If you've heard some hype around a beauty technique called "strobing," fret not: you don't need to learn a new thing. Strobing is just the skillful application of highlighter, and there are more great highlighters on the market right now than ever, many of which masquerade under the names "illuminator," "luminizer" or "perfector." Despite the confusing naming conventions, they can all be used for basically the same things.
In general, highlighter takes advantage of the ways that cosmetics can reflect light in order to maximize certain facial angles, especially the cheek bones and brown bone. It can come in many forms, including pressed powder, liquid, solid and gel, and some people confuse the liquid or gel versions for concealer because they can be used for under-eye brightening. (Don't be one of those people. Highlighter isn't the thing that'll cover your zits. It will just make them luminous.)
Below, check out eight of the best highlighters on the market right now, and let us know which one you swear by in the comments.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator
$28 via Macy's
Once known for her brow prowess, Anastasia has expanded her cosmetics line into a lot of different areas over the past year, including this shimmering highlighter in three shades.
Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmer Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop
$38 via Sephora
Jaclyn Hill is a widely beloved makeup artist and YouTube beauty guru, and Becca just released her signature highlighter shade. I saw so many people tweet about it that I had to buy one, and somehow it manages to live up to the considerable hype.
Benefit Cosmetics High Beam Liquid Highlighter
$26 via Macy's
This highlighter pre-dates the current trend by years, and it's a classic for a reason.
Clinique Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator
$26.50 via Macy's
Even though most large-scale beauty brands are slowly getting better at offering foundation in darker shades, ancillary products like highlighter often fall behind in that progress. Even though this Clinique illuminator only comes in three shades, they work for a huge range of skin tones.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Brush-On Glow BB Highlighter
$28.50 via Macy's
Most highlighters shouldn't be confused for concealers, but this one is among the rare few that do both.
NARS The Multiple in Orgasm
$39 via Net-a-Porter
Like the name implies, this is another highlighter than can pull double (at least) duty in your makeup bag. In addition to your cheekbones, it can also be used on lips and eyes.
RMS Living Luminizer
$38 via Net-a-Porter
This product is the cult favorite that first piqued my interest earlier this year, and it's still among the category's standard-bearers.
Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat
$42 via Sephora
Touch Éclat is the first highlighter that most young women who are interested in beauty hear about; it's up there with NARS's Orgasm blush and DiorShow mascara. It's pricey, but it's one of those products whose reputation precedes it.
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