Five Highlighters to Achieve a Natural Glow


Finding a highlighter that gives you just the right amount of glow without making it look like you accidentally dragged a greasy slice of pizza across your cheeks while stuffing your face is no easy feat.

Subtle radiance in a stick (or tube, or jar, or bottle…) shouldn’t be too much to ask for in a highlighter, but there are enough products with the ability to transport us back to our middle school beauty routines—either because they’re packed with overzealous flecks of glitter or because they recreate that “oily skin” look that drove our Proactiv habits—to leave our hopes for the perfect product as dull as our complexions.  And while achieving that perfect cheekbone highlight relies on the art of application, no amount of blending can make up for a bad product. Luckily, as sporting a dewy, fresh-faced complexion has become more and more popular, the options for products made to achieve the look have grown. Given the number of women we feature with gorgeously glowing skin, it’s no surprise that most passersby seem to count a brightening product amongst their favorite beauty buys. Keep reading to learn more about their favorite picks.

1. Benefit Cosmetics Watt's Up! Cream-to-Powder Highlighter

An incredibly smooth formula and cream-to-powder finish make Benefit's Watt's Up! Highlighter difficult to dupe. It provides the ideal amount of shimmer without going Las Vegas showgirl-level overboard. The most unique selling point of Benefit's highlighter may be the clever packaging, which includes an applicator on one end of the stick for easy blending.

RECOMMENDED BY: Daryl OhPeisin Yang Lazo

2. Glossier Haloscope

Like pretty much all Glossier products, Haloscope is an instant cult-favorite. It promises dewy—never glittery—skin, thanks to genuine crystals in the outer halo. Formulated with a solid core of moisturizing oils, it’s great for those with dry skin. Jessie Webster says,  “I really love the dewy look it creates, especially because my skin tends to be dry.”

RECOMMENDED BY: Jessie Webster, Mariana Orkenyi, Glynn Connolly, Alaa Balkhy

3. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

The RMS Beauty Living Luminizer may be considered the Holy Grail of highlighting products. Ideal for achieving a subtle, natural glow, the super sheer formula makes it perfect for customizing how much highlight you want on different parts of your face. Packaged in a small pot, this luminizer can be applied with your fingers or a brush if you want more precision. The satin-pearl finish looks amazing on all skin tones.

RECOMMENDED BY: Dana Drori, Kayla TanenbaumGia Salvaggio 

4. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat

YSL's Touche Éclat ("Radiant Touch") is essentially magic in the form of a little gold pen. A concealer and highlighter in one, it adds radiance to your skin while simultaneously banishing signs of fatigue. This is the product you need after sleepless nights of tossing and turning—or up-until-dawn-dancing. 

RECOMMENDED BY: Lisa PrzystupKayla Tanenbaum

5. MAKE Beauty Skin Illuminator

Not only does the brush application of the MAKE Beauty Skin Illuminator make for streak-free results, but the ingredients are all-natural and completely vegan. Green tea and ginseng extracts provide antioxidant protection, while a succulent extract called portulaca oleracea soothes and nourishes skin. The natural ingredients of this highlighter will help your skin look radiant both with makeup and without.


Words by Michaela Del Viscovo