See The Light: 10 Highlighters You Need To Know

Published on January 1, 2017 by   ·   1 Comment

Welcome to our first Makeup Forum post of 2017 – and after that shitshow that was 2016, I think all of us can use some light and positivity.  So I figured, “Why not focus on highlighters? What better way to full your life with blinding, gorgeous, stunning light?!”

2016 was definitely the year of highlight, and while there were quite a few around before last year, 2016 saw more highlighters launched by more brands than ever before!  This post will be perfect for those of you who love trying out new products and brands.  For those of you who decided to leave Jeffree Star’s brand in the dust last year, this will also help you find new droll-worthy options without the moral ambiguity.  Finally, this post will present a range of products to meet every taste, every skintone, and every budget.  So please enjoy, but don’t forget that this is only 10 options – there are lots of great highlighters out there that didn’t make it into this post.  If you have a favorite you think we need to know about, pop it down in the comments!

Here are the 10 options we’ll be looking at:

  1. Lena Lashes – Lemonade Highlighter Palette (4 shades, $20)
  2. e.l.f. – Illuminating Quad (4 shades, $6)
  3. Anastasia Beverly Hills – Moon Child Glow Kit (6 shades, $40)
  4. Beauty Bakerie – So Icy Illuminator – ($36 each)
  5. Makeup Geek – Duochrome Highlighters ($20 each, 3-packs for $48)
  6. 1.6.75 Cosmetics – Envy & Mermaid Tears Highlighters ($9 and $12)
  7. MAC Cosmetics – Lightscapage Mineralize Skinfinish ($33)
  8. Milk Makeup – Holographic Stick ($28.00)
  9. The Balm – The Manizer Sisters (3 shade combo, $28)*
  10. Too Faced – Sweet Peach Glow (3 shade combo, $42)*

*These 2 palettes are combo palettes, with 1 highlighter, 1 blush, and 1 bronzer.  So there is more variety to the palette itself, but less highlighter for your money.

Highlight 02Lena Lashes Lemonade Highlighter Palette

This is one of the best brands that I discovered while researching the Black-Owned Makeup Brand (BOMB) Challenge and they not only have fabulously luxurious lashes (including affordable mink options) but also a range of other products including liquid lipsticks, lip glosses, glitter, and this lovely 4-shade highlighting palette.  This one is definitely for people looking for warmer shades, as everything is a golden/yellow to bronze sort of base, but it’s not overpowering.  The shades go on with a nice sheer wash of color that’s pigmented enough to provide you with a nice beam of light, but it isn’t overdone.  Easily one of my favorite new highlighters – and you can’t beat the price at only $20.  The pans aren’t huge – I would say they are a little smaller than the Make Up For Ever Artistry shadows, but it’s still a good amount of product for the price.  And they often run great specials and coupon sales, so I recommend you sign up for their newsletters if you want to save even more.

Just for fun, here is a review from a littler YouTube channel I discovered called Life With Meech.  I just love her energy and positive outlook – it’s exactly how I want to start out 2017!

Highlight 03e.l.f. Illuminating Quad

e.l.f. is and will always be one of my absolute favorite bargain brands, and this palette is a perfect example of why.  For only 6 bucks, you get four different shades of highlight that give a nice lightness to the face without being overpowering.  This one is pretty evenly divided between warmer and cooler tones and could be used for a variety of looks.  The orange gold shade in the bottom right is better for pretty warm looks and would work best with a beachy kind of look, but the other three are light enough and have a sort of white gold shimmer to them that would help them translate pretty easily between warmer overall looks and cooler looks.  The pink the upper right is the most true cool toned shade.  e.l.f. once again proves that a diva on any budget can have their highlight on fleek!

Highlight 04Anastasia Beverly Hills Moon Child Glow Kit

If you love holographic laser beam realness, then you need to have this palette.  All 6 of the shades are gorgeous and creamy and apply like a dream.  There are 4 opal/hologram shades (Blue Ice, Pink Heart, Lucky Clover, and Purple Horsehoe) and two metallic finishes (Star and Blue Moon).  This palette definitely trends toward the cooler tones, though Pink Heart has plenty of warm pinky coral for you.  There’s a lot of pigment here, so this isn’t necessarily the palette you’re looking for if you want something subtle and light, though I suppose you could always buff them down, or just apply them very lightly over another shade of highlight to just boost the wow factor.  And $40 for 6 different shades isn’t a bad value.

Highlight 01Beauty Bakerie So Icy Illuminator

This brand is so freaking adorable that I can’t stand it.  I love all of the food puns, and the packaging on this is so cute I am gagging.  It looks like a little ice cream tub.  From a practical standpoint, I don’t love that the sifter is just cardboard, and the lid isn’t as tight as I would like it to be considering that this is the only highlighter on the list that’s loose powder instead of pressed, but these are minor quibbles.  The color is stunning and a little bit of this loose powder really does go a long way, so you’ll get your money’s worth (though it is a little more expensive than some of the other options with a single shade ringing in at $36 – they have a newsletter that announces coupons or sales if you want to try to pick one or more of these up at a discount).  I picked up the shade Iced which has a lovely pinky coral shimmer to it – this is the highlight you want to wear with NARS’ Orgasm blush!

Highlight 07Makeup Geek Duochrome Highlighter

Makeup Geek has a lot of great highlighter options, including a 3 shade collaboration with YouTuber Kathleen Lights, but I especially love the duochrome shades as these really show off the quality of the Makeup Geek Formulations.  They have great color shift and apply effortlessly.  I think these have probably the easiest formula to work with of the brands in this post.  They are $20 each, which terrible, but it isn’t exactly a bargain brand either – I suggest if you can find one of the 3-packs that has colors that you like that you go that route as it saves you $12 off the regular price.  Electrify is probably my favorite as it’s a bright yellow shade that stays yellow – so many of them look yellow in the pan but just become gold on the face.  This is perfect for a sort of Easter pastels kind of look, or something playing with primary shades.  I don’t know why I want a yellow highlighter in my life….I just do, ok?!  Don’t judge me!  If yellow isn’t your thing, I also tried out Celestial and Moon Phase which feature gorgeous blue and purple shades.  So good!

Highlight 11IVIVIIV Cosmetics Highlighters in Envy & Mermaid Tears

1.6.75 (where my Roman Numeral fans at?!) is another fabulous treasure that I might not have found without the BOMB Challenge coming my way.  They hand-craft all of their products, and the selection of colors is unique, original, and contains things that I legit have not seen anywhere else (which is really hard to do!).  The moment I saw Envy, I new I had to have it – it is green after all!  The green pigment on the top mixes with the white gold underneath to produce a bright emeraldy green shimmer highlight.  Most Highlight 10highlights with a green tone feature just an undertone or a hint of green…but this one is damn green!  I don’tknow how versatile it is – defintiely not for your everyday office look! – but for those who play with color, it’s really special.  Mermaid Tears is for those who want something a little bit more mainstream: a pinky gold shimmer that has slightly more reddish tones than Pink Heart from the Anastasia palette.  This has a great shift to it.  I adore this brand, and I will definitely be back to pick up more of their hand-crafted beauties.  And look for a larger review of all the goodies I found from this brand.

Highlight 08MAC Cosmetics Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

This one I found when I was trying to get my hands on one of the sold out highlighters from the Star Trek 50th Anniversary Collection.  The woman brought out this gorgeous pressed dome with swirls of pink, yellow gold, purple, and copper.  Despite all of those odd shades, they mix together and apply as a night standard white gold shade.  It’s probably the most subtle of all the products features, so if you want searchlights on your cheek be prepared to layer a bit.  That’s been my complaint about MAC for a while now – that their formulas seem to have gotten watered down in recent years – but this is an acceptable highlighter and is a great option for those who want their shine with a little bit of subtlety…whatever the fuck that means.

Highlight 09Milk Makeup Holographic Stick

So I mentioned in my previous review of this brand that I wasn’t a huge fan, and I can’t say that this product has completely won me over, but what I like about this is that the color is a really nice holographic purple shade.  This is the only cream formulation in the bunch, and I’m hoping that it will mix well with cream and liquid foundations, though I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet except on bare skin.  Like some of the other Milk products, I found it to be greasier than I’d like, but if you don’t have oily skin like me, this shouldn’t be a problem for you.  I also think that the cream formula lends itself to other applications, like using it to spruce up an eye look – maybe a new take on under the brow highlight?  The color really is lovely, and it gives you a good payoff.  So while I probably won’t be running out to stock my kit with tons of products from this brand, this product has made me a little less lactose intolerant.

Highlight 05The Balm The Manizer Sisters Face Palette

The next two palettes aren’t strictly highlighters, but are all-over face palettes that include a highlighter, a blush, and a bronzer.  This makes the palette better for travelling as it’s a three-in-one that you can bring with you, but for the highlight obsessed it means less highlighter overall for the money spent. I trust all of you to be grown up girls and boys and make the best decisions for yourselves.  This particular palette features all three shimmer shades, so you could technically use the other two shades as highlight as well, especially for darker skintones.  Mary-Lou Manizer, the highlight, is a lovely champagne gold, the perfect starter highlighter for anyone looking to try this out.  Cindy-Lou Manizer is the blush shade, a shimmery rose pink with peachy undertones.  The bronzer, Betty-Lou Manizer is a medium brown with lots of coppery shimmer – if you don’t like sparkly bronzers, then this isn’t the palette for you!  These three shades are pretty versatile and will work for a variety of skintones.  There are no trend colors, no wild surprises, but this palette will cover the basics and cover them well.

Highlight 06TooFaced Sweet Peach Glow

We’re going to leave the whole mess of TooFaced’s customer service blunder with the launch of this collection alone – that’s another post! – and we’re going to focus on positivity!  And this palette really is gorgeous.  Another combo palette, the biggest of the three shades is the blush, a deep peach shade with gold shimmer.  This would work as a highlight on deep skintones as well, especially if they were doing an overall dark makeup look – delicious!  The bronzer is a lighter tan bronze that is mostly matte but does seem to have maybe a subtle shimmer.  But maybe I’m at the end of this post and I have glittery shit everywhere!  It’s hard to tell.  It looks a little sparkly in the pan so we’re going to go with that, but much less glitter than the Balm palette.  The highlighter is obviously the star of this show – a lovely yellowy peach with lots of yellow gold shimmer.  This collection is definitely pitched towards the warmer tones, but with the right mix, you could use this highlighter with some blue-toned pinks or pastels that are cooler and get some stunning looks.  And that smell – heavenly!  This palette was 100% spot on and is easily one of my favorite palettes of 2016.

So there you have it – 10 new ways to bring some light and glow to 2017!  Hopefully you got to discover some new products or got to hear some more about products you were curious about (or already love).  And if you think we left something out, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.  Is there such a thing as too much highlight?  Never!

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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Readers Comments (1)
  1. […] first product is the Manizer Sister face palette; I mentioned this one in my “See The Light” highlighter post around the holidays.  This one comes with a highlight, blush, and bronzer, but all three shades […]

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