The $5 Highlighter Meghan Markle’s Makeup Artist Swears By

by Ruby Buddemeyer
Eddie Mulholland/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Conjure up an image of Meghan Markle's favorite highlighter and you'll likely picture a super-luxe formula packaged in a solid-gold jar. But according to her makeup artist, the Duchess of Sussex's go-to highlighter may not be so royal after all. Better yet, there's a good chance you have a tube of it in your bathroom cabinet right this second.

In order to give his celebrity clients (including the likes of Jessica Alba and Olivia Culpo) a shimmery, natural-looking glow, makeup artist Daniel Martin swaps traditional powder or liquid highlighters for Aquaphor. "Aquaphor will give you that same texture, especially in a photo [when applied] on the high points of the face," he told E! News. Martin, who was responsible for Markle's stunning no-makeup makeup look at her and Prince Harry's wedding in May, says the brand's cult-favorite healing ointment does far more than relieve cuts and scrapes — it offers the perfect glow.

But even though Aquaphor has the makeup-artist seal of approval, is it really safe enough to slather on your face? The Zoe Report went to Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group to set the record straight.

"Aquaphor is a wonderful drug-store item for skin health," Dr. Nazarian tells The Zoe Report via email.

The formula, which is loaded with lanolin, petrolatum, mineral oil, and glycerin, may deserve a spot in your first-aid kit and your makeup kit after all.

"Not only does it protect cuts from getting infected and helps broken skin heal, but it also works as an ideal moisture barrier to lock in hydration during cold, arid seasons."

Dr. Nazarian has little concern with using Aquaphor as a highlighter — though she suggests opting for something a little lighter in warm weather. "If it's used during very humid or hot seasons, it may not allow the sweat glands to drain sweat properly and could increase chances of a heat rash. But a small amount on your face as a highlighter? That should be absolutely fine for most skin types."

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Post cleansing and moisturizing your skin, dab the formula across the tip of your cheekbones, bridge of your nose, at the cupid's bow, or under your brows and you'll be left with a dewy glimmer that's worthy of Markle herself.

But for anyone looking to take a more traditional approach, the market is flooded with creamy, lightweight formulas that will give you the same result. Shop The Zoe Report's favorites — which are all suited for even sensitive skin — below.

Shop Lightweight Highlighters