Good lighting is no longer a necessity thanks to these powder highlighters
Leave the ring light at home
By Briar Clark
BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / February 08 2023
If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that a good glow is going to get you compliments.
Brightening and hydrating skin care can help you get there, but highlighter will always be a cheat code to attaining high beam cheekbones.
Cream and liquid highlighters are perfect for imparting a soft radiance, but if we’re looking to mimic strobe-level light, we’re reaching for powder highlighters everytime.
These are the top 10 best powder highlighters to buy in Australia
Haus Labs by Lady Gaga Bio-Radiant Gel-Powder Highlighter
Much like the cult-favourite Haus Labs Triclone Skin Tech Medium Coverage Foundation, this innovative gel-powder formula has been a frequent best-seller. Antioxidant-rich fermented arnica oil, and brightening and smoothing silver vine extract, are teamed up with multidimensional pearls and reflective pigments that smooth, blur and brighten (think: an Instagram filter IRL).
$70 at Haus Labs
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Glow Glide Face Architect Highlighter
We’re already obsessed with the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Light Wand, so when we found out CT had launched a powder highlighter that emulates candlelight, we had to know more. The lifting and illuminating silk-finish formula was test-driven on the red carpet by celebrities like Lily James and Jourdan Dunn. If a highlighter can hold up under the unforgiving glare of paparazzi flash photography, then you know it’s got to be good.
$70 at Charlotte Tilbury
RARE BEAUTY Positive Light Silky Touch Highlighter
Wondering how Selena Gomez glowed so hard on the Golden Globes red carpet? This highlighter was responsible. Makeup artist Hung Vanngo draped the Rare Beauty founder's cheekbones in the shade ‘mesmerize’. Half of the formula is made up of pearl microshimmers that are set in a sheer colour base to leave skin with a glass-like sheen.
$44 at Sephora
Pat McGrath Labs Skin Fetish: Divine Glow Highlighter
While this looks like a regular schmegular powder highlighter — it’s anything but. The makeup industry’s ‘Mother’ Pat McGrath has created a cream satin, high beam finish with the help of a botanical oil-enriched formula.
$79 at Pat McGrath Labs
MAKEUP BY MARIO Softsculpt ® Transforming Skin Perfector
Soft sculpt your skin with this stuff and you’ll scam the world into thinking you drink enough water (even if you don’t). Kim Kardashian’s go-to makeup artist’s take on highlighter is so subtle it looks almost natural. Ideal for no-makeup makeup days.
$55 at Sephora
NATASHA DENONA Pastel Plexi Glow Highlighter
This is our top pick for faking a wet look while staying completely dry (we’ll pass on sticky skin gloss thanks). This unique highlighter features pastel hues on a sheer alabaster base of pure pearlescent pigment that looks glossy when applied to skin.
$68 at Sephora
DIOR Backstage Glow Face Palette
If you’d like one less thing to think about, we recommend getting your hands on this face palette. With four buildable highlighter shades available, this quad makes the customisation process easy. Stick to a single shade for a minimal makeup look or layer hues for an impactful finish.
$82 at Sephora
Ciaté London Glow-To Highlighter
This smooth, creamy powder highlighter is not for the faint of heart. We’re talking high beam, weightless radiance with just the stroke of a brush. Pro tip: pop it on the inner corners of your eyes.
$52 at MECCA
HOURGLASS Ambient® Strobe Lighting Powder
The reflective micro-pearl powders in this formula make it a winner for more mature skin types. But regardless of age, you can count on this powder highlighter for blurring, smoothing and brightening where you need it.
$75 at MECCA
Smashbox x Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector
If you cried actual tears when Becca announced it was closing, then you need to find a box of tissues to dry off your face. Smashbox has resurrected the brand’s iconic shimmering skin perfector that defined your youth.
$66 at MECCA
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.