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The 10 Best Drugstore Highlighters of 2019

Drugstore Highlighters: The Best of 2019

Highlighters are a type of face makeup that causes your skin to look brighter by attracting light. They are often used in addition to contouring to lift the face. They make strong features appear more subtle and subtle features appear stronger for a more balanced look. Highlighters define your face, enhance your eyes, and encourage symmetry. Although they're available at all price points, some of the best drugstore highlighters are just as good as more expensive brands.

Learning how to use a highlighter on your skin is the key to achieving a flawless, radiant look. Many people have a difficult time choosing the right highlighter for them. That's why we have created this guide. We give you details on some of the best drugstore highlighters available, while also providing information on how to use them.

Used in conjunction with foundation and bronzer, a good highlighter can subtly define and perfect the shape of your face. Read on to take a look at our picks for the best drugstore highlighters.

Editors choice

1. Annata Cosmetics Highlighter Palette

9.00 / 10

This drugstore highlighter is awesome. It comes with four different (and cutely named) highlighting shades to select from: Lovers, Primavera, My Heart, and For You. They range from off white to dark brown in color. This product will accommodate just about any skin tone, making it very versatile. It has great pigment that lasts all day long.

We were happy to see that this is a cruelty-free product, meaning no animals had to be a part of the testing process. There are also no animal skins or by-products listed as ingredients, which is another awesome thing to see. Users seem to be pleased with the feel of the product, claiming that it is both soft and silky. It is also safe to use on sensitive skin.

The only downside to this product is that users reported that it does have a strong chemical smell. This does seem to fade over time, but it is quite potent when you first open it. Regardless of this small complaint, I would still consider this highlighter to be one of the best drugstore highlighters available on the market today.

 

Key Features
  • Comes with four shades to choose from
  • Can be applied with an eyeshadow brush
  • Cruelty-free product
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 2 x .25 inches
  • Product Weight: 2.8 ounces
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Vegan: No
Pros
  • Waterproof/ Smudge-proof
  • Soft, silky texture
  • Won't irritate sensitive skin
Cons
  • Smells like chemicals
Premium pick

2. Magical Jelly Highlighter by Nuest

9.00 / 10

Nuest’s water-based, oil-free jelly highlighter formula is designed to be used all over your face and body to add shimmer and a natural glow. With this facial highlighter, a little goes a long way! Just take a small dab and apply with either your finger or a blending sponge. Use alone for a natural highlight finish or mix with foundation for an all-over glow. It is available in five gorgeous shades: Pink Luster, Metallic Bronze, Gold Rush, Ruby Kiss and Twinkle Star.

The jelly formula makes it the perfect multi-use highlighter. It can be worn alone, over makeup, or mixed into foundation. It goes on wet and dries quickly (in less than one minute.) Its innovative gel texture is one of a kind and holds color well. This product was created without parabens and has never been tested on animals, so that’s a plus!

One negative to using this product is that it has been reported to make people with sensitive skin break out. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but it is something to be aware of. If you don’t have sensitive skin, this would be one of the best drugstore highlighters for you.

 

Key Features
  • Cruelty-free and vegan
  • 5 shades to choose from
  • Unique, one of a kind texture
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 1 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
Pros
  • Water-based and oil free
  • Multiple shades available
  • Deep pigments for bold looks
Cons
  • Not suitable for people with sensitive skin

The Wet n Wild MegaGlow Highlighting Powder is one of the best drugstore highlighters around. It comes in three different colors: Awesome Blossom, Bloom Time, and Golden Flower Crown. Awesome Blossom is a shimmering dark tan color, Bloom Time is a glistening soft pink color, and Golden Flower Crown is a sparkling champagne color. I would personally go with Golden Flower Crown because it compliments just about any skin tone.

This drugstore highlighter can easily be applied with an eyeliner brush. It goes on smooth and creates a beautiful luminous glow. It is suitable for all skin types. Whether you have dry skin, oily skin, or sensitive skin, this product won’t irritate it. It is both a cruelty-free product and a PETA Beauty without Bunnies product. They never do animal testing and use no animal byproducts in the making of their products.

The biggest downside to using this drugstore highlighter is that it only will last about a month if you use it every day. It is one of the smaller containers of highlighters we see offered, which was a little disappointing. Still, this would still be considered one of the best drugstore highlighters around.

Key Features
  • Three unique shades available
  • Infused with shimmering pearl pigments
  • Certified by PETA Beauty without Bunnies
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 2.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Product Weight: .19 ounces
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Vegan: No
Pros
  • Enhances skin with a natural glow
  • Smooth highlighting powder
  • Suitable for every skin type
Cons
  • Only lasts for about a month if used every day

This high-quality drugstore highlighter can have a beautiful impact on your skin. It can be applied both wet or dry, depending on what look you are trying to achieve. The highlighter can be applied wet for a more intense look or dry for a more natural pigmentation. It is infused with hydrating ingredients like Vitamin E, rose hip, sunflower, apricot, and grape oil. It moisturizes your skin as you wear it throughout the day.

It works best when applied with a fan brush. Sweep the highlighter onto the cheekbones, brow bone, and your inner eye corners to brighten the face and emphasize your features. The whole application process is very simple and can be done is less than a minute. This product is PETA certified, cruelty free, and vegan, so you won’t have any guilt when using this product.

The only downside I really saw was that this product only came in one shade. Although the company claims this shade will be compatible with every skin tone, users seem to have a different opinion. Some of them felt the shade was too bold for their skin tone. People with very fair skin seemed to have the most trouble. So, unless you have fair skin, this may be one of the best drugstore highlighters for you!

 

Key Features
  • Infused with Vitamin E to hydrate the skin
  • PETA approved, cruelty-free, and vegan
  • Can be applied wet or dry, depending on the look you want
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 2.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Product Weight: .17 ounces
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
Pros
  • Guilt-free product- no animals were harmed in the making of this product
  • Easy to apply- applies on smooth
  • Won't irritate the skin
Cons
  • Only one shade available

Essence Pure Nude is a great choice if you are looking for an environmentally friendly drugstore highlighter. This product is both cruelty free and vegan. This product was never tested on animals, it is made without animal by-products, and no animal by-products came in touch with this highlighter in the facility it was created in. This makes it an excellent choice for people with allergies as well.

This highlighter provides a subtle, natural look. Since it has a satin deposition, it creates a more radiant glow than other highlighters on the market. It comes in a neutral color that is suitable for all skin tones, making it the perfect tool for anyone and everyone. It is also free from parabens, so people with sensitive skin shouldn’t break out or have adverse reactions when using this product.

The only negative about this highlighter that I discovered was that it only lasts about 1-2 months when it is used on a daily basis. This means you will have to replace this often. However, since it comes at a good price, this really shouldn’t be an issue for most people. This is still one of the best drugstore highlighters of 2019.

 

Key Features
  • Compatible with any skin tone
  • Helps bring out your natural glow
  • Cruelty free and vegan
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 2.9 x .25
  • Product Weight: .16 ounces
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
Pros
  • Provides a subtle shimmer
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Satin finish to provide a radiant look
Cons
  • Only last 1-2 months if used every day

This drugstore highlighter by Maybelline comes in four distinct shades: Molten Peach, Molten Gold, Molten Rose Gold, and Molten Topaz. Out of all of the shades, I would say that Molten Topaz stands out the most. It is close in color to a copper penny and is designed to complement darker skin tones best. People will fairer skin can still use this, but it may not blend in as well.

This product can be applied with either a fan brush or a powder brush. Which one you use is completely up to you. It has a rich pigment and a very creamy texture that is generally very easy to apply. The pearl pigments within the highlighter leave a reflective finish, making your skin look flawless.

One negative about choosing this drugstore highlighter is that it tends to be a little on the dry side, so it can crumble easily. Adding a touch of rubbing alcohol to the highlighter should solve this issue though. So, as long as you are comfortable with this extra step, it is a non-issue. When all is said and done, the pros of owning this drugstore highlighter far outweigh the cons; order yours today!

 

Key Features
  • Pearl pigments in the highlighter leave a reflective finish
  • Very creamy and pigmented
  • Blends in well with all types of foundation
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 0.7 x 2.8 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Vegan: No
Pros
  • Easy to apply
  • 4 different shades to choose from
  • Compatible with both powder and fan brushes
Cons
  • Crumbles easily

One of the best attributes of the EVXO duo concealer and highlighter stick is that it comes with two makeup tools instead of one. One side of the pencil is designed to conceal the blemishes on your face, while the other side of the tool is designed to highlight your best features. Users with sensitive skin claim this product does not irritate their skin. One of the reasons why this is true is because this product is free from toxins and other harsh chemicals.

This product is both vegan approved and cruelty-free. This means no animal testing took place during the development process of this product. This product is free from animal by-products and has not even come in contact with any of those products in the factory it was created in. This is great to know for people who have a dairy allergy.

The one drawback to using this product is the fact that it is only able to produce subtle highlights. If you are looking for a more dramatic look, you may want to choose a different highlighter. Those looking for a more natural highlight look will be impressed by what this has to offer; it is one of the best drugstore highlighters around!

Key Features
  • Ideal for sensitive skin
  • Multiple uses-both a highlighter and a concealer
  • Vegan-approved
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 1 inches
  • Product Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
Pros
  • Product is not dry or chalky
  • Free from toxins and harmful chemicals
  • Both vegan approved and cruelty-free
Cons
  • Does not apply smoothly

The Niceface highlighter stick is a wonderful product. It was made with a waterproof formula, so it won’t smudge or run when exposed to water. This means you can wear this product while working out or while swimming; it is able to withstand even the most vigorous activities. It won’t fade and it will keep you looking fresh all day long.

It is also very easy to apply, as it rolls smoothly onto your skin. it creates a subtle, natural look that is ideal for everyday use. Even if you do use this product every day, it will last for up to three months. I was quite impressed by this. That means if you only occasionally use a highlighter, it could last for years.

This is a cruelty-free product. No animals were used during the testing process of this product and no animal byproducts are found in the ingredient list. I love to see cruelty-free products; it speaks volumes about the company and where their priorities are at.

The biggest downside to using this product is that it only comes in two shades: Rose Gold and Gold. This means it will not be complementary to all skin tones. However, for those of us who do have a skin tone that works well with gold and rose gold shades, this is one of the best drugstore highlighters available.

 

Key Features
  • Waterproof formula
  • Quick and easy to apply
  • Provide a subtle glow that is perfect for everyday use
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 3.9 x 2 x 2 inches
  • Product Weight: 2.08 ounces
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Vegan: No
Pros
  • Product lasts for up to 3 months
  • Won't smudge or fade throughout the day
  • Cruelty-free product
Cons
  • Only two shades available

This is one of the best drugstore highlighters of 2019. The highlighter applies like a powder, although it feels a little moist when you touch it with your finger. It comes in five different colors: pearl, champagne, rose gold, iridescence, and pink. Applying a small amount will give your cheeks a fresh look, while applying multiple layers will cause your cheeks to reflect the actual sun. It is recommended to use an eyeshadow brush to apply the product. One thing we really love about this product is its smell; it is the perfect mix of coconut and lime. These highlighter meet these strict requirements; they are hypoallergenic, they accommodate sensitive skin, and they are free from the harsh ingredients found in other drugstore highlighters.

The only complaint we see from users is that this product can be too glittery. Although not all users report this as an issue, many of them do. Users claim this product sparkles a little too much when exposed to the sun or other sources of light. While it may be on the glittery side, I wouldn’t count this product out! It may just be the one of the best drugstore highlighters of the year.

Key Features
  • Crafted by Dermatologists
  • Multiple shades available
  • No irritating ingredients or harsh additives
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 2.4 x 3.6 inches
  • Product Weight: .8 ounces
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Vegan: No
Pros
  • 5 shades to choose from
  • Cruelty-free product
Cons
  • Might be too glittery for some

This drugstore highlighter is very easy to apply; the whole process can be done in less than a minute. This makes this highlighter a great option for those of us with limited time. Users say they love this product because it gives them a natural glow that is never over the top. Another exciting thing about this highlighter is that it is a cruelty-free product, which means no animals were harmed to make this product possible.

The biggest drawback to using this product is that it only comes in two shades: light and medium. For those of you with darker skin tones, this highlighter may not be what you are looking for. Other than that minor setback, we would still consider this highlighter to be one of the best drugstore highlighters of 2019.

 

Key Features
  • Lightweight creamy formula
  • Great for those seeking a natural look
  • Highlighter can be applied in the matter of seconds
Specifications
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 2.6 inches
  • Product Weight: .8 ounces
  • Cruelty Free: Yes
  • Vegan: No
Pros
  • Cruelty free product
  • Easy to use applicator
  • Works well for people with sensitive skin
Cons
  • Only two shades to choose from

Now that you have a better idea as to what are the best drugstore highlighters, you are going to need to know how to use them. Follow these steps for how to apply your new highlighter.

Step 1: Apply highlighter to the tops of your cheekbones. Use a blush brush to apply the highlighter from your temples to the tops of your cheekbone in a curved motion. You can apply one layer for a subtle impact or multiple layers for a more drastic look.

Step 2: Apply highlighter onto the areas just below your eyebrows, as they will catch a lot of light. Placing the highlighter over your brow bones and on the areas just under your eyebrows will really brighten your eyes. You can also use the highlighter on the creases of your eyelids for an extra eye-brightening effect.

Step 3: Press a small amount of highlighter into the tip of your nose. Move your finger back and forth to blend the highlighter, so that it covers the entire brim of your nose. This technique is great for people with larger noses, as it makes them look smaller.

Step 4: Brush highlighter over the center of your chin. Highlighting the center of your chin will help draw attention to your lips. Try sweeping some highlighter onto the center of your chin. Be careful not to apply too much highlighter to here; a little bit goes a long way.

Step 5: Dab a small amount of highlighter to the inner corners of your eyes. You can use an eyeshadow brush to get it all the way to the tip. Applying a couple of layers will provide a more dramatic look while applying one layer will provide subtle highlights.

Step 6: Add a pea-size amount of highlighter to the center of your upper lip; highlighting this area will draw attention to your lips, making them look bigger. Avoid applying the highlighter to your actual lip, as this won't blend well with lip gloss, lipstick, etc.

Wrap Up

There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to the best drugstore highlighters. Some come in the form of a powder, while others come in the form of a stick.  Some are cruelty-free and some are vegan approved. Whatever type of drugstore highlighter you are looking for, we hope this guide will help you find it. Our goal is to help everyone find the best drugstore highlighter for them!

Resources — LorealParis, HerCampus

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