Highlighters are my my favorite way to really amp up a look. Whether you prefer a subtle glow or a strobing sheen, giving your skin a bit of radiance is always a nice finishing touch to your makeup look. It just makes the skin look healthy and youthful, and gives dimension to the face.
Sometimes it can be a struggle to find budget-friendly highlighters that actually give you a glow versus dumping a bunch of glitter on your face. Believe me, I’ve tried many— but there are a select few that you’ll see me using again and again because of their application and effect.
Keep reading to discover the best drugstore highlighters that I’ve tried— many of these have several shade selections, so you can find one that compliments your skin tone perfectly. The specific shades listed below work very well for me with my Light/Medium skin tone.
1. Maybelline Master Chrome Metallic Highlighter in 100 Molten Gold ($7.49)
This warm metallic drugstore highlighter is buttery and easy to apply and blend. It’s versatile in that you can add just a pop, or layer it on for a more dramatic effect. I like using this when I’m going for a sun kissed look with the golden hue.
2. Models Own Sculpt & Glow Highlighter in Peach Pearl ($11.99)
On the cooler spectrum, this light peachy highlighter gives off more of a silvery sheen. It’s much less shimmery than other powder highlighters, giving off a very even beam of radiance when it catches the light.
3. Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter in Pearl ($10.99)
You didn’t think I could complete this round up without mentioning a Physicians Formula butter product, did you? These are some of my absolute favorite drugstore highlighters, because of the incredibly soft and cushy texture that smooths over the skin like a dream. I find these best to apply with the fingers, as the warmth will help them blend out for a natural look.
4. Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Glow Highlighter in 2 ($8.99)
I find cream highlighters to come off as a little more natural looking than powders, and can sometimes last longer as well. This new cream luminizer is a golden champagne with subtle shimmer to it.
5. e.l.f. HD Shimmer Highlighting Powder in Starlight Glow ($6)
The e.l.f. Shimmer Highlighting Powders are some of the most natural but statement-making highlighters you can find. It just makes your skin look extremely glowy without seeming like you layered on actual makeup products. Starlight glow is a neutral champagne shade that will work on many skin tones.
6. AOA Studio Wonder Baked Highlighter in Cream Puff ($1)
While this highlighter isn’t sold at an actual drugstore, it’s only a dollar online and in AOA stores, so I thought it was worthy of the list. After trying it for the first time in my Shop Miss A Haul video https://youtu.be/8CQ9UThzShc , I was shook with how pretty it was… for only a dollar! It’s definitely on the subtle and natural side, but it definitely catches the light for a very pretty gleam. SO worth the buck.
7. Physicians Formula Bronze Booster Palette in Strobing ($7.99)
This is probably the most intense drugstore highlighter, and you get three in one palette! The Bronze Booster palette in Strobing contains a white highlighter, a champagne highlighter, and a metallic bronze shade to cover many skin tones in one. I’ll use the white shade when I want that blinding glow you see on Instagram.
8. L’Oreal True Match Lumi Glow Amour Glow Boosting Drops in Daybreak ($14.99)
Here’s a little secret: I actually prefer liquid highlighters to powder, but it’s so hard to find decent ones at the drugstore. This is by far the best I’ve had the pleasure of wearing. These Glow Boosting Drops give you an intense spotlight wherever you apply them. I often wear it as a traditional highlighter, blending the product out with a sponge on my cheekbones and sometimes even my brow bone. However, because of the drop packaging, you can also mix a little into your foundation for an all-over glow. Daybreak adds a pink-hue highlight.