The best highlighters for everything from a healthy glow to all-out strobing

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 Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder, £9, Boots

best highlighter NYX Duo Chromatic Highlighting Powder

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.

Buy now

Best liquid highlighter

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops, £34, Cult Beauty

best highlighter Cover FX

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.

Buy now

Best highlighter powder

Illamasqua Beyond Powder, £34, Illamasqua

best highlighter Illamasqua

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.

Buy now

Best highlighter palettes

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette, £56, Space NK

best highlighter Hourglass Ambient Lighting


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.

Buy now

Best highlighter brush

e.l.f. Highlighting Brush, £4.50, Feelunique

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.

Buy now

Best highlighter for pale skin

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand, £29, John Lewis

best highlighter


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.

Buy now

Best highlighter for dark skin

Glossier Haloscope, £18,

best highlighter Glossier

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.

Buy now

Shop our edit of more of the best highlighter shades below. Shine bright!

Reading now