Best Highlighters (Over $15) | 2017

Best of 2017

Best Highlighters (Over $15)

As 2017 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect back on the products I’ve reviewed during the past year and share with you my personal favorites.  I’m a fiend for highlighter, and I pretty much like all variations of highlighter–sheer and subtle to pigmented and shiny to glitterbombs, duochromes, and everything else in-between.  My favorite shades tend to be ones that shift when layered with a blush or rosy and more coppery hues, but I like a subtle, ivory and golden hue from time to time.  Hey, it’s hard to play favorites when brands have been releasing highlighters nonstop over the last couple of years!

What are your favorite powder highlighters? Share your favorites below in the comments!

P.S. — View swatches of my favorites here!


Becca Vanilla Quartz

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Vanilla Quartz is a soft, white gold with warm, yellow undertones and a luminous sheen. It had excellent pigmentation with a smooth, blendable... Read full review.

Coloured Raine Just Peachy

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Coloured Raine Just Peachy Focal Point Glowlighter ($25.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a bright, medium pink with warmer, golden pearl. It had semi-opaque,... Read full review.

Chanel Or Blanc

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Chanel Or Blanc Le Signe du Lion Illuminating Powder ($70.00 for 0.31 oz.) is a pale, white gold with subtle, cooler undertones and a luminous sheen. ... Read full review.

Chanel Or Rose

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Chanel Or Rose Le Signe du Lion Illuminating Powder ($70.00 for 0.31 oz.) is a soft, light peach with warm undertones and pink and gold shimmer. The... Read full review.

Burberry Silver Shimmer

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Burberry Silver Shimmer Illuminating Powder ($68.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a cool, grayish white base with warmer, golden shimmer, which yielded a more... Read full review.

NARS Double Take

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NARS Double Take Overexposed Glow Highlighter ($42.00 for 0.22 oz.) is a medium gold with warm, orange undertones and a luminous sheen. It seemed... Read full review.

Becca Smoky Quartz

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Becca Smoky Quartz Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed ($38.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a muted, medium, rosy copper with warm undertones and a luminous sheen. ... Read full review.

Fenty Beauty Metal Moon

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Fenty Beauty Metal Moon Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter ($34.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a very pale white with warmer undertones and warm, golden pearl. It... Read full review.

Dose of Colors Mírame

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Dose of Colors Mírame Supreme Glow Highlighter ($28.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a medium, rosy copper with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had... Read full review.

Make Up For Ever 6 Frozen Turquoise

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Make Up For Ever 6 Frozen Turquoise Star Lit Powder ($21.00 for 0.02 oz.) is a cool, white base with icy lavender to teal shifting shimmer. It had a... Read full review.

Make Up For Ever 4 Frozen Green

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Make Up For Ever 4 Frozen Green Star Lit Powder ($21.00 for 0.02 oz.) is a cool, pinkish white base with gold-to-green shifting shimmer. The... Read full review.

Ciate Moondust

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Ciate Moondust Glow-To Highlighter ($29.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a soft, light pink with warm, beige undertones and a sparkling, luminous sheen. It had a... Read full review.

Bobbi Brown Tawny Glow

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Bobbi Brown Tawny Glow Highlighting Powder ($48.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a muted, medium-dark rosy copper with subtle, warm undertones and a luminous... Read full review.

Jouer Skinny Dip

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Skinny Dip is a medium copper with warm, golden shimmer and a metallic sheen. It was richly pigmented with a high-shine finish that just slightly... Read full review.

Laura Geller Diamond Dust

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Laura Geller Diamond Dust Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a grayish-white base with strong shift to pink-violet paired with a... Read full review.

Dior #002

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Dior #002 Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer ($56.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a soft, light pink with warmer undertones and a metallic sheen. It was intensely... Read full review.

Fenty Beauty Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule

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Fenty Beauty Ginger Binge/Moscow Mule Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo ($34.00 for 0.24 oz.) contains two rose golds--one lighter, one deeper--and... Read full review.

Fenty Beauty Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal

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Fenty Beauty Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo ($34.00 for 0.24 oz.) contains a light, pearly biege and a warm, metallic... Read full review.

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13 Comments

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I really enjoy the metallic strobe palate from Hourglass. New highlighters to my stash this year: Kevyn Aucoin candlelight and sunlight. Aswell as Laura Gellers Ballerina and Suratts Coup De Genie 🙂

Hi Christine, when you review highlighters, you always say if it highlights your pores, but you have fairly smallish pores due to you not (or at least as far back as I can remember) having or had oily skin right? For me it seems all highlighters emphasize the texture of my skin so I have to keep them further bCk and higher up on cheeks 😾

The texture of my skin can absolutely be emphasized by products! I have pretty normal skin and have had normal skin for the last few years with only occasional dryness (usually caused by over-swatching or testing) but usually occurring on my eyelids or the apples of my cheeks. I don’t remember what kind of skin I had as an early or mid-teen (I had plenty of breakouts), since I didn’t use any skincare regimen then and had no interest in beauty or makeup.

You can have a product just as easily emphasize skin texture whether you have dry or oily skin since it is texture that it is emphasizing, which could be from dryness/flakiness or bumps on the skin or dimples on the skin!

Illamasqua Beyond Powder; these don’t get talked about much, probably due to limited availability within the North American/US market, but they are absolutely amazing. I initially picked up OMG on a whim, which is a typical pale champagne shade, and was so impressed I grabbed Deity when I got the notification it was available again. While both are beautiful for fair skin, Deity is more unique, and especially suitable for those with a more olive tone. There is also a deeper gold & rose gold available, and all are suitable for all skintones.

And herein lies my other 2 favorite new highlighters of 2017: Dose Of Color Mírame and Fenty Metal Moon!
Even though I’m on a low-buy beginning tomorrow, I do know that the simply magnificent Coloured Raine Just Peachy will be one of only a handful of previously planned buys. I intend to use it as a highlighting blush!

I haven’t bought a highlighter in so long. Probably a year and a half. The last ones I bought were from Bobbi Brown’s LE release (Sunset Glow, Afternoon Glow) and I just checked those were released in June 2016.

My favorites are Bobbi Brown’s, MAC Lightscapade, and Mary Lou Manizer. I have a good array of colors and there’s just no way I’ll ever get through all that powder. So I’m not terribly interested in new ones. But the formula that did tempt me this year was Jouer’s!

I have managed to resist Smoky Quartz, Vanilla Quartz, Lilac Geode, and Golden Mint so far (was that all of them?), despite having an urge to collect all of the Becca SSPPs! GM and VQ are the hardest to resist, but I have to tell myself that the green doesn’t show up much on the skin and that the VQ isn’t anything that unique. I did get Prismatic Amethyst, which I don’t regret since I don’t really have anything else quite like it. All my other favorite highlighters (Nars Hot Sand, Laura Mercier Baked Matte Radiance 01, Hourglass Incandescent Light from the palette) are much older.

It’s funny, commenting on these “best of” posts is making me realize that I didn’t buy as much makeup as I had thought this year. I still made Sephora Rouge, but I always forget that that includes my mom’s makeup/skincare/fragrance orders because she doesn’t want to make her own account. It was a real skincare-heavy year, which I don’t regret because I’ve used all of it. Sorry for the off-topic comment but it was interesting to realize how my perception of my buying habits was off. I’m sure other people are having similar experiences this time of year!

Like Erin said, Becca has my heart as well . I love my Champagne Pop so much and can’t imagine something else could be as perfect . I did buy the Vanilla Quartz but it’s just not a great fit for me and I will purchase their new Mint one this year .

I got the deluxe sample of Diamond Dust from Ulta and it’s definitely the prettiest thing I own! It’s not an every day highlight since it does pull very pink, but it looks so gorgeous.

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