The Best Highlighters for Pale Skin

highlighters for pale skin

Over the past year highlighting has become a solid part of my routine. My makeup just doesn’t feel complete without it. I wanted to share my top picks when it comes to highlighting a paler complexion. Finding a highlighter that compliments pale skin can be super tricky, but it’s all about getting the tone right, and I’ve found all of these to compliment my skin at it’s most tanned, and palest.

Powder & liquid highlighters for fair skin

I’m editing this post two years since first publishing it and wanted to include my new favourite highlight for pale skin… The Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter! It’s absolutely stunning. It gives you naturally glowing skin that looks truly lit from within. I have this in the shade 02, but there’s an even lighter shade that’s perfect for fair skin. It applies so nicely and manages to lift a flat matte base into a healthy looking glow.

All of the highlighters below are perfect if you’re a true highlighter. I still (two years later) have all of these in my complexion and absolutely love them.

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer

This was the highlighter that really started the addiction off. This is so worth the hype, and if you have pale skin you need it! It’s definitely for those of you that like the opposite of subtle, it’s the one I reach for when it’s a full coverage makeup day. It’s a beautiful, intense shimmering powder that isn’t too pink or golden but the perfect inbetween shade. Used with a light hand this offers that lit from within look, but you can also achieve a really intense highlight from this that looks equally as beautiful. The formulation is also perfect, no chunky bits of glitter insight. I can apply this at 6.30am and i’ll still be glowing 12 hours later. ps. this is currently on offer for £13.50 on Feelunique!

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle

Like the Mary-lou Manizer this is another staple for me. This was one of the first premium highlighters I bought. It’s definitely not cheap at £27, but it really works on pale skin. I seem to gravitate towards this for nights out/ evening makeup as the shimmering champagne finish is a little more intense. This also has a touch of pink/ peach which compliments pretty much any makeup look. I especially love using this alongside a matte blusher to lift it and pull everything together. The formulation and lasting power is also impressive, although I would expect that considering the price tag! If you’ve had this on your wishlist for a while, it’s definitely worth the investment.




BECCA Opal Highlighter £20

For me, this is the powder  highlight that ticks all of the boxes. I thought no other highlighter would compare to the Mary-lou manizer, but this blows my whole collection out of the water when it comes to the perfect everyday highlight. The Opal powder has such a buttery formulation it almost melts into the skin, offering a stunning natural looking glow. It can be applied lightly for a more natural glow, or built up and layered in the evening.

Becca Glow On The Go Kit

If you have pale skin and are completely new to highlight I definitely recommend the BECCA Glow On The Go kit. You get a mini version of the Becca Opal Highlight, and a liquid highlighter in the same shade. The liquid highlight doesn’t interfere with my foundation/ base makeup and sits well over the top. Forget highlighting the high points, I wanna cover my whole face in this!

swatches from left to right: Soft and Gentle, Mary-lou Manizer, Crescent Moon, Opal powder, Temple Spa, Opal liquid

What’s your favourite highlighter?

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24 responses to “The Best Highlighters for Pale Skin”

  1. Danielle Alexa says:

    I have loved the MAC Soft & Gentle for so long, it even works really well on my really tanned skin!Danielle xx

  2. Laura Kroczek says:

    The TopShop Highlighter looks amazing! I'm absolutely loving the Highlighter that comes in the Makeup Revolution Contour Palette and the Mary-Lou Manizer! Xx

  3. Shireen L. Platt says:

    I am medium skin tone and I think I can get away with Opal! Definitely need to add it into my Becca collection.

  4. PetiteElliee says:

    I seriously struggle finding highlighters for my pale ass! This is so helpful http://www.petiteelliee.comEllie xx

  5. Jayd Alice says:

    I've never tried any of these but I have pale skin too so I've added some to my wishlist! Topshop Glow cream highlighter in Polished is my go-to at the minute, it's so easy to work with and it compliments my pale skin perfectly xAlways, Alice

  6. Laura P says:

    I love a good highlighter! My favourites are the Mary-Lou Manizer & Becca Champagne Pop. I've got my eye on Soft & Gentle at the moment (will probably splurge soon!) and Opal looks lovely too! xxLaura | Blush and Bronze

  7. Kate Rose xo says:

    I have pale skin and so am always looking for a good highlighter to suit me! The topshop one sounds amazing, I'd love to try it. XKate//

  8. Ariadna Morell says:

    I really want to try the Becca Opal Glow, I've only used powdered highlighters so far but liquid sounds great! xAriadna || RAWR BOWS

  9. Liz says:

    I love The Balm one! I'll have to check out the BECCA one though, it looks gorgeous!xo, Liz

  10. Kathryn Williams says:

    I love the sound of the Temple Spa option! Kathryn /Cherries in the Snow

  11. Caterina Sosso says:

    I'm obsessed with highlighters too and I think Sleek is smashing it a(and they so affordable!). Looking forward to summer, when I will be a liiitle bit tanned ahah I'm so fed up of this pale-ghost-skin!!Caterina |

  12. Gemma Louise says:

    Becca Opal sounds fab! Also love the look of Crescent Moon, I've been wanting to pick up a Topshop highlighter for aaaaages! xGemma Louise

  13. h says:

    I've heard so many good things about The Balm highlighter! Thanks so much for telling me it was on offer, off to go buy! xxHannah |

  14. Amber Gregory says:

    MAC soft and gentle is a must for me!! Also, Benefit High Beam gives off a similar colour, but of course is in liquid form!

  15. Rhi Liquorish says:

    They all look so beautiful. I really need to get Soft and Gentle! xxRhi |

  16. Erin Azmir says:

    mary lou is my go-to everyday highlighter. i love it so much! x

  17. The Makeup Directory says:

    As a pale girl, I'm all over your picks! Love Soft & Gentle and Mary Lou! I just got Becca Moonstone though (which I love) but not sure I can justify another becca highlighter JUST yet haha.The Makeup Directory

  18. Ana says:

    I don't usually use highlighters but I'd love to try the Topshop one xxx

  19. Lucy Alice says:

    These are all gorgeous – I'm such a big fan of mac's soft & gentle, I've never thought about buying a topshop highlighter, must try one!Lucy | Forever September

  20. Lauren says:

    I prefer powder highlighters if I'm honest, the mac one has been on my wishlist for a while and I really like the crescent moon shade. Lauren x Huggled

  21. Jenn says:

    Mary Lou-manizer is such a classic! She's still one of my favorite highlighters.Jenn │ Beauty by Jellybean

  22. Charlotte Lane says:

    Mary Lou-Manizer is honestly one of T H E best highlighters out there, in my opinion! I also love my BECCA Champagne Pop highlighter, so I'm looking to purchase another BECCA highlighter very soon – Opal looks great 🙂 I am so obsessed with highlighters it's unreal, I can't go any makeup day without applying any!xoChar |

  23. Aniqa Rajput says:

    What Skin type will it Suit- As every individual has different skin texture & skin type so the products to be applied too will be different.follow this guide on

  24. Amanda says:

    Nice Post! You are sharing great highlighters for pale skin. I really like this article and found very helpful for me. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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