Ask Danielle: MAC Eye Shadow Highlighters

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The Style and Beauty Doctor reader Sophia writes: “Okay so I love love love this MAC Eyeshadow Guide…One of my favorite mac eyeshadows is RICEPAPER I use it almost everyday as a highlighter. Could you give me a list of great MAC highlighters?

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For those who may be new to eye makeup, an eyeshadow highlight is a necessary tool in finishing your eye look. It helps to define the eyes as well as open them up. The correct placement of the eyeshadow highlight is at the brow bone (the area right underneath the eyebrows and above the eye crease–called “the underbrow” in the image above) and to bring the eyes out more, dot a bit of the highlighter in the inner corners of the eyes.

What color highlighter to use depends on the colors you’ll be using for your eye look. Generally, a highlighter will be a sheer eyeshadow with either a gold or a silver undertone. Unless it’s Halloween, you never ever want to use a “color” (purple, pink, blue, etc.) from lid to the brow bone. Another brow bone highlight alternative is to use a cream or stick concealer a shade or two lighter than what you would normally wear in foundation. I’m an NW47 in MAC foundation, so I’d use NW40 in Studio Finish Concealer as a brow highlight.

As a quick rule, your highlight should match the undertone of the eyeshadows you’re using. So if you’re using warm colors like bronze and gold, use a sheer warm colored highlight. Get it? Go for the darker colored shadows named below if you have darker skin.


MAC Eyeshadow Highlights:

Cool Highlights: White Frost, Forgery, Crystal Avalanche, Filament, Mylar, Yogurt, Electra, Pincurl, Seedy Pearl

Warm Highlights: Vapour, Vanilla, Blanc Type, Shroom, Dazzlelight, Phloof!, Naked Lunch, Vex, Sugarshot, Brule, Tete-a-Tint, Jest, Malt, Ricepaper, Bisque, Flip, Bamboo, Honesty, Samoa Silk, Gleam, All That Glitters, Retrospeck, Wedge, Woodwinked, Soft Brown, Kid, Honey Lust

P.S. Don’t forget to enter in the Monavé Mineral Makeup Giveaway–entries must be in by MIDNIGHT EST TONIGHT!!!

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About Danielle

A former finance girl, Danielle is a New York City based freelance writer and fashion and beauty expert. She's a Hofstra University and Fashion Institute of Technology grad with an obsession with fashion and beauty which she loves to tell you all about every weekday on her award-winning blog. Think of her as your style and beauty entourage all wrapped up into one bubbly brown package. Danielle's work and expertise can be found in print and across the web in Cosmopolitan for Latinas,, and more! She's also appeared as an on-air style and beauty expert on The Real, CBS New York's "The Couch" and WPIX11's Savvy Shopper segment.

17 Responses to Ask Danielle: MAC Eye Shadow Highlighters

  1. Pingback: Danielle

  2. VexInTheCity says:

    Handy e/s recs – thanks

  3. asdf says:

    I think ricepaper is cool… or can be used with cool eyeshadows too right?:

  4. Kirsty says:

    Hi, great post…could you advise me on the best highlight for pale skin with pink undertones please. I’m not sure wether to go for something like Shroom – I’d like a little bit of shimmer but not too much!

    Thank you :-)

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Kristy!

      Shroom is really pretty, but is more on the warm-toned side. If you want some highlights for cool tones (matches more with your pink undertones), check out MAC Mylar, Crystal Avalanche, or Seedy Pearl :)

  5. Kirsty says:

    Thanks so much, I’ll check them out! K x

  6. says:

    Hi. I’m new to eyeshadow and I have a question about the picture of the model at the top

  7. Nicole says:

    I’m trying to find a whiteish gold to wear at the corners of my eye from MAC eyeshadow colors. It has to be from MAC.

    Im afraid the White Frost might be too white (Im a dark gal ;) ) and Ploof was too pink. I need a cream/gold shimmery/frosty undertone in the white, any ideas? =)

    • Danielle says:

      Hey Nicole!

      Try these from MAC: Vapour e/s, Vanilla pigment, Retrospeck e/s, Shroom e/s, White Gold pigment (at MAC Pro), Naked pigment

      Let me know if these work for you :)

  8. Maria says:

    Hello Danielle,

    Awesome post! I'm very new to eye makeup and I find this extremely useful.


  9. Ashley says:

    Hi Danielle, I want to know what color of eyebrow shadow should a darkskin?

    • Danielle says:

      Hey Ashley!

      Depends on what color eyeshadows you’re using but generally a matte shadow or a cream concealer 2-3 shades lighter than your skin tone works well. For instance I’m NW47 and use NW40 Studio Finish Concealer or Soft Brown Eyeshadow from MAC when I highlight my brow bone area.

      If you have more questions (or want to send me pics to help you out) email me at ;)

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