13 Best Highlighter Palettes Of 2021 For Bronzed, Contoured Skin

Written by Anjana Sharan
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If tired, dull, listless skin has been pulling you down, you needn’t fret anymore. Once solely used by makeup artists, highlighters today are everywhere. The best highlighter palettes have multiple shades in each, which gives your skin a soft, iridescent finish. A highlighter is the ultimate skin perfector and is a great way to get a natural glow. And these radiant pigments need not just be restricted to your cheekbones but can be used very effectively on your eyes, collarbones, shoulders, or anywhere else that might be in dire need of some shine.

A highlighter can come in the form of a powder, a liquid, or a creamy stick, and instantly brightens your skin by attracting light so that it doesn’t look tired or dull. It gives a dewy look to your face without you looking obviously made up. Some impart a subtle sheen to your skin, while others offer a more obvious glimmer or even a more dramatic, holographic, chrome strobe. We hope our review of the 13 best highlighter palettes of 2021 will help you achieve just the look you are hoping for.

TOP 10 PRODUCTS
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NYX Professional Makeup Highlight And Contour Pro Palette
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Lifus Highlighter Palette - Highlighter A
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L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette – Moon-Kissed
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Lamora Glam Glow Highlighter Palette
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Ucanbe Kaleidoscope Holographic Highlighter Palette
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Wet N Wild Megaglo Highlighting Palette
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Milani Stellar Lights Highlighter Palette - Rose Glow
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Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit - Sun Dipped
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TZ Cosmetix Highlighter Palette - Aurora Borealis
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Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom All-in-1 Nude Palette for Face & Eyes - Warm Nude
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What Does Highlighter Do To Your Face

Highlighters are light-reflecting products that are available in liquid, cream, or powder form. They enhance your complexion giving it a brighter, dewy glow and accentuating your cheekbones in a subtle, natural way. They also rejuvenate dull or aging skin and make your striking facial features look more prominent. The best highlighting palette is not supposed to make you look shimmery or glittery. Instead, it attracts light to an area, making it more attractive.

13 Best Highlighter Palettes Of 2021 For That Lit-From-Within Look

1. NYX Professional Makeup Highlight And Contour Pro Palette

You can highlight like a pro with this highlighter palette that includes 8 refillable shades of creamy color perfect for you to customize your contour and sculpt your features. This palette helps you enhance your brow bone, cheekbones, nose, and jawline to achieve perfect blended perfection. It has removable and refillable pans, so you can own a customized highlighter palette that you can always fill up with the palette’s Pro Singles when they run out. This vegan, cruelty-free cream formula is ideal for sensitive skin. So get ready for that chiseled look!

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • 8 highlighting and contouring shades
  • Removable and refillable pans for customized palette

CONS:

  • Some may feel the colors have a strong orange undertone

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2. Lifus Highlighter Palette – Highlighter A

Get ready to be the focus of all occasions with this highlighter palette. It comes with 4 highlighting shades to create the perfect glow and illumination on your face. It has a silky soft texture and achieves seamless coverage. It’s both waterproof and smudge-proof, making it a must-have, long-wearing highlighter that prevents you from rushing to a mirror for constant touch-ups. Its light-diffusing pigments are ideal for brightening and enhancing your features and look great on any skin tone. The powder formula of this makeup palette is buildable, easy to apply, and creates a luminous glow. This cruelty-free and vegan product uses only natural organic ingredients and is highly pigmented.

PROS:

  • 100% vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Waterproof
  • Smudge-proof
  • Long lasting
  • Silky soft texture
  • Suits all skin tones

CONS:

  • Some may feel it’s low on pigment

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3. L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette – Moon-Kissed

This might just be the real deal for you as this blush bronzer highlighter palette creates the perfect multi-dimensional luminous look that leaves your skin glowing. It’s a collection of 2 highlighting, 1 bronzer, and 1 blush powder that instantly brightens your complexion. You can either layer, mix, and match the shades of this customizable palette for a multi-dimensional, sculpted glow. You can achieve a neutral undertone, or wear them separately for a more natural look. This glow highlighter palette is available in 2 universal shades and the moon-kissed palette is ideal for a cool glow. So get ready for moon-kissed luminosity!

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Easily blendable
  • No harmful ingredients
  • Suitable for all skin tones

CONS:

  • Has minimal pigment payoff

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4. Lamora Glam Glow Highlighter Palette

Are you interested in a high-end glow? Try this highlighter palette that comes with 4 highly pigmented shimmer colors to highlight and contour your features to perfection. It works well for people with fair to medium-dark skin tones and has excellent staying power and blendability. Suitable for all ages and all skin types, this pop highlighter palette gives the perfect glow to the areas you want to highlight. The palette comes with a magnified mirror which makes application easy, and what’s more, you can check out your makeup any time. Now nothing is stopping you from using it with a variety of skin products and widening your eyes, or slimming your face, or just adding dimension for a flawless look with just the swipe of a brush.

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Comes with magnified mirror

CONS:

  • Some might find it too sheer

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5. Ucanbe Kaleidoscope Holographic Highlighter Palette

Pamper your face with a pop of duo chromatic glow, offered to you with these 9 magical shades that you can wear alone or layer to your heart’s content. Its smooth, soft, and creamy formula is suitable and flattering to all skin tones. Unlike many powder highlighters, the formula of this product ensures that it glides onto your skin effortlessly and smooths your skin texture. It works great for mature skin as it doesn’t accentuate fine lines and pores. The highlighter catches the light and gives your skin that luminous glow that people crave for. This dream highlighter palette doubles as a shimmer eyeshadow topcoat and because it’s packed with top-quality pearlescent particles. A little goes a long way with this one, and you just need a subtle application. What more could you ask for?

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Smooth, creamy formula
  • Duochromatic glow
  • Suitable for mature skin

CONS:

  • Some find the colors dull and flat for highlighting

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6. Wet N Wild Megaglo Highlighting Palette

If you are looking for a pearly glow, this is just the product for you. This highlighter palette features 4 shimmering pearl-inspired pigments and gives your skin a luminous and glistening glow. They have a lightweight formula, that are smooth and don’t create a cakey or plastered finish. Instead, you have a natural shimmer that pops on cheekbones. You can use them for full coverage or for light build for minimal makeup, depending on the look you are going for. They are vegan and cruelty-free, so you can contour and highlight your features without an iota of guilt.

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Lightweight
  • Smooth application
  • Natural shimmer

CONS:

  • Some may find the texture a bit chalky

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7. Milani Stellar Lights Highlighter Palette – Rose Glow

Instantly add an incandescent and luminous glow to your face with these 3 highlighting and buildable powders that blend seamlessly. Each richly pigmented powder offers multi-dimensional highlighting and can be worn alone or together for a customized look. This best makeup highlighter palette of micro-milled powders is completely vegan, goes on smoothly, and catches the light on your face, making it glow. This eyeshadow and highlighter palette is available in another shade as well, so you will be spoilt for choice.

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Richly pigmented
  • Micro-milled powders

CONS:

  • Some colors may work better as an eyeshadow than highlighter

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8. Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit – Sun Dipped

This must-have powder highlighter palette contains 4 shades of metallic warm bronze highlighter powders. These metallic shades deliver intense luminosity to complement every look created. Its lightweight and advanced formula ensure that each shade offers buildable coverage with a metallic luster finish. The neutral shades of the Anastasia Beverly Hills highlighter palette are ideal for all skin tones and can be used to highlight your face, lips, body, and eyes.

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Lightweight
  • Buildable coverage
  • Removable magnetic pans enable customization of palette

CONS:

  • Some feel it’s low on pigment

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9. TZ Cosmetix Highlighter Palette – Aurora Borealis

If powder highlighters are not for you, the formula of this illuminating highlighter palette is sensationally unique. It is smooth, creamy, and flattering for all skin tones. The beautiful palette has 6 stunning duo chromatic shades, ranging from a gorgeous yellow gold, a pretty lilac pink to a magical icy green. The creamy smooth formula of this palette glides onto your skin like silk and smooths over fine lines and enlarged pores, making it ideal for mature skin. The formula is buildable, so just a little will give you a subtle glow, while more would give you a dramatic and bold look. This portable and convenient illuminator makeup palette has high-quality ingredients, giving you a silky shine and a dewy complexion that can last all day long. Just perfect for professional use or daily use!

PROS:

  • Duo chromatic glow
  • Long lasting
  • Portable and easy to use
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Transparent pigments for sheer look
  • Suitable for mature skin

CONS:

  • Some may not find them easy to blend

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10. Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom All-in-1 Nude Palette for Face & Eyes – Warm Nude

Create the perfect nude glow with this top-rated highlighter palette for your face and eyes. It has 12 shimmery and chic nude shades that create an overall nude glow and contour while enhancing your cheeks and eyes. This all-in-one palette is versatile and can be used as an eyeshadow, eyeliner, bronzer, blush, and highlighter. You can blend all shades of this eyeshadow highlighter palette for an all-over glow and luminosity, or you can use them separately. This product also comes with a mirror, applicators, and application guide that makes applying these highlighters a breeze.

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Cruelty-free
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist-approved
  • Clinically tested

CONS:

  • May contain carmine and iron oxide

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11. Fenty Beauty Limited Edition Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighter Palette

This product is a limited edition palette of 7 icy, metallic, and iridescent highlighters that come in a range of frost-inspired shades specially designed to make all skin colors and tones pop. So feel free to get frosted in stone cold lavenders and icy blues or fiery in hot coppers and tangerines. You can layer these highlighters to create colorful contours and dimensions from the cheeks to the eyes to the temples for radiant skin. Fenty highlighter palette has a weightless, long-wear formula, a cream-powder hybrid, and immediately blends with your skin. It’s loaded with extra-fine, smooth shimmer to make all your dreams come true. Who says fire and ice don’t mix?

PROS:

  • Versatile
  • Long lasting
  • Lightweight
  • Blendable
  • Suitable for all skin tones

CONS:

  • Might work better for light skin tones

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12. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Highlighter Palette

Each of these highlighters is high-tech and soft-focused, creating an extremely flattering light source. They can be applied individually or layered to give your skin a multidimensional glow. They deliver a flawless luminescence to your skin, giving it a softer, younger, and centered look. These powders are suitable for every skin tone and can be used during the day and night. This highlighter palette contains only healthy ingredients and has no harmful or toxic components, nor is it tested on animals.

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • No fragrance
  • No synthetic dyes
  • No nanoparticles

CONS:

  • Some may find it too sheer

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13. De’Lanci Blush & Highlighter Palette

If you are looking for an angelic and luminescent glow, this shimmery highlighter and peachy-pink blush are all highly pigmented for maximum effect and work to enhance and brighten your favorite features. Each palette includes 3 blendable and buildable highlighter powders, which create an expertly sculpted and glowing appearance. All 6 highlighter powders can be mixed and matched, and you can create the illusion of higher cheekbones, a smaller forehead, or a slimmer nose while drawing light to the areas you want to highlight. This highlighter palette is made with ingredients of the highest quality and ideal for skin types and skin tones. It’s time to illuminate your complexion and give your face a multi-dimensional sculpted look.

PROS:

  • Blendable and buildable highlighters
  • Highly pigmented
  • High quality ingredients
  • Suitable for all skin tones and types

CONS:

  • Might not work for very sensitive skin

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Now that you have been through our review of the 13 best highlighter palettes of 2021, here are a few pointers that you should keep in mind so that you find the right shade of highlighter for your skin tone.

How To Find The Right Shade Of Highlighter

The best way to find the right shade of highlighter is to look for one that’s 2 shades lighter than your skin. That will give your glow a natural look and prevent you from looking like a Christmas tree. Your highlighter should look like part of your skin and blend in seamlessly for a subtle sheen.

  • Fair skin tone

Silver, pearl, lilac, peach, champagne, pink and iridescent shades are best suited for fair complexions as they add just the right amount of glow and radiance to your skin. It’s advisable to avoid deep shades like copper and bronze as it may look loud and even kind of fake on your skin.

  • Medium skin tone

Highlighters with peach,champagne, bronze, or gold undertones work wonders on medium skin tones. Iridescent shades may also work but it’s better to go for iridescent colors that are more warm. It’s best to avoid pink as it might come across as harsh against a warm complexion and look too frosty.

  • Deeper skin tones

With a darker skin tone go for rich golds, copper and bronze tones and avoid too much glitter or shimmer, as it may result in an ashy look. Also avoid iridescent, opalescent, and frosty colours like pink with an olive skin tone as they may come across as grey instead of giving you a luminous look.

Glowing, dewy, healthy skin is always in, and that’s exactly what a good highlighter will do for you. The best highlighter palettes give you the chance to contour, bronze, and illuminate your face without being too obvious so that you achieve that luminosity that one usually sees on models in glossy magazines. A highlighter is applied to the high points of your face and reflects off your face like natural light. The best highlighter palettes offer a range of colors and shades for every skin tone so that you can get a bronzed look to a shimmery silver look with just one product. So for that lit-from-within glow, do check out the 13 best highlighter palettes for that ultimate glow.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Do you apply highlighter before or after foundation?

It all depends on the look you are going for—applying it under the foundation gives you a soft, natural, subtle look, without it being obvious. If you want to rev up your glamor quotient and achieve maximum glow, you should apply it both under and over your foundation. Applying highlighter over the foundation gives a bolder and more iridescent effect to your skin.

Is liquid or powder highlighter better?

Both have their benefits — powder highlighters are very easy to use and come in different colors, which makes them so popular. Its application is less precise than a liquid highlighter, the powdery formula glides on the skin smoothly, is easier to control, and very buildable.

Liquid highlighters, on the other hand, are very concentrated and a small quantity is enough to give a noticeable glow to the face. But they need to be used sparingly, and the application method is more intensive and requires more precision than powder highlighters.

Does highlighter look natural?

It depends on whether the non-reflective parts of the highlighter formula are translucent. If they are, any highlighter color, right from icy pink to green to champagne to bronze can look surprisingly natural.

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