It’s a Makeup Wars Monday! Today I’m sharing the best highlighters, bronzers and contours for Summer. Though really, a lot of this can be worn year round. Or at least, I will wear them year round. I don’t like bronzer on me, but I know many of you love bronzer, which is why I’m including it in this post. For contouring, I really prefer indie brands because they cater to pale skin like mine.
Best Highlighters, Bronzers and Contours for Summer
Pr + purchased by me.
Many of these options are vegan. All are cruelty free.
L to R Convallaria Majalis – Hippomane Mancinella – Magellanic Cloud – Ostara
Aromaleigh has a lot of beautiful highlighters that give a smooth, refined sheen. Ostara is my favorite. Shown above are Convallaria Majalis (pale translucent buff taupe powder with subtle blue green pearlescence, a finishing powder), Hippomane Mancinella (pale green with violet iridescence), Magellanic Cloud (buff base with intense teal iridescence), and Ostara (pale peach base with purple highlight). (See Aromaleigh Blushes, Contours and Highlighters.)(Some vegan options)
BECCA makes highlighters in 3 formulas – pressed (intense), creme (subtle), and liquid (moderate, can be mixed with anything). I have Champagne Pop, which is not for pale skin, it looks better on deeper skintones than mine. The shade Pearl is meant for pale skin, but I don’t currently own it. (See the BECCA x Jaclyn Hill Collection)
Top Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Celestial heavily swatched
Bottom blended out – dot
Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops
These drops actually let you add a highlight or bronzing effect to liquid foundations or moisturizers. You can also use them on their own. For highlighting pale skin like mine, I recommend Celestial (glistening pearl). It’s gorgeous! It also comes in Moonlight (shimmering beige), Sunlight (soft glowing gold), Sunkissed (light sunkissed bronze), Candlelight (shimmering golden bronze), and Sunset (deep sunkissed bronze).(Vegan)
Dose of Colors Pearl Dust (Leaping Bunny Certified)
This is a stunning baked highlighter. Pearl Dust is an iridescent pink. I think this is an alluring highlight on my skintone. (See my review.)
L to R Everlasting Storm – Patrichor – Glacial Ice – Aurora Borealis – Danxia Dawn – Flamingo Love Nest
Geek Chic Highlighters
I love that these are very ‘out of the box’ highlighter shades and I think they’re all flattering on pale skin. I have Everlasting Storm, a soft lavender based illuminator with a pinky-violet glow, purple color shifting sparkles, and rose shimmer. These highlighters also come in Petrichor (grey with silver sheen), Aurora Borealis (lilac with green shift), Bioluminescent Bloom (pale sky blue with a blue glow and blue shift), Glacial Ice (turquoise green with turquoise shift), Danxia Dawn (taupe pink with gold shift), and Flamingo Love Nest (pale coral-peach with orange-copper shift). I think if you’re looking for dupes for the Jeffree Star Skin frosts you should check these out. (Vegan.)
L to R Glossier Quartz – Life’s Entropy Proton – OCC John Doe – OCC RO – OCC YO
Glossier Haloscope in Quartz
I just bought this to give it a try. I’m not typically a fan of cream highlighters, but this is pretty. It’s a pearlescent shade. I think this is a very subtle highlight.
L to R Notoriously Morbid Power of the Fae – Harlequin – Osteomancy – Ofra You Glow Girl – You Dew You
Notoriously Morbid Highlighters
I love the NM highlighters. Osteomancy (silvery white with blue shift) is my go-to. Harlequen (white with lavender red) and Power of the Fae (white with gold shift) are also great. All of these colors are great on pale skin.(Vegan.)
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Cream Concealers
For those of you who like matte cream highlighters, I wanted to swatch OCC’s RO (pale cool tone) and YO (pale warm tone). I’m not a fan of matte highlighters. Shown above with the Glossier swatches.(Vegan.)
Ofra Highlighters (Leaping Bunny Certified)
A lot of my friends swear by the Ofra Highlighters – You Glow Girl (a shimmery pink) and You Dew You (a peachy gold). Shown above with the Notoriously Morbid swatches.
L to R Moonlight trio – Sun-Kissed trio
Pur Strobing Palettes
Thes trio palettes are available in 2 different colors. If you’re a fan of cream highlighters, you may love these. I tend to find creams too subtle for my taste.
Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighters (Leaping Bunny Certified)
I absolutely love the UD highlighters. Aura (icy iridescent pink), Sin (white gold), and Fireball (peach with pink shift). Aura is a go-to shade for me. I like Fireball as a blush. (See more of the Urban Decay Summer 2016 Collection.)
L to R Aromaleigh Heloderma Suspectum – Amphisbaena – Aconitum Napellus – Digitalis Purpurea – Synanceia Horrida – Glamour Doll Eyes Skeletina
Aromaleigh Contour Powders
These are awesome multi-purpose powders in a variety of colors. I adore them. I have Heloderma Suspectum (warm greyed buff), Amphisbaena (cool greyed mauve), Aconitum Napellus (greyed violet), Digitalis Purpurea (grey blue), and Synanceia Horrida (greyed green). Use a duofiber brush to apply these to pale skin. They also work as highlighters or blushes. (Some vegan options.)
Fiona Stiles Sheer Sculpting Palette
I think this is a nicely thought out trio of powders for adding dimension to the face. It’s pretty fool-proof, since the powders are sheer but can be built up. It comes in 2 shades – Light/Medium and Medium/Dark. Shown below with the Makeup Geek swatches.
Glamour Doll Eyes Skeletina
This is a cool light greyed taupe with an orange overlay. You can use it as a blush or contour, but on my skintone I prefer it as a contour. Shown above with the Aromaleigh contour swatches. (Vegan.)
Life’s Entropy Contour Sticks
Life’s Entropy has a wide range of contour sticks. Shown above with the Glossier swatches. (Vegan).
L to R Fiona Stiles Palette Trio in Light Medium – Makeup Geek Love Triangle – Break Up – Bad Habit – Infidelity
Makeup Geek Contours
I love that Makeup Geek released single contour shades rather than a palette. There are 8 colors available – Love Triangle (warm porcelain), Break Up (cool porcelain), Bad Habit (warm fair), Infidelity (cool fair), Half Hearted (warm medium), Complicated (cool medium), Deal Breaker (warm deep), and Scandal (cool deep). These are talc-free and paraben free. (Vegan.)
NARS Contour Blush in Olympia
This is a contouring blush set that gives you a deep shade to create definition and sculpt the cheek. The lighter shade is to illuminate the high points of the face.
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Cream Contour in John Doe
This is a pale taupe. While I’m not typically a fan of cream contours, this is my favorite of all the creams I’ve tried. Shown above with the Glossier swatches. (Vegan.)
NARS Dual-Intensity Blush in Craving
I love this dual-intensity duo. The dark side is a peachy bronze that if you use a light hand, is a flattering shade on my skintone. The light side makes a beautiful iridescent pink highlighter. See my review and looks here.
Urban Decay Beached Bronzers (Leaping Bunny Certified)
Urban Decay does bronzers nicely! They’re matte and natural looking. Sun-Kissed is for light skintones and Bronzed is for medium skintones.
As you can probably tell from the plethora of highlighters, highlighting is truly my favorite. I also enjoy contouring my cheeks. I rarely hit my nose or other places around the face because I feel like it just doesn’t look good on me other than in photos.
I definitely feel like good skincare can help you to glow. If you want to help your skin glow, try using Vitamin C. My current favorite duo to help my skin glow is the Paula’s Choice Resist C15 Super Booster and the Resist Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum. I’m using this with my Calm skincare products.
What are your favorite cruelty free highlighters, contours and bronzers?
More to See
- The Pale Girl’s Guide to Highlighting
- Strobing for Every Skintone
- Top 10 Cruelty Free Bronzers
- Pale Girl’s Guide to Highlighting and Contouring
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