Some of my most viewed blog posts are about my highlighter collection and how can I blame you? There’s something about those glow givers that people really love, myself included. I thought it was time for another look into my collection seeing as my other collection posts are a little outdated by now. There are some serious beauties in here and a lot of cult favourites so I’ve made sure to include comparison swatches for those who are wondering whether you need to pick up both. Full disclosure: this is going to be a looong post.
The Anastasia Beverly Hills highlighters have blown me away. Beyond the fact that they are beautiful to look at, the formula is so creamy and so intense that I’ve found myself having to stop myself from using them every single day. Starlight is a light bright white with a sort of peachy reflect that makes it much more wearable than just a stark white. Riviera was the first one I picked up and it remains my favourite. It’s such a stunning rose gold shade that looks so natural on my pale skin but still provides some serious glow. So Hollywood is your classic bright bronze-gold shade, living up to the name by providing that Hollywood glamour look just by swiping it across your cheekbones. If I was going to recommend one from the three it would have to be Riviera, as you can see later in the swatches – it’s definitely the most unique shade in my collection.
There aren’t many other highlighters as hyped up as these wonder products from Becca. Each shade that I’ve swatched and tried is seriously incredible. They’re super pigmented so you only need a little to give yourself some glow and last so well on the skin. Opal is your classic golden shade and one of the best selling shades from their lineup, it’s really intense on me because it is quite dark but I love it just the same. Champagne Pop is Jaclyn Hill’s love child and I must say, she did an incredible job. CP seems to be universally loved, it’s a really bright yellow gold with peachy undertones and I feel a little closer to being a super famous Youtube beauty guru whenever I wear it.
Everyone seems to love The Balm’s Mary Lou Manizer and although it can be a little fragile (the amount of pics I’ve seen of shattered pans is heartbreaking) I do really love dusting this onto the cheekbones. It’s definitely not one for the light-hearted, it imparts some serious glow but if you’re after something intense then it’s definitely worth checking out. Although, it is worth checking the comparison swatches below – it’s definitely not a unique shade.
I’m not normally too crazy about MAC, I have a few of their lipsticks and some other bits and pieces but their highlighters I really do love. The baked formula means it’s a little stiff at times but they do perform well on the cheeks and actually last through a full day too. Lightscapade is a bright white with a sort of golden undertone to make it a little more wearable. Soft & Gentle is another of those bright, golden highlighters but I find this one particularly wearable, even on my pale skin.
Laura Mercier always nails it and this highlighter is no exception. When I want to look glowy but not over the top this is always the one I reach for. Although it’s definitely not matte, as the name would suggest, it’s sheeny rather than shimmery so it’s a perfect place to start for those just getting into highlighters. The shade is a gorgeous pearlescent peach-toned white.
Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Indiscretion –
Another highlighter that I can’t help but just stare at. Indiscretion, unfortunately was limited edition a few months ago so it may be hard to track down but there are a few near dupes out there, luckily. The formula of this one is just as lovely as Highlight-01 and the only reason I don’t use this more often is that I’m terrified I’ll ruin the stunning design.
Dior Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond –
Unfortunately this one is long gone, but I thought it was still worth a mention as I’ve found a few shades that are pretty similar. I love this one because it has a few different shades in the pan. If I focus the brush on the left side then the product is a little lighter, if I swirl it all together then I get a seriously beautiful gold. I’m so glad that I got my hands on this one years ago.
My newest addition to the collection and one from the drugstore, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this one. It’s SO soft to swatch and that translates when you apply it to your cheekbones. It’s fairly subtle, as far as highlighters go, giving just a teeny bit of pearlescent glow to the skin.
I’ve had this for so long now. It’s a little duo of two powder shades, one lighter and more highlighter and one more bronze-y, which I normally use for eyeshadow rather than on the cheekbones. Again, it’s subtle but a great one that’s not too expensive to get you into highlighters if you’re still starting out.
I’ve gone into a little more depth with this one before and come to the conclusion that for the fairly eye watering price-point, there are probably better alternatives out there. Nevertheless, I can’t fault the formula and I frequently reach for this when I want something a little more subtle.
Face of Australia Mineral Therapy Illuminator in Angel Mist –
These are a little tricky to come by nowadays but a while ago, everyone was talking about how awesome these liquid illuminators were. Although I don’t reach for liquid ones very much, a teeny bit of this in my foundation goes a lot way on blah skin days. I find it a little too patchy to be used as a cheekbone highlighter on the day to day.
The liquid version of Becca’s highlighters are just as hyped up and I can completely understand why. This one’s a little easier to apply as a spot highlighter on the cheekbones and cupids bow but I still find myself mixing it in with my foundation a little more.
Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator in Bare Light –
I picked this up after hearing great things from a beauty blogger but it doesn’t quite work for me. I think it’s a little too deep which makes it hard for me to mix with foundation without the shade going a little too dark for me.
This one is perfect for controlled application to the cheekbones because it comes with an easy to use doefoot applicator. The colour is so brightening and lovely and the formula is really easily blendable and never goes patchy.
One of the original liquid highlighters that I’ve tried and one that I still reach for from time to time. The colour is gorgeous and the pump mechanism means it’s easy to control how much product you’re using.
One of Benefit’s most famous products but one that I can’t say I reach for it as much as I should. The slightly pink tone to it does make it a beautiful and flattering highlighter for pale skinned ladies.
Kiko Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter in 01 –
I’ve had this stick for a while but there’s something about it that doesn’t really blow me away. The stick is quite stiff which makes it hard to apply to the cheekbones without it messing up and moving around the foundation underneath and the colour is, as you can kind of see in the swatch, not that effective on my skin.
I fell in love with this from the second I swatched it in the U.S. It’s a beautiful subtle highlighter which I like to apply underneath a powder highlighter to add to the longevity. It’s also gorgeous when used on the Cupids Bow or the brow bone.
This came in a little limited edition set and since I’m in love with all things Kitten, I had to pick it up. It’s a fairly golden highlighter but I do like it for days I want something a little more intense.
This has popped up here and there being used both as a highlighter and as a cream eyeshadow but as you can see from the swatch, it’s perhaps better left in my eye drawer. The colour is absolutely stunning but it’s a little too deep for my skintone to be used on the cheekbones. I definitely love it all over the lids though.
As you can see, MAC’s Lightscapade and ABH’s Starlight look very similar. Starlight is much more intense and has a more noticeable reflect so it’s up to your personal preference about intensity if you were thinking of picking one up. Laura Mercier’s Highlight-01 should also probably be in here but it doesn’t have that same peachy reflect.
The Balm’s Mary Lou Manizer, ABH’s So Hollywood & Becca Champagne Pop are all pretty damn similar. The Mary Lou Manizer is a little less bright bold but apart from that, it’s hard to tell the difference between the three.
Becca’s Opal & MAC’s Soft & Gentle is a very close shade to Dior’s Amber Diamond & Laura Mercier’s Indiscretion, which is good as they are both LE. Soft & Gentle is just a teeny bit lighter and Opal is maybe just a little more golden.
What’s your favourite highlighter?
*some products in this post have been provided for editorial consideration, honesty as always!
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