The best highlighters

Melisha Kaur
Shutterstock / Seprimor

If you’re an avid follower of beauty trends, then you might have noticed that highlighters are having a major moment.

These glow-giving bad boys will not only help you create Jennifer Lopez’s iconic ‘J.Lo glow’, but also help conceal imperfections and balance out your contouring.

Those new to highlighting (also known as strobing) will be pleased to hear that this game-changing technique is easier than contouring and super quick to do, but you’ll need to choose the right colour and formula first.

From liquid highlighters to shimmery powder formulas, there are plenty of high-street and high-end options worth knowing about. We’ve done the leg work to find you the best.

1. Charlotte Tilbury Bar of Gold

This light-reflecting highlighter is simply lust-worthy. Formulated with super-fine golden pearls, it instantly lifts the complexion and helps creates the illusion of a slimmer face. The product alone is well worth a look, gold-toned with plenty of shimmer. Its impressive pigment means you only need a smidge to sweep over the top of cheekbones, temples, nose and cupids bow. While some highlighters only suit certain complexions, the Bar of Gold looks great on every skin tone.

£32, Charlotte Tilbury, Buy it now

2. Jeffree Star Cosmetics Skin Frost

From the sassy and incredibly skilled American makeup artist, Jeffree Star, comes this beautifully blendable glow-giver. Pressed into a Barbie-pink mirrored compact, it comes in a variety of sparkly colours for every skin tone, from Ice Cold for fair complexions to King Tut for a sun-kissed look. The buttery texture makes it a cinch to apply, offering an even finish and long-lasting wear. The product is also notably large, so you’re getting plenty of bangs for your buck.

£25.50, Beauty Bay, Buy it now

3. Benefit Watt’s Up Cream Highlighter

For a subtle, dewy glow, look no further than this cult favourite from Benefit. Housed in a chubby stick for ease of application, the cream-to-powder highlighter provides a sheer champagne-gold glow, which plays well with fair and medium skin tones. Its delicate coverage and impressive staying power makes it a great choice for everyday wear. Blend using a sponge applicator for a seamless finish.

£25.50, Benefit Cosmetics, Buy it now


4. Sleek MakeUP Highlighter Palette in Solstice

Thanks to the popular budget cosmetics brand, Sleek, you needn’t break the bank to get a lit-from-within glow. This stunning highlighting pallete, which went down a storm when it first launched last year, features 3 powders and 1 cream formula in a mix of gold, peach and champagne tones for universally flattering radiance. The swoon-worthy compact comes complete with a mini brush that’s the perfect size for highlighting small areas like the cupids bow, brow bone and bridge of the nose.

£9.99, Superdrug, Buy it now

5. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat

It’s no secret that YSL’s liquid highlighting pen has earned itself a cult following, and with good reason. Used by some of the world’s top makeup artists, the silky formula – ideal for those who aren’t keen on sparkly highlighters – immediately diminishes dark circles, fine lines and signs of tiredness for a well-rested appearance and natural-looking glow. It comes housed in a sleek take-anywhere pen, so you can achieve supermodel-worthy radiance on the go.

From £25, Feel Unique, Buy it now

VERDICT: For a luminous finish that will flatter every skin colour, Charlotte Tilbury’s Bar of Gold is no doubt unbeatable. While this one is probably best for using on special occasions or nights out, its hashtag-worthy glow and long wear makes it worth the investment.

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