Review of Budget Highlighters I’m Currently Using

Browsing makeup looks on Pinterest, you can’t help but notice glowing skin and highlighted cheekbones. The trend has been wildly popular for a couple years now. Basically, highlighters give a lovely, youthful glow and can add definition to the face. It makes even the dullest skin look instantly healthier and more radiant. Since I’m a little hesitant to try new trends, I just began using highlighters a few months ago.

A lot of professional makeup artists use their “ride or die” luxury highlighter products, but most are expensive. At least too expensive for trying the trend for the first time. I just wanted to try this whole highlighter thing before dishing out $30 for a top name brand. So I went on Amazon and searched for cheap highlighters. I found a good number of cheaper ones, but was unsure if the low prices would mean bad quality (think junior high glitter). After a little shopping, I took the risk. I bought two inexpensive highlighters and here are the results!

Physicians Formula Translucent Pearl

This lovely highlighter is from a trusted cruelty-free name and is a common drugstore brand. When I purchased it from Amazon, it was around $11. The packaging is super cute, durable, and comes with a built in compact mirror and brush.

I got all excited when I first used it because the top had a nice dewy sheen to it, but just under that top layer was noticeably less shimmery and more of a pinkish, bronze tone. But surprisingly the second layer still gives a gorgeous highlight. Although its not super pigmented it has a very natural glow to it. Perfect for someone who doesn’t want a bold highlight since it gives a more subtle look. Also, this highlighter is great for all skin tones, so you can’t go wrong with this one!

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Translucent Pearl Pros:

  • natural glow; not glittery at all
  • comes with brush and mirror (although small and the brush not the best quality, its the perfect size for keeping in your purse for touch-ups on the go)
  • great for all skin tones
  • blends well
  • totally affordable, $11 (shipping not included, free if you have Amazon Prime)
  • cruelty-free and from a trusted brand

Translucent Pearl Cons:

  • lower pigmentation
  • doesn’t last all day-fades
  • more bronze, pinkish tones
  • not quite as illuminating as I’d like

Check it out on Amazon: Physician’s Formula Translucent Pearl

 

CCBeauty Illuminator Powder (in Color #2)

This highlighter has become my favorite. I ordered it from Amazon for a whopping $6 (what a steal, right?!). One big thing that I was disappointed in was that this shipped from China and the shipping (for me at least) took about a month to arrive. But I wasn’t in a rush and it was worth the wait.

The design on the highlighter reminds me of the Anastasia Beverly Hills design: so pretty! (Although I believe the company may have changed the top design just recently.) When I first looked at this highlighter it in the compact, it appeared really sparkly and glittery, which made me nervous. I did not want glitter on my face! But when I blended it in, it smoothed out beautifully. The sparkles almost seem to break apart and give this creamy-feeling glow! The pigmentation is intense! I put just a little on and I’m GLOWING. A little goes a long way.

The packaging states that this highlighter is for all skin tones, but since the highlighter is quite light I would recommend this for lighter skin tones. BUT if you are medium to dark skin tone and are looking for a bold highlighter, this might be perfect for you as well. The highlighter color looks like a light gold, but gives an almost warm silver glow.

CCBeauty Pros:

  • gives an intense highlight
  • not glittery
  • high pigmentation
  • blends well and doesn’t get cakey
  • lasts all day
  • extremely affordable, $6 (shipping not included, but ships free with Amazon Prime)
  • comes with compact mirror in durable packaging

CCBeauty Cons:

  • probably works best on lighter-medium skin tones
  • slow shipping from China
  • lesser known brand (at least to me)

Check it out on Amazon: CCBeauty Illuminator Powder

A side-by-side comparison (no editing done on this picture so you can see the real deal).

Here is a swatch of both highlighters. (The Translucent Pearl is so close to my skin tone… Sorry you can’t see it better!)

Wondering where to apply highlighter? This is where I apply my highlighter (I had so much fun making this chart! 😉 ).

Do you have any budget highlighters you like using? I’d love to hear about them, as I’m always on the lookout for awesome products!

*This post contains affiliate links, but as always all opinions are my own.

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