15 Best Liquid Highlighters Of 2020 With Buying Guide

by Atulya Satishkumar
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That ‘woke up like this” natural glow is what every girl wants while stepping out for a meet-up or a party. And how does one achieve that? The way to meet all your radiance requirements is through liquid highlighters. Minimalistic makeup is trending and people are gravitating towards creating simple yet effective looks without burning a big hole in your pocket.

Pressed-powder highlighters with a huge fan-following have recently been replaced by the wet-looking finish of a liquid formula. So, whether you want chic yet stylish glow or an intense radiance, our list of the handpicked 15 best liquid highlighters is the best way of achieving the look of your dreams.

Products
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L’Oreal Paris True Match Natural Glow Enhance - DeepCheck Price
theBalmMary-Dew Manizer Liquid Highlighter
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Milani Strobe Light Liquid Highlighter - Day Glow
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Josie Mara Entertainment Illuminizer
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Wet n Wild Megaglo Hello Halo Liquid Highlighter - Halo Goodbye
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Maybelline New York Master Strobing Liquid Highlighter - Light Iridescent
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Nars Orgasm Illuminator
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Dermablend Glow Creator Liquid Highlighter - Pearl
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Benefit’s High Beam Liquid Highlighter - Pink
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Eddie Funkhouser Glow Drop Liquid Highlighter
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Top 15 Best Liquid Highlighters For Radiant Skin

1. L’Oreal Paris True Match Natural Glow Enhance – Deep

Instant hydration combined with effortless shine, L’Oreal’s True Match Natural Glow is all about that naturally glowing color tint. Made of ingredients like shea butter and glycerin, the liquid highlighter keeps the skin hydrated and moisturized and far from looking patchy. One of the best liquid highlighters is available to you in 4 different shades for dark, fair, medium, and deep skin tones. Choose the one that matches your skin tone and dab away!

Pros:

  • Effortless glow
  • Infused with organic ingredients
  • Weighs 1.44 ounces
  • Product dimensions are 1.2 x 1.2 x 5.2 inches.
  • 3 types of uses: tinted moisturizer, primer with foundation, highlighter

Cons:

  • Doesn’t have a built-in SPF

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2. theBalmMary-Dew Manizer Liquid Highlighter

The next edition to the “oh so beautiful” highlighting fluid family is the Mary-Dew Manizer liquid highlighter by theBalm. The face highlighter is neither too sticky nor too light but a creamy mix of a subtle sheen. Though the packaging comes in a tiny bottle with a wand but is worth every penny. Mix it with some moisturizer, primer, or foundation and find your face looking like the ultimate focal point of radiance.

Pros:

  • Highly-pigmented
  • Blends easily
  • Lightweight
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons:

  • The wand isn’t long enough.

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3. Milani Strobe Light Liquid Highlighter – Day Glow

A few drops of this Milani Strobe liquid illuminator and you are all set to shine like a star throughout the day. The highly concentrated formula is rich and creamy and blends evenly on all the high points of your face. Wear on the cheekbones, forehead, the bridge of your nose, and Cupid’s bow for an intense highlight. The product is available in 6 various lovable shades and caters women from all races and ethnicities.

Pros:

  • Infused with ultra-fine-illuminating micro pearls
  • Suits all skin types
  • Reasonably-priced
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan

Cons:

  • Too sparkly
  • Poor staying power

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4. Josie Mara Entertainment Illuminizer

Hand-picked by makeup experts and fashion enthusiasts, this argan oil-infused creamy highlighter is all about a healthy and subtle luminous glow. With Josie Mara Entertainment Illuminizer’s high beam liquid face highlighter, a little goes a long way. A brand with a conscience believes in serving you with products that are free of any form of animal cruelty or synthetic ingredients. Take a tiny drop of the highlighter, mix it with a foundation or a moisturizer, and smudge it evenly on the focal points of your face.

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben, peg, and phthalate-free
  • Free of synthetic fragrance and mineral oils
  • Formulated with 100% pure argan oil
  • Formaldehyde-free

Cons:

  • The pump dispenses more liquid than needed.

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5. Wet n Wild Megaglo Hello Halo Liquid Highlighter – Halo Goodbye

Keep your makeup kit stocked with a rose gold tinted lightweight formula like the Wet n Wild Megaglo Hello Halo highlighter. It’s easily blendable quality makes for a very convenient application, more so when you are running late for an event. Natural ingredients like murumuru seed butter and grapeseed oil are used in the formulation of this natural liquid highlighter making it a healthy, skin-friendly product. What’s more? The highlighter is available in 6 different shades for all skin tones and types, making it a one-stop highlighter shop for all makeup lovers.

Pros:

  • Intensely pigmented
  • Infuse with vitamin E and murumuru seed butter
  • 100% cruelty-free
  • Certified CF by PETA

Cons:

  • Expensive

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6. Maybelline New York Master Strobing Liquid Highlighter – Light Iridescent

Maybelline liquid highlighters are all about the intense shine and the silky finish. A buildable liquid highlighter with micro-fine pearl pigments highlights the high points of a face giving it some depth and adding a hint of drama. Master Strobing highlighter claims to offer one shade for every complexion that enhances the features of your face. Achieve that instant glow by applying subtle formula in four different ways; mixing with a foundation, applying with a primer, highlighting the focal points of a face, or wearing it alone.

Pros:

  • A silky liquid
  • All-over dewy glow
  • Cruelty-free
  • Reasonably priced
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Does not have too many color options

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7. Nars Orgasm Illuminator

Who doesn’t know Nars and their path-breaking, dashing collection of cosmetics, and skincare products? This highlighter, as the name suggests, is just that— bold and beautiful. It is a light-reflecting, peachy-pink colored liquid solution that blends into the skin like butter, leaving a glossier radiance. The convenient packing makes it easier to use as a light press on the tube pushes out enough solution for your entire face. Wear it alone or over makeup and find yourself looking transformed.

Pros:

  • Product weight: 1.1 ounce
  • A liquid-gel formula
  • Highly-pigmented
  • Travel-friendly packaging
  • Longevity: 5-6 hours

Cons:

  • Expensive

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8. Dermablend Glow Creator Liquid Highlighter – Pearl

We are what every girl expects their skincare products to be—organic and skin-friendly. This liquid highlighter with highly-concentrated micro-pearls is oil and water-free which makes it highly buildable and blendable on any skin. For that lit-from-within glow, take a small drop of the Glow Creator liquid highlighter by Dermablend and witness your skin transform into a fresh and glowing face. We boast inclusivity and have the highlighter available in four different shades for women of all skin tones.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy-to-use
  • Oil-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Free from all the synthetic ingredients
  • Suits sensitive skin

Cons:

  • Too sparkly for a few skin tones

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9. Benefit’s High Beam Liquid Highlighter – Pink

What does this Benefit’s High Beam Liquid Highlighter have to flaunt about? It is a concentrated, dewy liquid highlighter solution that lasts you for years! The classic pink is a popular color, backed by subtle incandescent in the formula, which when applied would make your face scream for attention. Experts suggest that you use this highlighter from Benefit Cosmetics over makeup instead of applying it alone for the #trending glass skin look. Blend it along the bridge of your nose, your cheekbones, forehead, or brow bones and look sharp and edgy.

Pros:

  • Concentrated
  • Gives a radiant look
  • Easy-to-use
  • Long-lasting
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a wand or applicator

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10. Eddie Funkhouser Glow Drop Liquid Highlighter

A lit-from-within glow that builds from sheer to intense effortlessly is what Eddie Funkhouser’s Glow Drop Liquid Highlighter is all about. It illuminates facial features and all the high points such as the cheeks, nose, forehead, etc., and leaves your face looking bright and new. Considered as one of the best liquid highlighters, this one is best known for creating a more diffused even complexion. Take a small dollop of the highlighter on the fingertips; massage it evenly on all the focal points for a soft-focus look.

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Non-GMO and no soy

Cons:

  • Too dark for a few skin tones

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11. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highlighter – Champagne Pop

A shimmering dewy liquid highlighter that creates a shining glow and radiant skin is the ultimate match for every face. The ultra-light liquid highlighter comes in a soft gold shade that looks extremely subtle and one-with-the-skin when applied evenly. Do not worry about the side-effects of makeup as the formula is specifically designed keeping your skin’s health in mind.

Pros:

  • Sheer-liquid highlighter
  • Easy-to-use pump mechanism
  • Lightweight
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Slightly drying

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12. Pretty Vulgar Just Glow With It Liquid Highlighter

Tired of highlighters that fade away a few hours into their application? This liquid highlighter is designed to stay longer and work more consistently on all skin types; oily, dry, or combination. So, now you don’t have to worry much about the constant touch-up as with ‘Just Glow With It’ dewy liquid highlighter, you can look radiant all day long. The most exciting part about the Pretty Vulgar Liquid Highlighter is its pretty packaging that is bound to throw some attention over your makeup kit.

Pros:

  • Highly-pigmented
  • Infused with squalane
  • Formulated with light-reflecting pearls
  • Long-wearing highlights
  • Luminous effect
  • Water-based cosmetic
  • Easy-to-use

Cons:

  • May be too dark for light skin tones

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13. NYX Professional Makeup Away We Glow Liquid Highlighter

The brilliance of this NYX Professional Makeup liquid highlighter is the all-round approach it has over a skin. It keeps the skin hydrated, brings out the glow from within, and is also available in 8 different shades for all skin tones. Its easily blendable quality is most useful when you are running late for an event. Mix it with a moisturizer or primer with the glamorous face liquid highlighter to highlight your face or use it as a body bronzer along with the deep neck tops.

Pros:

  • Creamy in texture
  • Leaves a soft subtle glow
  • User-friendly
  • Easy-to-apply
  • Durable
  • Available in 9 shades

Cons:

  • The applicator is too big and doesn’t apply in the right way.
  • Expensive

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14. Pericone MD No Makeup Highlighter

Are you in love with the no-makeup look? Get yourself the Pericone MD No Makeup Highlighter that comes with all the skincare benefits. Made with light-reflecting pigment pearls, the liquid formula is non-greasy and evens out the skin tone by bringing a shine. Ingredients such as vitamin C Ester are mainly used for reducing the dullness and discoloration. The compounds used in the formulation makes it a medicated product, best suited for sensitive skin types.

Pros:

  • A liquid-gel formula
  • Improves dullness and discoloration
  • Infused with light-reflecting pigment pearls
  • Contains vitamin C Ester
  • Lightweight
  • Fragrance-free

Cons:

  • The price is slightly high for the quantity provided

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15. Ilia Liquid Light Serum Highlighter – Atomic

Now donning that sunkissed look with the help of a highlighter with a golden tint becomes easier. Ilia’s Liquid Light Serum Highlighter is all that you need to protect your skin from the outdoor heat and pollution. This natural liquid highlighter is formulated with botanical extracts and also proclaims to be a cruelty-free product. This one is a treat for all animal lovers.

Pros:

  • A blend of organic and natural botanicals
  • Silicone, gluten, parabens, phthalates, and sulfates-free
  • Free of synthetic fragrances and dyes
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan

Cons:

  • Slightly expensive

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Despite the detailed guidelines on which highlighter suits what type of skin, there are still a few common mistakes that people make while choosing a highlighter. Let’s discuss the important points that must be kept in mind while choosing a liquid highlighter.

How To Choose The Right Liquid Highlighter?

  • Shade

It’s best to find a shade that suits your skin tones and undertones. Though highlighters with peach and golden hues are more popular, they suit fairer skin tones best. Dewy liquid highlighters with golden and champagne shades are best for medium to wheatish skin tones, while bronze and copper shades are more popular amongst people with a darker skin tone.

  • Texture

Liquid highlighters must have a texture that is neither patchy nor runny. This helps in blending the liquid highlighter evenly on the skin. A creamy silky texture is an ideal formulation that is easier to spread and stays put on all types of skin.

  • Quality

A highlighter is considered to be of good quality if it does not cause any harm to the skin. Look for high-quality but affordable liquid highlighters that are free from synthetic materials to avoid rashes or breakouts.

Some of the best highlighters do not show the desired outcome because of an amateur technique of application. There are ways of applying a highlighter, which if ignored will not give the best results.

What Is The Best Way To Apply A Highlighter?

One often suffers from the dilemma of how to apply liquid highlighters. Liquid highlighters work best when applied with the help of your finger. The warmth of the finger helps blend the highlighted evenly. Though it can get a little messy along the way with your fingers swamped with shiny hues. Some even go for a brush or a sponge to apply the highlighter uniformly on all the high points.

Just like any other makeup product, face liquid highlighters have a shelf-life of their own. Let’s check the durability of a highlighter and the period they can last you.

How Long Does A Liquid Highlighter Last?

It completely depends on how often you use your highlighter. A liquid highlighter makeup, if used regularly will last you a little over a year. All in all, a highlighters expiration period is about two years from the date of manufacturing. If stored in a cool and dry place, most highlighters go on for 2-3 years. To be on a safer side, check for the scent of the product to know if it has gone bad or not.

If you still have dual thoughts about owning a moonlight liquid highlighter, now is the time to rethink. Whether it’s about glowing your face like a bright star or hydrating the skin to make it look as fresh as new, liquid highlighters have been consistent performers in this area. A good liquid highlighter is radiant, easily blendable, and pocket-friendly, and displays itself like your skin’s best buddy. If all this still doesn’t convince you to buy a liquid highlighter for yourself then what will. Get one of the best liquid highlighters online or from the nearest drugstore that will lead you into achieving the look you could have only dreamt of.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is a liquid highlighter any good?

A. Highlighters are the last step of a makeup ritual. It is mainly used to bring some shine on the focal points of a face like the cheekbones, forehead, nose, chin, etc. Liquid highlighter mixed with some foundation brings a gold-like spark on the face.

Q. How is a liquid highlighter better than powder?

A. A liquid highlighter blends easily and the application is more intensive than any powder. One can even mix it with any foundation or moisturizer to reduce the dewiness if they like. Dabbing the formula evenly all over the face is more convenient with the help of a liquid highlighter.

Q. Which liquid highlighter is best for fair skin?

A. Any highlighter with a whitish, light gold or light pink shade will look best on lighter skin tone. You can always refer to our list of highlighters that include Nars’ Orgasm Illuminator, Milani Strobe Liquid Highlighter’s Day Glow, or Wet n Wild Megaglo’s Halo Goodbye which were specifically designed for people of lighter skin tones and undertones.

Q. Where is the liquid highlighter applied?

A. The liquid highlighter is applied to the high points of a face; around the cheekbones, below the bridge of the nose and the brow bone, and over the cupid’s brow in lesser quantity.

Q. Can you apply a liquid highlighter before the foundation?

A. Liquid highlighters tend to break down the foundation below. So one must use it before applying foundation or mix them well with any other moisturizer and apply with makeup.

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Atulya Satishkumar

‘Techie by day, writer by night’ is how she described herself before embarking on the journey of writing. Her strong belief in the magic of the written word, coupled with a very keen eye for detail, helps her guide her team to create quality content. When she is not editing beauty, fashion, and lifestyle-related content, she writes prose and poetry, plays her ukulele (and/or guitar), and pets floofs.
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