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How to Pick the Perfect Highlighter Shade for Your Skin Tone

The blinding highlight, the strobing, this is a trend we hope stays through 2018. Highlighter may just be everyone’s favorite beauty trend yet, because it’s simply magical. Who knew one single product could complete every look and elevate it like no other. We’re all for the glow and we don’t intend to stop anytime soon!

Now, while highlighter can magically transform our makeup look, we can often go wrong by using the wrong shade or the wrong application. We’re all quick to jump onto the next new highlighter release, but sometimes it doesn’t seem to work for us. Did you ever wonder why? Highlighter demands respect. You don’t choose the highlighter — it chooses you! It’s all about finding the right shade to give you optimal glow; and with the help of beauty vlogger, Sona Gasparian, we’re here to help!

Why It’s Important to Pick The Perfect Shade of Highlighter

Highlighter serves one main purpose: to highlight the high points of your face. Well, that and to accentuate your bone structure to catch the light. Using the wrong shade completely defeats the purpose.

Sona advises:

“When it comes to selecting your highlighter shade, I suggest going for one to two shades lighter than your skin tone. This will help the highlighter pop. It’s best to swatch the highlighter on the high points of your cheeks for the best results. Unlike foundations and bronzers, you can have fun with highlighters and play with different colors!”

Porcelain/Fair Skin

Fairer skin tones arguably have the hardest time finding the perfect shade. Every new release seems to be all about the golden tones, and that just doesn’t fly on fair skin. Using the wrong shade of highlighter on pale skin
can have the opposite effect. A highlighter that is even slightly too dark can leave a dark cast wherever you apply it. Suddenly your highlighter isn’t doing any highlighting at all!

Sona recommends:

“For fair skin tones, I recommend an ivory pearl finish. Laguna from the Cali Glow collection is perfect for fair skin, giving lighter tones the ultimate pop of glow.”

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A light pink highlighter is also ideal for pale skin tones. For something even more bold, try a holographic highlighter from one of the many unicorn-themed releases!

Light/ Medium Skin

The makeup world often seems to solely target this skin tone group.
That is precisely why they have it easiest when it comes to highlighter! The highlighter world really is your oyster. If you have a light to medium skin tone, then you can get away with pretty much any highlighter — bar the very dark bronzer shades.

Sona recommends:

“For olive skin tones, I recommend a champagne/gold finish. This undertone will look the most natural. Zuma, from the Cali Glow collection would be a great fit.”

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Olive to Dark Skin

With darker skin tones, embrace the bronze and rose gold undertones. You want to avoid any frosty or pink undertones as it’s all about the beautiful, deep warmth! You can even pull off the most gorgeous deep peach tones on the market. The options are endless and each more beautiful than the last!

Sona recommends:

“For deep skin tones, I recommend a warm neutral with a gold undertone for a sun kissed glow. Del Mar will give you that natural glow.”

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Now for the application, Sona’s tip is…

“Highlighter should be applied to the high points of the cheeks, above the brows, and the center of the face (between the brows, center of the nose, tip of the nose, and the chin).”

Sona Gasparian’s Cali Glow collection is available now on
TODAY and will be available in Ulta in March! The full collection is cruelty-free and paraben-free, so swatch away!


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