Drugstore Highlighters Put to the Test

Highlighters have had a lot of buzz during the last year. It’s all about the glow these days!

The thing is, as often, the higher end makeup market has moved faster and so many wonderful and expensive highlighters have been praised on the webs and above.

As I am not yet a highlighter converted pro, I wanted to check out different products and see how I would get along with them, but didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on the trial process. That’s when I decided to explore the lower end/drugstore priced market for highlighters and put them to the test. This is what I found!




Not every drugstore brand has launched highlighters yet, which I find interesting. It was actually a bit difficult to find a wide variety to put to the test. I wanted to try different finishes and shades that’s why I ended up picking a champagne-gold one, a light pink in loose powder form, a mosaic and a bronzer-highlighter hybrid.






Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Bronzer Powder. Makeup Revolution makes a light pink, a white gold, a champagne/gold highlighter and a couple of baked highlighting bronzers. I picked up this baked bronzer to try out. Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Bronzer Powder is a very luminous and shimmery powder. Very soft to the touch. I don’t know if I would use this product as a bronzer all over the face. I would rather use it as a bronzer topper to bring some light to the cheekbones. It would also look very pretty as a highlighter for deeper skin tones or when you have a nice tan. I really like the texture and the shimmer of this one. Very easy to blend, it looks surprisingly natural and gives a healthy glow to the skin.


Makeup Revolution Baked Bronzer - Drugstore Highlighters - casalorena.com


NYX Illuminator in Ritualistic. This is a golden champagne highlighting powder. The compact is nice and sleek and comes with a big mirror. The product itself is soft and very luminous and shimmery. No multicolor glitter on sight here, thankfully. I like to apply this one with the Real Techniques fan brush. I highly recommend a fan brush or a duo-fibre for application because Ritualistic is very pigmented. It certainly is a more traditional highlighting powder and very similar to some offers available  from more expensive brands. NYX has also another illuminator powder that is more of a pinky-champagne shade. Very pretty powder. It looks more subtle on the face that it does on my quite heavy swatch on the pic below. I highly recommend you check this one out if you are looking for a proper highlighter for summer.


NYX Ritualistic Illuminator - Drugstore Highlighters - casalorena.com


L’Oreal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator in Rose. This mosaic compact holds two pink shades, a white gold shade and a more shimmery gold one. They work very well mixed together and don’t show up too pink on the skin. The pink by itself is very pretty, soft and almost foiled (as you can see in the picture below). It would look very pretty as a blush or as a blush topper. I also like the white gold (left of the compact) as it doesn’t show up as frosty on the face but quite luminous instead. The shade I’m not sure about is the gold-champagne one as it’s not very pigmented and basically just golden shimmery particles. Overall, I like the versatility of this compact (good for beginners too) but I wish the formulation and shades were a bit more on point.


L'Oreal True Match Lumi Powder Glow Illuminator in Rose - Drugstore Highlighters - casalorena.com


Bourjois Poudre de Riz de Java Universal Illuminating Powder. This is the more unique of the bunch and an ancient makeup gem. This illuminating powder was first launched more than 150 years ago! This is not the traditional highlighters we know now but it can certainly be used to illuminate specific parts of the face. I would say it is an hybrid (kinda) of Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders and Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powders. Poudre de Riz de Java (Java rice powder) is very soft and silky. The shade is an opalescent very light blush colour. It doesn’t look pink or shimmery at all on the skin. Is more like a veil of light for the face. I like to use it all over the face and feel like I am on my 20’s boudoir. I just need a Chanel pearl necklace now and I’m ready to jazz through the night ; )


Bourjois Java Rice Illuminating Powder - Drugstore Highlighters - casalorena.com


Do you have any good recommendations for drugstore-priced highlighters and illuminating powders?