We're so happy that dewy, glowy, highlighted skin is all the rage right now because 1.) it lets us embrace our oily complexions and 2.) highlighters bring out the angelic, ethereal luminescence we've longed for and can now channel at every waking moment.
We've tried so many incredible highlighters in our time (hi, Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop, Urban Decay's Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighter, and, of course, Pat McGrath's Skin Fetish 003), but when our credit cards are feeling a bit exhausted, having a mental archive of affordable drugstore highlighters that actually deliver is incredibly useful. So to find out which budget buys reign supreme, we asked a handful of celebrity makeup artists for their top picks.
Keep scrolling to find out what they are!
Celebrity makeup artist Rob Harmon (the man also responsible for the witchy makeup from Broadway's Wicked) loves this dose of liquid magic. "My favorite drugstore highlighter is L'Oréal True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator. I love to smooth this over a light foundation or tinted moisturizer and blend with a Beautyblender ($20) for the summery, dewy glow we're always hoping for. It's brilliant!"
Sir John, L’Oréal Paris celebrity makeup artist, is faithful to his brand: "L'Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator in all three shades are my go-tos and are always stocked in my kit. I love to strobe and use these on my clients because each shade is so different; it's fun to mix and match the three."
Celebrity makeup artist Daniel Martin loves Nyx's variation of a liquid highlighter: "Nyx Liquid Illuminator is a staple in my kit!" It gives off just the right amount of glow and blends seamlessly into the skin.
Valery Gherman shares similar sentiments: "It's easy to apply and comes in four shades. I love using this product mixed with foundation to soften the effect. I apply it above the cheekbones and temples for a glow that really pops."
"My favorite drugstore highlighter is the Maybelline Dream Lumi Pen. This is a great product—it has just enough glow for the areas where you need to reflect light. This is also great for a bit of coverage to brighten dark circles. It comes in an array of colors as well. For the price, it's an all-around great product," says Deanna Melluso.
Mary Greenwell's reasoning for loving this highlighter is simple: "Because it's great for concealing as well as highlighting—two products in one."
Bella Hadid's go-to makeup artist, Vincent Oquendo, turns to Revlon's new highlighter sticks for a quick drugstore glow. "I'm obsessed," he tells us. This editor has also given both shades a try, too, and fully understands the obsession.
"My biggest complaint with drugstore makeup is it's really hard to find good colors, especially with highlighters. Often they look gray or orange, as do many of the drugstore brow products I've tried. But I have to say, Wet n Wild and the lovely Fergie did a great job with this one. Fergie's been a client of mine for years, so when I saw this at the store, I thought I'd give it a try, and I love it! It reminds me a lot of the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Highlighter ($38), which is one of THE best, so at a drugstore price, you definitely want to give this one a try!" — Tonya Crooks
What's your favorite drugstore highlighter? Tell us below!