I’m the type of person that thinks she doesn’t have any highlighters, and then when I buy a new one realize that I actually have more than I need for someone who puts on a full face maybe twice a week. And with clearing out my makeup stash, I decided to take a hard look at my highlighters.
Maybelline Strobing Stick in 200 – Probably the most underrated drugstore highlighter I’ve come across. It’s a suitable dupe for Glossier’s Haloscope in Quartz, at a fraction of the cost. It’s not pictured because I gave it to my minimal-makeup-wearing-sister (part of my makeup clear out, since I have a few others I love) and I usually get a few compliments whenever I wore it. It’s perfect for beginners because it’s nearly foolproof to use – swipe on and blend out the edges.
Urban Decay Afterglow Powder in Sin – I… have to play around with this more. I don’t want to say it’s horrible, because it’s not. It carries a lot of pigmentation, easy to blend, and overall a good highlight color. However, the first time I used it, it felt too chalky and powdery for my tastes. It put me off using it for a while. The next time it looked significantly better, although I don’t know what changed – my expectations, the way I applied, the base underneath, or a mix. While it still didn’t look as seamless as I thought, it’s a light champagne-y color, with almost a shift of pink to it on my skin tone. Unless you’re close up, you won’t see the sparkles in it.
I would say this is one to consider if you like your highlight to be poppin’, because it’s easy to accidentally add too much. If you have a more experienced (read: light) hand, this is still a gorgeous highlight to use.
Becca Pressed Powder in Opal – THEY STILL HAVE THIS TRAVEL SIZE SET. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to try Becca highlighters without spending the full price (if you’re cheap, like me). Powders last a long time, and even the wand will last forever, as I never have to dip it in twice to get more product. It’s a universally flattering color in my opinion, suitable and versatile enough for any occasion or outfit. The pan is small and the mirror is bordering on useless (though still a nice touch) but it’s an amazing one to have on hand if all else fails.
Becca Spotlight Wand in Opal – The Spotlight Wand was a bonus, as I pretty much wanted the powder, so I went in with zero expectations. The applicator is the same as the Colourpop concealer: a flat doe foot, so I use one side on each cheek. The first times I used this I feel like I barely dotted it on, therefore giving a dewy, almost glossy sheen to your cheekbone. A natural looking highlight if there ever was one. When you actually apply like a normal person, it becomes an actual highlight that is still natural looking, and works seamlessly with your base.
Milk Makeup Holographic Stick in Supernova – I was hesitant about getting this because of the holographic purple, which I was afraid would only be wearable at festivals, but I was surprised. First off, as I’ve said before, it’s definitely not holographic, instead a pretty iridescence. Secondly, the lavender color is not nearly as noticeable as you might think, and is completely wearable in the daytime. It’s one of those highlighters where you take another look, because you’re not sure if that’s lavender on their cheeks.
The problem with this is it’s difficult to wear foundation underneath. By applying the stick directly to your face, you will end up moving the foundation beneath and getting foundation over the actual highlighter stick. Applying with your fingers keeps the stick cleaner, but you’ll get less color payoff, unless you’re willing to spend more time to build up the color.
Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in Lunch Money & Flexitarian – If you have any sort of texture on your face, these will highlight the shit out of that. Other than that, these are amazing highlighters for the $8 they cost. Ridiculously creamy, heavily pigmented, and a dream on the skin… used sparingly. Both are best sellers according to Colourpop, but I prefer Lunch Money. I mentioned Flexitarian in my products I’m on the fence about blog post, and I still kind of stand by that. Overall, Lunch Money is a far more flattering color, but it could also just be that I’m unused to icier highlights, as Flexitarian is.
Normally this is the part where I ask for recommendations on what highlighter I should try next, but I’ve determined I have too many and need to cut back, especially since they last forever! So please don’t tempt me.
This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own.