4 products to use when you don’t have a highlighter

For a radiant complexion when you’re on the fly

Highlighters have undoubtedly become a staple makeup product in our beauty bags in recent years. And with illuminating trends ranging from full-on strobe to a subtler glow, their popularity isn’t likely to decrease anytime soon.

Whilst many of us probably already have a go-to highlighting product we swear by, we've found four alternative beauty products you can use to boost your glow if you’re out and about and don’t have your trusty highlighter on hand.

#1 / Eyeshadow

Shimmery powder eyeshadows will work well to add radiance to drier complexions, however cream formulas work on all skin types as they tend to melt into the skin, creating a softer finish.

Champagne, gold and peachy shades are ideal and can be applied to the tops of your cheekbones, inner corners of eyes, brow bones and Cupid’s bow with just the tip of your finger. If you're looking for a powder formula we'd suggest trying Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mono Eyeshadow in 009. Alternatively, two cream options we'd recommend are the Clinique Chubby Shadow Tint For Eyes in Grandest Gold and Maybelline New York Colour Tattoo in Barely Branded.

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Mono Eyeshadow in 009

Clinique Chubby Shadow Tint For Eyes in Grandest Gold

Maybelline New York Colour Tattoo in Barely Branded

#2 / Lip balm

Lip balms with soft and shimmery pigments will also work wonders as a highlighting alternative. It is important to select balms that have a waxy consistency such as Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream or Lanolips 101 Ointment rather an a sticky formula to reduce the chance of your hair getting stuck to your complexion.

Lucas' Pawpaw Ointment

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream

Lanolips 101 Ointment

#3 / Concealer

If you have a concealer in your beauty stash that’s a little too light, it can actually double as a highlighter. Yep, even if the product hasn’t been formulated with any shimmer or light-reflecting particles, the lighter shade will help brighten the areas you apply it and give your face more definition.

Alternatively, there is also a wide range of concealing and brightening pens that double as illuminators, and they can help cover imperfections and brighten the complexion simultaneously. We'd recommend trying Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch, L’Oréal Paris Lumi Magique Concealer or Maybelline New York Dream Lumi™ Touch Highlighting Concealer.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Radiant Touch

L'Oréal Paris Lumi Magique Concealer

Maybelline New York Dream Lumi™ Touch Highlighting Concealer

#4 / Primer

Silicone-based, radiance-enhancing primers can also be used to create a lit-from-within look. Applied before makeup or layered on top, they can create a natural and soft-focus glow. If you're looking to give this method a go, Dermalogica SkinPerfect Primer SPF30, Bourjois Happy Light Luminous Serum Primer or Estée Lauder Illuminating Perfecting Primer are great options to try.

Dermalogica SkinPerfect Primer SPF30

Bourjois Happy Light Luminous Serum Primer

Estée Lauder Illuminating Perfecting Primer

Image credit: Getty

Kate has worked for BEAUTYcrew since early 2016, first as a contributor, before being named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine.