The "glow from within" look has been "in" for a while now and is no longer reserved for soon to be mamas. With all the shades and finishes to choose from, how do you know which highlighter is the best illuminator for you?
When choosing the best illuminator, you want to make sure it meets all of your specific needs. Does it blend well, can you build it? The best illuminator will last all day long, and it seemingly melts right into your skin.
I learned the hard way, just picking a highlighter off the shelf and expecting it to work for you is unrealistic. Every illuminator is different, and each brand makes its highlighter with specific qualities in mind.
So how do you find the best illuminator?
What Is The Best Illuminator?
Illuminators are pigmented light reflecting powders that are used to highlight your skin. These powers attract light and create the illusion of being lit from within.
They are vital to creating a dimensional face, similar to contouring. Celebrities and everyday makeup gurus use illuminators and highlighters to lift and push back features of the face.
Use illuminators on the nose, cheekbones, the cupids bow, and around the eyes. Applying these products in the right places can enhance your features. You don't have to be a professional to use highlighters.
You can make your cheekbones look higher up on your face by applying highlights to the tops of your cheekbones. Applying illuminator near the tear duct makes your eyes appear more prominent. You can even achieve a more youthful look when using the best illuminator.
How We Reviewed The Best Illuminator
We reviewed the best illuminator based on consumer testimonies. Customers claim these products greatly benefit their life. Not only customers that bought the product once, but consumers that buy over and over again.
Most of the products on this list I have tried and swear by myself.
We reviewed the best illuminator based on five-star ratings proclaiming miracle pigments and lumination. We also consider the ability to build to the desired shade, the products ability to blend, and the overall performance of each illuminator.
The Best Illuminator Price Range
We can relate to the daily hustle and as a result, most of the illuminators that made this list can be bought at your local drug store. Keeping your wallet in mind while also considering the performance of each of the highlighters, we keep the price range relatively low.
You don't have to sacrifice your hard earned cash for a hard working highlighter. It really just depends on the brand you buy.
The Best Illuminator: Our Top 5 Picks
These illuminators will light your inner fire with the incredible ability to blend, build, and accentuate your features.
1. Nyx Away We Glow Liquid Highlighter
- ILLUMINATE YOUR SKIN - Effortlessly build a beautiful lit-from-within dewy glow, from sheer to intense
- NATURAL RADIANCE - Highlights facial features and acts as a diffuser to create a brighter, more radiant complexion
- VERSATILE - Use on its own or mix into moisturizer, liquid foundation or body lotion and apply to face, eyes, lips or...
The Nyx highlighter (also known as illuminator) is creamy, lightweight, and has an irresistible illumination that leaves you with a shimmery glow for a low price. The small applicator on this illuminator allows the user to have precise control over product application.
You don't have to be a pro makeup artist to use this highlighter. The process is simple, apply directly to the face, dab and blend it out with your fingers for a high impact shine. I have success building and blending out this illuminator with a wet beauty blender.
I use this illuminator when I go out at night because the pigment in this product is pretty intense. This illuminator shines even in dimly lit clubs and bars. The downside to this illuminator is that it may shine a little too brightly for daytime wear.
Overall cost, formula, and illuminating capabilities earned this product a 4.0 out of 5.0 stars rating on Amazon.
2. Maybelline Master Chrome Highlighter
- FACESTUDIO MASTER CHROME METALLIC HIGHLIGHTER MAKEUP: This highlighter powder drenches skin in a melted metallic finish....
- SUPER LUMINOUS HIGHLIGHTING POWDER: Sweep onto the high points of the face & blend for a seamless metallic glow. Use...
- BEST FACE FORWARD: Maybelline has sheer, medium, & full coverage foundation in liquid, stick, & cushion foundation...
Take your glow to the next level with this Winner of Allures best beauty award. Maybelline claims this illuminator envelops your skin in a molten metal sheen.
Boasting superior blending abilities, swirling your bush in this pan once will leave it dripping with pigment. Swiping your cheek just once will leave your cheek looking dewy. Blending this foiled pigment out with a blending brush leaves your skin positively glowing.
Beauty gurus back it up saying it's their secret weapon for brilliant, luminous skin. This drug store brand doesn't break the bank either.
Achieve this seamless metallic glow by brushing this illuminator on your face and body as well. This buttery formula melts into your skin and gives you a subtle natural glow. With four shades to match most skin tones, these shades are perfect for summertime.
Amazon customers rate this product 4.2 out of 5.0 stars
3. Wet N Wild Megaglow Highlighting Palette
- MEGA GLO HIGHLIGHTER: This pressed powder highlighter helps you achieve a luminous glow. Buttery, buildable formula...
- GLOW AHEAD: Formulated with micro-fine pearls, this highlighter creates a multi-dimensional, light-catching effect while...
- BEST FACE FORWARD: From bronzer & blush to primer, highlighter, natural finish powder, & concealer, we've got you...
The Megaglow highlighting palette has 4.4 stars out of 5.0 on Amazon and is vegan and infused with pearl pigments to achieve a soft shimmering glow. Another drug store gem, this palette is a steal at a bargain price. You get four pigments for a range of skin tones with generous pan sizes.
Apply to the tops of your cheekbones, your brow bone, and your cupids bow for a shimmering radiance. Customers rave that you don't need a flash on your camera to capture the glow. The product performs just as well as reputable high-end illuminators and lasts all day.
There are warm tones as well as cool tones in this palette, making it a unique choice for your collection. Applying this palette to your body as well gives you an otherworldly glow. Go out dancing with your friends and light up the dancefloor with this versatile illuminator.
4. Benefit Watts Up Cream Highlighter
- [Youthful Radiant Glow] This blush and highlighter duo goes on like a cream and finishes like a weightless powder....
- [Anti-Aging + Antioxidants] Vitamin E and grape seed extracts provide anti-aging benefits and pomegranate antioxidant...
- [How To Wear It] Apply this duo product with fingertips or a makeup brush or sponge. Wear it on bare skin or over...
Turn up the wattage with this illuminator. Leaving a soft glowing effect on your features, this reputable highlighter is easy to blend.
Achieving a soft gleam is easy; you can apply directly on to the skin with this illuminator due to its packaging design. Buttery smooth pigment melts into your skin as you blend away, achieving a subtle glow.
Having a stick applicator much like lipstick, this highlighter is mess-free. You can easily store it in your purse for touch-ups because of this product's thoughtful design. This illuminator has an Amazon rating of 4.4 out of 5.0 stars.
5. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector
- Imparts healthy radiance and illuminates darkened skin to even out skin tone
- Loaded with anti-oxidant vitamins, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic ingredients
- Defends skin from external aggressors and free radical damage
The packaging of this product is visually stunning. This compact reminds me of a UFO, and inside is a generously large pan.
Although this illuminator only has a customer rating of only 3.8 out of 4 stars, I can vouch for it. I have used this illuminator nearly every day since last winter. Even though I have been using this product for quite a long time, the pan has very minor wear. A little goes a long way with this highlighter.
Becca Skin Perfecting highlighter swatches amazingly, and the pigment is to die for. Applying the product directly to your skin using your fingers or with a brush produces flawless results.
The shimmer of this product is subtle and seamless. Your gleaming skin catches rays of light and gives you an ethereal glow that will leave your friends green with envy. With this illuminator, you might be able to get away with telling your friends you woke up like this.
Unleash Your Inner Glow With The Best Illuminator
No matter which illuminator you try, each illuminator on our list has the ability to get your shine on. These formulas last all day, and these formulas perform. Liquid illuminators are dewier while powder compacts tend to leave you glowing.
The choice is yours. Are you going out tonight? Building and blending for an intense metallic sheen will stun your date. Running errands and daily life calls for a softer gleam. Simply apply the illuminator to the features you want to highlight and get ready to glow from within.
Do you have a favorite illuminator? Let us know what it is in the comment section below!