Best Cream Highlighters – Drugstore + High-End

On the hunt for the best cream highlighters? Look no further than our shimmering lil’ list that features 14 of the top-performing favorites I’ve tried and reviewed over the years that are currently available on the market.  I’ve broken out the top-rated cream highlighters by price point, so you’ll find eight picks for affordable cream highlighters and six favorites for high-end cream highlighters. Cream highlighters have a denser quality to them–they don’t spread and run like liquid highlighters–but they have a similar application and wear.

Curious about the best liquid highlighters? We’ve got you covered!

Best Drugstore Cream Highlighters

It’s no surprise that ColourPop dominates this category, as they’re famous for their Super Shock Cheeks, which is a cream-to-powder formula available in a multitude of shades and finishes.  They’re truly an excellent product, and it’s a type of formulation that we just don’t see replicated by many other brands–regardless of price point.  In 2019, they launched their Lite Stix, which is a twist-up, more traditional cream-based highlighter formula, and we’re happy to report that it’s a totally winning formula!  Physicians Formula also recently launched a cream-based Butter Highlighter, which is an accessible option at your local drugstore.

01.

01. Butterfly Beach Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $8.00/0.15 oz.

A+

ColourPop Butterfly Beach Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a "soft peach with highlights of gold and silver." It's a rich,...

ColourPop Butterfly Beach Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a "soft peach with highlights of gold and silver." It's a rich,...

02.

02. Pearl Physicians Formula

Physicians Formula

PPermanent. $10.99/0.17 oz.

A+

Physicians Formula Pearl Butter Highlighter ($10.99 for 0.17 oz.) is a soft white with subtle, warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It was richly...

Physicians Formula Pearl Butter Highlighter ($10.99 for 0.17 oz.) is a soft white with subtle, warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It was richly...

03.

03. Rocket Science Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $8.00/0.15 oz.

A

Colour Pop Rocket Science Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a light lavender with subtle, warm undertones and a sparkling, pearly sheen. It...

Colour Pop Rocket Science Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a light lavender with subtle, warm undertones and a sparkling, pearly sheen. It...

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04.

04. Star Brite Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $8.00/0.33 oz.

A

Colour Pop Star Brite Lite Stix ($8.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a light, golden beige with stronger, warm undertones and a luminous sheen. It had opaque...

Colour Pop Star Brite Lite Stix ($8.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a light, golden beige with stronger, warm undertones and a luminous sheen. It had opaque...

05.

05. Acting Up Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $8.00/0.33 oz.

A

Colour Pop Acting Up Lite Stix ($8.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a light, coppery orange with warm undertones and a fine, golden pearl that gave it a luminous...

Colour Pop Acting Up Lite Stix ($8.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a light, coppery orange with warm undertones and a fine, golden pearl that gave it a luminous...

06.

06. Uoeno Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $8.00/0.33 oz.

A

Colour Pop Uoeno Lite Stix ($8.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a medium beige with warm undertones and a luminous sheen. It had very fine pearl that made it...

Colour Pop Uoeno Lite Stix ($8.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a medium beige with warm undertones and a luminous sheen. It had very fine pearl that made it...

07.

07. Lunch Money Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $8.00/0.15 oz.

A

ColourPop Lunch Money Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a "soft light gold with a reflective golden duochrome finish." It's a...

ColourPop Lunch Money Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a "soft light gold with a reflective golden duochrome finish." It's a...

08.

08. Stole the Show Colour Pop

Colour Pop

PPermanent. $8.00/0.15 oz.

A-

ColourPop Stole the Show Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a "light cool-toned gold with luminous flashes of pink, silver, and...

ColourPop Stole the Show Super Shock Cheek ($8.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a "light cool-toned gold with luminous flashes of pink, silver, and...

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Glossover Breakdown

97%

Average Score
A
8
B
0
C
0
D
0
F
0
Glossover Averages
product
10
pigmentation
10
texture
10
longevity
9
application
5
Total
97%
product
10
pigmentation
10
texture
10
longevity
9
application
5
Total
97%

Best High-End Cream Highlighters

Here are my top five favorites that range from $22 and higher for cream highlighters.  All of the recommendations below give the skin a wetter, dewier finish than the recommendations above.  I’m curious if we’ll see more cream-based highlighter formulas, because there are not nearly as many brands with robust cream highlighter ranges, even in 2019!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
05.

05. Moonstone Glossier

Glossier

PPermanent. $22.00/0.19 oz.

A-

Glossier Moonstone Haloscope ($22.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a translucent, dewy base with very fine, opal micro-pearl. It didn't seem to be white-based,...

Glossier Moonstone Haloscope ($22.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a translucent, dewy base with very fine, opal micro-pearl. It didn't seem to be white-based,...

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Glossover Breakdown

97%

Average Score
A
5
B
0
C
0
D
0
F
0
Glossover Averages
product
10
pigmentation
10
texture
10
longevity
9
application
5
Total
97%
product
10
pigmentation
10
texture
10
longevity
9
application
5
Total
97%

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

9 Comments

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I’ve got a motherlode of the best ColourPop Highlighters! Butterfly Beach, Lunch Money, Sticky Sweet, Highly Waisted, Monster, and as of yesterday, Might Be, which was love at first swatch!
Now to get a few Nyx Away We Glow highlights, like Liquid Prism and Moonbeam!

Colourpop Smokin Whistles is my favorite cream highlighter, period. I’m really interested in the NYX liquid ones but I’m not sure which one I want to try!

ColourPop’s get the seal of approval from this oily-skinned girl. Monster and hIppo are my favorites because of the duochromes. 🙂

I own 5 colourpop super shock highlights. and boy do I love em!!

When I’m going out to a party or a night time event, I’ll layer!! I’ll pat a creamy colourpop one on, then a matching powder highlight on top!!! 😀

I love how pretty the ColourPop highlighters look in the pots! ^_^ It’s great to see high quality, beautiful and affordable in one jar

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!