8 Cult Highlighters Pros Swear By

Long before highlighters flooded the aisles of Sephora, makeup artists found other ways to make skin look brighter and more luminous. (Marilyn Monroe's makeup artist even slathered Vaseline on her skin for a dreamy effect under the stage lights.) These days, highlighting has gone mainstream — times 1,000. Strobed cheeks are as much of a statement as a bright lipstick or a smoky eye, and there's never been a better time to find a formula that's just right for you.

The latest stick formulations are made with hydrating oils, which help pearlescent particles to become one with the skin instead of beading on top. So-called highlighting “glotions” are built to blur fine lines as they illuminate. And strobing creams not only give Insta-ready high planes, but make shoulders and clavicles pop. Whether you're trying to get a subtle J.Lo glow or go for a high-wattage effect, let these tools light the way.
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Seeking a metallic highlighter that won’t make you look like the Tin Man? This one has a moisturizing core that melts into the skin for a naturally dewy effect. Tip: Warm it up with your fingers to really up the glow factor.

Glossier Haloscope, $22, available at Glossier.
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Sure, this creamy illuminator looks great under foundation and when mixed in with tinted moisturizer. But we also love sweeping it along the shoulders, décolletage, and clavicles when we're wearing our favorite off-the-shoulder summer tops.

Pony Effect Strobing Luminizer, $21, available at Memebox.
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The issue with some illuminating sticks? They can leave a greasy sheen, particularly in the summer months. This cream-to-powder stick cuts the shine factor while packing vitamins A, C, and E.

Wander Beauty Catch the Light Highlighter, $25, available at Wander Beauty.
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— PAID —
Step away from the fan brush and highlighting kit. This creamy, illuminating stick makes strobing your face a three-second process. Just swipe it along your cheekbones, nose, and Cupid's bow, then blend it out with your fingers. The buttery texture (which comes in two shades for either a light glow or bronze tan) adds a subtle sheen without looking streaky or glittery.

Maybelline FaceStudio Master Strobing Stick Illuminating Highlighter, $9.99, available at Maybelline.
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For many with sensitive and allergic skin, this versatile highlighting powder is a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Its natural ingredients are gentle, and the buildable pigments can create a subtle or not-so-subtle effect.

Alima Pure Highlighter, $24, available at Alima Pure.
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Fair skin types looking for an illuminating finishing powder will love this featherweight formula, which controls shine while making skin beam.

Makeup Revolution Beyond Radiance Palette, $15, available at Ulta Beauty.
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Half the battle in creating a believable glow? Finding shades that flatter your skin tone. (More on that here.) This highlighting cream takes the guesswork out of all that with self-adjusting pigments that suit you and the rest of your squad.

Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Prism Cream, $42, available at Ulta Beauty.
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We love using an illuminator along the waterline to brighten eyes and on the very tip of the Cupid’s bow to plump the appearance of lips. But it’s all too easy to overdo it with cream or powder formulations. This pointed pen allows for targeted application and precise blending, thanks to a built-in blotting sponge.

B Browbar Highlighter, $27, available at Saks Fifth Avenue.
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The highlighter in this shading and illuminating palette gives the kind of natural, beachy glow that Gigi Hadid seems to have been born with. The secret? A hint of DHA in the formula works overtime to semipermanently bronze your skin as you wear it.

James Read Tantour Sculpting Duo, $54, available at Net-A-Porter.
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