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Are you searching for a more youthful glow but are sick of sub-par highlighters? We understand!

If you’re looking for that perfectly-chiseled face or want to accentuate what you already have, then you’re going to need the best! However, with the market so oversaturated with highlighters, it can be difficult to find them amongst the thousands that are out there.

Not to fret! We have all the best face highlighters and they’re ready to show off!

Top 5 Face Highlighters For 2019

Give your makeup a natural touch with one of these amazing highlighters!

HighlighterTypeAt a Glance 
e.l.f Baked HighlighterPowderComes in three colors, very inexpensive, long-lasting, infused with nourishing ingredients, lightweight, easy to travel with
MAC Extra Dimension SkinFinishPowderLiquid-powder, gives luminous/well-defined finish, lasts up to 10 hours, comes in variety of colors, creamy consistency, easy to apply
Make Face GlossGlossBalances and maintains moisture, subtle illumination and brightness, great for all skin types and colors, natural glow
Perricone MD No Highlighter (Editor's Pick)SerumFragrance-free, highlights and glows, very lightweight, soft pearlized effect, fluid texture, made with Vitamin C, universal for all skin types/colors
Kevyn Aucoin CelestialLiquidGel-cream, radiant, highly-pigmented, natural-looking, waterproof, long-lasting, multiple uses, paraben-and-silicone-free

Now that you’ve had the chance to take a look at all of the best face highlighters, scroll down a bit more to take an in-depth look at each product we have listed above!

E.l.f. Baked – Best Budget Product

best drugstore highlighter makeup

One of the best drugstore highlighter makeup items is without a doubt the e.l.f. Baked Highlighter.

The brand is already known for the extremely budget-friendly products, and at under 10 dollars, this highlighter is no exception. However, we also know that some of their products are a little bit too “you get what you pay for”-esque. Not with this one!

This powder highlighter illuminates the face through a micro-shimmer along with a slight hint of color; not too much, and not too little. In addition, they’ve added Vitamin E, Jojoba, Sunflower, Apricot, and Grapeseed oil to nourish and hydrate your skin, both inside and out!

Since the formula, as you probably guessed it by the title, is baked, you can apply it wet or dry. If you apply it dry, as it comes, it will give you a sheer, more natural look. The wet formula will give you a more dramatic effect, which looks amazing for evening wear.

The highlighter is currently available in three shades: Pink Diamonds, Blush Gems, and Moonlight Pearls. We personally liked the Blush Gems the best, which is a bronzy rose and looks amazing on the cheekbones. Pink Diamonds is an icy illuminator with just a hint of pink, while Moonlight Pearls is a warm champagne.

Okay, to be honest, upon first use, we really were not fans of the face highlighter, due to the fact that it was so difficult to pick any pigment up on the brush. However, if you decide to apply it wet or just spray on a little setting spritz, it becomes bold and vibrant in just a couple layers.

On top of this, after the top layer is removed, you will see a definite improvement in results by using it dry.

Why?

With most of e.l.f.’s products, they have a protective top layer to help protect the actual product before purchase. It’s kind of weird, but it makes sense. Just use a paper towel or piece of toilet paper to wipe off the first layer, and you’ll be good to go.

What We Liked

  • Extremely inexpensive
  • Can be used either wet or dry
  • Thin, compact product is great to travel with

What We Didn’t Like

  • Need protective top layer to be removed

MAC Extra Dimension SkinFinish – Most Travel Friendly Product

face highlighter sephora reviews

The Extra Dimension SkinFinish Highlighter from MAC is yet another one of their products that seemingly can’t go wrong.

The product now features seven permanent shades: Beaming Blush, Doublegleam, Glow With It, Oh Darling!, Show Gold, Soft Frost, and Superb.

Beaming Blush is a kind of fuchsia pink with hints of gold. Doublegleam is a gold that breaks silver. Glow With It is best described as a soft peachy nude with multidimensional shimmer. Oh Darling! Is a beautiful metallic gold (one of our favorites), and Show Gold is a peach which breaks pink and has a hint of gold. Soft Frost is a white shimmer that breaks violet, and finally, Superb is a patina bronze.

This highlight makeup product adds the perfect glow to your already-beautiful skin. This liquid-powder highlighter with prismatic reflection is created to highlight all of your best features, while also sculpting and defining.

Something we really loved was the texture.

As with most MAC powders, the texture is very soft, smooth, and easy-to-blend. It has an almost buttery feeling rather than the chalkiness you’d typically see with a powder compact.

how to highlight and contour your face

Upon application, you’ll see the beautiful sheen that it gives off. You can easily change the intensity by using particular brushes. If you have a dense brush, you’re going to see more product, and thus, a more dramatic look. It’s also buildable, so if you’re feeling a little more intense for a night out, go for it!

The pigmentation isn’t over-the-top, however, keeping consistent with their other products, it does have a good amount. With that being said, you will notice a large difference between the colors, so choose wisely!

You may be wondering how the durability is.

We saw about 8 hours of wear before it started fading. MAC touts it as “lasting up to 10 hours”, which maybe that works for some people, but we didn’t experience more than eight.

So, with all that being said, did we have any dislikes?

Not really! The only possible downside could be that it’s not as inexpensive as some other options, but we felt the sheer durability and wear-time of the highlighter made up for it.

What We Liked

  • Lasts for a long time; around 8 hours
  • Comes in a wide variety of gorgeous, unique colors
  • Buildable pigmentation with a great level of brilliance

What We Didn’t Like

  • Costs a bit more than some others on our list

Make Face Gloss – Most Versatile Product

best drugstore highlighter for contouring

The Make Face Gloss is definitely one of the unique highlighters on the market today, but also one of the best makeup highlighters!

At first, we will say that it felt a little awkward, as it comes out as a thick gel-cream substance. After application, it did feel kind of grimy. Luckily, that feeling went away after fully drying. The main reason for the “griminess” is probably due to the fact that it feels a bit like glue until drying.

Okay, so now we’ll tell you why the highlighter made our list because at this point you’re probably wondering why!

First of all, it actually made our skin feel healthy after application and after it fully dried. This is due to the fact that it both balances and maintains moisture while enhancing the overall appearance. This is something that’s a bit more difficult to accomplish with the compact powder forms that face highlighters usually come in.

What does it look like on?

We noticed it illuminates well, but not overwhelmingly. It gives a more subtle glow, while simultaneously enriching your natural glow through its vitamin-rich formulation. You can wear it just as well over bare skin as over foundation and powder.

Perhaps the thing we liked best about the Make Face Gloss, is that because the product itself is colorless, it can be worn over any skin type and color. This is a huge selling point for us because of the struggle of finding the best color for your particular skin.

Another huge bonus is that it’s not tested on animals, is vegan, paraben-free, doesn’t contain any artificial fragrances, and is hypoallergenic. So if you have sensitive skin or place importance on eco-friendly products, then this is an amazing option! They also donate 10% of their sales to the We See Beauty Foundation!

Perricone MD No Highlighter Highlighter – Editor’s Favorite

best drugstore highlighter for summer ratings

Okay, so it is called a “No Highlighter”, but it is actually a highlighter – a very impressive one at that!

The first thing we noticed was the attractive matte glass bottle that you can tell is holding a high-quality product inside.

Dr. Perricone himself says this: “The No Highlighter Highlighter is an innovative color treatment designed with light-reflecting pearls to bring instant radiance to the skin. Formulated with Vitamin C Ester to help brighten the skin and diffuse imperfections caused by sun damage. Designed in one universal shade, No Highlighter Highlighter enhances contours, improves skin tone, and smooths skin’s texture”.

We have to say that everything he stated, we can attest to through our personal accounts.

While we didn’t use it long enough to see any dark spots brighten, we did see a notable difference in the smoothness of our skin. The DMAE is a chemical made to smooth wrinkles, and the anti-aging peptides and date fruit extract help that along, too. Typically, it will take up to 8 weeks before you’ll start to see results.

The product itself feels like a kind of oily liquid but definitely feels lighter than the last product. It’s a serum, so if you’ve used serums before, you’ll know how nice they are. It absorbs well and leaves the skin feeling smooth, soft, and leaves a beautiful illumination/pearlized effect.

Simply apply the lightweight facial highlighter with the doe-foot wand that it comes with.

Now, let’s get to the parts we weren’t fans of.

Really, there was only one thing, and that is the price. It’s much more expensive than any other product on our list, but it is definitely an amazing product that is dermatologist-approved.

What We Liked

  • Dermatologist-approved
  • Lightweight, easy-application formula
  • Improves skin’s natural glow while minimizing wrinkles and improving hydration

What We Didn’t Like

  • More expensive than others

Kevyn Aucoil Celestial Skin Liquid – Best Product for Aging Skin

glitter highlighter makeup stick

Not only does the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Skin Liquid have a cool name, it actually works wonders.

This thick gel-cream was created specifically to make your skin look like it’s been bathed in candlelight; seriously, that’s what the champagne shade is named after!

In contrast to most other cream highlighters, this face highlighter actually lasts long enough to make it worth purchasing. It is really easy to apply, and goes on smooth – practically glides on, in fact! Upon application, you’ll notice a pearly sheen, with glow-enhancing benefits. You can even mix it with a liquid foundation to create an all-over glow.

The fine pearls included in the formula, with micronized spheres create a healthy, naturally-glowing look, anywhere you apply it. The wear is the longest of any we tried. The package states a minimum of 12 hours, which is pretty impressive. We didn’t try it for longer than that, but we can confirm it will stay on without fading for that long!

If you have aging skin or just generally care about your skin’s health, you’ll also love the Celestial Liquid. With the addition of antioxidants and Vitamin E, and the lack of parabens, the formula is created to actually improve the look and health of your skin from both the inside and out. They’ve even thought to include raspberry stem cell extract and bearberry complex to protect skin from damage due to oxidation.

The one thing we didn’t like?

It is a bit more expensive than most other products we tried, however, still relatively affordable, considering how long it lasts.

What We Liked

  • Excellent for all types of skin
  • Extremely long wear time and long-lasting overall
  • Works to improve the health of skin both inside and out

What We Didn’t Like

  • A bit more expensive than most others

Conclusion

Now that you’ve taken a good look at each of the facial highlighters, which one will be making its way to your home?

If you are still unsure about which to buy, we had one that really stood out to us: the Perricone MD. While it was more expensive in comparison with the others on our list, the fact that it’s so long-lasting and so high-quality practically makes up for it.

It actively works to improve the health and appearance and skin from both the inside and out, so you’ll feel great about using it. It’s dermatologist-approved, and it’s nice and lightweight so it’s comfortable to wear and doesn’t clog your pores.

Don’t fret if that doesn’t call your name; you’ll love any of the best face highlighters on our guide!

Editor-in-Chief

A little over a year ago, Jennifer quit her job as a PR consultant to backpack through Europe and Southeast Asia, where she decided to turn her passion into a business and launched JustWomanThings.

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