The 6 Best Drugstore Highlighters

In this day and age of selfies, photo filters, and social media, highlighters are as popular as ever. That said, despite the large array of luxury products, a shimmery, high-quality highlighter doesn't have to break the bank. The best drugstore highlighters can illuminate and emphasize your complexion as effectively as some of the more expensive brands — but while remaining much more affordable and accessible. Here's what to look for as you begin your search:


When shopping, you should definitely take into account your purpose for using the highlighter. Will you be using it to emphasize specific areas, or will you be wearing it as a base under your foundation to create an all-over glow? Perhaps you'll be using it alone as your sole coverage for the day. Some highlighters can be used as a contouring product to add depth and definition, while others offer enough coverage to be used alone.


When referring to makeup, the term "pigmentation" is typically used to describe how rich and concentrated a color is. A highlighter that's more pigmented will help you to create definition when contouring, while something that's lighter and easier to blend will work on top of makeup or alone to give off a subtle, radiant glow.


There's also the subject of formula. In general, powders and palettes tend to be more popular when it comes to highlighters. They're usually the most pigmented, offering a lot of shimmer for an eye-catching finish. They're also an optimal choice for someone with oily or combination skin, as they tend to absorb oils and have more staying power throughout the day.

Cream-based sticks and liquid formulas are typically easy to apply and blend, which can make the process of wearing highlighter much simpler — especially when on the go. With this, however, it's important to note that liquids and creams are usually best for dry skin, since the formulas are inherently moisturizing and the extra hydration may be too much for oily skin.


Finally, you'll want to pick a shade that'll help you create the exact look you want. Experts suggest using a highlighter two shades lighter than your foundation to highlight, while you'll want to go a shade or two darker to contour or bronze. Most of the options offered below come in various colors for all different skin tones.

From powders to liquids, this guide will help you choose the best drugstore highlighters — and all of them are available on Amazon, too.