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Whether you have a minimalist or maximalist makeup collection, palettes are a great way to rid of the clutter that comes along with single-pan makeup products. Celebrity makeup artist Nydia Figueroa tells Elite Daily that “blush, bronzer, and highlighter palettes are great for someone on the go who doesn’t want to have too many pieces of makeup to work with separately.” Figueroa says that the best blush, bronzer, and highlighter palettes are “versatile and have different textures and finishes,” and adds that matte colors work well for blush and bronzer, whereas shimmery shades are better for highlighter.
Nydia Figueroa is a celebrity makeup artist with over 12 years of experience. Figueroa has worked for five-time Emmy award-winning makeup artist, Eve Pearl, and has worked on television sets, The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, New York Fashion Week, and more. She owns a three-time award-winning makeup studio and teaches her signature makeup techniques to hundreds of students all over the United States.
What To Consider When Shopping For A Blush, Bronzer, & Highlighter Palette
No two people are alike, which is why there isn’t one single palette that will work for all skin tones. Figueroa says, “People with more fair complexions look best with light pinks for blush, cooler light browns for contour, and pearlescent shades for highlight,” whereas people with medium or olive complexions should look for peach blush shades, warm brown bronzers, and champagne-hued highlighters. “People with a dark complexion look best in shades of orange or purples for blush, warm browns with red undertones for bronzer, and a bronze shade for highlight,” explains Figueroa.
As for how to make the most of your palette, Figueroa has some tips. “I would apply everything in moderation for more of an everyday look. When it comes to adding color to the face, mimicking the way the face naturally blushes or how you look when you get [bronzed] in the sun is a great guide to a natural look,” Figueroa explains to Elite Daily. For your nighttime makeup routine, Figueroa recommends turning things up a bit for a more dramatic look (so feel free to be a bit more heavy handed with all three products).
Shop The Best Blush Bronzer & Highlighter Palettes
Need a palette in a flash? Shop the best blush, bronzer, & highlighter palettes:
- Expert’s Pick: PÜR 4-in-1 Skin-Perfecting Powders Face Palette
- Best Palette Under $10: Maybelline Master Contour Face Contouring Kit
- Best Palette for Light To Medium Skin Tones: Physician’s Formula All-Star Face Palette
- Best Palette for Dark Skin Tones: Anastasia Beverly Hills Face Palette
- Best Travel-Friendly Palette: It Cosmetics Your Most Beautiful You Palette
1. Expert’s Pick
- Offered in three versions for light, medium, and dark skin tones.
- Makeup artist-approved.
- Contains skin care actives.
- Has a mirror.
- Comes with a translucent powder, too.
- It’s on the pricier end of the palettes on this list.
“I LOVE this palette because it has a shade for each skin tone and has amazing color payoff!” says Figueroa. PÜR’s 4-in-1 Skin-Perfecting Powders Face Palette not only contains a bronzer, blush, and highlighter, but a translucent powder to set the rest of your makeup, too. The powders are made with green tea to assist with antioxidant protection; ginseng, which is both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory ingredient; and vitamin B, which can help calm redness. Choose from ‘Fair-Light,’ ‘Medium-Tan,’ and ‘Dark-Deep.’
2. Best Palette Under $10
- Comes in shades that work well with most skin tones.
- Compact and easy to travel with.
- Beginner-friendly price and design.
- Not cruelty-free.
- Does not have a mirror.
The Maybelline Master Contour Face Contouring Kit is great for beginners since each color is labeled as contour, blush, or highlight, and is arranged in the typical order of application, in case you need a reminder. But don’t let this fool you — these shades work well for beginners and pros alike. This palette is fairly pigmented and blends well, and comes in two color variations so that people with different skin tones can enjoy having a blush, bronzer, and highlighter for under $10.
3. Best Palette for Light To Medium Skin Tones
- Contains several highlighter and bronzer shades.
- Works well for a wide range of skin tones.
- Affordable, considering it contains six makeup products in one.
- Only contains one blush, which is shimmery — so if you prefer a matte blush, this isn’t the palette for you.
- Does not have a mirror.
If you want a sun-kissed glow all year round, reach for Physician’s Formula’s All-Star Face Palette. This palette contains two different bronzer shades to sculpt your cheekbones; a pearlescent highlighter and a champagne highlighter to give your skin a shimmery glow; a pressed powder with a mix of light and medium pigments; and a peachy, warm blush to add a flush to your cheeks. Since this palette gives you so many options, it will work during both the summer months (when you might be more bronzed) and the winter months (when your complexion might be on the paler side).
4. Best Palette for Dark Skin Tones
- Contains more bronzer than blush and highlighter, which is great since bronzer tends to cover more surface area on the face.
- Has a mirror.
- This is the most expensive palette on this list.
Purple blushes come in all different shades that vary from cool to warm — the purple blush in this face palette has a warm undertone that’s perfect for adding vibrancy to darker complexions along with a natural-looking flush. This palette’s bronzer has red undertones (which, according to Figueroa, complement darker skin tones nicely), while the golden highlighter adds a lit-from-within glow to your skin. Sure, this palette is on the pricier side, but it comes from a pro-favorite, luxury beauty brand whose quality is hard to surpass, and you get a lot of bronzer inside.
5. Best Travel-Friendly Palette
- Contains skin-smoothing ingredients.
- Has a mirror.
- This is the most compact and travel-friendly palette on this list.
- These shades might not work well for especially light or dark skin tones.
It Cosmetics’ Your Most Beautiful You Palette will be your new go-to if you travel often and need something small yet effective to throw in your bag, though it’s admittedly not going to work for every skin tone, as it doesn’t come in a variety of shades. Still, this talc-free palette is worth shouting out because it was created alongside plastic surgeons to smooth out the texture of your skin over time. It contains ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, silk, and peptides to help assist in the skin’s natural regeneration process by promoting collagen and elastin production. So, when you’re using this palette, you’re technically getting skin care benefits, too.
6. Another Great Palette To Consider
- Comes in versions for lighter and darker skin tones.
- Has a mirror.
- Contains a shimmery bronzer, in case you prefer matte shades.
One last option to consider is Urban Decay’s Stay Naked Threesome Palette. This palette comes in both lighter and darker iterations to complement a range of skin tones. While this palette features a matte blush (which Figueroa recommends using), it defies our makeup artist’s suggestions and contains a shimmery bronzer. But, this only means that you won’t be able to use this bronzer for contouring, since contour is intended to mimic natural shadows (i.e., no light-reflecting properties). You can still use this bronzer at the top of your forehead and around your face to mimic a tan, or sweep it across your cheeks in lieu of blush.
Nydia Figueroa, a professional makeup artist.