14 Best Non Glitter Highlighters

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For a subtle selfie-worthy shimmer...

Trying to find the best highlighter? Well the search is officially over…

Highlighters have officially taken centre stage in our make-up bags. But don’t worry – if you don’t want a face full of glitter, we’ve got the best non glitter skin highlighters on the market to leave you with a subtle glow instead. And don’t worry, we’ve considered all skin types – you’ll find the best face highlighter for fair skin and darker skin.

Also, while you’re here, take a look at what happened when our Glow Gang got their hands on Iconic London’s new Illuminator Drops – and tested them on three different skin tones.


Nicknamed strobing, highlighting is all about enhancing areas of the face where light would naturally bounce off your skin – think cheekbones, temples, down the bridge of your nose and on top of your cupids bow.

Always a big trend on the catwalks, it’s a signature look at shows like Issey Miyake, Calvin Klein and Chloe when perfect-looking, youthful skin is top of the wishlist. And there are some seriously good makeup highlighter sticks out there right now.

The best skin highlighters will also help with your face contouring – where you use darker shades to sculpt different areas of the face to make it look lifted, subtle highlighters perch on top of your bone structure to create that model-worthy silhouette. It’s why the celebs have been doing it for years!

It’s not about creating a bronzed post holiday glow, either (that’s bronzing, not highlighting, FYI!). To get it right, steer clear of warm, yellow-based tones and go for cool shades with a pinky, silvery base.

“It’s about skin that looks moonlit not sunlit,” explains celebrity make-up artist, Lisa Valencia. “Obviously if you have dark skin, stick to golden highlights to avoid your skin looking ashy but everyone else will suit pinkier hues.”

Formula-wise, you can pick and choose. Cream highlighters and liquid highlighters can be mixed with your moisturiser or foundation and applied all over your face with your fingers to make skin look fresh and dewy. Or, for more precise highlighting, use a brush to buff the pearlescent formula into your skin and stop any tell tale stripes reflecting in the light.

Our last top tip? Hold a mirror up to your skin in front of a window or light once you’ve applied your highlighter – if you see any obvious stripes you need to blend a bit more.

Now you’ve got your highlighting technique sorted, invest in one of these top skin highlighters…