7 Best Korean Highlighters Of 2023 To Achieve A Radiant Skin Instantly

Achieve sharp cheekbones with these highlighters and allow your skin to look radiant.

Reviewed by Cha Cha Woska, Certified Makeup Artist
Written by Srijita De, Certified Style & Image Consultant
Edited by Srijani Roy Chowdhury, Certified In Makeup Artistry, Certified Style & Image Consultant
Fact-checked by Madhumati Chowdhury  • 
All products recommended on StyleCraze are independently selected by our editorial team. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we may receive a commission. Learn more about our product selection process here.

Makeup enthusiasts are very well aware of what kind of a difference the Korean highlighters make on a person’s face. In fact, if you use the best Korean highlighters in your makeup, you can seamlessly achieve sharp-looking cheekbones, just like Kim Kardashian, who’s herself a contour queen, learn to make highlighters, the most important part of your makeup regimen. And if you think, these are expensive. No, they are not.

The reason why we use contours and bronzers is that they help your face look more chiseled, but if you need something subtler yet more effective, then try using Korean highlighters instead. They make your face glow with a pearl-infused brightness and natural radiance. The best thing about them is, these highlighters suit Asian skin well. Here, we have curated for you a special list of the best Korean highlighters, taking some inspiration from actresses in your favorite K-dramas.

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Multipurpose:ETUDE HOUSE Play 101 Stick Contour Duo New - IntensePrice on Amazon
Best Highly Pigmented:ETUDE HOUSE Secret Beam HighlighterPrice on Amazon
Best Sweat-Proof:Superface Multi-Lightful Blush & Highlighter Stick - Gold RushPrice on Amazon
Best ForAll Skin Types:Too Cool For School Artclass By Rodin Highlighter
Price on Amazon
Best Long-Lasting:SON & PARK Color Cube HighlighterPrice on Amazon
Best Blendable:It’s SKIN Babyface Petit HighlighterPrice on Amazon
Best Natural-Looking:Kaja Mochi Glow Bouncy Highlighter
Price on Amazon

What Is A Highlighter

It is a cosmetic that masterfully reflects light to offer a beautiful boost to your skin color and define your cheekbones. It can be applied to the face, neck, collar bones, or any other parts of your body, where you would like to create the perception of depth and angles. It takes only a few dabs of highlighter to brighten up your whole face.

7 Best Korean Highlighters That Offer You An Instant Glow

1. Best Multipurpose:ETUDE HOUSE Play 101 Stick Contour Duo New – Intense

4
ETUDE Play 101 Stick Contour Duo #1 (21AD) Image: Etude House

Powered with an ergonomic 24-degree cutting shape at the nib, this stick fits the curved surfaces of your face, ensuring easy application. It is a creamy contour duo that lets you define and add an extra glow to your face. Shade the contour below your jawline and on the side of your nose to add definition. Apply the highlighter end on your cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, and T-zone for that instant radiance. Here’s a review video to help you get a better understanding of the product.  

Color: #1_21ADItem Weight: 1.06 ounces | Product Dimensions: 0.79 x 0.79 x 4.88 inches.

Pros

  • Blends easily
  • Multi-purpose
  • No cakey texture
  • Long-lasting makeup

Cons

  • May not be suitable for pale complexion
protip_icon Quick Tip

To get a flawless glass skin effect, use highlighters on your nose bridge and cheekbones.
Price at the time of publication: $12.0

2. Best Highly Pigmented:ETUDE HOUSE Secret Beam Highlighter

Who doesn’t love some color in their lives? This ETUDE HOUSE Secret Beam Highlighter is a multi-colored highlighter compact. It has pink, golden, orange, and white shadow tiles with reflective pigments. The pink/white combination works superbly with white undertones, leaving a beautiful blush shimmer effect like the one you get with a glittery mineral highlighter on your cheekbones. Need more information? Watch this video to make an informed decision about the product.

Item Weight: 0.05 Kilograms |

Pros

  • Highly pigmented
  • Multi-dimensional glow
  • Lasts all day long
  • Finely milled powder
  • Skin-enhancing
  • Great for olive skin tones

Cons

  • May be a bit too much shimmer for a day time look

3. Best Sweat-Proof:Superface Multi-Lightful Blush & Highlighter Stick – Gold Rush

If you want to achieve a healthy-looking radiance, then this Superface Multi-Lightful Blush & Highlighter Stick is what you should buy. This formula is creamy and made of natural powerful ingredients such as green tea, broccoli, alfalfa, arugula, ginkgo, and camellia leaves along with wheatgrass. Other than being a blush and highlighter, it also doubles up as an eyeshadow.

Color: Gold Rush | Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 1 inches | Weight: 1.6 Ounces.

Pros

  • Sweat-proof
  • Multi-purpose
  • Glides smoothly
  • Free of gluten and parabens

Cons

  • The formula may be a bit thick.
Price at the time of publication: $19.99

4. Best ForAll Skin Types:Too Cool For School Artclass By Rodin Highlighter

If you are looking to create a luminous complexion, this Too Cool For School Artclass By Rodin Highlighter is your best bet. Made with micro pearl pigments, it delivers the right amount of pearly luminosity with a natural glow without overpowering your entire makeup. This highlighter is a set of three colors that have a light texture to brighten up your face for that gentle shine on your cheeks. If you need further convincing, check out this YouTuber’s review.

Color: Artclass by Rodin Highlighter | Product Dimensions: 4 x 4 x 4 inches | Weight: 1 Pounds

Pros

  •  3 pressed powders in one
  •  Silky smooth
  •  Blends easily
  •  Recommended for all skin types

Cons

  •  Needs more than one application for the desired color pay off
protip_icon Pro Tip

Too Cool For School Artclass By Rodin Highlighter is a balmy palette with three shades that you need to layer on top of one another to achieve the ultimate dewy look.
Price at the time of publication: $22.1

5. Best Long-Lasting:SON & PARK Color Cube Highlighter

Formulated with mica, glycerin, and water, this SON & PARK Color Cube Highlighter has a creamy texture and provides sheer luminosity to your face. This is a non-sparkly, buildable highlighter; the final finish is an iridescent dewy soft glow, which is quite the trend among several K-pop and K-drama stars. It works incredibly well if you are looking to add some soft-focus effect to your high points — brow bones, nose, and cheekbones. If you are really into liquid highlighters, this is definitely among the best in the market right now.

| Product Dimensions: 3.54 x 1.57 x 0.79 inches | Weight: 0.35 Ounces

Pros

  • Lasts long
  • Good coverage
  • Better stackability
  • Adheres well to the skin

Cons

  • May not be waterproof

6. Best Blendable:It’s SKIN Babyface Petit Highlighter

If you are a minimalist when it comes to makeup, then this highlighter is what you need for that subtle shimmer. This It’s SKIN Babyface Petit Highlighter has a lovely sun-kissed glow to it that is never over the top and compliments medium tanned skin tones beautifully. With some light-handed strobing, apply this subtle highlighter on your brow bones, nose, and the tip of your inner eyes to get your sharpest features to pop.

Color: Gold

Pros

  • Blends easily
  • Cute packaging
  • Delivers a natural glow
  • Great for everyday wear

Cons

  • May not last all day long

7. Best Natural-Looking:Kaja Mochi Glow Bouncy Highlighter

4.2

If you are just starting with highlighters, this product is great for you. The KAJA Mochi Glow Bouncy Highlighter is a powder-gel formula that is easy to work with as it feels like a cream but finishes like a powder. The natural-looking finish makes this highlighter a cult favorite. Wear it on bare skin or makeup and you will surely shine with a candlelit radiance.

Color: 04 Stardust

Pros

  • Delivers natural glow
  • Cream-gel highlighter
  • Pore-blurring effect
  • Effortless application
  • Blends seamlessly
  • Good coverage

Cons

None

Price at the time of publication: $20

How To Choose The Best Korean Highlighter

Here are a few parameters you must consider to pick the Korean highlighter that suits you best. 

  • Type: Powder, cream, and liquid are the three types of Korean highlighters available in the market. Depending on your skin, through multiple trials, you can work out which type of highlighter works best for you.
  • Price: Budget buys are important, but would you prefer premium highlighters that respect your skin and the environment? Well, it is your call.
  • Size: Determine how much product you are getting with the price you are paying.
  • Colors: See if the brand offers the highlighter in a wide range of color tones so that you can pick one that suits your complexion best.

Now, let’s take a look at the different types of highlighters. 

Types Of Highlighters

The application technique of the highlighter differs based on its texture. To achieve your desired glam, ensure you pick a highlighter that suits your skin type best.

1. Powder highlighter

If you are a beginner, we recommend you start with powder highlighters. Be it the pressed ones or loose, they lay on easily on your cheeks and make them glow. If you are looking for a shimmery look, pick one with a heavy glitter pigmentation.

2. Liquid highlighter

If your style is more subtle and you are looking for a dewy finish, liquid highlighters work best. Ideally, one must use a liquid highlighter over foundation. They blend easily and can be mixed with BB creams, foundations, CC creams, and moisturizers for a translucent finish.

3. Cream highlighter

For long-lasting shimmer effect and high pigmentation, cream highlighters work best. With a concentrated formula, they effortlessly mix with other cosmetic products and are easy to apply. However, the best part about cream highlighters is that a little goes a long way. So, make sure you don’t overapply.

Let’s catch up with the basics of a highlighter, shall we?

How To Use Highlighters

It is important to identify the areas you need to highlight so that you don’t end up overdoing it and ruining your look. 

  • Potential highlighting areas: Cheekbones, central forehead, and eyes are the most common areas of application on your face. You can also take light swipes on the Cupid’s bow for that instant fresh and youthful glow. However, if you are aiming for a more Kardashian contour look, blend the highlighter well into your chin, the bridge of your nose, under the eyebrows and cheekbones.

The Application Process

Here are a few basic steps on how to go about applying your highlighter. 

  • Build a solid foundation

Make sure you have blended your foundation well. It is ideal to use a lightweight foundation that lets you build on and offer an even canvas for you to apply your makeup.

  • Area outlining

Outline the areas you want to highlight, depending on the look you are going for. If you are planning on using a cute blush, divide your facial areas into three segments for blushing, contouring, and highlighting. However, if you are going for a pouty look, define your Cupid’s bow area with the highlighter. This will enhance your lips by adding definition. To make your lips look bigger, you can swipe a touch of highlighter on your chin.

  • The application
  1. After you have defined the areas you want to highlight, apply your favorite highlighter along these mapped lines with a makeup sponge or brush. Make sure you leave enough room for your blush and contour. Do not go about covering up pigmentation or redness with a highlighter, because it won’t work. A highlighter is only used to add a radiant glow to your face. You might want to use a concealer to cover up your problem areas.
  1. Under the eyes, the brow bones, and the inner corners of your eyes, it is advisable that you apply the highlighter with your fingertip. Use a concealer brush if you are highlighting the Cupid’s bow area.
  1. However, it is important that you keep experimenting with the application process when combining the look with contour and blusher. This will help you know what works and what doesn’t for your face shape and skin type.

Infographic: Key Ingredients In Korean Highlighters

Regular highlighters are created with a combination of natural ingredients and chemicals that can damage your skin in the long term. But, Korean brands are creating a storm in the beauty industry due to their efficient and innovative use of natural ingredients. Check out the infographic below to know which key natural ingredients in Korean highlighters make your skin look healthy and glowing.

Key Ingredients In Korean Highlighters (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

The Bottom Line

Level up your makeup game using an illuminating K-highlighter. Korean skincare and makeup products are the new trends in the world of makeup and beauty because they are not only efficient but also skin-benefiting! For example, a Korean highlighter will boost your skin color and help you achieve that fantastic glow. It provides you with a healthy natural sheen. Apply it on your nose bridge and cheekbones to add an extra glow to your look. You can opt for the ETUDE HOUSE Play 101 Stick Contour Duo New – Intense which imparts an extra glow and is long-lasting, the Too Cool For School Artclass By Rodin Highlighter which adds an attractive luminosity and instantly brightens the face, or the Kaja Mochi Glow Bouncy Highlighter which blurs pores and imperfections and boosts natural radiance. You can even choose between a cream, liquid, and powder highlighter based on your needs and desires. The products on our list blend easily, are long-lasting and non-cakey, give good coverage, and look great on various skin tones. If you need added qualities like water- and sweat-resistance, read the descriptions given above to make an informed choice.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

Srijita De, the author of this article, is a makeup and beauty enthusiast. She spent hours reviewing multiple user reviews to develop this list of some of the best Korean highlighters that her readers can incorporate into their makeup arsenal. The best Korean highlighters are a must-have and help you show off your cheekbones by giving you a bright and glowy look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best highlighter or illuminator?

The Kaja Mochi Glow Bouncy Highlighter is the best illuminator. This powder gel formula delivers a natural glow and offers excellent coverage.

Do you apply the Korean highlighter before or after the foundation?

Use the Korean highlighter after the foundation. Apply it lightly to the high points of your face. Then, add a little bit to the inner corners of your eyes after doing the base makeup.

Is liquid or powder highlighter better?

Liquid highlighters help your skin glow naturally. On the other hand, a powder highlighter adds a shimmery finish to your face and delivers a dramatic look. Choose a formula that meets your needs.

What is the best Korean highlighter for medium skin?

The It’s SKIN Babyface Petit Highlighter is the best Korean product for medium complexion. It adds a lovely shimmer and offers a natural glow to your face.

Which color of Korean highlighter is the best for brown skin?

Dark golden or bronze color highlighters are the best choice for brown skin. These create beautiful golden undertones and add the right amount of natural luminosity to the gorgeous brown complexion.

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