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Liquid, Cream, or Powder? Here's What Highlighter Is Right for You

What exactly is the difference between cream, liquid, and powder highlighters? We're breaking it all down so you can find the right highlighter for your skin.

Updated June 26, 2019 by Amanda Dixon

Liquid, Cream, or Powder? Here's What Highlighter Is Right for You

Who needs a professional lighting crew when you have a good highlighter? Strobing puts your best features forward, adding a fresh-faced glow to cheekbones, brows, and any feature you wish to…well, highlight!

Now that you’re ready to glow, you’re gonna need the perfect highlighter. …but, what exactly is the difference between cream, liquid, and powder, which formula should you choose? Below, our breakdown: a few of our faves, and how to find out what highlighter is right for you!

Psst...new customers, take advantage of 15% off sitewide orders $60+ with code: 15BGGLOW and get glowing!



Liquid

Works best with: Normal to dry skin

Great for:  Achieving a natural, dewy finish. Liquid highlighter is incredibly versatile, too, and can even be mixed with your foundation for a gorgeous, all-over glow.

We recommend: BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector


Highlighter, b-glowing, Egyptian magic, Laura Geller, Becca Cosmetics, It cosmetics, strobing, shimmering skin perfector

This cult-favorite highlighter is like soft focus lighting in a bottle. The liquid formula contains ultra-fine, light-reflecting pearls that create an unbelievably natural-looking glow. Dab along the high points of the face for a subtle highlight, or apply all over as a luminizing primer. You can even mix a few pumps with your favorite body lotion for a full-body glow.



Cream

Works best with: Normal to oily skin

Great for:  Creating a more sculpted, subdued look. Creams are perfect for anyone wanting to avoid excess shine and sparkle.

We recommend: It Cosmetics Hello Light Anti-Aging Crème Radiance Illuminator


Highlighter, b-glowing, Egyptian magic, Laura Geller, Becca Cosmetics, It cosmetics, strobing, hello light, cream

If you want the perfect (keyword: subtle) highlight, Hello Light has you covered. Its super fine particles diffuse light for a soft, dewy look with zero artificial sparkle. The creamy formula melts into skin to provide you with a lit-from-within, supermodel-esqe glow. Bonus! It's so natural-looking, no one will know it's makeup.



Powder

Works best with: Normal to very oily skin

Great for:  Creating a shimmery finish. Powders have the highest concentration of sparkle, and can be dusted on over foundation and blush for a sheer-yet-noticeable glow. Because the application is less precise than a liquid or cream highlighter, the effect is gorgeous, all-over radiance.

We recommend: Laura Geller New York Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator


Highlighter, b-glowing, Egyptian magic, Laura Geller, Becca Cosmetics, It cosmetics, strobing, Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator

The super fluffy, soft formula applies like a powder but feels kind of creamy, making it super blendable and comfortable to wear. It’s packed with shimmer, but can be built and blended to create your perfect coverage.

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