10 Best Bronzers & Highlighters for Brown Skin


Photo: ©Marija Savic / Stocksy

There’s a misconception in the beauty world that bronzers and highlighters are reserved for those with lighter skin tones, and we’re here to prove it wrong. The truth is: bronzers and highlighters are flattering on all shades—the trick is to find the right one, taking both skin tone and undertone into consideration. Ready to complement your melanin? Get a beautiful, warm glow in two easy steps.

Step 1 | Bronze

Q: Should brown girls wear bronzer?
A: Why not?

Yes, we’re answering a question with another question. Bronzer not only adds a natural warmth to the skin, it also helps contour the face for added depth and dimension. Here are our top four medium-to-deep bronzers for brown skin that won’t leave your complexion looking muddy or ashy.

Keep in mind: As far as shade is concerned, just go a couple of shades deeper than your natural complexion.

Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Bronzer | shade: Dusk Medium, $38

This versatile bronzer features a unique gradient effect that allows you to customize your look—ranging from soft and diffused to intense, depending on the day.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer | shade: Radiant Bronze Light, $52

This sheer, silky formula gives the softest and most gorgeous bronze look without too much at once. It has just the right amount of buildable pigment that leaves skin with a healthy, sun-kissed glow.

Danessa Myricks Beauty Powder Bronzer | shades: Medium / Deep, $26

A little goes a long way with this extremely pigmented bronzer. The long-lasting, quick-drying formula instantly shapes and contours the face with a matte finish.

Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer | shades: Caramel / Toasted, $30

Another buttery smooth bronzer that builds up nicely. This pure matte color is perfect for contouring the face and adding natural, flattering warmth.

Step 2 | Highlight

Highlighters certainly aren’t one-shade-fits-all. If you go too light, you could look too shiny or washed out. The struggle is real. The good news is, there are warmer highlighters out there to give brown skin a luscious, lit-from-within glow without making you look like a ghost. Check out our top picks and get your glow on.

Nudestix Nudies All Over Face Color Glow | shades: Hey, Honey / Brown Sugar, Baby, $32

If we could dream up our perfect cream highlighter, this would be it! It’s deliciously creamy and glides on effortlessly for stunning definition.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Glow | shades: Bronzed / Patina, $25

This is beautiful both on a fresh face with no makeup underneath or over makeup. The pigmented formula gives an intense glow and dries to a natural, skin-like finish.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Skin Frost | shades: Siberian Gold / Dark Horse / So Fucking Gold, $29

You can’t miss Jeffree’s iconic, buttery smooth formula. These dazzling, pigmented highlighters immediately melt into the skin for a frosted finish.

Ilia Illuminator | shades: Summertime / Sway, $34

Known as a one-minute facelift, this dewy highlighter immediately boosts brightness and vitality. No sparkles or glitter, just pure dew.

Danessa Myricks Beauty Love & Light Beauty Oil | shades: Blaze, $30

This illuminating oil is the perfect combination of hydration and radiance. The unique hybrid formula melts into skin without any grease. Wear alone or mix with foundation for a healthy, all-over glow.

By Terry Glow Expert Duo Stick | shade: Copper Coffee, $48

This duo offers a chiseled, holographic strobe effect. The three-in-one stick combines blush, bronzer and highlighter for effortless sculpting and shaping in a single sweep.

Beautylish Beauty Advisor Alexis S. contributed to this article.

Featured Products