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The best highlighters you can buy right now

January 1 | 3 minute read

Best Highlighters Hero 16x9

Words by Romy Erdos and Sherine Youssef

Originally published on | March 1

From creams and drops to liquids and powders, we've curated a list of the best highlighters you can buy right now. Ready to get glowing?

We're yet to meet anyone who didn't want their skin to look dewy and glowy – which is what makes a highlighter a beauty bag essential.

The best highlighters, applied in the right places, will deliver the kind of radiance and warmth that comes when skin is bathed in sunlight or candlelight. To start, apply highlighter on the high points of the face (think: cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, brow bones, Cupid's bow) for instant lift and a gorgeous gleam. Then think about other spots that makeup experts never skip, like the inner corners of the eyes and on the centre of each eyelid, to brighten the whole eye area (what dark circles?) and make your entire face look more alive.

When it comes to formulas, we've found it's best to have a range of each on hand for different looks and occasions, from melt-into-skin creams that look natural during the day and mix-into-your-moisturiser-or-foundation liquid drops for an all-over glow, to a last-all-night powder for date nights. As for finishes? Well, that depends on how glowy you want to go: are you here for a subtle sheen or a holographic, you-can-spot-that-from-space shine?

Here's your guide to the best products for lit skin.

Best suits-all-skin-tones highlighter

MECCA COSMETICA Enlightened Lit From Within Powder

This rose-gold highlighter gives instant radiance in the most skin-flattering hue. And that formula is top notch: a buttery powder with finely-milled mica that blends effortlessly.
This hits your high points with a lustrous gleam, which is down to the brand's signature photoluminescence technology that diffuses the reflection of natural light on the skin for an ultra-flattering, candlelit glow. The sheer powder is subtle enough for everyday wear and buildable for all-out glam.

Best liquid highlighter

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand

We love the glitter-free, soft-focus formula and high-gloss finish of this liquid highlighting wand, but we really love the cushion applicator that dispenses just the right amount of product and makes blending a breeze. One for the handbag!

Best cream-to-powder highlighter

Stila Heaven's Dew All Over Glimmer

In four must-have shades, this gives skin an out-of-this-world glow you can basically see from space. The lightweight formula feels like you’re wearing nothing at all (but the compliments will say otherwise) and the bouncy texture needs to be swatched to be believed.

Best translucent highlighter

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

This is a cult highlighter for a few reasons: the coconut oil and rosemary extract-infused formula works on all parts of the face (tap this on your eyelids for a gorgeous gleam), the satin-pearl finish is incredibly flattering and the translucent finish means it works on everyone. Everyone.
Not just another cream highlighter: this boasts innovative technology that adjusts to your body temperature and makes blending infinitely easier. Clever! That genius, plus a long-wearing and weightless formula, make these sticks winners.

Best vegan highlighter

Ere Perez Vanilla Highlighter

Use this vanilla-scented cream highlighter like a regular cream highlighter – on cheekbones, eyes, lips – but then also use it to tame your brows and give them a subtle gloss. Trust us, it's gorgeous.

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