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The 17 Best Liquid Highlighters, According to Makeup Artists and Editors

September 04, 2020

The 17 Best Liquid Highlighters, According to Makeup Artists and Editors

In the age where glass skin rules supreme, a great liquid highlighter is a must-have in any makeup kit. You might already rely on a classic pressed-powder highlighter, but nothing can beat the wet-looking finish of a liquid formula if a dewy makeup look is high on your priority list. And the beauty retail world has endless options to offer you when it comes to liquid highlighter, whether you like a glow with a barely-there sheen, a bright enough glimmer to stop traffic, or a finish that sits somewhere in-between.  To help you navigate the never-ending world of liquid highlighters, Allure editors have revealed their current go-to liquid highlighters and their all-time favorites. For some, that's a recent launch from a luxury brand — for others, it's a fan favorite from the drugstore. No matter your liquid highlighter preference, skin tone, or budget, you'll find something in this list for you. Below, shop the 16 best liquid highlighters, according to makeup artists and beauty editors. Happy highlighting — and you're welcome in advance.  All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.  Flesh Beauty Ripe Flesh Glisten Drops on white background Courtesy of brand 1/17 Flesh Ripe Flesh Glisten Drops Commerce editor Nykia Spradley reaches for Flesh's Ripe Fresh Glisten drop any time she needs a little extra glow on her deep, warm skin tone. According to her, this formula effortlessly rides the line between subtle and bold — it's just right.  $14 (Shop Now)  Beautyblender Glass Glow Shinelighter on white background Courtesy of brand 2/17 Beautyblender Glass Glow Shinelighter Makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes relies on Beautyblender's Glass Glow Shinelighter to create plenty of her signature, glossy looks. "This is basically a colorless gloss, which I think is great for adding a little bit of physical texture," she says. "It's great to add to things where you don't want shimmer at all."  $25 (Shop Now)  Mac Cosmetics Strobe Cream on white background Courtesy of brand 3/17 Mac Strobe Cream The genius of Mac's beloved Strobe Cream lies entirely in its versatility. Apply this shimmering, wet-looking cream directly onto the high points of the face, mix it into your primer for a dewy complexion, or go all out and use it as an eye-catching body highlight.   $35 (Shop Now)  WATCH  How to Get Full Brows MORE ALLURE VIDEOS Most Popular thrive causemetics primer, dove amplified textures butter cream, and soko glam good skin days moisturizer on yellow background  BEAUTY PRODUCTS These Are Allure Editors' Favorite New Beauty Products for August 2020  BY ALLURE EDITORS  A young woman wearing a tank top lying down on a field of little green plants BEAUTY PRODUCTS The Best Body Lotions to Soothe Your Dry Skin  BY SARAH HAN   Bella Hadid prepares backstage before the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 11, 2018 in New York City MAKEUP 21 Drugstore Foundations That Go Toe-to-Toe With Luxury Splurges  BY SARA SPRUCH-FEINER, KARINA HOSHIKAWA, AND NICOLA DALL'ASEN  Becca Ignite Liquified Light Highlighter on white background Courtesy of brand 4/17 Becca Ignite Liquified Light Highlighter Assistant editor Kat Suico and staff writer Nicola Dall'Asen have both taken to Becca's latest highlighter formula, Ignite Liquefied Light Highlighter. "This highlighter has the dewy sheen I need from a highlighter, minus the wet stickiness that comes with certain liquid formulas," says Dall'Asen.  $38 (Shop Now)  Chantecaille Liquid Lumiere Highlighting Fluid on white background Courtesy of brand 5/17 Chantecaille Liquid Lumière Highlighting Fluid A few drops from this tube of Chantecaille Liquid Lumière is all contributing writer Kaleigh Fasanella needs to highlight all the high points of her face. Tap it onto skin directly with fingers, or mix a few drops into your highlighter for a subtle all-over glow.   $44 (Shop Now)  Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Liquid Highlighter on white background Courtesy of brand 6/17 Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Liquid Highlighter Makeup artist Carl Ray, who works with Michelle Obama, lists Benefit's High Beam Liquid Highlighter as one of his all-time favorites. Considering the subtle and sheer pink glow it can give to any skin tone, we're not surprised.   $18 (Shop Now)  Most Popular thrive causemetics primer, dove amplified textures butter cream, and soko glam good skin days moisturizer on yellow background  BEAUTY PRODUCTS These Are Allure Editors' Favorite New Beauty Products for August 2020  BY ALLURE EDITORS  A young woman wearing a tank top lying down on a field of little green plants BEAUTY PRODUCTS The Best Body Lotions to Soothe Your Dry Skin  BY SARAH HAN   Bella Hadid prepares backstage before the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 11, 2018 in New York City MAKEUP 21 Drugstore Foundations That Go Toe-to-Toe With Luxury Splurges  BY SARA SPRUCH-FEINER, KARINA HOSHIKAWA, AND NICOLA DALL'ASEN  Ilia Beauty Liquid Light Serum Highlighter on white background Courtesy of brand 7/17 Ilia Beauty Liquid Light Serum Highlighter This super-subtle pick comes from contributing social editor Stephanie Griffin. Ilia's Liquid Light highlighter is perfect if you like that lit-from-within glow without too much glitter. Plus, this gel-based formula acts just like a serum that melts directly into the skin.   $42 (Shop Now)  Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation Illuminator on white background Courtesy of brand 8/17 Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation Illuminator The Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation Illuminator is a staple in makeup artist Fiona Stiles's kit, thanks to its light-catching glimmer that you can build up to your desired level of sparkle. "That's probably my all-time favorite," Stiles says. "It's very soft and subtle."  $55 (Shop Now)  Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Illuminator on white background Courtesy of brand 9/17 Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Illuminator If a wet-looking sheen is part of your staple makeup look, Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Illuminator could be the end-all, be-all highlighter for you. A Best of Beauty winner and all-time favorite of editorial director Sam Escobar, this super slick formula coats skin in a sheer, shimmering gloss without degrading any of the makeup beneath it.   $32 (Shop Now)  Most Popular thrive causemetics primer, dove amplified textures butter cream, and soko glam good skin days moisturizer on yellow background  BEAUTY PRODUCTS These Are Allure Editors' Favorite New Beauty Products for August 2020  BY ALLURE EDITORS  A young woman wearing a tank top lying down on a field of little green plants BEAUTY PRODUCTS The Best Body Lotions to Soothe Your Dry Skin  BY SARAH HAN   Bella Hadid prepares backstage before the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 11, 2018 in New York City MAKEUP 21 Drugstore Foundations That Go Toe-to-Toe With Luxury Splurges  BY SARA SPRUCH-FEINER, KARINA HOSHIKAWA, AND NICOLA DALL'ASEN  Maya Chia Highlight of the Day Illumination Serum on white background Courtesy of brand 10/17 Maya Chia Highlight of the Day Illumination Serum Associate beauty director Sarah Kinonen says her favorite is a shimmering tinted skin serum from Maya Chia. Highlight of the Day doesn't just act as makeup — with ingredients like calendula flower extract and chia seed oil, this formula hydrates and nourishes skin, too.   $42 (Shop Now)  Lumene Invisible Illumination instant Luminizer on white background Courtesy of brand 11/17 Lumene Invisible Illumination instant Luminizer Lumene Invisible Illumination Instant Luminizer in the shade Rosy Dawn is the highlighter Hughes reaches for when she wants to adds a little color with her highlight. "It's amazing for giving a really gorgeous pink aura to the skin," she says. "It's quite dense so it stays thick and glossy looking, which is why I love it so much."  $21 (Shop Now)  Nars Illuminator on white background Courtesy of brand 12/17 Nars Illuminator We'd be remiss to write about liquid highlighters without mentioning Nars Illuminator, a classic as far as we're concerned. Of course, this super sparkly formula comes in the brand's most famous shade, Orgasm, a peachy-pink hue with flecks of gold shimmer.  $30 (Shop Now)  Most Popular thrive causemetics primer, dove amplified textures butter cream, and soko glam good skin days moisturizer on yellow background  BEAUTY PRODUCTS These Are Allure Editors' Favorite New Beauty Products for August 2020  BY ALLURE EDITORS  A young woman wearing a tank top lying down on a field of little green plants BEAUTY PRODUCTS The Best Body Lotions to Soothe Your Dry Skin  BY SARAH HAN   Bella Hadid prepares backstage before the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 11, 2018 in New York City MAKEUP 21 Drugstore Foundations That Go Toe-to-Toe With Luxury Splurges  BY SARA SPRUCH-FEINER, KARINA HOSHIKAWA, AND NICOLA DALL'ASEN  NYX Cosmetics Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator on white background Courtesy of brand 13/17 Nyx Cosmetics Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator Considering how affordable it is, we wouldn't blame you if you decided to slather Nyx's Born to Glow Liquid illuminator on your face and body. This lightweight formula comes in four shades that cover all your highlighter needs: pearlescent baby-pink (shown above), shimmering peach, light gold, and bronze.   $8 (Shop Now)  Glossier Play Nightshine on white background Courtesy of brand 14/17 Glossier Play Nightshine Highlighter Concentrate Glossier Play's high-octane Nightshine Highlighter Concentrate is another one of Ray's favorites. Apply it by itself for a glass skin finish, or mix a tiny bit into your foundation for an all-over glow.  $20 (Shop Now)  Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator on white background Courtesy of brand 15/17 Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator Turn to Revlon's long-loved PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator if you like to trick people into think you're not actually wearing any makeup. Whether it's worn alone or on top of other products, this subtle formula delivers a barely-there shimmer that's impossible to mess up.   $13 (Shop Now)  Most Popular thrive causemetics primer, dove amplified textures butter cream, and soko glam good skin days moisturizer on yellow background  BEAUTY PRODUCTS These Are Allure Editors' Favorite New Beauty Products for August 2020  BY ALLURE EDITORS  A young woman wearing a tank top lying down on a field of little green plants BEAUTY PRODUCTS The Best Body Lotions to Soothe Your Dry Skin  BY SARAH HAN   Bella Hadid prepares backstage before the Prabal Gurung fashion show during New York Fashion Week at Gallery I at Spring Studios on February 11, 2018 in New York City MAKEUP 21 Drugstore Foundations That Go Toe-to-Toe With Luxury Splurges  BY SARA SPRUCH-FEINER, KARINA HOSHIKAWA, AND NICOLA DALL'ASEN  Perricone MD No Makeup Highlighter on white background Courtesy of brand 16/17 Perricone MD No Highlighter Highlighter Natural-looking makeup meets skin-care genius, thanks to Perricone MD's No Highlighter Highlighter. With vitamin C and ginger extract, this subtle formula brightens and soothes skin over the time the more you wear it.  $18 (Shop Now)  L'Oral Paris True Match Lumi Glotion on white background Courtesy of brand 17/17 L'Orèal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Thanks to the glycerin and shea butter in L'Orèal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion, this liquid highlighter is every bit as hydrating as it is shimmery — no matter which of its four flattering shades you choose.  $13 (Shop Now)