Get a pro glow with affordable highlighting products makeup artists swear by.
Highlighter can help you achieve a radiant glow, but finding the perfect product can be daunting—especially with so many options out there, from rainbow highlighter to Kim Kardashian's new highlight sticks. The good news? You can brighten up your look without spending a bundle. We asked eight makeup artists to tell us which drugstore highlighters they keep on hand.
Never used highlighter before? To achieve the perfect glow, it's important to prep the skin and blend properly. But choosing the right shade matters, too. "For the most natural look, apply a shade that looks closest to your own skin tone," says makeup artist Andrew Sotomayor. "Lighter skin should use light shades, medium should opt for medium tones." This will guarantee that your glow will give off a natural radiance, he explains. You can also use highlighter to amp up your evening makeup: "For a more done-up look, use a shade that creates contrast," says Sotomayor. "Fair complexions should blend out a bronzy, deeper shade, and deep complexions should wear a lighter shade that pops."
Ready to try these techniques out for yourself? Read on for the drugstore highlighters makeup artists swear by.
Wet n Wild Mega Glo Highlighting Powder
Honey Artists makeup artist Robert Greene loves this super-affordable product for its versatility. "It can be used as a highlighter, an eye shadow, dusted over the body, or even paired with a wet brush for more intense, major pigmentation," he says.
Physician's Formula Bronze Booster Highlight & Contouring Palette
"It has a white pearl, a rose gold, and a rusty bronze color, so I can truly use it on every skin tone," says Sotomayor of this highlighter. "You can also use different shades depending on how much drama you want to add to your look."
Flower Glisten Up Highlighter Chubby
For an on-the-go glow, makeup artist Jenny Patinkin, author of Lazy Perfection, The Art of Looking Great Without Really Trying ($14, amazon.com), loves this stick formula. "The golden champagne color is flattering on lots of different skin tones and it's great to take with you for makeup on the go," she says. "Best of all, the sheen is much more subtle and natural than other highlighters—you won't look like you just rolled your face in glitter."
Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter
Honey Artists makeup artist Daniela Gozlan claims that the texture of this powder highlighter is so soft to the touch, it feels almost like a cream. "It's pigmented and sheer at the same time," she says. "Long lasting, subtle—but definitely noticeable."
Wet n Wild Mega Cushion Highlight
Makeup artist Mickey Williams can’t get enough of this glowy liquid highlighter. "I like this product because it’s a thin liquid packed into a cushion compact, which eliminates any product waste," Williams says. "With a cushion compact, I can dab and use as little or as much as I need."
Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-in-1 Custom Nude Palette
"You get 12 cream-to-powder shades, all finely milled—no glitter chunks," says makeup artist Joanna Schlip of this palette. "[It] blends beautifully, and can be used a hundred and one different ways."
L'Oreal True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator
Makeup artist Jami Svay recommends a liquid highlighter to achieve natural radiance. "Simplify your beauty routine by using a liquid highlighter and mixing it with your foundation or moisturizer," she says. "Just mix a few drops in and let the red carpet glow take over!"
Maybelline Face Studio Master Strobing Stick Illuminating Highlighter
Makeup artist Neil Scibelli recommends this easy-to-use stick formula for convenient application. "The strobing stick helps to create a more sculpted cheek," he explains. "And the pearl-ized finish reflects light and works as a great illuminator." Plus, it has additional uses: Scibelli says you can use this stick as a shimmery eye shadow in a pinch.