There are a few seasonal truths that we've come to recognize. First, we prefer dark and dramatic lip colors in the winter and bright, vivid ones come summer (that's pretty standard, right?). Second, winter calls for rich and deeply moisturizing skincare products, while summer calls for lightweight hydration. Finally, while we love a radiant complexion all year round, but we find ourselves obsessing over it the most come summertime. These are by no means makeup "rules," per se, but they're general truths that we all seem to follow with the seasonal cycle.
And as for the last one, now's about that time when we find ourselves gravitating toward all light-reflecting and pearlescent makeup products. (As for my makeup collection, it currently consists of a small stockpile of highlighters that's growing at a fearsome rate.) What can we say? We're on the cusp of summer, and we're coveting that dewy complexion à la Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon. So without further ado, keep scrolling to see 10 liquid highlighters that are incredibly well-received. They're radiant, dewy, low-maintenance, and super blendable, which makes them the perfect summer complexion companion.
Let's start with a fan favorite. This Becca liquid highlighter is nothing short of a classic. (Becca is, after all, a brand that's best known for its super-radiant and natural-looking highlighters.) We like to dab it on the high points of our face for a glowy finish to any makeup look. This shade, called Rose Gold, looks amazing on deeper skin tones, while Moonstone, which is a pale gold shade, complements paler skin tones.
We know you're well aware of Nars's best-selling and cult-classic Orgasm blush shade, which is a universally flattering peach-pink color. Well, it also comes in liquid highlighter form. It has over 50,000 "loves" on Sephora's website with glowing reviews (excuse the pun) like this: "I was a bit skeptical about this product based on the online reviews, but I absolutely love the Nars Illuminator (in Orgasm). I was able to snatch a deluxe sample size to try it out, and I really do like it. I've been using it as a highlighter, and it provides me with a nice healthy glow on my cheeks and nose.
I have a tan/olive skin tone, so it just provides a nice amount of shimmer and glow that looks healthy and natural. I will definitely purchase a full-size version once I finish the sample size!"
We're not done with the classics yet. Here's another fan-favorite liquid highlighter from Benefit. High Beam, as it's called, is so well-loved thanks to its iconic satin pink color. The reviews are in (and have been in ever since its launch). "I decided to start wearing highlighter, which I hadn't worn before. I heard so many good things about this product, and once I purchased it, I know why! I put 2 or 3 small dots on my cheeks and it blends out so evenly, and delivers a gorgeous glow. It's a little on the too shimmery side for me, but other than that, it's a great product & would probably look gorgeous on just about anyone!"
By now we're all aware that Sephora's in-house makeup line is something to be reckoned with. The brand's Long-Lasting 12 Hour Wear Liquid Eyeliner ($12) has been an editor favorite for a while now. But I digress. This liquid highlighter contains finely milled shimmer particles that blend into the skin for a radiant look. If you're someone who loves a bold highlight, they're easy to layer for a more striking effect. Take it from one Sephora reviewer, who writes, "This highlight is lightweight and it absorbs into bb creams and foundations very nicely.
It also doesn't bring out pores like most powder highlights do."
Urban Decay's highlighting fluid comes in packaging that's similar to what you would see with concealer. Thanks to the little doe-foot applicator, it's easy to apply the product precisely on the cheekbones, brow bone, and nose before blending out. It's what we reach for when we want a subtle and accurate highlight. Our favorite shade is called Aura, a super-flattering iridescent petal pink.
Nyx's Away We Glow Highlighter is top-notch. It blends so easily that it can be applied in the back of an Uber while you're running late to an event and using your phone as a mirror (this clearly comes from personal experience). I also love the variety of shades it comes in, like this milky white iridescent color called Moon Glow.
Sure, it's one of the more luxurious (and expensive) liquid highlighters to make the list, but according to beauty editors and internet reviewers alike, it's worth it. The creamy, super-subtle glow it provides makes it look like your skin is radiating light. Our favorite shade is Candlelight, which is (you guessed it) as flattering as the light it's named after. One customer calls it magic. "I bought this in Candlelight and it's such a perfect, beautiful, low-key highlight. I have dry skin and it never caked or settled into my lines.
I put it on over my tinted moisturizer and concealer for a gorgeous, natural, healthy look. I struggle with redness and this reflects light away from it. It's expensive, but the container is a good size and you hardly need to use any since it spreads flawlessly. I put it on with my finger."
This drugstore pick is another option for people who prefer a bolder effect when it comes to their highlighter. It can be thinned out if you blend thoroughly, but this super-shimmery rose-gold shade looks best when worn bold and bright. At only $5, you can apply it everywhere to your heart's content.
Like the Kevyn Aucoin pick, this Giorgio Armani liquid highlighter is worth the luxurious price tag (at least in our humble opinion). After we apply this to our skin, whether alone or on top of makeup, the luminosity and radiance emanate from our skin in a heavenly, goddess-like way.
This Maybelline highlighter is a Byrdie-team favorite. It has illuminating micro-pearls that blend out flawlessly onto the skin. We like to squeeze out a pearl-sized dollop on our palms and then dab into the high points of our face using our fingers or a beauty sponge. The effect is luminous and radiant and glowy and every other synonym you can think of.
Now that you know some of the internet's favorite liquid highlighters, check out the 10 best highlighters rated by something we like to call "the dewiness factor."