skin should skip highlighters with pink bases, since pink tones won't show up as well. Her solution? Go for the gold with saturated golden highlighters like Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powder in Indiscretion. Lo notes that formula is another thing to consider when choosing highlighters. If you want an intense glow, both Solomon and Lo suggest layering liquid and powder formulas. Liquid highlighters and cream formulas like Lo's pick, the NARS Multiple, tend to be more dewy than powders and are great for a subtle natural glow.

NARS Multiple in South Beach

Courtesy of Brand

SHOP NOW: Sephora, $38

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Powder in Indiscretion

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SHOP NOW: Sephora, $44

Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Glaze All-Over Foil Luminizer

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SHOP NOW: Sephora, $49

Deep Skin

"Both medium gold and bronze shades work best for deep skin tones," Solomon explains. "You want to stay away from anything that is overly pearl or pink, which can cause ashiness." Lo also recommends warmer peachy tones, like cult-favorite highlighter Champagne Pop by Becca. She describes the formula as "a universal shade with blended pink and yellow tones to create a neutral peach coloring that flatters most skin tones."

Maybelline Face Studio Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter in Molten Topaz

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SHOP NOW: Target, $8

CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops in Candlelight

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SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $42

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Press Highlighter in Champagne Pop

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SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $38

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