Beauty, Beauty + Vogue

Here are the top 10 highlighters and bronzers that actually look wonderful on Desi women

Use these highlighters and bronzers to compliment your beautiful, brown skin.

When it comes to make up, it’s always a struggle to find the right products for women of color, especially when the makeup industry caters to a predominantly white population. Apart from finding the right nude lip color, or the perfect blush for your skin tone, finding the right shades of highlighters and bronzers is important for a flawless face.

When it comes to make up, it's always a struggle to find products for women of color. Click To Tweet

Working with women of various skin tones, I’ve learned that Desi women either tend to think they’re too dark or extremely fair for a product. Some also tend to underestimate the power of highlighting and contouring.

No, it will not make you “darker” or “duskier.” Contouring is used to accentuate your cheekbones, and highlighters will bring a gorgeous glow to your skin.

Desi women either tend to think they're too dark or extremely fair for a product. Click To Tweet

When you apply foundation, correctors, concealers and all that jazz – you’re essentially creating the first base or layer to your makeup. After this base, your face is going to look extremely flat. A bronzer will bring some color back into your beautiful face and will add the perfect amount of shadow to create a sculpted look.

Now, let’s start with bronzers.

If you’re a Light-Medium to Medium-Tan skin toned woman…

1. Sephora Bronzer

Sephora

Sephora brand is probably the most underrated brand in the history of makeup. Being a house brand that’s fairly budget friendly, it’s deemed to be not good or cheap. It’s neither. Apart from the flimsy packaging, Sephora has great products. Just like this bronzer powder. There’s five shades of bronzer, and it’s the most amount of shades I’ve seen in a matte bronzer range.

2. Benefit Hoola

Sephora

This is a neutral toned bronzer that’s a good starter for anyone who’s looking to branch out into contouring. Hoola works beautifully as a warm bronzer on someone with a yellow – toned complexion. And it doubles up as a contour shade for someone who is more neutral/ pink. This is slightly on the pricier side, but is well worth the money.

3. Too Faced Soleil Bronzer

Sephora
Sephora

Recently, Too Faced came out with seven shades of bronzers: three matte and four shimmery shades. What’s excellent about their matte shades is that there’s a shade for literally everyone. The shades are Milk, Chocolate and Dark Chocolate for light, medium and dark tones respectively. Apart from the Milk shade, the others are fairly warm. But you can use less and it looks amazing. This is around the same price as the Hoola bronzer.

4. NARS Bronzing Powder

Sephora
Sephora

NARS in my opinion is very underrated for their core products. I’m honestly not into their collaborations or their new “kits” because they repackage their core products over and over again. They have two shades, Laguna and Casino. Laguna is excellent for light-medium tones. It’s a relatively warm bronzer with gold glitter running through it. Despite having glitter in it, the glitter doesn’t show through as a chunky glitter when applied on the face. Casino is more pink/red toned bronzer – it’s a color that’s catered to medium-darker skin tones. Both the bronzers have gold running through them but deliver a nice glow to the skin. Although this is on the pricier side, you get a good amount of product that will last you quite a while.

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5. Guerlain Bronzing Mist

Guerlain
Guerlain

Now, if you’ve clicked on the link you’re probably thinking “DAYUM GURL! YOU OUTTA YOUR MIND.” I know it’s expensive. This is definitely a more luxury bronzer that should be used wisely. But it’s amazing. It’s a spray, liquid-to-powder bronzer that works like magic. You spray some on your brush and apply, but you have to blend this one a lot. The end result gives you this beautiful glow-y bronze J-Lo kinda vibe. It’s available in two shades, light and medium. Despite it’s high price, you get a whopping 74g worth of product in this little can, which is FAR more than any other bronzers on the list.

Some runner-ups that I just couldn’t leave out of the list: Bobbi Brown bronzerMAC Bronzing powder and Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Powder.

Now that you’re equipped with the appropriate bronzer, next in line on the list is a Highlighter.

And no, not the Sharpie ones.

Highlighters are pressed powders that are meant to highlight the tops of your cheekbones to bring the glow back to your face. It could be a matte powder, or a pressed glitter. Either one will bring extra definition to showcase the parts of the face that you’d like people to notice.

Now, I’m a person who LOVES highlight, so this list was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

Here are some suggestions for highlighters you could use if you’re a Light-Medium to Medium-Tan skin toned woman:

1. MUFE Pro Fusion Highlight

Sephora
Sephora

About a year or two ago, MUFE came out with a Bronzer/Highlight Duo and people went ham on the highlight. So, they launched the highlights by themselves.  They have two shades – Golden and Pink. The Golden works beautifully on anyone who’s medium to dark skinned. The highlight is very fine, with no glitter pay off but a slight duo chrome effect. It’s a beautiful, seamless glow.

2. BECCA Cosmetics Highlight

Sephora
Sephora

Everyone loves this brand of highlight, because of Jaclyn Hill’s Champagne Pop. However, I love this brand for all the different shades of highlight. If you’re a little darker skinned, the Champagne Pop (which is advertised as a universal shade) is quite ashy and white. In my opinion, I love Opal – works brilliantly on anyone who’s medium toned. They have darker more Topaz shades for darker skin tones as well.

There's a shade for everyone. Click To Tweet

They’re extremely soft, and have excellent pay off. No glitter or duo chrome – just a brilliant highlight that you cannot get enough of.

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3. Cover FX Highlighting drops

Sephora
Sephora

TIN MAN ALERT. That’s what people said when I drowned my face in this highlight. If you were to swatch it, it’s like a metallic finish – but if you blend it in, it looks a little more wearable. I usually dab a few dots of it on the high points of my cheek before I set my foundation. Cover FX changed the highlight game with this product. It’s a beautiful rendition of cream/liquid highlight. There’s about four shades of liquid highlight and two shades of liquid bronzer. There’s a shade for everyone.

The only con I see in this product is the amount of product that you’ll be able to use. You get 14 g worth of product but the dropper and the bottle make it look like you wont get every bit of the product which sucks.

4. BEN Nye Highlighting powder

StudioFX
StudioFX

I decided to add in a matte highlight for anyone who likes to add the dimension without any glitter. Ben Nye products are amazing because you can use it to highlight and bake your face. They’re all extremely fine powders that are available in a range of sizes. The sizes are pretty decent too, 26g, 42g and 85g! They’re priced well for their sizes and functions too.

I’ve never personally worked with them but this brand was the mothership that started the banana-powder trend that lead for all contour kits to include a yellow tinted powder to brighten the face.

5. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

Sephora
Sephora

If you like highlighting your face but only want a subtle glow, this is the one for you. It’s a light glowy glitter powder but it’s SO finely milled that it adds just a minimalistic glow to your face. I recommend this to brides to avoid the in-your-face popping highlight look in photos and instead add a look-i’m-happy-and-glowing look.

If you like highlighting your face but only want a subtle glow, this is the one for you. Click To Tweet

It comes in various shades and is also sold as a trio as the Ambient Lighting Palette. They recently came out with strobing highlights – which aren’t worth it in my opinion. But the original formula and finish are the bomb. I use it to lighten the centre of my face on the daily.

Here are some other ones that I couldn’t really leave out:

Laura Mercier Face IlluminatorJosie Maran Argan Enlightenment IlluminizerSephora Collection MicroSmooth Baked Luminizer and Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder

Go on, get your bronze goddess glo’ up on.

Narmeen Saiyed

Narmeen Saiyed

Editorial Fellow Narmeen Saiyed is an almost graduate with a BioSci degree who has a knack for all sorts of makeup, skincare and snapchat filter applications. She also enjoys the smell of books and coffee.

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