Instantly healthier skin in palette, powder or liquid form
First came contouring, then came the best highlighter in every shade, finish and intensity imaginable. With so many on the beauty market, it can be overwhelming to know which is the best for you to stock up on.
Read on as the Marie Claire beauty team chart the latest and greatest formulas, from liquids to powders and everything in between.
Best drugstore highlighter
NYX makes some of the best highlighters you’ll get your hands on for under a tenner, available in rosy blush and bronze finishes that’d make a . Don’t be put off by the blue shade – it adds a bright, silvery, ethereal glow that’s out of this world. Collect them all, etc etc.
Best liquid highlighter
Cover FX’s highlighting glow drops are legendary in the beauty community for their versatility and blindingly brilliant glow powers. Either apply a couple of drops directly to the skin for an undeniable chroma glow, or mix with foundation or moisturiser for an all over healthy sheen. Get ready to dazzle ’em.
Best highlighter powder
If it’s an otherworldly, irridescent kind of glow you’re after, Illamasqua’s pressed highlighting powders are just the thing – especially the ethereal shade above, Daze.
Best highlighter palettes
When it comes to the best highlighter palettes, Hourglass users are rarely (read: never) disappointed. Their Amibent Lighting Palette gives skin a gleam in different blushing shades and makes it instantly look five times healthier, whatever the weather. Dust all over for a radiant glow or apply to cheekbones to make your whole face pop.
Best highlighter brush
For gentle, all-over radiance, choose a tapered brush to blend the highlighting pigment into your skin. Try e.l.f.’s Highlighting Brush for a budget-friendly buy, or check out RealTechniques, MAC and Bobbi Brown for other great buys. If you want a truly bright glow, the key is to choose a brush with densely-packed fibres to really pile on the pigment.
Best highlighter for pale skin
Charlotte Tilbury is all about that Hollywood glow, handily packaged into the beauty light wands that’ll light up your face like candlelight. It suits all skin tones really well, but it’s light and bright enough that it’ll add radiance to pale skin, rather than being too dark to truly illuminate your complexion. You’ll look dreamy, darlings.
Best highlighter for dark skin
Mega-instagrammble brand Glossier, brought to you by blogger extraordinaire Emily Weiss, has completely taken off since its UK launch. Their Haloscope stick highlighters contain a sheen, crystal-enriched highlighting formula as well as a solid balm core to up your skin’s sheen. Plus the stick formula makes them handbag-friendly for on the go glow-ups.
Shop our edit of more of the best highlighter shades below. Shine bright!
Prismatic pigments that build up for as much or little glow as you like, Laura Geller's Face Illuminator are the ultimate highlighter – if you can bring yourself to touch that pattern, that is.
BECCA is to highlighters what cheese is to pickle, Watch any beauty YouTuber and you'll see this gorgeous highlighter pop up more than once. Their most famed shade is this one: The warm, golden Champagne Pop.
Classics are classic for a reason: Their greatness has stood the test of time, much like Touche Éclat. An absolute cult classic, this click-up highlighting pen is easy to apply to any spot you want to add extra radiance. (Don't follow the common myth that it's a concealer – it's most definitely a highlighter.) Add to any point that light would naturally bounce off.
Who says you can't blush and hightlight at the same time? Not us! And not Fenty Beauty!
Stick formulas are hailed for their brilliance because they're portable and blend into the skin effortlessly. Affordable beauty doesn't come much better than L'Oreal's Infallible range, giving you that flawless finish every time. The Strobe Sticks are buildable allowing you to amp up the glow as much or as little as you'd like.
Developed with the help of legendary make-up artist Wendy Rowe, you can see why this is the perfect stick for highlighting dozens of models backstage at fashion week; it’s super-quick and easy to use and creates a natural-looking radiance in seconds. The colour finish is a creamy, butter-like shade.
This is the perfect handbag highlighter. It's the size of a lip balm and perfect for on the go touch ups.