Highlighters are one of my favorite things in the makeup world – as someone who loves ethereal looks and shimmery faerie things this comes as no surprise right? I am always game to try out a new highlighter (sometimes called illuminizer or luminizer) as long as it is paraben free, cruelty free etc. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites from the past year for this post. Don’t feel like you have to own this many highlighters…they’re just one of my obsessions! You’ll see here that not all highlighters are the same and just like faerie wings, they change in different light and can morph to be used for different purposes.

Favorite Highlighters

I’ll start with the liquid highlighters…

100 % Pure Luminous Creme: These silky liquid highlighters come in a lip gloss style tube with wand applicator. The all natural formula is infused with antioxidants and is entirely free of all toxins. They’re $21 each and are easy to use anywhere you want a bit of glow. I love using Northern Light on my brow bone. Sometimes I blend these into my cheekbones, but also swipe across my eyelids for a quick shimmery eye.

Moonlight – white/silver sheen
Northern Light – pink/opal
Starlight – warm gold/pearl

photo 1

Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer: I reviewed this one previously and you can see another swatch here. This is the old packaging, and it is now called the Argan Enlightenment Illuminizer, sold for $26. A beautiful champagne/gold liquid highlight that can be easily mixed into foundation. I typically only use this if I’m going to use a lot (sometimes using on the tops of shoulders etc. in summer) because one pump gives a lot of product. The beauty of this product is remarkable though – like candlelight in a bottle. Made with organic Argan oil and paraben free, vegan, cruelty-free.

Josie Maran Argan Illumizer Review and Swatch 2

Now on to the cream highlighters…

Au Naturale Cosmetics Organic Creme Highlighter Stick: If you love cream blush then you’ll love this highlighter cream stick! It has a beautiful gold sheen with rose gold undertones and blends beautifully. $32 and Organic, Non-Toxic, Gluten-Free, Paraben-Free, Vegan, Non-Nano, Made in the USA.

Au Naturale highlighter stick

Tarte ‘the sculptor’ double-ended contour & highlighter: I admit I’ve only used this for the highlighter end so far, but my god its beautiful!! They call it a champagne but I would call it a creamy vanilla shade. Sometimes, I go into my makeup drawer and just swatch this to marvel at its beauty even if I’m not going to use it that day! $26, formulated without parabens, mineral oil, phthalates, gluten.

tarte the sculptor contour and highlighter

Kjaer Weis Highlighter in Radiance: This one is quite different than all the rest I own. I had a hard time capturing it one camera but it has a nude/champagne color to it but with a very silvery undertone. It is described on their website as a ‘ warm pearl’ which I guess it is. I love that the pan it comes in is the same size as the blush so they both fit in the same beautiful refillable compact. Because the shimmer in this one has some silver flecks that are a bit more noticeable than my other highlighters (though I wouldn’t go so far as to call it glittery) I tend to use this one on my eyelids as a cream shadow instead of highlighting the planes of my face, but you could use it for either depending on what your going for. $56, no artificial ingredients, such as petroleum, parabens, artificial coloring and fragrance, petrochemical emulsifiers.

photo 5

And finally, on to the powder highlighters…

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer: You’ve probably seen this on so many beauty blogs and YouTube videos but it is for good reason. I mentioned this in my October 2014 favorites post and it still remains one of my all time favs. The formula is so finely milled, creamy and blendable. An angelic honey gold shade that is subtle but at the same time really catches the light. I use this for my cheekbones probably more than any others I’m listing here today. It is also stellar on lids and brow bones. $24, talc and paraben free.

photo 3

OFRA Illuminating Blush Stripes: These are marketed as a blush (and I have used the third color down as one) but I find these best suited for highlighting and shimmery eye shadows. The compact contains a beautiful silvery blush rose, white, shimmery gold blush rose, and luminous rose gold/copper. I first wrote about it here. The formula is silky and rich. These are SO pretty, and it is hard to capture a photo that does them justice. $35, talc and paraben free.


Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-in-1 Custom Nude Palette: This little palette of twelve shimmers is so fun to play with, and quite convenient when traveling. It comes in either natural nude or warm nude (which I have). These are super versatile as all the shades can be used as eye shadows, and more than half of them I’ve used as highlighters. I’ve swatched the top two rows (top six) for you below as these are the most highlighter-y. $13.95, paraben free.

Physicians Formula Warm Nude Shimmer Strips

Alima Pure Highlighter in Sandstone: First of all, I apologize – this is a limited edition from their summer 2015 Tides collection and when I took the top photo I didn’t realize they no longer sell this. However, I wanted to mention it still because they have four other highlighters. I haven’t yet tried those, but Sandstone was a super delicate, barely there highlight. So I figured I’d mention Alima Pure if you’re looking for something that is not an in-your-face bold highlight.

I hope you enjoyed all these shimmery, glowing beauties! I’d love to know what your favorite non-toxic highlighters are in the comments below! Happy Friday! xo – Naomi

*DisclaimerThis post includes a few affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on these links I will receive a small percentage of the sale. All opinions are always my own.

3 Comments on My Favorite Highlighters + Illuminizers

  1. Cindy B
    December 7, 2015 at 5:04 am (8 years ago)

    I used to be so highlighter-adverse but now I have to apply it or else it’s not worth doing my makeup, haha. I’m into liquid highlighters so that I can add a bit in with my foundation and the Josie Maran sounds lovely. Have you tried it mixed with a foundation and if so, does it change the color of the foundation at all?

    • Naomi
      December 7, 2015 at 10:17 am (8 years ago)

      A little goes a long way. I’ve only ever added one small pump to my foundation (mix it on the back of my hand). I imagine if you put too much in it might add a slightly yellowish hue to your foundation. With just enough it gives a lovely dewy finish though. I most recently mixed it with Nvey Eco moisture rich fluid foundation in 510 cool ivory and it blended beautifully.


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