Best Highlighters for Radiant Skin
What if we told you we found the secret to achieving radiant skin? No, it’s not a magic beauty pill, but it does work instantly. Highlighter is the answer to all your “what’s the best makeup for glow” questions. Plus, it’s worth the extra step in your makeup routine because it can give you a luminous complexion with little effort. Sure, it takes a bit of work to find the right formula and color but once you do, you’ll never look back. Here, we’ll teach you all about the basics including a highlighter review, the difference between liquid and powder highlighters and how to apply highlighters the right way.
Wait, what is highlighter exactly?
Highlighter is used to help your skin reflect light so it’s luminous and radiant looking. Makeup artists have been using the strobing technique where highlighter is applied to the high points of the face, for years. With this effect, you can make your eyes appear bigger and brighter, lift your cheekbones, bring dimension to the nose and forehead and even make your lips look more plump. Sign us up!
How do I choose the right color of highlighter?
Choosing the right highlighter for a luminous complexion is all about working with your skin’s natural undertones. You’ll notice that highlighters typically run warm or cool and that’s a nod to skin tones. If your complexion is on the cool, fair spectrum then tones like pearl, silver and champagne are your best bet. If your skin is a warmer hue with olive undertones, golden or bronze hues will look best. For those with deep or dark complexions, rose gold or deep bronze highlighters will give the best glow.
What’s the difference between powder vs. liquid highlighter?
Both liquid and powder highlighters can produce radiant skin results. Your skin type can help you decide which one is right for you. If you have combination or oily skin, powder highlighter may work best for your skin because powder absorbs oil. If your skin is on the dry side, a liquid highlighter will melt into your skin and give you an extra dose of moisture.
Not all highlighters are created equally so it’s best to do your research before you buy (and no, scrolling your TikTok feed for GRWM videos doesn’t exactly count!). Here’s a review of the most popular types of highlighter and when to reach for each one.
Powder highlighter allows for the best control and placement on your face because you apply it using a brush, which allows for a subtle or substantial glow. You can easily dial up your glow as needed by layering it and applying a few coats. We love an oil-infused powder formula that melts into the skin and won’t settle into fine lines or pores. This baked formula’s multidimensional color means you can maximize the dimension factor, too.
Liquid highlighter is so versatile because you can mix it with your foundation for a subtle radiance sheen or use it alone on key areas like your eyes, cheeks and even lips for a healthy dose of glow. This formula packs skincare-worthy ingredients like vitamin C, Niacinamide, squalene and panthenol and will make your skin look bright and well-hydrated.
Finely-milled powder highlighter gives skin a luminous glow that makes your skin look lit from within. The subtle metallic sheen in this highlighter is great for an everyday touch of radiance. The effect? Skin that’s healthy and rested-looking (like you just came back from the Amalfi coast!).
How do I apply highlighter the correct way?
While liquid highlighter can be applied either before or after your foundation, it’s best to apply powder formulas after your base makeup step. The most common areas for applying highlighter are the tops of the cheekbones, the inner and outer eye corners, the middle of the forehead, down the center of the nose and to the Cupid’s bow. These areas will reflect the light and make you look glowing and gorgeous. If you want to ensure your luminous complexion lasts, apply this lightweight fixing spray to your face as the last step in your makeup routine.