The Best Liquid Highlighters for a Fresh-Faced Glow

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Anyone else on the glowy skin train? From creamy blushes to dewy bronzers, we love it all, but we probably love liquid highlighter the most. It’s the single best beauty product for adding a quick boost of radiance to your complexion because you can just drop it into your moisturizer or sunscreen. Whether you’re searching for a subtle shimmer or a dramatic shine, we found the 18 best liquid highlighters for you ahead.

The 17 Best Liquid Bronzers for a Sunkissed Glow All Year Round

best liquid highlighters charlotte tilbury

1. Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand

Best for All Skin Tones

Why We Love It: Six shades, vegan, radiant finish

Shade names like “Goldgasm” and “Spotlight” promise (and deliver) a glow like no other. The liquid formula adds a glossy highlight and a nice sheen to your cheeks. It’s formulated with silica, polymers, oils and lindera extract to smooth over any fines lines and it comes in six shades to flatter all skin tones.

best liquid highlighters rare beauty

2. Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight

Best Overall

Why We Love it: Eight shades, vegan, long-wearing

Newsflash: This liquid highlighter is a triple threat. It leaves behind a luminous finish, softens your skin and lasts all day. The silky formula features light-reflective pearl particles and a botanical blend of hydrating ingredients (like lotus, gardenia and white waterlily) for subtle results. In case you were wondering, founder Selena Gomez’s go-to shade is “Mesmerize,” which is a rosy bronze.

best liquid highlighters live tinted

3. Live Tinted Hueglow

Best Multitasker

Why We Love it: Two shades, AAPI-owned, clean ingredients

We love a hybrid product and shimmery serum from Live Tinted is one of our MVPs. The clean ingredients (i.e, squalane and botanical extracts) provide a sheer glow and both shades, “Dawn” and “Dusk” are especially good for medium to dark skin tones. Mix a few drops into your foundation to get a dewy finish.

best liquid highlighters ilia beauty
Ilia Beauty

4. Ilia Beauty Liquid Light Serum Highlighter

Editor Pick

Why We Love It: Three shades, blue light protection, vegan

We can’t stop raving about Ilia’s products and their serum highlighter deserves all the praise. It has a gel-based texture that melts into your skin like a dream and provides a light shimmer that’s ideal for more casual days. Bonus: Marine actives in the formula protect against UV light and pollution.

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5. About-face Light Lock Highlight Fluid

Most Pigmented

Why We Love It: Six shades, vegan, water-resistant

Want your highlight to really pop? This rockstar-approved pick (Halsey is the founder of the brand) will give you a next-level shine that you can see from across the room. The illuminating formula is loaded with pearl minerals that can easily be dropped into your tinted moisturizer or foundation.

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6. Iconic London Illuminator

Best Vegan Formula

Why We Love It: Three shades, vegan, high gloss finish

All you need is a drop or two for an instant glow. The drop applicator makes it easy to rock a glossy finish without using too much of the product. Dab a pea-sized amount on your cheeks, cupids bow and collarbones for an all-over glow

best liquid highlighters milk makeup

7. Milk Makeup Bionic Glow Illuminating Liquid Highlighter

Best Clean Formula

Why We Love It: Two shades, vegan, clean ingredients

We might have struck gold with this liquid illuminator. Thanks to ingredients like hyaluronic acid, snow mushroom, reishi mushroom and collagen, it hydrates and soothes skin, while leaving behind a radiant finish.

best liquid highlighters loreal

8. L’oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer

Best Budget

Why We Love It: Four shades, long-lasting, free gift with purchase

Prefer minimal shimmer and a wallet-friendly option? This $16 pick acts as a primer, highlighter, contour and body luminizer rolled into one tube, so you can save some $$$ and counter space. Choose from four shades and apply it wherever you want a little shine.

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9. Danessa Myricks Beauty Illuminating Veil Liquid Highlighter

Best for Dark Skin

Why We Love It: Six shades, Black-owned, long-wearing

For a golden complexion minus the dryness, we love this richly pigmented highlighter that offers shimmer and added dimension, especially on dark skin tones. The key ingredient—Avena sativa kernel—conditions and hydrates the skin, while offering a luminous coverage.

best liquid highlighters kevyn aucoin

10. Kevyn Aucoin Glass Glow Face Liquid Illuminator

Best for a Dewy Glow

Why We Love It: Five shades, glossy finish, gel-based texture

Yes, plenty of brands have liquid highlighters that promise a dewy glow, but no one does it quite like Kevyn Aucoin. Case in point: This gel-based formula has a glossy, almost vinyl-looking finish that enhances your natural complexion to striking effect.

best liquid highlighters nyx

11. Nyx Professional Makeup Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator

Most Subtle Glow

Why We Love It: Four shades, vegan, free primer with order

The $8 pick packs a natural glow without breaking the bank. The liquid illuminator can be tapped onto your cheekbones for some strategic highlighting or mixed into your foundation without overshadowing the rest of your look.

best liquid highlighters saie

12. Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter

Best for Dry Skin

Why We Love It: Two shades, clean ingredients, gel-based texture

Skin looking especially dry or dull these days? We’ve got just the thing for you: This gel-based highlighter is made of 75 (yes, 75) percent of water and glycerin, so your skin stays moisturized and refreshed all day long. Vitamin C and rose hip seed oil brighten things up a notch.

best liquid highlighters chantecaille

13. Chantecaille Liquid Lumière Highlighting Fluid

Best Splurge

Why We Love It: Three shades, vegan, fragrance-free

This luxe pick makes your skin look instantly more luminous. The oil-free blend also hydrates, tones and brightens your skin, while the light-reflective pigments help minimize fine lines and dark spots. Yes, it comes at a hefty price, but the velvety coverage does feel like a million bucks.

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14. Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Liquid Highlighter

Best for Fair Skin

Why We Love It: Long-lasting, clean ingredients, free gift with purchase

The pearly pink shade is great for fairer skin, as it complements the undertones often found in lighter complexions. Apply a couple drops directly onto your cheekbones, brow bones and cupid’s bow for a hint of dewy dimension.

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15. Glossier Futuredew

Longest Lasting

Why We Love: Vegan, long-lasting, cruelty-free

This oil-based serum had us replacing our powder highlighters asap. With jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, squalane and evodia rutecarpa extract in the formula, it locks in moisture, while the light-reflecting minerals add a glossy sheen to your skin for up to 12 hours.

best liquid highlighters fenty beauty

16. Fenty Beauty Liquid Killawatt Fluid Freestyle Highlighter

Best Shimmer

Why We Love It: Five shades, vegan, shimmer finish

Here’s your sign that it’s time to shimmer like a disco ball. Inspired by the popular Killawatt Freestyle powder highlighter, this liquid version gives you the same impact in five new shades like "Sidechick," "Honey Hawtie," and "Butta Brownie." The silky texture makes it easy to blend and it dries down quickly without transfer.

best liquid highlighters freck beauty

17. Freck Beauty Slimelight Highlighter

Most Dramatic

Why We Love It: Three shades, long-wearing, clean ingredients

We love all three shades in this collection because all of them are striking on your skin. The formula is loaded up with HD pearls that shift shades in the sun so you get a transfixing glow like no other.

best liquid highlighters jlo beauty

18. Jlo Beauty That Star Filter Highlighting Complexion Booster

Best for Mature Skin

Why We Love It: Four shades, shimmer finish, light coverage

This liquid luminizer’s key feature is that it improves your skin’s texture over time. In it, you’ll find mineral pigments, vitamin E and a signature complex of squalane and extra virgin olive oil to moisturize any dry spots and protect against environmental stressors. And hey, if it’s good enough for J.Lo…

about face matte fluid eye paint review chelsea candelario

Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...