We all want that gorgeous “lit-from-within glow” on our faces, don’t we? When your natural glow needs a little boost, that’s when you reach out to a highlighter and when applied in the right places, a highlighter even makes you look more youthful. Beauty trends come and go, but three-dimensional, sculpted cheekbones will never go out of fashion.
We’ve listed 15 best highlighters that will give you luminous skin and the much-envied Kardashian-esque cheekbones. But before we begin with the list, let’s look at the different types of highlighters out there.
Types of Highlighters
1. Powder Highlighter
The old-school and the “original” highlight method is using a powder highlighter. These deliver a more sheer and shimmery finish, besides having a softer application. You can use them over your foundation and blush for an overall dewy finish. It’s essential to blend these in properly to avoid a stripe of obvious shimmer.
2. Liquid Highlighter
These are perhaps the most versatile highlighter formulas – whether you are a makeup newb or a pro. Just a tiny dab of some liquid highlighter can illuminate, define and add an overall shimmer! Also, these are more pigmented than powder-based formulas so you can use them to accentuate or brighten specific areas of your face. With their light lotion-like base, these can also add life to your foundation.
3. Stick / Cream Highlighter
These are really user-friendly and can be used to highlight specific areas of your face like under the brow bone, your inner eye corner and your cupid’s bow. You don’t even need a brush to use these babies!
Best Highlighters in India
- MAC Mineralize Skin Finish
- The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter
- Lakme Absolute Illuminating Blush, Shimmer Brick
- Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder
- MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter
- Lakme Absolute Highlighter
- NYX Professional Makeup Sculpt and Highlight Face Duo
- Makeup Revolution Vivid Shimmer Highlighter
- NYX Professional Makeup Away We Glow Liquid Highlighter
- Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator
- Colorbar Radiant Glow Face Illuminator Glamour
- L.A Girl Velvet Contour Highlighter Stick
- NYX Professional Makeup Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator
- Maybelline New York V-Face Duo Stick
- Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight
1. MAC Mineralize Skin Finish
This luxurious and velvety soft domed face powder gives you the most radiant finish. Add highlights by strategically buffing this to the high points of your face, or blend all over for a sheer and luminous glow. This features M.A.C’s 77-Mineral Complex and Vitamin E. This comes in five different shades.
- Mineral-based product
- Dermatologist tested
- Finely-milled, soft and smooth texture
- Suitable for all skin types
- Does not come with an applicator
MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Highlighter Review
The M.A.C Mineralize Skin Finish powder works beautifully for all skin types. When I use it all over my face – it adds a subtle luminosity to my skin, blurs out pores and gives minimal coverage. It does a great job at highlighting cheekbones as well. You end up looking very natural with a healthy glow that stays on all day long. It also blends in very easily. Even though the price is on the higher side, this product is definitely worth splurging on. Highly recommended!
2. The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter
This honey-hued luminizer catches everyone’s eyes. While adding a subtle glow, the highlighter, shimmer, and shadow also diffuse light so your skin looks younger and softer.
- Highly pigmented and blends easily
- Versatile 3-in-1 shimmer, highlighter, and shadow
- Comes with a big mirror
- Soft and finely-milled texture
- Also looks great on dusky skin
- Slightly pricey
- No applicator
The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter Review
This highlighter by theBalm cosmetics is one of the best ones for Indian skin tone in its beautiful champagne/gold shade. A little goes a long way, and you achieve this Goddess-like dewy glow. The shiny glitter is so fine that it just blends in all the way through and your face looks brighter and livelier! It’s also long-lasting and does not have any kind of fall-out. Definitely a must-try product!
3. Lakme Absolute Illuminating Blush, Shimmer Brick
This limited edition palette by Lakme comes with a hint of shimmer and a luminous silky formula to make your cheeks glow. It helps you create a red carpet luster every day.
- Comes in two beautiful palette shades (Pink and Coral)
- Pigmented colors
- Blends easily
- No mirror
- No applicator
Lakme Absolute Illuminating Blush, Shimmer Brick Review
The Lakme Shimmer brick is a blush cum highlighter. It has 4 different shades in each palette and these look gorgeous on Indian skin. You can use this to add a cheeky glow to your face or even highlight your cheekbones using a fan brush. It instantly brightens up your face and gives you a beautiful radiant glow that lasts all day long. Its texture is smooth and the shimmer is finely-milled – it leaves you with a soft glow and a beautiful flushed look. This is a definite winner in the blush+highlighter department! Do give it a try.
4. Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder
The light-reflecting powder gives your complexion a high-impact, light-reflective glow. Sweep this on to bring a luminous, sheer color that’s ideal for highlighting and strobing.
- Silky texture
- Comes in two shades (Pink Glow and Bronze Glow)
- Blends beautifully
- Makes skin look illuminated
- Classy packaging with mirror
- No applicator
Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder Review
The Bobbi Brown highlighting powder is one of the very best, and it gives you this dreamy, lustrous glow. Coming from a high-end brand, these are of incredible quality and have an amazing staying power. If you are bored of bronze highlighters, then ‘Pink Glow’ is definitely the way to go! Overall, this product is a great investment for your makeup collection and takes the prize when it comes to achieving that “natural-translucent glow”.
5. MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter
This pen-style highlighter brings a sheer, soft wash of color to the skin. You can add radiance just where you want with its precision applicator. Use this over your makeup to highlight and under your makeup to brighten and prime. These come in 4 different shades.
- Light-weight and long-wearing
- Provides instant radiance
- Dermatologist tested
- Pen-type click packaging
MAC Prep+Prime Highlighter Review
The M.A.C Prep+Prime Highlighter is a click-type brush pen which is designed to highlight, brighten and perfect. It has a creamy yet liquidy texture that you can blend in with your fingertips. It’s really easy to apply and brightens out the under-eye area in an instant. You can use it to highlight your brow bone, cheekbones and the inner corner of your eyes. The sheer effect leaves a stunning radiance and glow on the face. This is one of the best pen-highlighters out there and it’s a good value for money!
6. Lakme Absolute Highlighter
This limited edition highlighter is designed by fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee. It’s ideal for highlighting and strobing with its reflective shimmer finish. It gives your skin a stunning glow with its fine velvet pearls. The two-sided palette highlights cheeks and contours your face.
- Long-staying and light-weight
- Shimmer is finely-milled and looks soft
- Can be used to contour
- No mirror
- The lighter shade (if over-applied) can look too shimmery
- No applicator
Lakme Absolute Highlighter Review
This highlighter is another gem by Lakme. It comes with a transparent flip-lid with the product pressed in a classy checkered pattern. This will suit Indian skin tones perfectly as it’s a champagne shade. It blends easily and gives a very nice and dewy finish to the face. You can use the ‘Moon-Lit’ shade to contour as well which makes this a rather multi-purpose palette at a decent price. If you don’t want to spend too much, this highlighter does a pretty amazing job.
7. NYX Professional Makeup Sculpt and Highlight Face Duo
Add luminescence and define your best features with the NYX Professional Makeup Sculpt and Highlight Face Duo. It consists of a double-ended liquid duo with a contouring shade to define and a creamy highlighter to illuminate. This comes in 6 different shades.
- Creamy and pigmented
- Travel-friendly packaging
- Blends easily
- Does not transfer
- You need to be quick with blending the contour as it dries in a jiffy
- Highlighter may crease in the under-eye area (if not blended properly)
NYX Professional Makeup Sculpt and Highlight Face Duo Review
This two-in-one highlighter by NYX is a great choice for anyone who prefers liquid highlighters. The texture is smooth and creamy, and it blends in well. As the highlighter dries quickly, you can use a brush to work with the product and blend it all out. It stays put for long hours and does not budge which was impressive. For the under-eye area, you can set the highlighter with a compact to avoid it from creasing. Overall, it’s a great liquid highlighter and is also priced decently.
8. Makeup Revolution Vivid Shimmer Highlighter
The Makeup Revolution Vivid Shimmer Brick Highlighter gives you the perfect sun-kissed glow. You can use an individual shade or swirl your brush across all the shades for a stunning lit-from-within radiance. It comes in two different palette variations.
- Contains 5 different shades
- Very pigmented
- Can be used for highlighting and bronzing
- Provides a very natural finish
- Smooth and soft texture
- It comes without a mirror
- It transfers a little (if over-done)
Makeup Revolution Vivid Shimmer Highlighter Review
All the shades in this palette are smooth and glide onto your skin easily. Its fine texture blends in effortlessly and will suit all skin types. It stays on for 7-8 hours and looks very natural even during the day. This is a great imitation of the Bobbi Brown Highlighting powder at a very affordable price. If you are on a budget and are looking for a highlighter cum bronzer, this does an efficient job. A must-try from Makeup Revolution!
9. NYX Professional Makeup Away We Glow Liquid Highlighter
This gorgeous, new liquid highlighter by NYX comes with a light-reflecting formula in wonderfully creamy yet light-weight shades. For irresistible illumination and a shimmery finish, just dab and blend it out to add luminosity to any look – be it soft or intense. It comes in 5 different shades.
- Creamy consistency
- Beautiful dewy finish
- Blends well
- Dries quickly, so you need to work fast with it
- Not very long-staying
NYX Professional Makeup Away We Glow Liquid Highlighter Review
This glossy highlighter by NYX can be applied under your foundation or over it – depending on the look that you’re going for. It’s very easy to apply and blends in properly, giving my face a natural-looking glow and without appearing streaky. It does not give you an obvious “just-put-on-highlighter” glow but rather a very subtle and fresh glow. It’s great to be worn during the day as well.
10. Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator
The Revlon Face Illuminator can be worn alone to highlight and brighten or over a foundation to banish dullness and even out skin tone. It gives you a lit-from-within look with its light-capturing crystals and photo-chromatic pigments. It’s available in 3 shades.
- Illuminates without adding shimmer
- Soft and creamy texture
- Blends easily
- Brings a very natural glow
- The nozzle does nothing to control the product flow
- Fragrance is a tad bit much
- Not even slightly shimmery (for those who prefer at least a little shimmer)
Revlon Photoready Skinlights Face Illuminator Review
This illuminating liquid comes in a plastic tube with a nozzle. It has a nice and creamy consistency that is easy to work with. It blends well even with fingers (but you can also use a brush). However, fingers help you in precise application. It gives a dewy glow to the face without making it oily or drying it out. You can mix it with your foundation for a soft glow all over your face or highlight specific areas like your cheekbones, cupid’s bow and the bridge of your nose.
11. Colorbar Radiant Glow Face Illuminator Glamour
This one-of-a-kind product instantly gives your complexion a perky and vibrant look. It enhances makeup and brightens the complexion, giving your face a natural glow.
- Beautiful shade of highlight (champagne rose with gold undertones)
- Suits all skin types
- Adds instant radiance to your face
- Packaging (click-pen which makes it a task to get product out even after 6-7 clicks)
- Not buildable
- Dries quickly
Colorbar Radiant Glow Face Illuminator Glamour Review
This highlighting pen by Colorbar is a budget-friendly product that is a great option for anyone who’s just starting out with highlighters. The consistency is slightly gel-based. The pen comes with a brush which is not of much use, but you can blend it out using your fingers or a brush. You can use this to highlight specific areas or mix it with your BB cream or foundation for a uniform glow. Worth a shot!
12. L.A. Girl Velvet Contour Highlighter Stick
This contour-highlight stick helps highlight, strobe and brings your best face forward with its feather-light texture. Enriched with the goodness of Jojoba Seed Oil, Shea Butter, and Cocoa Seed Butter, this product comes in 3 gorgeous shades.
- Gives a beautiful matte finish
- Does not highlight pores and imperfections
- The shimmer is very fine and gives a subtle glow
- 2-in-1 product
- Not very long-staying
- Can’t be applied directly from pan stick
- Packaging is quite flimsy
L.A. Girl Velvet Contour Highlighter Stick Review
This highlighter+contouring stick by L.A Girl comes in twist-up pan-stick packaging. The texture of the product is creamy which mattifies after blending. It can be blended using fingers as well, and it does not make your skin oily or highlight dry areas. This product stays on for 4-5 hours which is decent. However, it does not budge or spread from sweating. If you like cream-to-matte texture, then you can give this one a try!
13. NYX Professional Makeup Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator
The NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator is a multi-functional formula that can be used either as a foundation base or to highlight your cheekbones, decolletage and cupid’s bow. The luxuriously light-weight formula gives you a natural-looking radiance that will have everyone talking. Available in four shades.
- Creamy texture
- Easy to work with
- Blends well
- Instantly brightens up your look
- Needs to be blended quickly as it dries fast
- Will not suit darker skin tones
NYX Professional Makeup Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator Review
This illuminator by NYX comes in a plastic tube with a nozzle. The packaging is simple and travel-friendly. The consistency is light weight and creamy which blends like a dream and you can use a sponge, your fingers or a brush to blend. You can also mix this with your foundation for an overall radiance. It leaves a pretty glow with subtle shimmer that does not look over-done! This is a great highlighter at a decent price when compared to the other expensive ones which serve the same purpose.
14. Maybelline New York V-Face Duo Stick
The stunning V-Face Duo stick by Maybelline makes it simple to define, shape and highlight your features like a pro. This is available in two shades from light to medium and medium to dark skin tones.
- 2-in-1 benefits of highlighter and contouring stick
- Creamy texture
- Blends easily
- Great for everyday use
- Never feels patchy
- Good staying power
- Limited shades
- Not suitable for very oily skin
- Contour shade does not suit the average Indian skin tone
Maybelline New York V-Face Duo Stick Review
This face duo stick by Maybelline comes in a black tube with a clear cap on each side. The consistency of the product is creamy and it gives off a smooth, silky finish to your skin. It’s very easy to use and the highlighter only contains subtle shimmer in it which makes it a great option for daily-wear. The glow provided by its highlighter looks very natural and dewy. This is ideal for beginners.
15. Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight
This luminous, cream highlighting stick with light-reflecting optics helps to bring your best features forward. It is long-wearing and oil-free.
- Easy to use
- Creamy and glides easily
- Lovely shade (a subtle pink with silver shimmer)
- Imparts a luminous effect on face
- Looks very natural on face
- Comes in one shade only
- Not suitable for oily skin
- May emphasize pores
Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight Review
This highlighter stick by Clinique comes in the form of a retractable chubby stick. It comes in one shade – ‘Hefty Highlight’. Now, I must tell you that this might suit fair skin tones exceptionally well. But when it comes to deeper skin tones, the shimmery highlight may appear whitish. However, one can build up color as per preference. You can blend this product out using your fingers or a brush. It stays on for 5-6 hours. Overall, this is perfect for sensitive skin but is over-priced for sure.
Remember, glowing skin is always in! If you are on the hunt for the best highlighter, let us tell you that the secret lies in your skin tone – pick a highlighter shade that complements it because just like your foundation, not every highlighter is made for every skin tone.
*Subject to Availability
Do you have a favorite highlighter? Do let us know in the comments section below!
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