The 30 Best Highlighters for Your Most Radiant GlowMay 23, 2023
Dewy, radiant skin is always in style, which makes highlighter as much of a staple as mascara and lip gloss in our book. Highlighter is not one-size-fits-all though — some formulas provide a natural, lit-from-within glow while others create an iridescent sheen. To help you find the best highlighter for your skin tone, we’ve highlighted (pun intended) the hues that complement every skin tone and rounded up 30 of our all-time favorite formulas. Whether you prefer powder, gel, stick or liquid formulas, find our favorite highlighters, below.
Highlighter for Fair Skin Tones
If you have pale to light skin, opt for highlighters in a pearlescent, icy silver (which will flatter cool undertones) or a champagne sheen for warm undertones. Above all, always opt for a shade that’s lighter than your skin tone.
Highlighter for Medium and Olive Skin Tones
If you have a warmer skin tone, keep your complexion from looking too frosty by going for a highlighter with a gold-bronze or copper undertone.
Highlighter for Deep Skin Tones
Rich variations of rose gold or bronze work best on darker complexions. Just be sure to look for super-pigmented or completely transparent options and steer clear of frosty, opalescent shades with a white base, as they can cause the skin to appear dull instead of lit-from-within.
The dual-ended Wonder Stick features a super-blendable highlighter that is meant to mimic a sunlit glow on all skin tones. The stick format makes it great for travel, too.
If your collection is already overflowing with champagne and gold highlighters, why not switch things up with an icy opalescent shade? This drugstore powder is the perfect starting point for trying colorful highlighters.
IT Cosmetics Your Most Beautiful You Anti-Aging Matte Bronzer, Radiance Luminizer & Brightening Blush Palette
This dynamic palette from IT Cosmetics is our pick for a highlighter for mature skin. The formulas are infused with hydrolyzed collagen, silk and peptides to nourish your skin and blur fine lines and wrinkles.
If you like your highlighter to be blindingly bright, this powder is for you. Inspired by melted metallics, the formula features pearl pigments to give you a gorgeous, reflective finish and comes in four different shades.
This multipurpose illuminator can be used as a highlighter, bronzer or blush thanks to its sheer buildable coverage. Plus, the pearlescent formula comes in seven beautiful hues.
Depending on how you apply this powder, you can increase its luminosity — so it’s like having two products in one. Use a brush or your fingers for a natural, barely-there glow or dip a wet makeup sponge into the compact for a more intense highlight.
This highlighter is a cult-classic for a reason — it instantly brightens, smooths and enhances your complexion with a natural, luminous finish.
Not many highlighters also have added skincare benefits, but this one does. This multi-purpose product acts as a primer, highlighter and moisturizer that provides 24 hours of hydration while blurring out imperfections. The result, of course, is an enviable glow.
Available in four colorways, each duo has a soft-lit sparkling shade to give you the perfect highlight and a hyper-reflective pearl shade designed to pump up the glow. Wear them separately or layer them for a truly unique look.
Infused with glycerin and shea butter for hydration, this buzzy luminizing lotion, which is available in four shades, can be worn alone, under foundation or along targeted areas for a natural, dewy effect.
Add dimension to your face in seconds with this stick highlighter. Simply swipe along the high points of your face — like your cheekbones, nose and cupid’s bow — for a bright, strobe-like effect.
Like a neutral watercolor paint for your complexion, we love using this liquid luminizer on minimal makeup days since it enhances our skin's natural glow without looking oily.
If you like lightweight, low maintenance makeup products, you’ll love the YSL Beauty NU Halo Tint Highlighter. It has a comfortable second-skin feel and a pretty pearlescent shine.
A highlighter compact that doubles as a fashion accessory? Sign us up. Offered in six shade options, the soft illuminating finishing powder enclosed in the compact provides a buildable, natural finish that can be worn alone or over makeup. Bonus: It’s refillable.
This high-intensity liquid highlighter can be used on your face and body for a gorgeous shimmer. It’s infused with avocado, rosehip, grapeseed and jojoba oils so your skin will also be left feeling soft and smooth. The easy-to-blend formula is offered in four shades: Pearl Necklace, Bombshell, Beach Babe and Golden Glow.
The hue of this duochrome highlighter shifts depending on what light you're in. Available in two shades — an effervescent rose gold and an eye-catching purple — the buttery smooth formula melts into skin and is buildable so you can get a sheer wash of color or more intense pigment.
Cut an extra step out of your makeup routine by using this shimmery blush that’s scattered with pearly pigments. Available in seven shimmering shades, it provides a gorgeous, diffused glow.
While we love using these portable sticks along the high points of your face, they’re also great for body highlighting — especially along your collarbone. They’re mess-free and small enough to stash in your purse, too, so you can add more shimmer as you transition from day to night.
The unique cushion applicator on this wand allows you to precisely dispense the pearly, blendable formula for natural-looking radiance that’s super glamorous without being over-the-top.
You won’t find any glitter, shimmer, or pearls in this highlighter. The translucent balm blends seamlessly into any skin tone, giving your complexion a gorgeous, glazed effect.
If you’re after a sheer, subtle glow, this creamy highlighter is for you. It’s made with vitamin E, coconut oil and castor seed oil to nourish and draw light into your skin.
This lightweight liquid highlighter can be worn alone or under foundation to boost luminosity. We love that the formula is cruelty-free, gluten-free and vegan, and that the packaging is completely recyclable, too.
For those who prefer minimal makeup, this lightly pigmented gel highlighter provides a barely-there, dewy sheen. The stick formula has a balmy texture that instantly adds a silky glow wherever it’s swiped.
Housed inside this mini compact is an innovative formula that feels like a cream when applied dries to a pretty powdery finish. Pop it in your purse for on-the-go highlighting.
Care for your skin and get a lit-from-within glow at the same time with this serum-moisturizer highlight. Squalane helps to hydrate the skin while the micro-shimmer finish provides a natural finish.
The illuminating end of this contour stick adds a hint of highlight that can be built up for an eye-catching sheen, and the contour end melts into skin for natural-looking definition. In six hues, there’s a shade for every skin tone.
Creamy and pigmented, this liquid luminizer easily blends into bare skin or on top of makeup. It comes in eight eye-catching shades that complement all skin tones and can be worn as you please, whether it’s as highlighter or eyeshadow.
Take your beauty routine to the next level thanks to this multi-dimensional highlighting powder. There are ten versatile hues, including your classic rose gold, bronze and copper, plus more experimental shades like lavender and light green.
For a radiant finish that packs skin-loving benefits, opt for this pressed powder. It contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to plump and nourish the complexion — not to mention, it comes in three ultra-reflective shades: rose gold, champagne and bronze.
For an otherworldly glow, reach for this funky liquid highlighter. Each shade is duochrome, meaning it reflects different colors in the light — there’s Beam Machine, a rosy bronze; Big Bang, a golden green; and Space Face, a purple with pink reflects.