If you’ve read the blog for awhile, you’re probably already aware that highlighter is by far my favorite beauty product. I swear by it. It comes in a variety of shades, formulations, and price points and I have amassed quite the collection of the stuff. The best illuminators, in my opinion, give a fresh, healthy, youthful glow. Glow is the name of the game. I’ve tried at least 10 illuminators over the last few years, but have recently settled on my beauty top three…These are the best of the best! They don’t so much provide color as they impart LIGHT. What girl doesn’t want that? Whether you’re looking to save, splurge, or spend somewhere in the middle, there’s a killer highlighter that you should definitely get your hands on. Here’s the scoop (and the swatches!) – priced from lowest to highest.

1. Wet ‘N Wild MegaGlo Multi-Stick

Megaglo Multi Stick

Price: $

Find it at: Drugstores – CVS // Wallgreens // Rite Aid OR online at Wet ‘N Wild.

Here’s the backstory on this guy: Wet ‘N Wild did a special limited-edition summer collection that launched in late April that included a selection of illuminating products – this was one of them. The most coveted of those products were actually highlighting powders that sold out basically everywhere. Seriously–I spent an entire Sunday afternoon searching for them in our local Wallgreens and CVS to no avail. Enter my consolation prize: the Wet ‘N Wild solid stick illuminator. I picked the “Marigold Round” hue, which is a gorgeous dusky opalescent pink, but it comes in two other colors as well. If you like an obvious highlight (which is kind of the name of the game when it comes to strobing or dramatic looks), you’ll be into this. MegaGlo lasts all day and offers a lot of pigmentation along with a kiss of radiance. Swipe and go! Layer it on, though, and you’ve got intense shimmer. Bonus: it retails for under $5 (if you can find it) so you can try all three shades or just have money left to burn on expensive mascara.

2. Glossier Haloscope

Glossier Haloscope

Price: $$

Find it at: Glossier.

Glossier pulled a Beyonce and surprise-released their latest offering, Haloscope, earlier this month. I’m all about the no-makeup-makeup, focus-on-your-skin vibes that the Glossier team puts out, so when I got the announcement on their two highlighters, I KNEW I had to try them out, stat. I ordered the “Quartz” shade, which is a  pretty rose pink…it’s actually incredibly similar the to the Wet ‘N Wild product featured above, but leans a bit more warm. Topaz is a lovely sparkly bronze that’s perfect for summer. At $22, Haloscope isn’t the least expensive illuminating product ever, but it’s pretty reasonable for what you get. Infused with real crystals (Quartz contains rose quartz and Topaz has–you guessed it–topaz,) and featuring a core made of nourishing oils, Haloscope glides right on and wears like a dream. I find it needs a little blending, but the added oil gives this product a more natural-looking finish. It’s definitely in Glossier’s wheelhouse of your-skin-but-better makeup. Glowy dewy perfection.

3. Marc Jacobs Beauty #MarcGlowStick

Marc Glow Stick

Price: $$$

Find it at: Sephora.

Marc Jacobs has been quietly killing it in the beauty department recently, but their new Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator is a definite must-have. This beauty retails for $42, but I was able to try it for free thanks to Influenster. (It’s so good, though, that I would have legitimately and voluntarily paid full price for it had I not been selected for the campaign – it’s that good.) The packaging is exactly what you’d expect from a fashion designer/prestige beauty brand–the monochrome look is stylish and crisp, and the wider twist-up stick is super functional. This illuminator is a cooler, more champagne-toned product…it’s blend of silver, gold, and white pigments and ultra-fine glitter that’s supposed to be universally flattering. I also find it to be the most light-reflecting of the three highlighters featured here. On me, the Marc Jacobs Glow Stick looks quite natural…not sparkly or glittery, but rather perfectly LIT. It’s like a post-workout, post-beach glow. It catches the light in the most perfect way and somehow makes me look truly radiant, not like I’m wearing highlighter. I also like this formula best–it applies smoothly like the Haloscope, but packs a seriously glow-y payoff like Wet N Wild.

3 Best Highlighters Budget Friendly Beauty

Do you have a favorite highlighter?! Have you tried any of these products?



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