Splurge and Save: 13 gorgeous highlighters for all budgets

The highlighter used to be just an afterthought for the average makeup lover, but it broke out a few years ago as a bankable category with fans waiting for the shiniest releases. Now it has become an important part of any kikay kit. If you’re in the market for one, we’ve compiled of our favorite spend and save options, so you’ve got no excuse to walk around without an angelic gleam. Shine on, you mythical creature!

SPLURGE

TheBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P1,025, Beauty Bar) This soft-focus gold powder is a cult favorite for being finely milled and highly-pigmented. It offers an excellent balance of color and shimmer, allowing it to successfully double as eyeshadow.

Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer (P1,360, Glamourbox) Though the name isn’t a major indicator, this primer illuminates the skin with a soft and shimmering peachy finish. It’s a subtle effect that gives skin a fresh and dewy look if you want to break the matte monotony.

Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder (P1,750, Rustan's) As with most baked makeup, the texture of the powder is on the drier side instead of buttery or soft but it isn’t gritty at all. Highlight-01 is the only highlighting shade from this line as the rest are bronzers. It provides a highly reflective, super pale beige shimmer.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed (P1,943, Sephora PH) With Becca, you can get your shimmer on in three ways! The brand has their cult shades in Pressed, Poured, and Liquid formulas. The highly-pigmented powder only requires a light dip in the pan to catch just enough color for that sexy dose of shimmer. Go for Opal, a warm champagne that should work well with any skin tone.

Left to right: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Lilac Rose, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal, Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder, Benefit Watt's Up, Benefit High Beam, Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer, TheBalm Mary Lou-manizer

Left to right: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Lilac Rose, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal, Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder, Benefit Watt's Up, Benefit High Beam, Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer, TheBalm Mary Lou-manizer

Benefit High Beam (P1,400, Benefit) Bask in a pretty, pearly pink! The shade will give you the aura of a total sweetheart. High Beam can be used to emphasize the pinkness of your blush, though take care not to blend with too much pressure lest it causes makeup to cake. You can also apply it under your base makeup for a touch of dewiness.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick (P2,400, Rustan's) This is probably one of the most well-loved highlighters in the world, and for good reason. The baked five-toned powder is considered one of Bobbi Brown’s all time bestsellers, and it delivers a luxurious sheen that diffuses easily. Despite what you see in the pan, the coloring of the Shimmer Brick in Lilac Rose (pinkish) isn’t as intense as it looks.

SAVE

City Color Glowing Complexion Illuminating Cream (P299, BeautyMNL) This underrated brand hit a home run with a liquid highlighter formula that manages to sit well on top of powder. Initially, we expected that it would be an illuminator that would perhaps produce a mild dewy effect under foundation but it was a pleasant surprise to see how pigmented and shimmer-packed the rose gold liquid turned out to be!

Pink Sugar Sweet Cheeks HD Blush (P499, SM Beauty) Pink Sugar doesn’t skimp out on the flashy highlights. Despite the name, Sin City looks like the epitome of an angelic glow. With its gold shimmer pigments on your cheeks, all you're missing is a halo.

Revlon Highlighting Palette (P625, department stores) Bronzer, highlighter, blush, and eyeshadow in one go? This palette does it all. As a bronzer, you don’t need a lot to get the warmth going. You may also mix and match the individual shades to create a legit eye look. The shade Bronze Glow is morena-compatible, and can pass off as a dupe for the Bobbi Brown Bronze Shimmer Brick.

Left to right: Happy Skin Glisten Up! Highlighter Cheek Stick, Sleek Highlighting Palette (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th), Revlon Photoready Skinlights, Revlon Highlighting Palette, NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator, City Color Glowing Complexion Illuminating Cream

Left to right: Happy Skin Glisten Up! Highlighter Cheek Stick, Sleek Highlighting Palette (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th), Revlon Photoready Skinlights, Revlon Highlighting Palette, NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator, City Color Glowing Complexion Illuminating Cream

Happy Skin Glisten Up! Highlighter Cheek Stick (P799, Happy Skin) This local brand is known for its crowd-pleasing products, and their stick highlighter is no exception. Aside from coming in a travel-friendly medium, the champagne beige shade with a peachy tinge and white shimmer is appropriate for all skin tones.

Revlon Photoready Skinlights (P825, department stores) Trying to fight a flat-looking foundation? This is where Revlon’s liquid illuminator comes in. It leaves a warm, bronzy glow that makes skin look more alive. The formula/consistency doesn’t sit on top of powder well though, so make sure to dab it on before setting your makeup.

Sleek Highlighting Palette (P875, department stores) Want all that insta-glam in one place? Get yourself a versatile highlighter palette like Solstice from Sleek. It features three powder highlighters and one cream to cover all the bases. There’s a pink one with white shimmer, a champagne-peach, a light gold, and a pearly beige (cream highlighter) for any theme or palette you decide on.

In2It Pear Powder Bricks (P549, department stores) If you're unwilling to smash up eyeshadows in the name of our magical DIY, you should definitely check out this option. The rainbow combination immediately draws the eye from the sea of brick highlighters, and you can use each shade individually if you’re in a funky mood. Though each shade has a distinct color, they are mixed with enough shimmer pigment to produce subtle coloring. When swirled together, the bricks produce a pale, lilac-tinged shimmer.

Discuss:

  • Which of these picks caught your eye?
  • Have you tried any of these before?
  • What's your currently fave for getting your glow on?

photography by Sam Gonzales