Highlighters are the best tools in our makeup arsenal. Who doesn’t love glowy skin? Whether you prefer no makeup – or want to add a final touch to your full-face makeup, the highlighter is a staple in our makeup bag. The price, however, isn’t always so alluring. But we searched for the best drugstore highlighters that deliver in pigment, texture, and longevity.
If you are on a budget or are new to highlighting (illuminating and strobing) and you don’t want to spend a fortune just to try things out – this list is for you.
The best drugstore highlighters around:
Maybelline FaceStudio Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating Highlighter, $9.99
Just swipe and go! The creamy formula and micro-fine pearls give your skin a glowy boost. The strobe effect creates the look of skin that appears radiant as if lit from within.
Essence – Pure Nude Highlighter, $4.49
The soft, baked powder texture with a slightly marbled effect, brings a subtle shimmer to the face. It just brings life back into your face without making it look obvious that you’re wearing makeup.
Related: How to Apply Highlighter Like a Pro for Perfectly Glowy Skin
Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls Powder Palette, $13.99
It is designed to give your skin a luminous glow using multi-colored pearls which glows and helps even out the skin tone. The “Real Mineral Pearl Extract” is supposed to blur imperfections and protect/condition skin with “antioxidant properties”.
Perfect for the daytime looks, as it is not too over-the-top glowy. It’s very comparable to high-end products.
NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator, $7.49
Smooth and blendable, it is quite easy to use. It is also lightweight and stays put, so especially if you have oily skin, you might want to consider it. It is also more glittery than shimmery, which is something you should know in advance. This one comes in 4 shades.
Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator, $5.99
The most iconic of them all. Already a classic when it comes to drugstore highlighters. It comes in 4 shades, making it suitable for all skin types. Mix it with foundation, apply over the foundation, or apply only to certain portions to highlight like the brow-bone, the nose, cheeks. It banishes dullness and gives skin a gorgeous glow.
L’Oréal Paris Magic Lumi Highlighting Concealer, $12.99
This illuminating concealer is great because it comes in a pen applicator so it’s easy to just pop in a bag and add more glow on the go. It has the subtle hint of shimmer that it imparts within the medium coverage concealer. Perfect for covering the dark circles under your eyes, but also to highlight contours.
Milani Illuminating Face Powder, $7.10
This product is vegan and it comes in a cute little packaging, so it wins our votes just for that. Lovely and luminous, the multicolor, multi-purpose Illuminating Face Powder is a blush, bronzer, and highlighter that brings the idea of lit from within to the next level. Use a fan brush to swipe it over your cheekbones and voila!
Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighter, $4.54
This product is known in the beauty guru circles as a dupe for the famous Becca Champagne pop highlighter. This is a pretty high standard to obtain. The biggest perk of the formula is the infusion with nylon for a silky-smooth texture that allows for seamless blending.
e.l.f., Jelly Highlighter $6
The super innovative highlighter with fun formula applies wet and dries to a long-wearing glowy finish. You can use it alone, or mix a small amount into the foundation for a dewy glow. The application is self-explanatory – cheekbones, brow bone, and cupid’s bow with fingertips or a sponge. Voila! Shine on.
Colourpop Super Shock Cheek Highlighter, $19.24
Cream powder formulas are our ultimate favorite. This one will melt into your skin and blend with the rest of the makeup without looking cakey.
Catrice Galactic Highlighter Drops 010,
Highlighter drops are the most pigmented and give this metallic finish to your skin. Not only suitable for the cheekbones, but the drops also offer shining results underneath the brow arch, on the bridge of the nose, or on the décolleté.
Revolution Soph Highlighter Palette, $19.49
Sometimes you just need more than one highlighter color for your look and the Revolution Palette is here to help. The colors are very pastel and soft. You can enjoy 8 different shades – 5 baked and 3 pressed.
Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter, $10.95
This is one of the brand’s best sellers. The color is rich and luxurious and the formula is cream-to-powder. Lightweight, one-swipe, blendable coverage features ultra-refined pearls and soft-focus pigments that smooth skin texture, brighten skin tone, and deliver a glowy finish.
Rimmel Jelly Highlighter,
Another jelly highlighter option. The Inspiration behind the product is the popular “glass skin” trend that started from the Korean beauty industry. Rimmel Jelly Highlighter delivers shimmering gorgeous skin. The application is easy – simply dip your finger into the pot and dab on the brow bone, cheeks, and cupids bow. It’s highly buildable and you can intensify it or keep in on the natural side.
COVERGIRL TruBlend Super Stunner Hyper-Glow Highlighter,
We love a great product with a fair price and good color payoff. If you are like us then this one’s for you. A true product staple.
Essence | Pure Nude Highlighter Palette, $9.99
Vegan, paraben-free, cruelty-free, pigmented, and affordable highlighter. Do we need to say anything more? Ah yes, it comes in 4 shades so you can glow with a different twist every day. It’s a major yes from us.
Revlon Colorstay Endless Glow,
The creamy highlighters are best for people who tend to have dryer skin and powders make their makeup look cakey. This one will give you all the moisture, dew, and shine you need.
Milani Baked Highlighter, $9.97
Baked on Italian terracotta tiles, Milani’s Baked highlighter takes pigment intensity to the next level. Made with multi-tonal, micro-fine luminescent powders, this velvety-soft formula blends and builds seamlessly so you will look snatched all day long.
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Born to Glow highlighter palette, $18.75
Less is more. This highlighter palette is just what your beauty routine needs. You will be a glowing Goddess with the NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Highlighter. It’s packed with illuminating pearls to catch, reflect, and refract natural light for a far-out strobing effect.
L.A. Girl Strobe Lite Strobing Powder, $7.99
If you are very particular about the color of your highlighter this one is for you. It comes in 12 different shimmery shades and they are all beautiful. It’s soft, silky, and paraben-free. Give it a shot!
IF you need some extra inspiration on how to use your highlighter check out our article on Repurposing your Makeup.
Do you have a favorite highlighter?
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