Get the glow without spending the dough! Check out our 11 best drugstore highlighter picks.

The past few years have seen the meteoric rise of the contouring craze, and it seems everywhere you turn there’s a crazy new technique or product aimed to make you appear more chiseled than a Michelangelo sculpture. Well, word on the street—and runway—is that those heavily shadowed, contoured faces are being phased out and being replaced by bright, illuminated ones. Phew! Yup, that was a collective sigh of relief from those of us who have not quite mastered the complicated art of contouring yet. So, stash away that multi-step contouring palette and break out your highlighter. While highlighting might not exactly be a brand-new concept, it’s definitely a hot topic and one to take seriously. And, if you’re not willing to fully commit to the highlighting and strobing trend sweeping the nation, that’s OK, too. Take baby steps by picking up a highlighter that won’t cost a bundle and will work with any level of highlighting you want to partake in. Here, our top picks that you can find at your local drugstore. Plus, how to use them get your skin glowing—stat.

A Few Highlighter Tips to Know Before You Glow 

Thanks to the recent buzz surrounding highlighting these days, drugstore shelves are now flooded with radiance boosters—and you may have noticed that they’re not all created equal. There are powders, creams, sticks, all in an array of shades ranging from pinks to icy silvers and metallic golds. So, how do you pick the best one for your skin type and tone? Here, three pro tips to help you nail the right formula and shade.   

1. First, consider your skin type

If your complexion is oily, you probably want to avoid cream and liquid formulas. They can make skin look sweaty and greasy. Instead, get your radiance from a powder, which also helps absorb excess oil as it gives skin luminosity. On the other hand, if your skin is on the dry side, skip the powder shimmer. It will only shine a spotlight on flaky skin—and who wants that? Opt for a cream or liquid product, which gives dry skin a fresh, hydrated look. What about stick formulas? These tend to have a creamy finish, so will also work well for those with normal to dry skin.

2. Focus in on your skin tone

You’ve probably noticed that highlighters come in a lot of different tones: pale champagne pinks, rich golds and coppers. So, how do you choose? If you’re fair, choose an illuminator in a cool, icy tone such as silver or pale pink. If you go too dark or golden, the product will look like bronzer on your skin, not highlighter. If your skin is medium, try peach or rose golds. And if you have dark skin, choose one that’s deep gold, copper or bronze.

3. Match it to your makeup’s texture

Do you wear powder foundation? Then you should stick to a powder highlighter. On the other hand, if you wear liquid or cream foundation, go with a creamy illuminator, too. Since you’ll be layering your highlighter on top of you base, you want the two to be compatible. If they aren’t, the two formulas will be tough to blend. 


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