My Most Used Highlighters, An Overview & Comparison

Can I just start this post by saying, I have waaaay too many highlighters! I knew I had a good amount because I’m obsessed with them, but I never knew just how many until I pulled them out for this post. Originally when I thought about doing this post, I was going to provide swatches for every highlighter in my collection, but after seeing how many I have, that’s not happening. Instead, I picked out the best 1-2 products from different color categories. I hope you enjoy!

Clockwise from Left: MAC Whisper of Gilt, The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer, The Balm Betty Lou-Manizer, MAC Gold Deposit

Clockwise from Left: MAC Whisper of Gilt, The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer, The Balm Betty Lou-Manizer, MAC Gold Deposit

L-R: MAC Whisper of Gilt, The Balm Betty Lou-Manizer, The Balm Betty Lou-Manizer, MAC Gold Deposit

L-R: MAC Whisper of Gilt, The Balm Betty Lou-Manizer, The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer, MAC Gold Deposit

Gold

  • MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish (LE): This is my favorite neutral gold toned highlighter. Although it is LE, I still wanted to mention it because MAC has already released it more than once and may release it again. Since it is not too yellow-toned, it will work well on most skintones. As an added bonus, the texture is smooth and buttery.
  • The Balm Betty Lou-Manizer: This shade is like a cross between gold and bronze. On my skin tone, it provides a relatively subtle highlight. On very light skintones it may work as a bronzer. The texture on this one is soft and very blendable.

Champagne

  • The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer: This champagne colored highlight is beautiful, but must be applied lightly. It is very pigmented, but easily blendable. Again, I think this shade will work on all skintones.

Bronze

  • MAC Gold Deposit Mineralize Skinfinish: This is definitely the highlighter I use when I want to look extra sun-kissed. It is very bronze, so it may not work on pale skin tones. On my skin, I can use this as a shimmery bronzer or highlighter.
Clockwise from Left: MAC Rio, MAC Light Year, Bobbi Brown Nectar, MAC Adored

Clockwise from Left: MAC Rio, MAC Light Year, Bobbi Brown Nectar, MAC Adored

L-R: MAC Rio, MAC Light Year, Bobbi Brown Nectar, MAC Adored

L-R: MAC Rio, MAC Light Year, Bobbi Brown Nectar, MAC Adored

Pink

  • MAC Rio Mineralize Skinfinish (LE): Cool toned pink highlighters are not really not my favorite, so I don’t have many at all. This is my newest one and I like that it is pink,  and not too silver. Sometimes shades like this tend to look too silver for my coloring. I like wearing this over pink blushes. This item is limited edition, but still currently available.

Peach

  • MAC Light Year Mineralize Skinfinish (LE): I love this highlighter! It is the highlight shade that made me really like peach highlighters. This one is a true peach with golden shimmer and is absolutely beautiful on cheekbones. Unfortunately, it is no longer available, but you may be able to find it on ebay.
  • Bobbi Brown Nectar Shimmer Brick Compact: In the swatch above, I blended all shades in the compact together, but they can be used alone. I typically blend them together when I wear it and it gives me a light, peachy-pink glow. This one is very pigmented, so for light skin tones, it would make a beautiful shimmery blush. The texture on this product is so smooth, it almost feels creamy.
  • MAC Adored Mineralize Skinfinish (LE): This is the palest peach highlighter that I own, and I almost thought that it wouldn’t work for me. I’m glad I tried it anyway, because when blended onto my cheekbones, it provides a subtle peach glow that doesn’t look ashy. This is limited edition, but still available.
L-R: MAC Shell Pearl, Wet n' Wild In the Cabana

L-R: MAC Shell Pearl, Wet n’ Wild In the Cabana

L-R: NARS Albatross, ELF Gotta Glow

L-R: NARS Albatross, ELF Gotta Glow

L-R: MAC Shell Pearl, Wet n' Wild In the Cabana, NARS Albatross, ELF Gotta Glow

L-R: MAC Shell Pearl, Wet n’ Wild In the Cabana, NARS Albatross, ELF Gotta Glow

Subtle 

*These tend to look chalky in pictures because I had to swatch them heavily to get them to show up. They do not look ashy on me when applied to the cheekbones.

  • MAC Shell Pearl Beauty Powder (LE): You may remember my post (HERE) raving about this gorgeous pinky-peach highlight that adds a subtle glow. Well, I still love it! It is perfect for work or when I don’t want too much shimmer on my face. It also blends very easily.
  • Wet n’ Wild In the Cabana Color Icon Bronzer: This is one of the newer additions to my collection, but it already has a spot at the top. This is the most subtle highlighter I own. It looks like nothing in the pan, but it gives the ever so slightest sheen to the skin. This is perfect for work or light makeup days. Plus, it’s really inexpensive!

Bold

  • NARS Albatross: This shade is a classic, however I just really started to appreciate it’s beauty. Although it looks white in the pan, on the skin it blends out to a beautiful yellow gold. This is the highlighter to wear for a night out because it is bold, but it can also be really sheered out for daytime. It is very pigmented so I literally touch it only once with my brush before applying it.
  • ELF Gotta Glow: I have to admit that this is not one of my favorite highlighters, but I wanted to mention it because it often is said to be a dupe for NARS Albatross. I used to think it was a dupe before I purchased Albatross, but as you can see in the above pictures, it is not. It’s similar in that it is a yellow gold, but it leans more white than Albatross and is somewhat chalky. Still, not a bad choice for the price.

What color family of highlighters, do you usually go for? What’s your favorite?

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6 thoughts on “My Most Used Highlighters, An Overview & Comparison

  1. Christina says:

    I’ve always wanted to try one of the MAC extra Dimension powders, they look fabulous! As well as the Balm’s highlighters, they have the funniest names. NARS Albatross is one of the shades my sister has been lusting over, I saw the elf one and thought it’d be similar, but it’s really goof to see a comparison of them. I’d know not to get the elf one then. Thanks!
    As always great post 🙂
    ~Christina

    • simplebeauty8312 says:

      Thank you! You won’t be disappointed if you try any of the ones you mentioned. If you are a member of HauteLook, the Balm puts their products on there quite often so you may be able to snag one for a good price!

  2. yolanda outten says:

    Hello ,
    I have a quick question I love highlighters . But I really like finding the boldest of them all right now I’m having a struggle between mac whisper of gilt , the mary lou manizer , and nars albatross . Which do you think is the best ? Xoxo yolanda

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