The humble highlighter is now a staple of any beauty lover’s make-up bag, which is why we’ve rounded up the best non glitter skin highlighters and highlighting makeup to leave you with 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…
Coined the ‘liquid gold’ of the highlighter world, these bad boys really are the cream of the crop if you’re looking for stand out shine. You only need a few drops to take your skin to a new dimension, so use with caution.
Pixi’s latest shine giver is proof that you don’t need to break the bank to get that look-at-me glow. The golden tones suit all skins, just layer it up for a more intense strobe.
This sell-out highlighter palette has everything you'd ever need to become a total glowing goddess. Mix and match the four velvet shades for a customized shimmer.
This cult strober doesn’t get it’s following for nothing. It comes in six shades, each one encased in the most premium packaging. We couldn’t possibly make you choose, so we suggest getting one of each.
Use this on your eyes, cheeks, lips and body for all-over radiance. An all round winner!
This ombre shimmer brick will not disappoint. No only is it a total steal it is our Deputy Editor’s ultimate favourite. The two tones impart a slightly purple, holographic sheen that catches on every little bit of light. Well done Topshop, well done.
This gorgeous powder provides soft, natural yet powerful radiance. We love this for an everyday glow or layered for a highlight you can see from space – yay!
This lightweight liquid formula is great for mixing with foundation for an overall glow. Adds a subtle touch of light to your everyday look. Gorgeous.
A highlighter that contains pearl particles? Tres chic and talk about a great way to get a gorgeous glow!
Our highlighting beauty prayers have been answered with this AMAZING palette. Featuring three and one cream highlighters, this palette is suitable for all skin tones and types. Add a luminous sheen to your skin with one of the gorgeous shades.
A creamy highlighter that literally melts into skin, this leaves behind a subtle dewy sheen. With a gorgeous peaelescent finish, the blotter is great for blending and you can even use it on lips too for an on-trend frosty finish.
It’s no surprise this highlighter is a cult (and one of our) fave! The gorgeous powder leaves a gorgeous dusting of glow and if you want to layer up, is totally buildable.
This velvety soft, super blendable formula can be applied sparingly or layered up to create an enviable ethereal glow.
This pretty palette features four shimmering shades. There’s one for every skin tone and the buildable formula means you can choose between a glam finish or subtle glow.
It's easy to see why this highlighter is owned by every single beauty blogger out there. The pressed rose gold powder leaves you looking like you're lit from within. Every beauty devotee should own one.
There’s a reason this highlighter kit crashed Sephora’s website for three hours when it was launched. Coming in gold and nude, this highlighter looks seriously beautiful on all skin tones and promises to give you an ‘alien-gelic’ glow. The kit contains a multitasking pressed pigment, a special brush AND a two-sided balm and highlighter stick (hence the price-tag). Whilst currently sold out in the US, we’re hoping it will make its way to UK shores very soon… *Fingers crossed!*
Benefit’s High Beam is legendary but if you prefer your highlighter a little less pinky or you have yellow undertones in your skin, Watt’s Up should be your go-to. It creates the perfect base for natural and artificial light to bounce off.
It’s on the pricer side, but the radiance it gives is absolutely beautiful. The soft powder gives a delicate, sunkissed shine to the skin.