10 Favorite Highlighters for South Asian Skin {Makeup Mantra}

June 20, 2015 - by Shriya

Whether it's spring or summer, or even the dead of winter, weddings are all about looking glamorous and fresh. If you're a bride-to-be, this especially holds true - you'll want a bright, bridal glow to accompany your big day happiness!

Highlighters are the easiest way to add this touch of dewy, sheer glow to your makeup. Liquid or cream, highlighters can accent your cheekbones, add a shimmer, and brighten your look when applied on top of your makeup. Even if they're not a part of your daily routine, highlighters and illuminators are well worth considering for important events.

10 Favorite Highlighters width=

Since South Asian skin tones are much different in texture and shades than the colors often offered in highlighters at your local Sephora, it can be tough to commit to a good product without knowing how it'll look on you. Luckily, I've compiled a list of my favorite tested-and-true highlighters that will add the perfect sheen to various shades of South Asian skin:

1. The Multiple by Nars, $39

This easy-to-use color stick can be used to touch up dull skin or add a sheer shimmer on top of your makeup. It's handy for sticking in your purse but also a large enough size to keep in your makeup arsenal. The formula is creamy but turns into a soft powder after you apply it, making for a smooth finish.

2. Diamond Powder by Makeup Forever, $25

This translucent powder has tiny glitter flakes in it, so you'll get a shimmery glow that's best suited for nighttime. The powder comes in many colors, including darker tones that'll match South Asian skin. However, there's a clear option as well, which is great if you're blending multiple foundations for your dream look.

3. Watts Up by Benefit Cosmetics $30

This all-time favorite highlighter stick is cream to powder and super easy to use. With a few strokes, you'll get a pearly brilliance that's perfect for sharp cheekbones. The color also blends easily into your makeup, so you'll hardly tell where the beautiful glow is coming from

4. Sunbeam by Benefit Cosmetics $26

Benefit offers a few tinted liquid highlighters, including High Beam. However, Sun Beam is a peachy gold that's best suited for darker skin. The sheer formula can be built up to get the shimmer you want.

5. Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer by Josie Maran $26

Josie Maran's argan oil products are amazingly effective and good for your skin. The moisturizing oil keeps your skin hydrated while the pearly pigments offer a proper highlight for your cheeks. The liquid formula is lightweight and easy to apply.

6. True Match Lumi Glow Liquid Illuminator by L'Oreal, $12.99

L'Oreal's brand is known for having a perfect match for any skin tone - especially South Asian tones. You're bound to find your true match in their thorough lineup. The liquid formula is versatile - you can use it as a primer for an all-over glow to your skin or concentrate it on your cheekbones as a highlighter.

7. PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator by Revlon, $13.99

Revlon is another excellent drugstore brand that'll deliver without breaking the bank. This illuminator is liquid, but lightweight and creamy. It can be used all over to even out skin tone or as a highlighter to accent features.

8. Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator by NYX Cosmetics, $7.50

Another stunning liquid product, this highlighter has a versatile formula that can work as a primer too. It's pearly, not glittery, so it won't make you look like a Twilight vampire. The subtle glow is truly magical - especially in the golden, peach Gleam color.

9. Baked Highlighter, by e.l.f. cosmetics, $3

At this price, this highlighter is truly a steal. Plus, it's a powder, which means you can use it with powder foundation and it'll look just fine. The pearly shimmer is very subtle, so you can build it up or blend it in to your heart's desire. The color choice isn't great, but because the product is so translucent, it can blend into your foundation or skin tone perfectly.

10. Lucy Star Powder, by Gerard Cosmetics, $39

Lucy is a deep rose shimmer that's uncommon in a highlighter, but very majestic indeed! The powder is pigmented enough that a few strokes will do the job, and the product will last you a very long time. The shimmer is glittery, but not over the top  - so your look will be just the right amount of fabulous.

For more recommendations for South Asian skin, check out 10 Favorite Mascaras and 10 Favorite Powder Foundations.

Related posts


Jessica & Sayeed's Colorful Urban Wedding {Kansas City, Missouri}

Today we've got a cheery, upbeat Midwest wedding with local charm and Indian flair. Jessica and Sayeed met in college - she's from the midwest originally, where the wedding was [...]

Bridesmaids in Pink & Grey Saris

15 Gorgeous White Indian Wedding Lenghas & Saris

When I was writing this piece, I realized I was going against some of my own advice: not wearing white to a wedding, especially if you are the bride. But my old fashioned ways are [...]


East Meets West Wedding Gowns - White Lenghas, Saris, & Dreses

This article is thanks to Facebook fan, Shahzadi Fathema Al-Amin, who is looking for East meets West inspiration for a wedding gown. We put together a collection of fusion [...]

Mithai Glossary 10

The Big Fat Glossary of Indian Mithai: Ladoo

Ladoo is a ball-shaped sweet you can find at any Indian festivity - from Diwali to Holi. The versatile mithai is made of any type of flour and ghee. Its fun shape and delicious taste [...]


Retail Jeweler India Trendsetters Launch 2014

A review of the Retail India Jewelers Trendsetters 2014 Fashion Show, featuring Miss India International models and actresses wearing a gorgeous display of gold, diamond, polki, and gemstone jewelry.

fadil official miss usa headshot

Bollywood meets Hollywood: Emily Shah, Miss New Jersey USA

America’s past is plagued with an utter lack of diversity in television and film. Fortunately, changes are being made in terms of up-and-coming women of color in positions of [...]