Best Liquid Highlighters – Drugstore + High-End

While highlighting has been a major trend for the last few years, liquid highlighters have seen an uptick in the last year, as our powder highlighter collections have grown and brands look to new product types to sell to us. I’ve tried a lot of the liquid highlighters from $6 to $52, so I’m happy to present this list of the best liquid highlighters!

Liquid highlighters often differ from powder highlighters in the finish and how intense the shimmer is. Most liquid highlighters are subtle to moderate in finish, and they’ll range from a barely-there, skin-like glow to a more candlelit, lit-from-within glow that has subtle sparkle or pearl but more shine than overt shimmer.

Liquid highlighters offer added versatility as they can easily be mixed into or with other products. You can mix your liquid highlighter with your favorite liquid or cream-based foundation to give it a dewier, more luminous finish. On no-makeup makeup days, you can easily add a splash to a tinted moisturizer or even your morning moisturizer to give more glow to the skin.

They can be applied over bare skin or over foundation depending on what you’re wearing and how much you want the product to come through. You can even use a bronzy, warmer-toned liquid highlighter to create a bronzed effect for all-over that’s like quick self-tanner.

Best Drugstore Liquid Highlighters

Here are seven of the best liquid highlighters I’ve tested and reviewed that are easier on the wallet! “Drugstore” means a more budget-friendly, affordable option, though as accessibility to brands has increased, there are so many affordable brands that aren’t necessarily carried at your typical drugstore. One major reason to look for cheaper liquid highlighters is that liquid and cream products tend to go bad more quickly, so if you aren’t going to use it often, something that is a lower investment is the better call!

01.

01. Goddess Glow Wet 'n' Wild

Wet 'n' Wild

PPermanent. $5.99/0.5 oz.

A

Wet 'n' Wild Goddess Glow MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter ($5.99 for 0.50 oz.) is a medium gold with warm, orange undertones and a fine, pearly sheen. It...

Wet 'n' Wild Goddess Glow MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter ($5.99 for 0.50 oz.) is a medium gold with warm, orange undertones and a fine, pearly sheen. It...

02.
A

Makeup Revolution Liquid Ethereal Liquid Highlighter ($9.00 for 0.60 oz.) is a soft pink with subtle, warm undertones and a luminous sheen. It seemed...

Makeup Revolution Liquid Ethereal Liquid Highlighter ($9.00 for 0.60 oz.) is a soft pink with subtle, warm undertones and a luminous sheen. It seemed...

03.

03. Go With the Glow Wet 'n' Wild

Wet 'n' Wild

PPermanent. $5.99/0.5 oz.

A
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04.

04. Halo Gorgeous Wet 'n' Wild

Wet 'n' Wild

PPermanent. $5.99/0.5 oz.

A-

Wet 'n' Wild Halo Gorgeous MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter ($5.99 for 0.50 oz.) is a medium pink with strong, warm undertones and a pearly sheen. It had...

Wet 'n' Wild Halo Gorgeous MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter ($5.99 for 0.50 oz.) is a medium pink with strong, warm undertones and a pearly sheen. It had...

05.

05. Halographic Wet 'n' Wild

Wet 'n' Wild

PPermanent. $5.99/0.5 oz.

A-

Wet 'n' Wild Halographic MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter ($5.99 for 0.50 oz.) is a light lavender with cool undertones and a fine pearl. Of all seven...

Wet 'n' Wild Halographic MegaGlo Liquid Highlighter ($5.99 for 0.50 oz.) is a light lavender with cool undertones and a fine pearl. Of all seven...

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Glossover Breakdown

92%

Average Score
A
5
B
2
C
0
D
0
F
0
Glossover Averages
product
9
pigmentation
9
texture
9.5
longevity
9
application
5
Total
92%
product
9
pigmentation
9
texture
9.5
longevity
9
application
5
Total
92%

Best High-End Liquid Highlighters

For high-end options, there are a lot more formulas, but they really do tend to cluster along similar shade ranges and all of the recommended liquid highlighters below are high quality and perform well! I’ve chosen 13 liquid highlighters across a myriad of shades, intensities, and depths, which should give us a nice variety of top performers.

The selection below covers liquid highlighters that work particularly well for mixing in with moisturizer or foundation along with ones that can be used either way as well as some that I think are at their best as standalone highlighters.

01.

01. Rose Gold Cover FX

Cover FX

PPermanent. $42.00/0.5 oz.

A+

Rose Gold is a medium, rosy copper with warm, golden undertones and a pearly sheen. The finish was more metallic on this shade with medium, buildable...

Rose Gold is a medium, rosy copper with warm, golden undertones and a pearly sheen. The finish was more metallic on this shade with medium, buildable...

02.

02. Platinum Rose Glossier Play

Glossier Play

PPermanent. $20.00/0.34 oz.

A+

Glossier Play Platinum Rose Niteshine Highlighter Concentrate ($20.00 for 0.34 oz.) is a soft peach with warm undertones and a mix of multi-colored...

Glossier Play Platinum Rose Niteshine Highlighter Concentrate ($20.00 for 0.34 oz.) is a soft peach with warm undertones and a mix of multi-colored...

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04.

04. Moonlight Cover FX

Cover FX

PPermanent. $42.00/0.5 oz.

A

Moonlight is a dirty, medium gold with warm, brown undertones and a pearly sheen. It had a moderate to strong sheen in finish and was one of the...

Moonlight is a dirty, medium gold with warm, brown undertones and a pearly sheen. It had a moderate to strong sheen in finish and was one of the...

06.

06. Deep Copper Glossier Play

Glossier Play

PPermanent. $20.00/0.34 oz.

A

Glossier Play Deep Copper Niteshine Highlighter Concentrate ($20.00 for 0.34 oz.) is a light-medium, golden-copper with warm undertones and a fine,...

Glossier Play Deep Copper Niteshine Highlighter Concentrate ($20.00 for 0.34 oz.) is a light-medium, golden-copper with warm undertones and a fine,...

07.

07. Molten Umber Glossier Play

Glossier Play

PPermanent. $20.00/0.34 oz.

A

Glossier Play Molten Umber Niteshine Highlighter Concentrate ($20.00 for 0.34 oz.) is a rich, chocolaty bronze with subtle, warm undertones and...

Glossier Play Molten Umber Niteshine Highlighter Concentrate ($20.00 for 0.34 oz.) is a rich, chocolaty bronze with subtle, warm undertones and...

08.

08. Celestial Cover FX

Cover FX

PPermanent. $42.00/0.5 oz.

A

Celestial is a soft pink with warm undertones and a luminous, pearly sheen. The consistency was thin with a lot of movement, but a little went a long...

Celestial is a soft pink with warm undertones and a luminous, pearly sheen. The consistency was thin with a lot of movement, but a little went a long...

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

Glossover Breakdown

96%

Average Score
A
13
B
0
C
0
D
0
F
0
Glossover Averages
product
9.5
pigmentation
10
texture
9.5
longevity
9
application
5
Total
96%
product
9.5
pigmentation
10
texture
9.5
longevity
9
application
5
Total
96%

Compare Any Two Swatches

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

8 Comments

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I’m so happy to hear it! I feel like we’ve been on highlighter overload that it’s to the point of, “Okay, but what’s the best?!”

Lancôme Glowing Lights is definitely my favorite! I also quite liked their Cushion Highlighter for a stronger sheen, but it was a LE.

I only have four liquid or cream highlighters! My two liquids, which I love, are NARS 413 BLKR and The Estee Edit Flash Illuminator in Spotlight. I use both under or mixed into foundation. The Estee Edit one has a really interesting texture, almost balmy. I used to own the Josie Maran liquid, which was gorgeous, but I had to toss it when it got funky-smelling. My two creams are Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight and Glossier Haloscope in Quartz, both of which I apply on top of foundation. I like the Glossier one because it has a wetness to the way it looks, instead of just shimmer.

Having received a generous sample at the local Sephora, I am in love with Marc Jacobs Dew You! I’ve been adding a bit to my foundation and it just gives my skin a very soft, diffused radiance. Nothing OTT. But very naturally glowing. Definitely buying the full-size bottle in the future! Would love to see MJ make Dew You and that beautiful bronzer PERMANENT. (Love the soft coconut/ beachy scent to these!)

I want to try dew you! It looks so lovely for winter when my skin isn’t as oily and it’s more lackluster!

Thank you for these lists Christine!

Thank you so much for these overviews – it really helps to know the best performing in the market place.
No wonder you love the Cover FX Rose Gold – it is so beautiful.

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!