9 Drugstore Highlighters That Makeup Artists Use For A Million Dollar Glow
A good highlighter isn't unlike a good bra: It lifts you up and works to enhance your features. And just like lingerie, you don't necessarily have to drop hundreds for something that makes you feel beautiful as you look. There are tons of affordable drugstore highlighter products on the market that are can lend a similar kind of high-wattage glow as their more expensive counterparts.
The main concern with drugstore highlighters, typically, is the texture. But Rebecah Janian, a Los Angeles-based artist who works with Bianca Lawson, says that the tide is turning on that front. "Makeup companies have stepped their game up so much that it's hard to find a product that isn’t good, especially with a go-to item like a highlighter," she tells TZR.
Once you've found the best shade for your skin tone and texture, you also have to be precious with the way that you apply it. "By building the coverage up slowly, you will get a better color payoff so it's not too caked or cheap-looking," Dana Delaney, a celebrity makeup artist, adds. "I often love to layer a powder over a creamy texture, or you can dampen your powder highlighter for more pigment."
Placement is also a huge factor: Delaney likes to add it to the high planes of the face: the top of cheekbones, the temples, and sometimes the bridge of the nose. "For creams, tapping into the skin with my fingers is my preferred method," she notes. "For powders, I love using a smaller pointed dome brush for more precision. That way I have more control on the placement."
Ahead, find the most affordable selections that don't sacrifice quality.
Stellar lights highlighter palette
"This palette has three perfect shades for layering. I even used this on the eyes," Delaney says.
All Aglow Bronzer & Highlighter Stick
Delany also recommends this natural pick from Burt's Bees. The sticks brighten and define your face with just a few swipes of the creamy pigment.
True Match Lumi Glow Amour Glow Boosting Drops
"If you are looking for an elevated, pigmented glow, this is the go-to. It's buildable, so it can be more subdued for a natural look or can be an absolute disco ball! I love adding a drop or two to a foundation for all-over shimmer," Delaney says.
Physician’s Formula Butter Highlighters have the coolest cream to powder, bouncy texture. "I find the color blends to be complex and beautiful," says beauty expert, and makeup artist Jenny Patinkin.
Mary Lou Manizer
According to Patinkin, this highlighter "is a silky powder texture that doubles as an eyeshadow. I love the soft champagne color."
Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator
This liquid highlighter can be used for an added glow or as a base for your foundation, which creates a dewy and bright look.
FaceStudio MasterChrome Metallic Highlighter
Maybelline New York
Janian recommends this highlighter for the reflective effects that the powder gives off. The texture is soft and goes on evenly and precise.
MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in Diamond Lily
wet n wild
If you prefer a diamond-like, icy glow, give this highlighter a try. The textures are light and blend seamlessly.
Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder
For a fresh-faced look, add this highlighter across your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose to brighten up your entire face. It's silky and easily sets into your skin.