Woman wearing highlighter and sparkly makeup

Woman wearing highlighter and sparkly makeup (Photo by Monstera on Pexels)

Who doesn’t want radiant, glowing skin? Few of us are naturally blessed with that kind of complexion and rely on highlighters to achieve a dewy look. Highlighters attract light to certain areas of your face, reflect it and thereby “highlight” those areas. They are available in both shimmery powders and luxe liquids. Compared to powder, liquid highlighters look more natural and are easier to blend — ideal for a daily routine. Usually used on your cheekbones and temples, as well as the inner corner of your eyes and under your brow bone, the best liquid highlighters can be found on our list below!

We want glowing skin because dull skin negatively impacts our confidence, according to a recent New York study. As a result of “glow-related” lack of confidence, nearly half of the women polled stated their physical appearance is likely to suffer, in addition to their sleep and overall happiness. Unsurprisingly, most women agreed that they want to look good on the outside to help them feel good on the inside — and that they want to feel like they’re “glowing” all the time.

Of course, this all boils down to looking young and healthy, which historically translates to “good mating material.” Researchers say there has been a historical link between what societies consider attractive and reproductive success, and this link is not unfounded: The relationship between good looks and good health has recently been documented in a Texan study, which found a connection between how attractive someone is and the strength of their immune system. “The current research suggests that a relationship between facial attractiveness and immune function is likely to exist,” states corresponding study author Summer Mengelkoch.

Hard facts! But we hope you keep it on the lighter side and simply enjoy using makeup and feeling good, without fretting about your DNA. To help you find the most ‘glowy’ products, StudyFinds checked ten websites for reviews of the best liquid highlighters, resulting in our list below. If you have any feedback on our list, please let us know in the comments!

Woman wearing highlighter
Woman wearing highlighter (Photo by Amir SeilSepour on Pexels)

The List: Best Liquid Highlighters, According to Makeup Experts

 

1. Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Highlighter Wand

The experts agree that this is one of the best liquid highlighters available. It got the most recommendations and is the favorite of Forbes — and TikTok: “TikTokers are absolutely obsessed with this sponge-tip highlighter (like, it’s got 1.5 billion TikTok views and counting), and Madison Beer even sold out the Pink-gasm shade when she said she uses it as a shimmery blush,” writes Cosmopolitan. “The dewy formula comes in six tints and finishes (three radiant, and three shimmer), so you can customize your highlight. And thanks to both mica and lightweight oils in the formula, these shimmery liquids make your cheeks shine.”

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Highlighter Wand
Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Highlighter Wand

Allure chimes in on the highlighter’s TikTok fame, stating: “The cushion applicator on Charlotte Tilbury’s Beauty Highlighter Wand allows for the color to dispense onto skin evenly, so there’s no blotchiness –- just glow. Each of the five hues has rose gold pigments that mimic the soft and natural light (no chunky glitters). No wonder it’s made the viral rounds on TikTok and sold out multiple times.”

“You can’t not love liquid highlighters and the way they melt into skin, giving you a true lit-from-within glow,” claims Forbes and explains why the Beauty Highlighter Wand is their top liquid highlighter pick. “This one in particular is packed with lustrous polymers that give you a natural-looking non-sticky sheen without a spec of glitter in sight. A wave of this cushion applicator wand along the high points of your face brightens and highlights with a rosy tone that looks like a dream on all skin tones.”

2. Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight

In addition to getting the second-most experts’ recommendations, this product is our number two because, according to Elle, it’s best for all skin types — and more affordable than some other highlighters out there. “Selena Gomez knows the importance of a great base, and this highlighter is the star of her beauty line. Coming in eight different shades for various skin tones, it’s a lightweight yet intense highlighter that will make your skin look dewy all day long.”

Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight
Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight

If you believe Allure, this highlighter is just heavenly: “Rare Beauty’s Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlighter glides onto skin to bless you a glow-from-within complexion. The pearl particles in each of the eight iridescent shades […] give skin a dewy sheen as soon as they are blended and melted into the skin.”

And a happy user of the highlighter tells Buzzfeed: “I just love that this product is both blendable and buildable, allowing me to be as subtle or shimmery as I want. It goes on super smooth, which makes it perfect for applying underneath my foundation if I want a soft, all-over glow. It also comes in a pretty hefty-sized tube, so I feel okay about using a generous amount when I want my shoulders to shine, too.”

With stiff competition for the two remaining places on our list, this product is our fourth because of its multi-use: “Hueglow is a one-stop shop with its serum-meets-moisturizer-meets-highlighter formulation. You can wear it under your makeup, as a final touch, or even add a few drops to a moisturizer before heading out,” writes Harper’s Bazaar (and points out that this product works for all skin types!).
Live Tinted Hueglow
Live Tinted Hueglow

Or, as Allure puts it, “Live Tinted’s Hueglow is akin to if a serum and highlighter had a beautiful, shimmery baby. Squalane and botanical extracts nourish skin for a healthy, lit-from-within look, while light-reflecting bronze pigments deliver serious radiance. Pro tip: Mix a couple of drops into your favorite body lotion before applying to glimmer from head to toe.”

And while it’s not cheap, Hueglow’s also a good value, claims InStyle: “[…] this highlighter delivers optimal glow. A little goes a long way with this highlighter. We recommend applying it in small dots, then blending it in.”

5. Wet n Wild MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter

While other liquid highlighters had equal numbers of recommendations by beauty experts, we picked this one because it’s affordable and cruelty-free! wet n wild doesn’t tests on animals and is a member of PETA’s “Beauty Without Bunnies” program with the goal of ending animal testing.
Wet n Wild MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter
Wet n Wild MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter

“Not only is this highlighter wallet-friendly, but it also comes in multiple shades and is packed with skincare ingredients. With vitamin E and hydrating butters, this product smooths and hydrates your skin while still giving it a powerful glow,” states Elle about their best budget pick.

“Wet n Wild’s intensely pigmented formula is touted for its multi-dimensional shimmer effect,” knows MomJunction, which awards this product the “best pigmentation” title. “Formulated with micro-fine pearl pigments, murumuru seed butter, and vitamin E, this highlighter provides a smooth and delicate texture. It is perfect for ensuring an intense makeup look with a multi-shimmer glow. The grapeseed oil and other effective ingredients hydrate and smoothen the skin’s texture, giving you a radiant glow.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.

About Clio Rourke

I'm a freelance writer with experience in advertising and public relations.

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