Rant & Rave: Powder Highlighters

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Powder Highlighters

I’m a huge fan! There’s little not to love except for the ones that have less base color and lots of glitter/sparkle that doesn’t bind with the base powder. I don’t mind sparkly highlighters, but they still have to go on smoothly and not have a ton of travel!

— Christine


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
Heather Avatar

I love that they don’t disturb the products underneath, but I don’t love that they’re often more glittery than their cream or liquid counterparts.

Deborah S. Avatar

Rave: Love the way powder highlighter goes on and the ease of application. I like the way it sits and highlights without making me look oily. I use to have difficulty finding pale enough highlighters but that isn’t a problem anymore.
Rant: Hate glitter in my highlight and have to be careful that the highlighter doesn’t enhance the natural texture of my skin.

Mariella Avatar

For the most part, I just love ’em, love ’em, love ’em. Mostly I love the ease with which I can apply and blend them without making a mess of whatever I’m wearing underneath. Years ago, I bought Benefit Watts Up because the colour is so lovely but that is a cream/stick product and most times when I’ve tried to wear it on my cheekbones, I end up rubbing off or “lifting” the foundation that I’m wearing beneath it. This is not the case with powder highlighters…I can place them with more precision and blend them easily.

Julia Avatar

Love love love! They are easy to apply and blend, and come in a huge (and ever growing) range of shades. I don’t like white bases or big sparkles, but with all choices out there, those things are easy enough to avoid.

Linda Avatar

Love them! I like those that impart a sheen more than shimmer, and no glitter for me. The powder highlighters smooth things out too. Not a fan of the liquid ones.

No rant at all. πŸ™‚

Anne Avatar

I prefer a slight sheen that melts seamlessly into the skin. So, glitters, metallics and colors such as green, blue, purple, rainbow, etc., are not for me. If the texture, color, placement and application are all done appropriately, I honestly believe women of any age can wear them beautifully. I’ve seen plenty of women over 60 who look great with a bit of sheen near their eyes and color on their lips. It’s youthful. (The overly powdered, dowdy-matte-granny-look should be relegated to history!)

Lea Avatar

Depends on the formulation for me. Overall I prefer liquid ones, but if I’m going for powder I’d go for a gel formulation like Tom Ford Moodlight. You get all the high points and none of the powdery or glittery look that traditional powder can give. I’ve been using the Laura Mercier baked matte one, but I can’t say I love it in all lighting. It’s fine in some, but sometimes it just looks overly powdery. Too much base color in it maybe, I don’t know.

Dianne Avatar

I love them! I am always in a rush to set my base, so I often forget to apply any liquid highlighters and seem to always use powder. I love that there’s such a vast range of intensities, finishes, colors, etc. across both high- and low-end brands. I don’t have any rants because the things that make me cringe when it comes to powder highlighters (glitter, ugh!) are easy to avoid.

Shannon. N Avatar

Powder Highlights are my glow of choice!!

I love the super buttery, dense, creamy ones, that just MELT into the skin and I don’t have to do anything to blend them out!!

I love more glowly than glittery ones. But I don’t really care about glitter, to be honest!!

Nicole D Avatar

I love the powder highlighters that add a subtle glow to my skin and blend seemingly. I stay away from the ones that create un unnatural shine, but that’s a personal preference.
During the winter months however, when it’s very cold outside, I tend to use cream/liquid highlighters.

Joni Avatar

Guys, can anyone recommend to me their favorite sheen-type highlighter that is super-fair-skin friendly? iridescent, pinky, lilac, sort of a whiteish gold… (meaning not yellowy or bronzey at all, if it’s champagne it needs to be, like… not champagne pop type gold!) I’m still talking about powder formulas here, btw, but pretty much all the ones I have include varying degrees of shimmer if not outright tiny glitter… I want that smoooooth sheen kinda highlight lately, not like a strip of mirror reflective, but you know…

I am usually entirely pro-shimmer, but I’ve realized that with more shimmery eye looks (I’m terrible at matte eyeshadow, lol) I need to tone down my cheeks a bit at times!

thanks guys!

jonirae Avatar

thank you!! i’ve been meaning to try some stuff from them; I just hate ordering from places that are strictly online, because I know that even if it doesn’t work out I’ll likely be too unorganized to try to find a good replacement!! ha, but this is also the kick I need to bite the bullet and just try it out! πŸ™‚

Jessica Avatar

Girl, where are you? I hadn’t been on YT and Instagram for a while and thought of you. I’m sad your channel and IG are gone πŸ™ I loved your videos!

Rachel R. Avatar

Rave: I love powder highlighters. They work great with my oily skin. There is more variety of color and amount of shimmer available than with creams. I like to use powder highlighters on my eyes as well as my face.

Rant: Some can make large pores more visible. I also don’t like it when they’re really sheer or have chunky glitter in them.

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