Best highlighter to achieve that subtle glow or high-beam highlight

Whether you want to shine bright like a diamond or glow like a goddess, these are the highlighters for you.

Highlighting is the product and makeup trend that we don't see going out of fashion anytime soon. It rose to stardom in 2016 - thanks to the strobing trend - and has become a fundamental step in many makeup routines ever since.

If you’re new to highlighting, it’s the art of applying light, shimmery product to the high points of your face, giving you a healthy radiant glow, as well as a sculpted look.

But with so many products on the market it can be difficult to choose the best for you. Some highlighters can be glittery, chunky or powdery. Luckily, Finder is here to highlight (pun intended) our pick of the best highlighters on the market. We’ve tried and tested them ourselves and investigated customer reviews on a multitude of beauty sites too. Now that we've done the hard work, all that's left for you to do is to shop to your heart’s content and get that glow.

1. Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter

Where to buy: Sephora

The Fenty Beauty Killawatt Highlighter received an incredibly positive reception when it first launched. Not only does it come with two different shades but the formula is unlike any other. The left highlighter is a subtle daytime glow and the right is a blinding night-time highlight.

The formula is a cream-powder that leaves a gorgeous sheen and definitely isn’t powdery looking.

There is also a mini travel size option for those who want to try it before committing to the full size.

  • Favourite shade: Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby
  • Vegan? No
  • Cruelty free? Yes

2. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder

Where to buy: eBay

Most highlighters can embellish skin texture and blemishes but the Hourglass Ambient Lighting highlighter works to blur your imperfections, pores and wrinkles, making it unlike any other highlighter on the market.

This unique formula uses photoluminescent technology that works to transform the complexion, mimicking the appearance of your skin in natural light. This allows the highlighter to give your skin a natural and flawless finish, and it's suitable for all skin types.

  • Store rating: - 4.7 Stars
  • Price: $67
  • Favourite shade: Champagne Pearl
  • Vegan? Yes
  • Cruelty free? Yes

3. Iconic London Illuminator

Where to buy: Adore Beauty

This product really is the ultimate liquid highlighter. With four shades to choose from, it's so versatile that you really get bang for your buck.

You can apply it to your face but also to your body/décolletage and you can mix it with your foundation too.

The highlighter itself has a silky feel and is incredibly blendable. Plus, you only need a small amount because a little really goes a long way.

The liquid formula also sets itself so you don’t even need to worry about placing a powder highlighter on top.

  • Store rating: 5 Stars
  • Price: $68
  • Favourite shade: Deep copper
  • Vegan? Yes
  • Cruelty free? Yes

4. Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed

Where to buy: Sephora

The Jaclyn Hill x Becca highlighter collaboration is one of the key products that really helped kick-start the highlighter trend. The Becca Cosmetics Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed is an award-winning highlighter known for its incredible shades and pigment that doesn’t sacrifice formula.

The powder has a buttery texture that just melts into your skin. The product works for so many people because its powder is ultra-fine and multi-toned with luminescent pearls that adjust to your skin’s undertone.

If that isn’t enough to have you sold, the product is incredibly buildable and you can opt for a subtle glow or layer it for a blinding radiance.

  • Store rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Price: $64
  • Favourite shade: Champagne Pop
  • Vegan? Yes
  • Cruelty free? No

5. Mecca Cosmetica Enlightened Lit From Within Illuminating Balm

Where to buy: MECCA

Want an affordable highlighter option without spending a lot? Look no further than the Mecca Cosmetica Enlightened Lit From Within Illuminating Balm. Not a powder or a liquid highlighter, this product has more of a balm consistency, which makes it unique compared to other products on the market. It’s not overly sparkly but gives the skin a fresh, radiant and hydrated look.

The formula of this highlighter contains ingredients that are great for your skin like Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil and Castor Seed Oil. The formula creates a beautiful blendable product that leaves a radiant finish. However, due to the balm-like consistency, your highlighter will stay in place and won’t budge all day long.

  • Store rating: 4.7 Stars
  • Price: $32
  • Vegan? Yes
  • Cruelty free? Yes

6. M.A.C. Cosmetics Strobe Cream

Where to buy: Adore Beauty

Another holy grail product in many makeup bags is the M.A.C. Cosmetics Strobe Cream. This product, in my opinion, is slightly under-appreciated as all M.A.C. products are generally expected to be good.

However, the strobe cream isn’t your everyday highlighter. It’s like a moisturiser and a highlighter mixed in one and trust me when I say it goes on like a dream. As someone with dry skin, this product is perfect to kill two birds with one stone. Not only will your skin feel hydrated but it will look it too with a youthful radiant glow.

It’s incredibly lightweight and can be used on your face or body too. Your skin will love the green tea antioxidants and potent botanicals, and it’s not a product that will be harsh on your face.

  • Store rating: 4.4 Stars
  • Price: $56
  • Favourite shade: Peachlite
  • Vegan? No
  • Cruelty free? No

7. Huda Beauty Highlighter Palette

Where to buy: Sephora

This palette is for you if you’re after a unique selection of highlighter shades. The original Summer Solstice palette has four gorgeous shades to choose from, including Saint Tropez (a golden yellow), Malibu (a warm orange), Copacabana (a peachy coral) and Mykonos (a vibrant purple).

While the shades may seem a little crazy, they look perfect by themselves or paired together.

It is on the pricier end of the scale, though the fans of this palette are quite large so you will get a lot of product for the price point.

  • Store rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Price: $80
  • Vegan? No
  • Cruelty free? Yes

8. Jeffree Star Cosmetics Liquid Frost highlighter

Where to buy: Princess Polly

For those who enjoy an intense glow, this is the product for you. Applying this liquid highlighter with your fingers or beauty sponge will allow you to achieve an absolutely blinding highlight. The formula of this highlighter is incredibly pigmented, meaning a little goes a long way but you can apply as much as you like.

This product is only a recent launch but has become a fan favourite.

It works for both face and body and with eight versatile shades, there is something for every skin tone.

  • Store rating: 5 Stars
  • Price: $35
  • Vegan? Yes
  • Cruelty free? Yes

9. Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter

Where to buy: Priceline

For a fabulous drugstore/budget highlighter, you can’t go past the Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter. It’s an affordable option if you don't want to spend a lot. Plus, with this product, the price point for the quality is what makes it so amazing.

The highlighter is incredibly versatile and works whether you want a subtle highlight or a blinding glow.

  • Store rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Price: $19.95
  • Vegan? No
  • Cruelty free? No

----

Real girl favourites

Laura Geller Gilded Honey Highlighter

"This is hands down a favourite of mine. I can’t do my makeup without dusting a little of this product on my cheeks, nose and even my collarbones and shoulders. It’s such a buildable product that it’s versatile for both day and night." - Alex

M.A.C. Mineralise Skin Finisher

"My go-to highlighter – it's a soft and gentle glow look. I don't like full glam makeup so this highlighter is perfect for me. Easy to apply and sets quite natural." - Jess

TheBalm MaryLou Manizer

"This highlighter just has so much shine! It's my go-to when I want a blinding highlight and it's super affordable making it my holy grail product." - Monisha


How to apply highlighter

There are three main ways you can choose to apply highlighter to your face: you can use a highlighting brush, makeup sponge or your fingers. We suggest different application methods for different products.

Use a highlighting brush to apply powder highlighter and a beauty sponge to apply liquid highlighter, and using your fingers on cream highlighters will get the most pigmented look.

Where do you apply highlighter?

Applying highlighter does come down to how much or how little you'd like to wear.

Commonly, highlighter is worn on the highpoints of your cheekbones, temples, on the tip of your nose, cupids bow and on your brow bone.


Latest news

1001 Optical 1001 Optical
Exclusive

15% off Ray-Ban, Prada, Oakley, Gucci sunglasses and more

Coupon is valid on all full price optical frames, contact lens and sunglasses from your favourite international and local designer brands including Ray-Ban, Prada, Oakley, Gucci and many more at 1001 Optical. Exclusions, T&Cs may apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Active Skin Active Skin
Exclusive

FREE 5-piece Best in Beauty Kit ($65 value) + FREE delivery

Valid when you spend $95 or more on beauty products and cosmetics with the promo code at Active Skin. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Showpo Showpo
Exclusive

10% off orders over $200

Save 10% on your orders when you spend $200 or more at Showpo. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Clearly Contacts Clearly Contacts

Buy one, get one FREE eyeglasses & sunnies

Choose any combo of eyeglasses and sunnies to get your second pair FREE with code at Clearly. Excludes Ray-Ban, Oakley, Bolon, Michael Kors from the second pair FREE promo. Other Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Quay Australia Quay Australia
Limited time!

Buy any 2 pairs for just $100

Stock up on your favourites including Nemesis, Hindsight and more at Quay Australia. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

eBay eBay

15% or 20% off selected sellers

Save 15% or 20% on fashion, home & garden, electronics and more at eBay. Selected sellers only. No minimum spend required. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

ColourPop ColourPop
Limited time!

40% off all Super Shock shadow, highlighter & blush

No minimum order required. While supplies last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

eBay eBay

20% off top retailers

Get 20% off trending brands including Samsung, Canningvale, Dell and more at eBay. Selected sellers only. Maximum discount of $300. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Dyson Dyson

$200 off Dyson selected products + bonus styling set

Enjoy $200 off when you buy any Dyson Supersonic™ hairdryer & Pure Hot+Cool™ purifying fan heater in the same transaction. Plus, bonus styling set valued at $89 also included. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

RY.COM.AU RY.COM.AU

30% off all Maybelline products

Enjoy 30% off the primer, concealer, volumizing mascara and more from Maybelline at ry. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

RY.COM.AU RY.COM.AU
Limited time!

Up to 40% off beauty sale + FREE shipping

Score up to 40% off beauty items from Olaplex, Skinstitut, Cloud Nine and more. While stocks last.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

eBay eBay

Up to 60% off site-wide

Enjoy up to 60% off 100's of additional deals across tech, gaming, toys and homewares from brands including Dyson, Google, LEGO and more at eBay. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

eBay eBay

Get $114 off Dyson Supersonic hair dryer

Save $114 on Dyson Supersonic hair dryer or get it now for just $385. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Fresh Fragrances Fresh Fragrances

10% off store-wide + FREE shipping

Get 10% off beauty products from Chanel, Laur Mercier, NARS and more with FREE shipping at Fresh Fragrances and Cosmetics. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Pagan Marie Pagan Marie

30% off all Quay sunglasses + accessories

Score 30% off the whole range of Quay sunglasses and accessories. Discount automatically applied. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Clearly Contacts Clearly Contacts

10% off contact lenses + FREE shipping

Valid when you spend over $99 on contact lenses with the promo code. Can't be combined with any other offers. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Clearly Contacts Clearly Contacts

20% off all lens upgrades

Applies to all prescription glasses lenses at Clearly. Can't be combined with any other offers. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

GNC GNC

30% off GNC brands

Valid on GNC brands for a limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

David Jones David Jones

Receive an exclusive Dermalogica gift with purchase

Choose your bonus 'winter skin' 3-piece gift when you spend $120 or more on full-priced Dermalogica products at David Jones. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Clearly Contacts Clearly Contacts

10% off when you spend over $99

Enjoy 10% off when you spend over $99 at Clearly Contacts. Excludes the brand Splash and Everclear. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

iHerb iHerb

10% off natural hair care products

For shinier, thicker, fuller hair add natural products from Mild by Nature, Avalon Organics, Earth Science and more for 10% off now at iHerb. Some Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

iHerb iHerb

20% off Mild By Nature body butter

Try the healing power of vitamin-rich shea butter for 20% off now at iHerb. Some Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

David Jones David Jones

FREE 8-piece gift with any Estée Lauder purchase

Receive your 8-piece skincare and makeup gift with any Estée Lauder purchase of $75 or more. One gift per customer. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

NET-A-PORTER NET-A-PORTER

15% off your first order

Get 15% off all full-priced items in your first order. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Tarte Tarte

Deluxe mascara for only $1 AUD with $90 AUD purchase

Use the code to avail deluxe mascara for only $1 AUD with $90 AUD purchase at Tarte. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Healthpost Healthpost

FREE Immuno boost tea with Artemis Thyme lemon tonic 250ml

Get a free Immuno boost tea with every order of Artemis Thyme lemon tonic 250ml at Healthpost. While stocks last.

Last verified

MyProtein MyProtein

40% off everything

Enjoy 40% off high-quality protein shakes at MyProtein. Exclusions, T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Sephora Sephora

Up to 70% off Sephora collection

Enjoy up to 70% off cream lip stain, rouge shine lipstick, rouge tint and much more from Sephora collection. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

The Body Shop The Body Shop

Lip juicers & face mists: 2 for just $20

Buy any 2 lip juicers and or fruity face mists for just $20 at The Body Shop. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

The Body Shop The Body Shop

Body mists for just $10

Buy any bath & body mists for just $10 at The Body Shop. Excludes Fragrance Mists (Musks, Voyage) & Fuji Green Tea Cologne and British Rose EDT. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Sephora Sephora

FREE Ultimate Warming Cleanser 20ml when you spend $80 on skincare

Simply use the code to get a FREE Sephora Collection Ultimate Warming Cleanser 20ml when you spend $80 on skincare (excluding cost of delivery). Offer exclusive to Beauty Pass members only. While stocks last. Exclusions apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Aveda Aveda

FREE cherry almond softening leave in conditioner

Try new cherry almond softening leave in conditioner for FREE! Get your10ml sample with any $50+ order online at Aveda. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Priceline Priceline

FREE standard shipping on all orders over $50

Get FREE standard shipping on all orders over $50 at Priceline. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

David Jones David Jones

FREE Clarins, Philosophy, Jurlique gifts & more with purchase

Discover the current gifts with purchase and beauty offers from some of David Jones top beauty brands including Clarins, Philosophy, Jurlique gifts and more. T&Cs apply

Last verified

eBay Plus eBay Plus
FREE trial

FREE delivery and returns + 30-day FREE trial of eBay Plus

Join eBay Plus and enjoy FREE delivery, returns on Plus items, 30 days FREE trial and more. Conditions apply.

Last verified

eBay Plus eBay Plus

$10 off eBay Plus membership

Save $10 and pay just $39 for eBay Plus annual membership. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Sephora Sephora

FREE gift from Dior with any purchase

Receive a Diorshow Maximizer 3D lash primer (4ml) with any Dior purchase at Sephora. Offer valid only for Sephora Beauty Pass members. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Sephora Sephora

FREE Dior backstage pouch with purchase

Receive a Diorshow backstage pouch with any Dior purchase of $80 or more. Offer valid only for Sephora Beauty Pass members. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Ella Baché Ella Baché

Up to 30% off bodycare, exfoliants & more

Enjoy up to 30% off skincare products including exfoliants, serums, cleansers & more. Valid on selected products for a limited time only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

iHerb iHerb

10% off any order + FREE shipping when you spend $40

Shop for herbs, vitamins and supplements and receive10% off any orders at iHerb. Plus, FREE shipping when you spend over $40. Conditions apply.

Last verified

Flat Tummy Co Flat Tummy Co

10% off any order

Enjoy 10% off any order at Flat Tummy Co. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Nature Talk Nature Talk

10% off site-wide

Valid on any order site-wide. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

eBay eBay

FREE delivery on Coles groceries

Valid when you spend over $49 on food, drink, health, beauty and more from Coles at eBay. Exclusive for eBay Plus members. Selected areas only. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Amazon AU Amazon AU

20% off DentJet oral care products

Valid on selected products by DentJent at Amazon. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Skin Matrix Skin Matrix

Up to 30% off your orders

Shop for anti ageing and acne solution products at Skin Matrix and get up to 30% off your orders. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

protectME protectME

FREE delivery on orders over $150

Shop for water repellent and non-toxic fabric protector at protectME and get FREE delivery when you spend over $150. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Sephora Sephora

FREE lychee face mask with purchase

Receive a colourful face mask in lychee with every purchase of any 4 colourful face mask from Sephora Collection. Valid for Beauty Pass members. While stocks last. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

Scentbird Scentbird

FREE one-month supply of perfume + FREE scentbird case

Become a Scentbird member and get a 30-day supply of a new perfume for just $14.95 a month. Plus, get one month supply and a scentbird case for FREE. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Healthpost Healthpost

12-41% off selected NutraLife Ester C products

Enjoy 12-41% off selected NutraLife Ester C products at Healthpost. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

The Healthy Mummy The Healthy Mummy

Up to 57% off The 28 Day Challenge

Enjoy up to 57% off The 28 Day Challenge at The Healthy Mum. Works out at 46c per day. T&Cs apply.

Last verified