Everyone has their preferred formula when selecting a highlighter. While there’s a moment and time for each of them — say, liquids, creams, and balms — we’re spotlighting one of our favorites, powders. “Powder highlighters are a great option for those who want a long-lasting glow, as they sit on top of the skin and don’t melt in like liquids or creams,” says makeup artist Judi Gabbay.
Powder highlighters are also buildable, so no matter which one you use, you can have the option of having your glow look subtle or blinding. Gabbay also points out that powder luminizers are versatile and can double as shimmery eye shadows, so you’re getting the most for your buck.
Now, we’ll be honest here — hundreds of powder highlighters are on the market and it’s hard to decide which one will give you the glow you desire (and deserve). That’s why we rounded up the best powder highlighters on the market. On the list below, you’ll find some of our favorite picks that work for all skin tones from retailers like Amazon, Sephora, Ulta Beauty, and more.
Milani Cosmetics Baked Luminous Glow Highlighter is one of makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff’s top picks. According to Sheriff, this champagne highlighter is affordable and well-pigmented, and it works amazingly on all skin tones.
Gabbay loves Tarte’s Shape Tape Glow Bar because of its versatility. It contains three cream-like powders in one palette that all have different uses. Champagne Blur smooths skin, Bronze Glow sculpts, and Sunlit is all about illuminating your complexion.
“My favorite powder quad would be from Dior Beauty Backstage Glow Face Palette,” says Gabbay. She adds that the four finely milled highlighters in this quad can be mixed, or used alone as blushes, bronzers, highlighters, or eye shadows.
If you’ve ever been tempted to use highlighter as eye shadow, Deck of Scarlet’s Mirror Glaze Highlighting Trio will put you over the edge. Create a monochromatic look by dusting one of two Best of Beauty-winning powders where light would naturally hit your face, then pat the cream over your lids. Or…do the opposite. There’s no wrong way to use these illuminators.
When it comes to beauty on a budget, this highlighter takes the cake. Maybelline New York’s Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter gives you an out-of-this-world reflective vibe without breaking the bank.