Highlighters are part of a makeup tool that is used to reflect light to create a contour and angle. Makeup Highlighters are commonly applied on areas of the face like the cheekbones, jawline, and t-zone, but can also be applied anywhere on the body, that helps accentuate these areas and create a more angular illusion. The commercial use for highlighters comes in different formulas like liquid, cream, powder, or gloss. Liquid highlighters work well for normal to dry skin types and easily blend well with other makeup layers. Cream based highlighters are easy to blend using the fingers, even for oily skin. Powder highlighters are best recommended for all skin types, but can be difficult to apply in comparison with liquid and cream highlighters.  Things that should be considered when choosing the right highlighters are the shades, colours, its formulation, consistency, and the one’s own skin tone. Picking the right shade of highlighter should be two shades lighter than the colour of one’s skin, for it to stand out and create a contrasting effect. Application of highlighters can be highly subjective, depending on the features of a person's face that should be highlighted.

Highlighters have become an essential makeup product for many people today, whether it's for professional or aesthetic reasons. A variety of highlighter formulas, texture, shades, and packaging caters to the different needs of makeup enthusiasts. Highlighters have created its own niche as a makeup tool that is a useful addition. One size does not fit all, that is why reading on several brand user reviews can be very helpful to know the advantages and disadvantages of each product. Weighing out customer feedback can determine if it is worth shelling out an amount of money when comparing different makeup highlighters. 

1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is a three shade finishing powder that projects a glow from light deflection. It utilises its own Photoluminescent Technology that accentuates the skin colour, conceals blemishes and gives the skin that radiant finish. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is vegan and gluten free and comes in shades of Dim Light, Incandescent Light and Radiant Light. The Ambient Lighting Palette retails for an average price of £61 GBP. Users of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette give it a 4.3 star rating out of 5 for its subtle and gorgeous shades that blend well on the skin. 

Advantages of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Disadvantages of Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Subtle shades

Not ideal for oily skin

Vegan and Cruelty free

Reminiscent shades from previous products.

Lightweight

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter

Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter provides intense shades of colours that are fit for most skin types and complexions. It is formulated in a compact form with an extra illuminating sheer that gives out an extra shine to the skin. The Amrezy Highlighter can be applied on the wet or dry skin and works well on the contours of the face, eyes and other parts of the body. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter has an average price of £35 GBP. Users of the 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter reviewed the product and gave it a 4.9 star rating out of 5, praising it for its ultra sheer colour and appealing look on most skin colours. 

Advantages of Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter

Disadvantage of Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter

Ultra Sheer Shade

Formula is not binding when compared with other brands.

Matches most skin tones

Creamy texture when applied on skin.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter

3. Rms Beauty Living Luminizer

Rms Beauty Living Luminizer comes in three natural finishes, each gives a soft touch of illumination appearance on the skin. It contains potent ingredients like Coconut Oil, Castor Seed Oil and vitamin E that together nourishes, hydrates the skin to keep them smooth and healthy. The Rms Beauty Living Luminizer can be bought for approximately £36 GBP. Users of the Rms Beauty Living Luminizer reviewed the product and rated it with a 4.3 star out of 5, praising it for its natural glow effect and creamy texture, 

Advantages of Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter

Disadvantages of Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter

Easy to blend

Not ideal for darker skin complexion

Creamy formula

Easily transfers and smears

Dewy finishes on the eyes, face and any part of the body. 

Rms Beauty Living Luminizer

4. Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick

Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick gives two amazing highlighter shades on either side of the stick that comes in different sets of palettes. The formula is long lasting and is infused with lychee extract to keep skin feeling moisturised and hydrated. The Uoma Contour stick form factor makes it easier to apply strokes when highlighting. It is free from silicon, paraben, talc, and scent. The Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick is available for around £35 GBP.  The Contour Stick gains a 4.8 star rating out of 5 for its easy to apply packaging and gorgeous sheer colour. 

Advantages of Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick

Disadvantage of Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick 

Blendable and smooth formula

Dries out easily

Natural Glow

Highly pigmented

Uoma Beauty Double Take Contour Stick

5. Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter

Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter is a gel based highlighter that comes in two radiant finish shades that bring out a fresh look on the skin. It is formulated with 75% water that makes it blendable with other makeup formulas. The Saie Dewy Highlighter contains Glycerin and RoseHip Seed Oil that moisturises the layers of the skin and vitamin C to give an additional glow. The Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter is for sale approximately for £22 GBP.  The Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter is rated 4.6 stars out of 5, mainly for its glowy finish and long lasting gel formula. 

Advantages of Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter

Disadvantages of Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter

Long Lasting

Unpleasant scent

Natural Glow

Not Sheer enough for certain skin complexion

Huge coverage, economical

Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter

6. Chanel Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick

The Chanel Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick adds an extra glow to the face, eyes and even for the lips. It comes in different shear shades that does not only highlight the skin but moisturises. The Chanel Baume Glow Stick comes in a twist up tube that is easier to apply when sculpting areas on the face. Chanel Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick retails for approximately £35 GBP.  The Chanel Baume Glow Stick is rated 4.7 stars out of 5 for its non-greasy moisturising formula and versatility. 

Advantages of Chanel Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick

Disadvantage of Chanel Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick

Creamy formula

Not sheer enough/visible for certain skin complexion

Easy to apply Twist-up Case

Hydrating

Chanel Baume Essentiel Multi-Use Glow Stick

7. Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick

Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick is a versatile highlighter that can be used around the eyes, for contouring or on the lips as a moisturiser. It is in a balm formula that gives out a radiant glow to the skin. Westman Atelier uses its own Special-effect Pigment Feature to give that shimmery multicoloured sheen effect. This Highlight stick does not only colour but takes good care of the skin with its Vitus Vita Fruit Extract and Ayurvedic Oil Blend that moisturises the skin layers. Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick retails for around £44 GBP. The Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick is rated 4.2 stars out of 5 for its skin glass finish and

Advantages of Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick

Disadvantage of Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick

Subtle and natural sheen on the skin

It wears off easily

Non-greasy texture

Buttery formula, easily glides on skin

Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick

8. Nyx Professional Makeup Strobe of Genius Holographic Stick

The Nyx Professional Makeup Strobe of Genius Holographic Stick is a luminous highlighter stick, providing a creamy gloss finish on the skin. NYX Professional has infused its ultra-fine holographic pearls in the formula that results in an iridescent effect when swiped on the skin. The Strobe of Genius Highlighter promises to be cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. Nyx Professional Makeup Strobe of Genius Holographic Stick is available in stores for around £12 GBP. Nyx’s Strobe of Genius Holographic Stick  is rated 4.3 stars out of 5 for its unique holographic, white toned and dewy finish. 

Advantages of Nyx Professional Makeup Strobe of Genius Holographic Stick

Disadvantages of Nyx Professional Makeup Strobe of Genius Holographic Stick

Unique holographic effect

It requires a few applications to be visible 

Creamy formula

Sticky and greasy feel

Subtle sheen

Nyx Professional Makeup Strobe of Genius Holographic Stick

9. Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Liquid Highlighter

Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Liquid Highlighter comes in six shades, giving the skin a glassy and transparent result. Its formula comes in a gel form that easily glides on any skin areas for highlight and contouring. Kevyn Aucoin highlighter has hydrating passion fruit and marula oils that keep skin moisturised all day. Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Liquid Highlighter is available in stores for around £26 GBP. Kevyn’s Liquid Highlighter is rated 4 stars out of 5 for its gorgeous glass glow finish. 

Advantages of Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Liquid Highlighter

Disadvantages of Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Liquid Highlighter

Natural glass skin glow

Sticky consistency

Moisturising formula

Doesn’t blend well

Versatile product

Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Liquid Highlighter

10. Cle De Peau Beaute Luminizing Face Enhancer

Cle De Peau Beaute Luminizing Face Enhancer is a highlighting makeup powder that naturally diffuses light on the skin when applied. Using its Japanese makeup technology, Cle De Peau has created a light deflecting highlighter formula that enhances contouring. The highlighter collection comes in different aluminizing shades of green, beige pink and lavender. Cle De Peau Beaute Luminizing Face Enhancer is available online and in stores for around £75 GBP each. Cle De Peau Face Enhancer is  given a rating of 4.2  stars out of 5 for its aluminising finish. 

Advantages of Cle De Peau Beaute Luminizing Face Enhancer

Disadvantages of Cle De Peau Beaute Luminizing Face Enhancer

Healthy, subtle glow on the skin

More of a glittery than a radiant finish

Easily blends and diffuses

Expensive

Long Lasting

Cle De Peau Beaute Luminizing Face Enhancer

11. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Tan

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Tan is a collection of warmer shades of amber highlighters that gives the skin an instant glow. The Filter Tan is best recommended for people with a tan skin complexion and deeper skin tones.  The highlighter can be worn alone to give that radiant, real-life filter glow on the skin. The Charlotte Tilbury Filter Tan contains a fine powder formula that conceals visible pores on the skin. It includes a moisturising component, Porcelain Flower Extract and Glossy Oil. The Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Tan is retailed for approximately £36 GBP. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Tan is rated  4.3 stars out of 5 for filter like effect on tan skin. 

Advantages of Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Tan

Disadvantage of Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Tan

Doubles as a concealer

Easily smudges after a few hours after application

Non-greasy formula

Matches most Tan and deeper skin tones

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Tan

12. Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter

Watt's Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter from Benefit Cosmetics can be applied alone for a luminous finish or over makeup. The cream-to-Powder Highlighter gives a champagne shade glow, best recommended for any skin tone. It creates a soft concealing action to areas of the skin with blemishes and uneven colour. The Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter is available at around £28 GBP. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Tan is given a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 for its soft-focus that is flattering for most skin types. 

Advantages of Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter

Disadvantages of Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter

Airbrush effect

Difficult to blend with makeup

Flattering on most skin colour

Patchy for people with dry skin

Perfect Champagne shade glow

Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter

13. M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish

M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish is formulated with baked powder that comes in sheer and natural glow finish on the face and skin. The Mineralize Skinfinish is perfect for contouring and its palate collection fits well for every skin colour and complexion. The M.A.C. Face powder is perfect for people with prone-acne skin as it is tested by Dermatologists and Ophthalmologists. It is free from any skin irritating ingredients like Paraben, Phthalates, Mineral oil. M.A.C. Mineralized Skinfinish costs around £27 GBP. M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish is given a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 for its lightweight finish that fits well for different skin colours. 

Advantages of M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish

Disadvantages of M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish

Natural skin finish look

Poor coverage

Fit for oily skin

Powder formula accentuates skin creases

Easy to blend with makeup

M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish

14. L’Oreal® Paris True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette

The True Match Lumi Glow Nude is composed of four highlighting powder that can be blended and mixed together to create a multidimensional effect on the skin. This highlighter works well as a contouring tool on the cheeks and cheekbones. It comes in two contrasting shades and palettes, the Moonkissed Palette and Sunkissed Palette, that fit for different skin tones. L’Oreal® Paris True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette retails for approximately £12 GBP. True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter receives a 4.1 out of 5 star rating because of its comprehensive palette for different skin tones.

Advantages of L’Oreal® Paris True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette

Disadvantages of L’Oreal® Paris True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette

Versatile, day and night highlighter

Chalky texture

Affordable price

Not pigmented enough

Easy to apply formula

Colour palette for different skin tones

L’Oreal® Paris True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette

15. Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo is a set of creamy gel highlighters that pairs together to create a dewy and radiant finish on the skin. Its Pearlescent Highlighter formula acts to diffuse light it reflects, while its balm adds a saturated finish. The Balm highlighter is formulated with aloe and argan oils, with hyaluronic acid that moisturises and hydrates the skin. The Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo retails for approximately £40 GBP. Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo receives a 4.9 out of 5 star rating for its amazing dual highlighter finish. 

Advantages of Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo

Disadvantages of Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo

Great consistency

Not visible enough for lighter skin.

Dewy, subtle glow finish

Dries out after application

Non-sticky

Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish Highlighter and Balm Duo

16. Sephora Collection Golden Hour Luminizing Powder

Sephora’s Golden Hour Luminizing Powder is a collection of four highlighting powder inspired by the different colours of the horizon, and adds an extra luminous glow to a makeup routine. Its powder formula is ideal for solo application or can blend well with other makeup products for contour and highlights around the nose, eyelids, cheeks, and cheekbones. Sephora Collection Golden Hour Luminizing Powder is available for purchase online at £14 GBP. The Golden Hour Luminizing Powder is given a user rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars for its beautiful shades and subtle glow. 

Advantages of Sephora Collection Golden Hour Luminizing Powder

Disadvantages of Sephora Collection Golden Hour Luminizing Powder

Beautiful and subtle glow

Drying effect on skin

Creamy and smooth formula

Lightly pigmented

Long-lasting

Sephora Collection Golden Hour Luminizing Powder

What are the Features of highlighters to Look for?

Makeup Highlighter attracts light and deflects it to create a natural looking glow on the skin. There are different formulas in the market for people to choose from, including its consistency, to shades, colour, and texture that matches to one’s taste. A general rule for a highlighter is selecting a shade that is two shades lighter from one’s skin complexion. People with lighter complexion should opt for shades that have a more metallic or pearlescent sheen. Highlighters that are highly pigmented work well for people who have deeper skin tones. Consistencies of highlighters are another thing to look out for, from creamy and gel texture to powder highlighters. Cream-based highlighters give off a more natural look and are easier to apply and blend with the fingers. It is recommended to use powder highlighters on people with oily skin because they give a more defined contouring effect to the face.

What are the Benefits of Using highlighters?

The increasing popularity of highlighters has become an essential addition to most makeup routines. It is definitely best to use highlighters on the right parts of the face and body in order to accentuate and highlight these regions.  Listed below are the benefits of using makeup highlighters.

  • Applying highlighters on the areas of the face, like the cheekbones, creates an illusion that adds a dimension, naturally lifting the area. 
  • Putting highlights on the lip around the cupid’s bow allows it to look more plump and noticeable.
  •  Dabbing highlights in between the corner of the eyes makes them pop and stand out. 
  • Highlights naturally lifts the face up when it is applied under the brows, cheekbones or along the jawline. 
  • The shimmered glow by highlighters gives the face an overall fresh look and glowing look. 
  • Highlighter acts as a concealer that hides dark circles or uneven patches on the skin. 

Is it easy to apply highlighters?

Yes, applying highlighters on the face and around the body can be an easy skill to do or learn. Most highlighter formulas come in creamy sticks that can easily glide on the skin and instantly blend alone or on top of other layers of makeup. It's a good idea to determine the areas that need more emphasis, such as cheekbones, nose bridges, lips, eyes, or chins. Highlighters can be applied differently depending on the areas that require accentuating and the kind of highlighter used. Cream based highlighters can be applied using bare fingers, while powdered highlighters are blended using a beauty blender or brush.