I still have a struggle when it comes to applying highlighters, or illuminator, strobing…whatever you may call it. But practice makes perfect, right? Over the past few months, I’ve managed to accumulate enough drugstore and high-end highlighter, that I’m positive I can do a mini battle and show which ones are the best and which are my favorite.
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The first highlighter I bought was the NYX Illuminating Stick. I saw some good reviews on it for beginners and thought it would be a great first highlighter for me. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The shade of the highlighter was the wrong shade and barely showed up on me, even in the sun. It was hard to blend (though I’m still having trouble blending highlighters perfectly), but that was pretty much it. If you know your shade and how to blend it, I definitely recommend trying the NYX Illuminating Stick first.
The next highlighter I bought was another drugstore highlighter and from E.L.F.
I actually really love this one. It’s powder so it’s much easier to blend, and you can mix the shades to get different results. Plus, you get 4 colors for $6. I enjoy E.L.F Products and most of their products are really great quality so I don’t consider this of ‘low quality’. The only downside to this one is that you have to go over it quite a bit. The pigment is pretty light and so is the pickup. Other than that, I enjoy this highlighter.
I haven’t actually purchased any of these, technically. I’ll explain in the details.
This is the first high-end highlighter I received (for free from Influenster). The packaging looks so sleek and beautiful, plus it’s Marc Jacobs. Before receiving this I had no clue the brand even did beauty products so I was pretty stoked when I got in the voxbox campaign. I mentioned before that this was so hard for me to blend and I thought with time and as my skills got better, it would be easier to blend. That’s not the case, unfortunately. The shade is really pretty but I’m starting to have a love/hate relationship with it. Sometimes it looks great and sometimes it makes me look ashy.
I did try it as a layer under my foundation to see if I got a glow, and that’s when I felt ashy. Out of all of my highlighters, unfortunately, this one is my least favorite.
The size I received is full size and retails at $44 on Sephora.
I first received this sample from a Sephora purchase I made then I received another sample of the same shade and size, from Ipsy in my May glam bag. That’s why I don’t necessarily consider this a purchase I made. Anyways, after trying it from my Sephora purchase, I knew I loved this shade and how the results were. It’s still not the best to blend, but it shows it up so well. I can’t express how much I adore this one. Using it by itself or with another highlighter, this gives me the results I’m after and that’s basically a lot of glow.
The sample I received are really small but I’ve barely even touched the surface of the first one so I think it’ll last me a while.
The full-size highlighter retails for $26.
Boxy Charm included this highlighter in their May Makeup Is Art boxy mail. I was very cautious with it from my experience with the Marc Jacobs Coconut Glow. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this quality! It blends like a powder so that helps me blend it better, it goes really well with the Urban Decay AfterGlow highlighter and the shade is so amazing. It’s liquid gold, in my opinion.
The output amount isn’t nearly as much as the Coconut Glow but this one is quite messy if you let it be. I haven’t had to squeeze the bottle to get the product out yet and I don’t think I’ll need to for a while. Maybe they overfilled this bottle haha, it’s a lot of product as soon as the cap comes off. However, it provides the perfect amount for me to apply to both cheeks, nose, and anywhere else I may want to highlight. It’s become my favorite liquid highlighter and I use it all the time I do my makeup now.
This is a full size and retails at $29.50
Here are the liquid/cream/stick highlighters swatched side by side.
In order of left to right: Urban Decay Afterglow Sin, NYX Bright Idea in Sandy Glow, Marc Jacobs Coconut Glow, Temptu & BoxyCharm Liquid Glow.
And here is the swatch for the ELF powders again.
What’s your favorite highlighter? Are there any other promising highlights you have to recommend?