Let’s face it, highlighters draw us all like a moth to a flame. But as I say this, I also know that highlighters, most of them, read as glittery on the face and some of us (read: me) might find them intimidating and too loud. I personally like my highlighters to be just a whisper of glow on my face, like maybe I’ve sweated, maybe not? Does anyone feel me? No? Okay fine.
So anyhoo, I’ve tried a LOT of highlighters, application techniques, this and that, but the fact remains that I’ve hardly ever liked the way a powder highlighter sat on my skin. It emphasises my texture, sometimes looks like I have a blinding runway built on the high points of my face, and I reserve those high power workers only for special occasions like weddings and parties (basically anywhere being OTT is needed), and the likes. It’s not that I hate them, it’s just that prefer my cream babies and reach out for them a lot more than the Fenty Beauty Hustla Baby or the classic Becca Champagne Pop.
I’m kind of hoping a few of you might be interested in knowing where to get that editorial glossy, drops of dew, glassy, shiny not shimmery highlighters and hence I urge, nay, plead you to keep reading if that sounds like you.
1.Kevin Aucoin Glass Glow Face
This comes in 3 shades, can be mixed with other cream blushes for a glossy finish. It’s a transparent, see through highlighter with no discernible glitters, for that I just ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes glow. Buy here.
2. Perricone MD No Highlighter Highlighter
Oh this is a favourite. The Perricone MD No Makeup Makeup range is so underrated. This literally looks like a bleh formula if you swatch it on the hand, but put it on the high points of your face and you look like you have a healthy, plumped up skin. Think : all the fancy stars in the close-up jewelry ad portraits in magazines. Get it IRL minus the Photoshop. Get here.
3. Glossier Haloscope
This comprehensive list is incomplete without this famous highlighter stick. It’s made of crushed/powdered semi precious gems with an emollient core that ensures a minimalist glow with maximist impact. Worth an investment, IMO. Get here.
4. Ciate Dewy Stix
Aah. This one is a tricky one to love. I do think it’s too high up in the price range for what it does – I mean, why not just go ahead and use a tub of vaseline? But vaseline moves and melts, and this stays put. It is also the highlighter that can give you the coveted glossy editorial skin. Word of caution: do not use it too liberally or you’d look like you’re slick in not a very good way. It’s basically a highlighting balm. And it does that job pretty darn well. Get here.
5. YBP Cosmetics Goddess
A gem from one of India’s homegrown cosmetic brands, this highlighter has been my favourite from the word go. It was born out of a collaboration between YBP Cosmetics and Shreya Jain, and it is the most unique product in the Indian beauty industry as of now. It’s a universal medium gold shade that can be tapped on using the fingers, which gives a seamless glossy highlight and doesn’t melt/move/budge. A little goes a long way too. Get here.
6. RMS Living Luminizer
RMS Beauty, well, let’s reserve the thoughts I have for the brand and the founder aside, and focus just on this product for the sake of this list. It’s a celebrity makeup bag staple. If you look at a famous person glowing like the divine light shone on them, 9 times out of 10 it is going to be this pot of highlight. It’s a coconut oil based highlight that is advised to be patted on by the fingers for a beautiful, melt in your skin look. Get here.
7. Beauty Blender Glass Glow Shinelighter
The Glass Glow Shinelighter by Beauty Blender is a recent launch but is getting rave reviews from everywhere. If I’ve to be lucid, I can just call it a face gloss. But these kinds of highlighters are what is the latest in the new wave highlighter movement. Everyone wants to look like they glow 24/7 without any glitter on their face. It’s a transparent gloss that can be patted on for a beautiful glass skin look. Get here.
8. Nudestix Nudies All Over Face Colour Glow
Their Illumi-Naughty highlighter has a fan base of its own. This highlighter by Nudestix is a non-shimmery, beautiful, glow-y but not glossy highlighter. Pro tip – when it comes to tapping on highlighter sticks, swirl the product around and warm it up at the tip with your fingers, then tap on the desired areas. It’ll take the glow several notches higher. Get here.
9. Milk Makeup Highlighter
I’ve seen this used by the glow goddess Namvo herself plenty of times. In just one swipe it lights up your face like no one’s business. You truly get a lot of product and the formula is buttery, smooth and beautiful as well. Get here.
10. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter
Oh, a classic. This one’s been used in shoots and backstage during runway shows since the day it landed in the market. All you have to do is tap with your fingers or a sponge on the places you think you need an extra glow on and ta-da! It is easy to go overboard with this so I advise you to practice control. Get here.
11. Kiko Milano Radiant Touch Creamy Stick Highlighter
This is such an underrated highlighter. It’s so creamy and shiny and golden and beautiful. It’s also such a low-profile find that once you get the hang of using it, you’re almost always surprised by how beautiful it is. It has a very, very buttery formula that merges and becomes one with your skin. Get here.
12. Chambor Light and Sheer Skin Highlighter
I’ve hardly seen anyone talk about this much? But it needs to be hyped more! I remember seeing this years ago at a makeup counter. It has a gold shift that looks super flattering in a very liquidy, cream formula which is easy to work with. You can actually call it a cross between a highlighter and a strobe cream. Get here.
13. MAC Cream Colour Base
It’s such a handy dandy highlight that often goes under the radar because MAC has been around forever. I’m especially partial to the colour Shell because of its creamy texture that spreads easily and the pink-gold shift. It’s beautiful and looks like an understated elegance on your face. This is not for a glossy or glassy look but just for a slight glow. Get here.
14. Chanel Baume Essentiel Multi-use Glow Stick
This one’s a bit up on the price scale but I’d say it is worth it because of how well it delivers what it does. It’s a stick highlighter that comes in various shades and it beautiful for a lit from within look that comes across as a healthy glow. If you’re looking to treat yourself, go for this. Get here.
15. Bodyography Double Ended Highlighter
This dual ended stick has a balm on one end and a highlighting stick on the other. If you want to amp up your glow, you can always tap on the balm or use both as is for the required goal. I love multi-use products and this definitely is a value for money. Get here.