Best Drugstore Highlighters

Happy Friday everyone!

I hope you all had a great week and are looking forward to the weekend. We just had a massive blizzard here in Boston yesterday and are due to get more soon. If the lighting in my pictures today is subpar, you can blame Mother Nature for that!

Today I wanted to do a post about how you can get a glow on a budget with the best drugstore highlighters. I'm a big advocate for looking like a glowing goddess without draining my bank account, so I figured I'd spread the wealth of knowledge about these amazing products!

The brands I will be featuring today are Physicians Formula, Makeup Revolution, Essence, and Colourpop. Although Colourpop is not technically a drugstore brand in the sense that you can't go to an actual store to purchase their products, all of their products are at prices comparable to what you would see in the drugstore. Each of these highlighters fall within the range of $5-14. It really can't get much better than that!


Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-in-1 Nude Palette for Face & Eyes: This product is one of my favorite highlighters because of how versatile it is. Each small rectangle contains a different shade and they all perform equally outstanding. The shades range from deep warm golds to cool toned pinks to creamy whites to suit all sorts of skin tones. They can also be layered to create beautiful unique shades. They are soft and creamy to the touch and don't contain any chunky or gritty glitter whatsoever. Best of all, you get the entire highlighting palette for the low price of $13.99.

Above are swatches of each of the highlight shades in the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips. As you can see, the shade range in this mini palette is quite impressive and is capable of suiting multiple skin tones. Some of the lighter shades don't have quite the same payoff as the darker shades but still perform nicely, especially when layered on top of some of the more popping shades.

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights: This highlight is great for days when you want to blind everyone, including the aliens up in outer space. This shade has a light, creamy base with tons of yellow gold shimmer and is very pigmented. One drawback is it has a powdery, slightly dry texture due to the glitter so I do experience some fallout. However, it somehow transforms and does not look dry or powdery at all on my face. The Vivid Baked highlighters retail for $6.00.

Colourpop Pearlized Highlighter in Lunch Money: I like to use this highlighter on days where I'm going for a soft, radiant glow. Like most of Colourpop's highlighters, this one is extremely creamy in texture and is best applied with your fingers. Unlike the majority of their highlighters however, Lunch Money is not a complete and utter glitter bomb. It appears as a subtle pale champagne shade with golden undertones on my skin tone. If you're pale and looking for a highlighter that will make your skin look healthy and dewy, this one is for you. Lunch Money retails for $8.00.

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Radiant Lights: This highlighter is a bit more toned-down than Golden Lights, but is equally as pretty. It shows up as a soft, baby pink on my skin tone. It doesn't contain nearly as much sparkle as Golden Lights and instead has a more refined silver and rose shimmer. I find myself reaching for this on days where I want my skin to look rosy and dewy. Again, the Vivid Baked Highlighters retail for $6.00.

Essence Pure Nude Highlighter in Be my Highlight: I know I've talked about this highlighter a few times on the blog now, but its presence is a must in this post. This is my go-to highlighter when I'm sporting a more natural look. It perks up my skin and gives me a natural glow that hides the fact that I only got five hours of sleep the night before. There's no glitter in it at all so it really gives off a sense of a glow from within. It also happens to be the cheapest highlighter in my collection, costing a mere $4.49.

Swatches of drugstore highlighters. From top to bottom: Colourpop Pearlized Highlighter in Lunch Money, Essence Pure Nude Highlighter, Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights, Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Radiant Lights

Swatches of drugstore highlighters. From top to bottom: Colourpop Pearlized Highlighter in Lunch Money, Essence Pure Nude Highlighter, Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights, Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Radiant Lights

As you can tell from the swatches, Colourpop's Lunch Money looks super bright but easily blends out to appear more natural being that it's a cream product. The Essence Pure Nude Highlighter is like a "my lips but better" shade but for my skin - my skin but better? Can we make that a thing? And finally, Makeup Revolution's Golden Lights is much more intense than Radiant Lights. The swatches are each only one layer, so you can tell that Golden Lights can easily be built up to have you gleaming for the gods whereas Radiant Lights can be built up to give your face a natural pink flush.

These are my picks for the best drugstore highlighters that I've tried. Other drugstore highlighters on my wishlist include the Nyx Duochromatic Illuminating Powders, the Elf Baked Highlighters, and the Wet N Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder. What are your favorite drugstore highlighters? Leave a comment below so I can check them out!