Highlighters | 2016 Editor's Favorites

Top 20 of 2016: Highlighters

There was a brief moment in 2016 that I thought the onslaught of highlighters was finally slowing down, but they’re still releasing quite regularly! The best part about the continued releases is we’re seeing more variety in colors and undertones, along with subtle and intense options.

There is one brand absent from this list, which you might be curious as to why, and that would be Anastasia–all of their highlighters are contained in multi-shade palettes (and this post is about individual highlighters). I have several favorites from their palettes, so you might see one of the palettes pop up in the best palettes list!

What were your favorites?


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Ijeoma Avatar

Ablaze by MakeUpGeek because finally there is a duochrome highlighter for dark skin that looks flattering and wearable, and the quality is actually great. Bronzed Amber by Becca because on my dark skin it is a subtle, flattering highlighter, and as someone who really doesn’t like overly shiny or glittery highlighters, I was really happy to discover that shade.

Mariella Avatar

Favourites for me that were new this year – UD Aura Afterglow Powder Highlighter and those Algenist liquid drops (I was fortunate to be able to get the “Drop and Glow” duo that Christine reviewed here – a great value price and, given how judiciously I use highlighters, more than enough product for me). I also got the Dior Glowing Gardens Pink LE highlighter this year…it was meant to be for their Spring 2016 collection even though it was sold out everywhere by January, it seems. It is SO beautiful, I wish they’d make it permanent.

Mariella Avatar

LOL – ya think? Actually, in that little Algenist duo, I’ve only used the more warm/yellow toned one so far. I’ve not even touched the pink one yet and it surprises even me. I’d have thought I’d make a dive for that one first but I’ve been so happy with the other one that I haven’t even opened the pinker one.

kjh Avatar

My wierd schtick this week was to wear highlighter alone as blush, and it worked….so maybe I’ll climb on the highlighter train, that I had thought was leaving the station. Nice to know that the product can be an and/or. And I can consider some of the darker highlighter/blushes. Not that I need to expand product envy.

Katherine T. Avatar

I think just about every brand came out with great highlighters, there was something for everyone! My highlighter stash exploded this year with Dior, Becca, Lorac, MAC, CP, etc.. Most stunning-in- pan was MAC My Mimi. And finally got my hands on the elusive MAC Whisper of Gilt! The biggest surprise find was the Wet N Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powders, wasn’t expecting much for $4, but it can go toe-to-toe with any of my ME or HE ones, so glad they finally made it permanent!

Lauren Avatar

2016 was the year of the highlighter for me! Modern Mercury and Fireball definitely were 2 of my favorites! Also loved the Dior Glowing Gardens pink highlighter and the Pat Mcgrath Nude/pink duochrome highlighter 🙂

Christine Avatar

Most of their highlighters were launched in the prior year (more traditional highlighters) – they had some shimmery blushes that could be highlighters on some skin tones in the top products for budget blushes 🙂 http://www.temptalia.com/top-10-of-2016-best-blushes-15-under/

MissJae1908 Avatar

You’re right, they did release a lot in 2015. But in 2016, they release a few stand out shades like Might Be and Flexitarian which, by the Colour Pop definition, are categorized as highlighters and both received high ratings here on your blog. I hope I’m not coming off as argumentative, I was just curious. Maybe they will show up on the Readers’ Choice Awards list! 🙂

Christine Avatar

Sorry – I did not mean to imply or say there were ZERO in 2016 (that’s why I said most) only that the majority were originally reviewed and released in 2015. Anything released in 2016 was certainly considered but if it is not here, it just did not make my top list for the year. I literally pulled up swatches of every single product I reviewed in 2016 to create my top lists!

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