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Best Highlighters | 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

2017 Holiday Gift Guide
Best Highlighters

In case you somehow missed the torrential holiday storm we’re in the midst of… it’s the holiday season! Here’s the next installment in our series of holiday gift guides:
best in highlighters. If you’re curious about the best limited edition holiday products and sets, check out our Best of Holiday 2017 Palettes & Gifts page, which is constantly updating as reviews are published!

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Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder

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Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder ($44.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a luminous, powder highlighter that strikes the right balance between being noticeable without emphasizing the skin’s natural texture. The shimmer is fine, while the powder is silky and smooth. There are only three shades at the moment, and the one I use the most is Starlight, which works as a highlighting blush on my skin tone.

Availability |
Sephora, Beautylish, Nordstrom

Makeup Geek Highlighter

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Makeup Geek Highlighter ($20.00 for 0.25 oz.) is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-shine, more metallic highlighter with a lot of pigmentation and comes in a variety of shades from duochromes to rich coppers–there’s something for every skin tone and undertone. It’s one of my favorite formulas (I keep several of them in my vanity drawer, where I keep my must-haves!). Some of the shades I use often are: Rekindle, Moon Phase, Celestial, and Daybreak.

Availability |
Beauty Bay (UK)

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish

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MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($33.00 for 0.31 oz.) finally has been added to the permanent range of MAC’s offerings! They run from moderate to metallic with semi-opaque to opaque color coverage that is typically extremely blendable and wears around eight hours.

Availability |
MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Ulta

Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator

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Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a moderately shimmery powder highlighter available in four shades. The consistency is soft, smooth, and blendable, while the shades provide subtle color and plenty of sheen to the skin. They’re medium to opaque in coverage, but the texture is forgiving enough that it can be sheered out or applied with a fan brush for subtle luminosity. The shade I use most often is Ballerina.

Availability |
Nordstrom, Ulta

Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer

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Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer ($55.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a softer, subtler powder highlighter. The powder’s texture is soft, smooth, and blends easily on the skin, while the shimmer is luminous and sits well on the skin without emphasizing pores or the skin’s natural texture. My favorite shade is Sand Beige (13).

Availability |
Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Cle de Peau, Saks

Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder

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Bobbi Brown Highlighting Powder ($46.00 for 0.28 oz.) is smooth, luminous, and easy to use. It was great to see the brand add the formula and multiple shades to their permanent line!  This is a good option for someone who wants  a medium to opaque, moderate to high-shine highlighter.

Availability |
Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bobbi Brown

LORAC Light Source Illuminating Highlighter

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LORAC Light Source Illuminating Highlighter ($22.00 for 0.20 oz.) has a very soft, smooth, and finely-milled consistency, so the formula is easy to control and applies to the skin without emphasizing pores. My favorite shade is Daylight.

Availability |
Ulta

Essence Pure Nude Highlighter

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Essence Pure Nude Highlighter ($4.49 for 0.23 oz.) is an excellent highlighter that is soft, smooth, and blendable with enough sheen that it’s noticeable but doesn’t look metallic. The only downside is that there’s only one shade available, but it’s just too good not to mention the one!

Availability |
Ulta

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact

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Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder ($40.00 for 0.26 oz.) is comprised of five shades, four which are more like hues of bronze and one that is a lighter, translucent champagne, Highlight 01. It doesn’t add a lot of color to most skin tones, but it doesn’t seem strongly white-based, so it is still a versatile shade. The finish of it is spectacular: just glowy enough to use on cheeks but subtle enough that it can be dusted more freely on the face or all-over.

Availability |
Sephora, Nordstrom, Saks

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating)

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Cover FX Custom Enhancing Drops (Illuminating) ($42.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a liquid formula that can add a “highlighting, strobing, or bronzing effect” to your favorite liquid products or used alone on top of (or underneath) your other products (including powder); two of the six shades are bronzing and four are more shimmery/metallic for highlighting. What’s neat about these is that they are versatile as you want them to be; they really do perform well mixed with various liquid and cream products (moisturizer, foundation, tinted moisturizer, primer) while also working under and over makeup, and they really are buildable from sheer to opaque coverage. My favorite shades are: Celestial and Sunlight.

Availability |
Sephora, Beautylish

Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighter

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Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Highlighter ($26.00 for 0.23 oz.) is soft, smooth, blendable, and yields moderate or greater sheen. The shade I like the most in the range is Aura, as you don’t find too many permanent, cooler pinks.

Availability |
Sephora, Ulta

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed

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Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed ($38.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a cult-favorite powder highlighter formula, and while I’ve always enjoyed it, I didn’t include in last year’s guide. What I can say is that throughout 2017, I’ve used more of them and have come to love them more (on a personal level!) that I have to include them this year. Some of my favorite shades are:  Champagne Pop, Opal, and Rose Gold.

Availability |
Sephora, Ulta, Beautylish

Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder

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Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Powder ($10.00 for 0.30 oz.) is a powder highlighter available in several shades with a high-shine to metallic finish. They come in predominantly light to mid-tone shades with warmer undertones. They’re pigmented, long-wearing, and blendable, which makes them a no-brainer when it comes to highlighting on a budget but they completely hold their own against higher-end highlighters, too.

Availability |
Ulta

Colour Pop Pressed Powder Highlighter

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ColourPop Pressed Powder Highlighter ($8.00 for 0.23 oz.) is a creamy, pigmented, and long-wearing powder formula that has a moderate to metallic finish (depending on the shade). I love how blendable they are, and the majority sit well on the skin, too. Some of my favorite shades:  Here Kitty Kitty, Like to Watch, and Freak Like Me.

Availability |
Colour Pop

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder

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NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder ($7.99 for 0.21 oz.) is a whole line of highlighters with subtle to moderate color shifts. If you love layering highlighters with blush and bronzer, these are such a fun way to get even more variety out of your cheek colors as they can completely change the undertone of what else is on the face!

Availability |
Ulta, Selfridges

Jouer Powder Highlighter

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Jouer Powder Highlighter ($24.00 for 0.16 oz.) will be best for someone who likes a very metallic, very shiny finish in their highlighters and enjoys high coverage. The formula blends out beautifully easily and lasts between eight and nine hours.

Availability |
Beautylish, Nordstrom

   
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