Highlighters have existed for years but now there are more arriving in the natural beauty world than ever before! Natural highlighters and illuminators are absolutely the key to unlocking a glowing complexion, so I've put together this guide to the best natural highlighting powders, creams, liquids and more.
Honestly there is nothing like receiving a compliment from someone saying that you look like you are glowing, but unless you've got amazing skin genes it can be hard to achieve that lit-from-within look every single day... thankfully though we can actually get it from a bottle! Highlighters have been makeup artists' secret for decades and now there are more natural highlighters on the market than ever before in loads of different types — in cream, stick, liquid and powder form so we can get that perfect natural glow quickly, easily and in a formula that suits our skin type.
How to use highlighter
What does highlighter do? It's often seen as an extra or optional step in our makeup routine but in my opinion this little addition can actually make a huge difference to the finished product! Highlighter (also known as "illuminator" or "luminiser") is designed to catch and reflect the light to give your skin an almost otherworldly glow — almost like you've always got light beaming directly on your face! Depending on how heavily you apply it, highlighter can create the effect of a natural dewy glow right through to an intense shimmering sheen.
Highlighter also comes in so many different forms — cream, liquid, stick and powder. Generally, creams and liquids are best for dry skin types as they deliver a more hydrating and dewy finish, while powders suit oily and combination skin types as they illuminate the skin yet also help to mattify it thanks to smoothing mineral or fruit pigments. To use it, simply apply your chosen highlighter to the high planes of the face — where the light naturally hits your face first. This usually means the tops of the cheekbones, the brow bone, bridge of the nose and the cupid's bow. Just use a fine tapered or fan brush if you're using a powder, and use a sponge or even just your fingers for creams and liquids. Another great tip for anyone who wants an all-over glow is to mix your highlighter in with your foundation.
Even if you think your skin is a little too mature for highlighters, let me tell you, it's not! The trick is to look for natural highlighters which deliver a natural shimmering sheen, rather than a glittery finish from heavy pigments. Sparkly particles can sink into any fine lines and wrinkles, exaggerating skin with a more mature texture, but a gentle, natural sheen from mineral and fruit pigments simply illuminates all skin types with a lovely subtle, everyday glow!
Best natural cream highlighters
Ere Perez Versatile Vanilla Highlighter in Falling Star
One of my favourite natural cream highlighters is the Ere Perez Versatile Vanilla Highlighter in Falling Star. This beautiful rose champagne colour is universally flattering and the creamy texture melts perfectly into the skin for that natural dewy look. The shimmering pigments come from natural Mica powders, and a rich blend of Cocoa Butter, Avocado and Olive Oil nourishes and plumps the skin.
Nude By Nature Touch of Glow Highlight Stick - Bronze
In a creamy stick formula, the Nude By Nature Touch of Glow Highlight Stick in Bronze delivers a luminous bronze-toned highlight. Ultra easy to blend, it actually transforms from a cream-to-powder texture and glides on effortlessly thanks to its unique domed shape. Fragrance free and moisturising, this versatile highlight stick can be used for a subtle glow or layered and built up for a more dramatic sunkissed finish. Also available in Rose, Champagne and Opal shades.
KORA Organics Rose Quartz Luminizer
The KORA Organics Rose Quartz Luminizer is really incredible as it actually contains real Rose Quartz Crystal Powder! The Rose Quartz gives the skin a stunning rose gold glow, while Noni Fruit Extract, Coconut Oil and Jojoba work to hydrate the skin for a lasting dewy finish. It also now comes in Clear Quartz!
Natural liquid highlighters
100% Pure Luminous Creme in Starlight
A great highlighter for travel or to keep in your handbag is the 100% Pure Luminous Creme in Starlight. The tube packaging with applicator brush makes it perfect for easily amping up your look on the go so you can head straight from desk to drinks! This liquid formula gives an instant, subtle glow, combining thousands of light reflective pigments with powerful antioxidants and the skin nourishing properties of Organic Argan Oil and Aloe Vera for a soft finish that is not too shimmery.
Nude By Nature Soft Focus Illuminator
Designed for use as a priming base or to be mixed in with foundation, the Nude By Nature Soft Focus Illuminator is a beautifully hydrating liquid highlighter which gives a sheer and subtle glow to help illuminate dull skin. Enriched with nourishing Jojoba Oil and Oat Extract, it's lightweight and is incredibly easy to blend thanks to its liquid texture.
Inika Certified Organic Light Reflect Cream
A beautiful pearlescent pink created by mineral pigments, the Inika Certified Organic Light Reflect Cream gives a flawless satin finish thanks to the smooth cream consistency. Perfect for mixing in with your foundation or applying directly on top of makeup, this luminous formula is designed to provide a subtle, non-oily glow and is easy to apply thanks to the simple squeezy tube.
Nude By Nature Beach Glow Liquid Highlighter
With a lightweight, gel-like texture, the Nude By Nature Beach Glow Liquid Highlighter in 01 Moonlight is a versatile liquid highlighter which glides on effortlessly, providing a heavenly silver-pearl shimmer from the light-reflecting pigments. This fragrance-free formula is designed to be fast-drying yet hydrating, enriched with moisturising Avocado Oil and Vitamin E. Also available in 02 Sunshine and 03 Sunrise shades.
Natural highlighter powders
100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Luminizer Powder
Those who love a powder highlighter will love the 100% Pure Gemmed Luminizer - Moonstone Glow. This glistening pink powder combines thousands of light reflective pigments with antioxidant and vitamin rich fruit pigments like Raspberry, Pomegranate and Apricot to give the skin a wash of healthy colour without any synthetic dyes.
Eco Minerals White Light Mineral Illuminator
For a classic, shiny highlight, I highly recommend the Eco Minerals White Light Mineral Illuminator, a pearly loose mineral powder which provides a silky and weightless glow to all skin types — it's even designed to help cover pigmentation, scars and acne. This eco-friendly makeup packaging is also refillable — just select the refill option when you run out!
Lily Lolo Mineral Shimmer in Stardust
The Lily Lolo Mineral Shimmer in Stardust is another loose highlight powder in more of a champagne shade;. Ultra-fine and free from any oil, this pure mineral powder is perfect dusted all over the cheekbones as well as the shoulders and decollétage to give the skin a bit of shimmer and sparkle for a night out!