Highlighter is like the frosting of your makeup routine – your perfectly baked caked face isn’t the same without it. Not only does it majorly up your glow game but when it’s applied strategically it can completely transform your face. But not all highlighters are made equally, so we’ve rounded up the seven best highlighters that glide onto your skin and glisten all day long.
1. The Drugstore Staple: L’Oreal La Vie En Glow, $12
We’ve been obsessed with this drugstore highlighter for years. It contains four insanely shimmering highlighters for just $12, which is pretty insane. The formula is infused with coconut oil so it’s super smooth and applies really well, plus it’s really pigmented and pops like crazy, so you don’t have to layer too much (unless you want to). There are two shade options, so you can find one to highlight different areas of the face in the most flattering tones.
2. The Do-It-All: Ofra Glow Up Highlighter Palette, $49
This highlighter palette is the real deal – it offers the most intense shimmer, the shades are super versatile, there’s a huge mirror, and the magnetic pans are refillable. Ofra hasn’t missed a beat. The four-pan highlighter has one full-sized pan named Beverly Hills and three minis; Rodeo Drive, a bronzey-gold shade, Blissful, a sultry bronze, and Star Island, a warm ivory shade with golden undertones. In total it has eight shades of highlighter so you can get creative and use it on your eyes as an eyeshadow palette, as well as highlighting all of the usual highpoints of the face (your cheekbones, brow bone, Cupid’s bow, and the bridge of your nose). We’re low-key obsessed. Read our full review here.
3. The Bright Highlight: Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter, $38
If you’re looking for a soft, natural glow, this highlighter is the perfect fit. The pressed pigment is such a beautiful, buttery texture and it glides onto the skin without looking powdery. There are 10 shades, ranging from warm bronze hues and rose gold to lavender shades and luminous white, so you can find one that works with your skin tone. Champagne Pop, which is a soft gold with a peach-pearl is their best seller and one of the most universally flattering shades.
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4. For A Natural Glow: Hourglass Ambient Light Palette, $64
Although this highlighter is on the pricier side, if you’re in the mood to splurge, this is a great investment. The three-pan highlighter will give you the ultimate glow-up as it uses a photoluminescent technology that’ll give your skin a soft-focus, filtered effect. The technology diffuses harsh light, so your skin looks lit from within. Each shade is super flattering on all skin tones so you can choose to wear them singularly or layer them for a multi-dimensional glow. The first shade Dim Light is a neutral peach, Incandescent Strobe Light is an opalescent pearl powder, and Radiant Light (on the right) is a golden beige that adds warmth. We’ve had this palette in our bag over a year and we still haven’t hit the pan, despite the fact that we use it daily: this one lasts!
5. The Best Liquid Highlighter EVER: Cover FX Highlighter Drops, $44
Out of all the highlighter drops we’ve tried (and we test A LOT of products) the Custom Enhance Drops from CoverFX are one of our faves. The liquid formula literally melts into your skin leaving a stunning luminosity. We love how versatile they are; we love to mix them in with our foundation to add an all-over glow. Or on no-makeup makeup days, we just dab some onto our bare skin. There are seven shade ranging from a golden bronzed hue that’s perfect for deeper skin tones to a glistening pearl for fair skin.
6. For All Skin Tones: Huda Beauty 3D Highlighter Palette, $57
It feels SO long since we first created our Huda Beauty 3D Highlighter Palette but we still use it every single day. Each palette includes three super pigmented highlighters as well as our Melted Strobe formula, a creamy highlighter that melts into the skin. Our fave way to use the Melted Strobe is to spray a beauty blender with setting spray, dab it in the strobe and then press it into our skin for the most amazing luminous glow. Use the three powders across your cheeks and the highpoints of your face to build a 3D effect and a healthy, contoured flush. Pink Sands is ideal for fair to medium skin tones, Golden Sands works beautifully for medium and tan skin tones, and Bronze Sands is perfect for tan to rich skin tones.
7. For the Bold Highlight: Fenty Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter, $36
The Fenty Killawatt Highlighter Duo is the bomb.com. The cream-powder hybrid glides onto the skin with literally zero effort, leaving your makeup looking lit AF. You may be a little shocked when you first see the shades, but they translate beautifully onto the skin. Our favorite is the Mimosa Sunrise and Sangria Sunset; the pink tone adds a rosy glow that’s super youthful and fresh and the orange shade looks divine on rich skin tones. There are five duo combos as well as four single shade highlighters, and although all of the shades are loaded with metallic shimmer, they’re not chunky or glittery.
Check out our top highlighter makeup tips here. What’s your fave highlighter? Let us know in the comments below.