Highlighters, luminizers, and illuminators: it seems like every day another glow-giving palette arrives on the scene, claiming to lend our skin the most flattering and radiant glow yet. And while all the choices are exciting, the seemingly endless options can lead to confusion (and very light wallets). How do you pick the best highlighter palette for you?
To make sense of it all, we decided to round up some of the Beautylish community’s fan favorites. Whether you’re seeking a super-subtle, natural sheen or you want to outshine a disco ball, here are the best glow palettes for every taste and style.
For a barely-there glow
Our pick: Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Highlighter
Maybe you’re just dipping your toes into the whole highlighting thing, or maybe you just prefer a glow so subtle, your skin could have made it. For those who want an understated glow, look no further than Kevyn Aucoin’s The Neo-Highlighter, a highlighter palette that’s actually all three shades of the brand’s cult-classic The Celestial Powder blended into an ombré design. These powders are so finely milled, the shimmer particles are almost imperceptible—they melt into the skin for a soft, sheer sheen that mimics the look of flattering light hitting your cheekbones.
For a dewy, youthful glow
Our pick: Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze Glow
If Charlotte Tilbury isn’t the first brand to come to your mind when you think of a dewy, natural look, hear us out. Her cult-beloved Filmstar Bronze Glow truly delivers when it comes to recreating the soft, youthful radiance of freshly moisturized skin. The palette’s highlighter powder has a supremely silky texture that seems to blur imperfections—sort of like a soft-focus filter that brings out the best in dull or dry skin. It also comes with a natural-looking bronzer powder for sculpting, shading, and adding red carpet-ready dimension.
For a shimmery glow
Our pick: BECCA Afterglow Palette
BECCA has been a trailblazer in the world of highlighters, and it’s not hard to understand why. The brand’s Shimmering Skin Perfectors, available in cream, powder, and liquid formulas, have been defining the highlighting trend for years. We especially love the powder version for its buildable shimmer, leaving skin noticeably luminous without any chunky glitter. The Afterglow Palette combines three of our favorite Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed shades (plus two mineral blushes) into one handy palette so that you can quickly customize a shimmering strobe effect.
For a bronzed glow
We get it—sometimes you want to glow like you just came back from a weekend getaway at your own private island. For those who want sun-kissed radiance, we give you a glow kit inspired by the golden beaches of Brazil. These four luminous powders come in warm-toned hues—think amber, taupe, and sandy champagne—that add a back-from-the-beach luminosity to a wide range of skin tones. Layer the shades to create the perfect lustrous warmth with a hint of tan.
For a dramatic glow
Our pick: Natasha Denona Sculpt Glow Palette
If you find yourself mesmerized by an Instagram beauty guru’s look-at-me-now glow, know that there’s probably a Natasha Denona product behind it. The makeup artist’s Sculpt Glow Palette includes two of the highlighters that launched her brand to internet fame—Face Glow Cream Shimmer and All Over Glow Face Body Shimmer in Powder—plus a matte cream highlighter that makes building a megawatt highlight as easy as layering. This is an especially great glow kit for those who like to switch between creams and powders for intense shimmer payoff.
For a holographic glow
Our pick: Anastasia Beverly Hills Aurora Glow Kit
Holographic, rainbow-inspired highlighters are cropping up more and more these days, and we’re not mad about it. The Aurora Glow Kit from Anastasia Beverly Hills brings together six iridescent powder highlighters, all infused with special reflective pigments that shift as you move. The result is an ethereal, otherworldly luminescence that can be built up or sheered down depending on your desired intensity. Mix and match the shades to create a custom unicorn highlight for any mood.
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