Highlighter is one of the most versatile makeup inventions of all time, but it most certainly is not the most foolproof. The goal of highlighting products—whether you’re using a powder, cream, or liquid formula—is to accentuate and draw attention to the high points of your, like your cheekbones, the tip of your nose, inner corners, and cupid’s bow.
Unfortunately, many highlighters are densely pigmented or contain an unsightly amount of glitter and shine, which results in a look that’s anything but natural. While we’re all for the iridescent, over-the-top glow-up (and if you are too, go for it!), if you prefer a more subtle take on the makeup trend, liquid highlighters are a great way to get a buildable and natural-looking sheen.
Because of liquid formulas’ consistency, you’re able to get precise control of your blending, allowing you to build up as much—or little—pigment as your heart desires. You can sheer it for daytime, and add a dash more for the evening time—the possibilities are endless. Liquid highlighters are also great mixers to add into your foundation if you’re looking for a barely-there glow that gives your skin a little more radiance without looking too sparkly. Scroll through below to check out some of our favorite illuminating liquid highlights for an elusive glow.
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1. NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator
This liquid highlighter gives your high points a gorgeous sheen without skimping on the pigment. It’s formulated with a glistening micro-pearl sheen that gives you a healthy-looking radiance.
2. ILIA Natural Liquid Light Serum Highlighter
This non-greasy, serum-highlight hybrid offers a buildable and blendable sheen, allowing you to add more pigment for a dramatic impact or use a light layer for a super subtle glow. It’s also a vegan, clean, and cruelty-free formula.
3. TheBalm Liquid Highlighter & All-Over Illuminator
This multifunctional formula has a creamy yet weightless texture that allows you to build up to the level of shine you’re after. You can use it on the eyes, cheeks, cupid’s bow, or you can mix it into your favorite moisturizer for a little extra sheen.
4. L'Oreal Paris True Match Liquid Glow Illuminator
Get that subtle glow with this highlighter. It can also be used for contouring, but it’ll be barely noticeable, so it’ll look natural rather than obvious. This highlighter has been designed for a wide range of skin tones and provides a subtle shine, so you can draw attention to your favorite features in a smart way.
5. wet n wild Megaglo Liquid Highlighter
Wet n wild serves up six stunning shimmers that each have high pearl pigments. There’s also murumuru seed butter and vitamin E to leave a smooth finish on your skin. Blend it into your foundation or apply it on top of your makeup look.