How To Apply Highlighter To Pale Skin

10 Tips on How to Apply Highlighter to Pale Skin

When it comes to enhancing the radiance of pale skin, applying highlighter strategically can make all the difference.

Achieving that coveted luminosity involves more than just a sweep of shimmer, especially regarding pale and fair skin.

As someone with extremely pale skin, I know the challenge all too well. After years of trying and testing, I’ve put together my best tips on how to apply highlighter to pale skin for a flawless finish.

1. Choose the Right Shade

The first rule of highlighter application for pale skin is choosing the right shade. Opt for pearlescent or champagne hues that complement your skin tone without appearing overly stark.

Avoid shades with too much warmth, as they can create a muddy effect. Check out my recommendations on highlighters for pale skin.

2. Match Your Undertone

Consider your undertones when choosing a highlighter. If you have cool undertones, go for silver or icy shades; if you have warm undertones, opt for warmer tones like peach or golden hues.

3. Prep Your Skin

Before diving into highlighter application, ensure your skin is well-prepped and that your skin is clean and moisturized. Begin with a hydrating primer to create a smooth base.

This not only helps the highlighter adhere better but also ensures a natural and dewy finish.

4. Lightweight Foundation is Key


When working with pale skin, opt for a lightweight foundation that allows your natural complexion to shine through.

My favorite lightweight foundations are Saie Glowy Super Skin Foundation and Armani Neo Nude Foundation. Heavy foundations can dull the overall effect of the highlighter, defeating the purpose of creating a radiant glow.

5. Apply to Your High Points

Highlighter works best when applied strategically on high points of your face. These include the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and your cupid’s bow. Gently dab the product onto these areas for a subtle yet impactful glow.

6. Blend, Blend, Blend

The key to a seamless highlight is impeccable blending. Use a damp makeup sponge or a soft brush to blend the highlighter into your skin. This ensures a natural finish and prevents harsh lines that can detract from the luminosity.

7. Less is More

Pale skin can be sensitive to heavy makeup. One of my favorite highlighting tips is to start with a small amount of highlighter and gradually build up the intensity until you achieve the desired glow. This allows for better control and prevents overapplication.

8. Powder vs. Cream Highlighters

The choice between powder and cream highlighters depends on personal preference. Powder highlighters are excellent for a more subtle effect, while cream formulas provide a dewier finish and are easier to blend into the skin with.

My favourite liquid highlighter is the e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter. Experiment with both to discover which works best for your pale skin.

9. Experiment with Layering

Don’t be afraid to layer different textures of highlighters. You can start with a cream or liquid highlighter as a base and add a touch of powder highlighter on top for an intensified and long-lasting glow.

10. Avoiding Glitter Overload

While a touch of shimmer is desirable, be cautious of products with excessive glitter. Too much glitter can emphasize texture and may not be flattering on pale skin. Opt for finely milled highlighters that provide a radiant sheen without overwhelming sparkle.

My Thoughts

Achieving a flawless highlight on pale skin involves choosing the right products and mastering application techniques.

By following these top 10 tips, you’ll be well on your way to a radiant and luminous complexion that showcases the beauty of your pale skin. Read more of my Makeup Tips For Pale Skin.

Hollie xx


About Hollie

Hi, I’m Hollie, and I’m passionate about everything beauty. Over the last decade and a half, I’ve tested thousands of products to bring you the best of the best! I also love bringing you fun and creative beauty looks. Learn more.

Beauty profile – 35, dry, aging skin, focused on aging well with a healthy glow and natural makeup look ✨

Anastasia Beverly Hills bareMinerals Benefit Cosmetics Bobbi Brown CeraVe Chantecaille Charlotte Tilbury Clarins ColourPop Dermalogica Dior Dyson e.l.f. Cosmetics ELEMIS Estée Lauder Eucerin Fenty Beauty Fresh Giorgio Armani Hourglass IT Cosmetics L'Oreal Lancome Laura Mercier LORAC MAC Makeup Revolution Maybelline Molton Brown Morphe Nars Natasha Denona Neutrogena NYX Origins Peter Thomas Roth PÜR Cosmetics Revlon Sigma Beauty Smashbox Stila The Ordinary Too Faced Urban Decay YSL

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