The 5 Best Highlighters

Highlighter can instantly illuminate the face, giving you a youthful, luminous glow. It should be applied over foundation and concealer, to the areas of the face that you want to bring attention to. Makeup artists recommend lightly applying highlighter to the top of the cheekbones, over the eyebrows, on the brow bone, in the inner corners of the eyes, on the chin, above the center of the lip (on the cupid’s bow), at the center of the forehead, and down the bridge of the nose.

What Is Highlighter?

Highlighter is a cosmetic item that can diffuse light and bring emphasis to certain features of the face. It is most often available in a powder, cream, or liquid form. We have found some of the best highlighters available so that you can achieve a youthful glow, without an overload of shimmer.

Top 5 Highlighters

theBalm Manizer

theBalm Manizer is a cult classic for a reason. The champagne gold powder is a highlighter, eye shadow, and all-over shimmer powder in one, making it the perfect travel item. Along with imparting a soft glow to the skin, the light-reflecting silica particles will also conceal blemishes and fine lines. It is versatile enough for any occasion and will complement your skin under any lighting. Your skin will appear softer, more youthful, and have a beautiful, subtle glow.

TotalBeauty voted this one of the best highlighters because it will stay put all day. It is also a favorite among professional makeup artists, beauty vloggers, and beauty mavens alike because of the high color payoff and flawless results. It is also very highly rated online, including nearly 3,000 five-star reviews on Birchbox. If you don’t have a brush to apply highlighter with, then consider the Manizer and Twinbeauty Brush Set for less than $8 more.

Currently $21.60 on Amazon

Radiant Touch Concealer

Even though Radiant Touch Concealer is technically a concealer, but is most often recommended as a highlighter because it will give you luminous skin without being shimmery. In fact, famed makeup artist, Wayne Goss, stated that it is one of the most commonly misused cosmetics. It is one of the most popular concealers around the world, but according to YSL, it should be used as an instant touch up highlighter pen. The award-winning pen can brighten the complexion, making you look more youthful and awake. Some reviewers are able to use this on its own, while others find it best to layer this over their regular under eye concealer for the best results.

The matte highlighter is a favorite among professional makeup artists, beauty vloggers, and publications like Into the Gloss because it can last for up to eight hours. Daily Makeover also voted this the best under eye highlighter because the light-reflective luminosity will make under eye circles disappear. It is also very highly rated online, including more than 2,000 five-star reviews on Sephora. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch Concealer is suitable for all skin types and available in 12 shades, so you can find just the right color for your skin tone.

Currently $25.99 on Amazon

Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up!

The Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up! offers a subtle, yet noticeable glow, so you don’t have to worry about too much shimmer or pink hues. The creamy highlighter is available in a champagne color that works on most skin tones. It will glide on the skin effortlessly and you can easily apply it exactly where you like with the stick applicator. While it applies like a cream, it dries to a powdery finish and can be blended easily.

TotalBeauty selected this as one of the best highlighters because it can help you achieve a natural glow that isn’t too dramatic. It is a top recommended highlighter by makeup artists and makeup vloggers because it offers instant, noticeable results. It also has nearly 2,000 five-star reviews on Birchbox and stellar reviews online.

Currently $18.96 on Amazon

e.l.f. Studio Baked Highlighter

The e.l.f. Studio Baked Highlighter is more than just pretty to look at; it’s actually good for your skin. Infused with Vitamin E, Jojoba, Sunflower, Apricot, and Grape, your skin will actually be healthier and more hydrated after every use. The baked highlighter will illuminate the skin and impart a radiant glow. The long lasting powder can be applied wet or dry, depending on your desired look.

The bestselling highlighter is available in three shades to best suit your skin tone. Awarded the OK! Beauty Award, it is a favorite among makeup artists and beauty mavens due to its affordable price point and great color payoff. It is also commonly compared to MAC highlighters because it offers similar results at a fraction of the cost. Most reviewers agree that this is effortless to apply and a great choice for beginners.

Currently $7.16 on Amazon

Benefit Cosmetics High Beam

Benefit Cosmetics High Beam is commonly recommended by celebrity makeup artists and publications like Into the Gloss because it can offer ultra-shimmery results. It is much more noticeable compared to other highlighters, like the Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up! According to Benefit, it is a “supermodel in a bottle,” which you can use as a spot highlighter, a soft blush, or all over the face to give your makeup a shimmery, radiant base.

The liquid highlighter is considered a complexion enhancer because it will make your face look more youthful and give you a glow-from-within. There are other highly rated Benefit highlighters as well, so if this one isn’t right for you, there is likely one in the line that is.

Currently $23.44 on Amazon

And those are our recommendations for the best highlighters. As always, be sure to check Wise Bread's Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

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