The 5 Drugstore Highlighters Pros Actually Use On Celebs

Of all the makeup available on counters, highlighter's had the best glow up. The secret weapon was originally used by movie makeup artists that needed to fake natural light on set. It was not until the '80s when it hit department stores (and back then it was called mineralizer and strobe cream). Now, the stuff has exploded onto the makeup scene thanks to YouTube, Instagram, and, of course, Kim Kardashian.
But without being able to swatch them in the aisle, buying a drugstore highlighter can be risky. To help find the best one — the one that's not cake-y, overly sparkly, dry, or patchy — we gathered up every drugstore highlighter we could find (68, to be exact) and asked celebrity makeup Carissa Ferreri to take a break from longtime client Gina Rodriquez to put each and every one to the test. Her top five, ahead.
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Watch Ferreri put the drugstore highlighters to the test first — then click ahead to shop her favorites.
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Do you love a shimmer you can see from space? You're on the right slide. "This is especially pigmented," Ferreri notes, adding that the three shades can be mixed or worn alone on all skin tones — and is even fabulous worn on the chest and shoulders. (Consider this your more-affordable dupe to the ABH Glow Kit.)

Flower Shimmer & Strobe Highlighting Palette in SP1, $12.98, available at Walmart.
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Narrowing down the vast selection was no easy feat for Ferreri, but this stick (easily her favorite) made it a bit easier. She's a fan of cream over powder, and this blendable formula allows you to draw directly onto the high points of the face and buff any harsh edges with your fingers. She calls it universally flattering and easy to apply, making it a foolproof pick for any skin tone.

Maybelline Face Studio Master Strobe in Medium Nude Glow, $7.99, available at Target.
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This experiment introduced Ferreri to the brand Jordana — and she immediately fell for all three shades of its shimmery stick highlighter. Apply it just like you would Maybelline's option, but pick the color best suited for your complexion: Ferreri recommends Pearl Glow for fair and light skin, Radiant Glow for medium complexions, and Bronze Glow for dark to deep skin tones. "It's super creamy, so you can really blend it in," she says.

Jordana Glow N Go Creamy Strobe Stick in Pearl Glow, 4.99, available at Walgreens.
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Ferreri was pleasantly surprised when she dipped into Wet n Wild's offering, fawning over how smooth and soft the texture is — and that was before she even swatched it. The line comes in numerous shades, but she calls Precious Petals the most flattering, especially for medium skin tones. Go easy, because it is shimmery, and use a brush for seamless results, she says.

Wet n Wild Online Only MegaGlo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals, $4.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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This new, two-sided product offers double the fun: a cream and liquid in the same shade that you can layer together or wear alone. "You can even add the liquid into your foundation if you want a light, all-over glow," Ferreri suggests.

Almay Instant Glow Highlighting Duo in Soft Glow, $11.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
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