A Liquid Highlighter Comparison

June 10, 2010
There are quite a few pink liquid highlighters available on the market that can fit just about every budget. Frosty pink liquid highlighters leave a lovely sheen on the cheekbones and give your face a radiant glow. And although there is quite a difference in price, they all seem to achieve the same look. Here is a comparison of three different liquid highlighters that I find all work equally great.
Benefit High Beam ($24)
“Accents cheekbones and brow bones for a radiant glow. It’s known as the ‘supermodel in a bottle’!”
This is the lightest of the bunch and leaves the brightest glow. It has a frost finish and works on just about any skin tone. I find applying three dots on the high cheekbones and then stippling and blending it out with the MAC 188 brush works best for this product in order to properly blend it out and leave the most natural sheen. Although it is the most expensive, it actually lasts the longest because a very minimal amount of product is needed with each use.
MAC Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel ($18.50)
“Provides sheer, natural-looking highlights with a luminous, shimmering finish.”
Unfortunately this is a limited edition product so it will be harder to locate. It was originally released with the MAC Style Warriors Collection for the summer of 2009 but was just recently re-released with the MAC To the Beach Collection in May 2010. The Pink Rebel shade is a frosty pink but also has a hint of gold to it so it leaves a beautiful peachy-pink sheen on the face. This color may work better on those with olive or yellow undertones in their skin, however I have seen women with very pale skin tones pull this off beautifully. It has a subtle irridescent look on the face making it a phenominal highlight for the cheekbones. I love using the MAC 131 Brush (also limited edition) to apply the lustre drops. I put a small dot on my hand and dip the tip of the brush into the product then lightly dab the tip of the brush along my cheekbones in a stippling motion. I find this sheers out the color a little bit and makes the highlight more subtle. 
e.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal ($1)
Multipurpose, on-the-go whipped colorant is vitamin B, C and E packed to instantly brighten and soothe skin with no greasy after-feel.
The best part about this product is the fact that it’s only $1! You can’t beat that, even if it didn’t work that great. But luckily, it really is a great product. I didn’t start using this product until recently, even though I purchased it last summer, and I fell in love with the sheen it left on my cheekbones. The color is an exact mix of High Beam and Pink Rebel and would work great on any skin tone. It is a little bit of a thicker formula than the other two, but it is still very sheer and lightweight. I apply this using the same process as the lustre drops by applying a tiny amount on the back of my hand and then dipping a brush (the MAC 188 and 131 both work great) into the product and lightly stipple it onto the high cheekbones. You could even use a large fluffy eyeshadow brush, such as the MAC 224, to stipple it on.
From left to right (swatched, then blended out): MAC Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel, Benefit High Beam and e.l.f. Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal
Are there any liquid highlighters that you find are similar to the ones listed above? Share in a comment!
  • Anonymous
    September 11, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    I have tried all three…and to tell you the truth…although ELF is the thickest and sometimes comes out in a little blob (a little more than you might need) I will never…NEVER go back to high beam or lustre drops. ELF facial whip gives them both enough of a run for their money. I can buy almost 25 ELF's for the price of one high beam. Even if I waste blob after blob of too much product coming out…it is still more cost effective. PLUS I have stopped wasting product. I barely squeeze out the product and use what is lingering at the top of the tube, and that is usually enough. Because it is thicker I use it on lids as a base and over lips to frost any lipstick up a tad more.

    Buying high beam or lustre drops in the this economy…unless you have money you don't mind throwing away…is just a rediculous waste of money!


  • Greeds.
    June 20, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    I love your method of comparison. The only one I've tried out of the 3 is Benefit's High Beam highlighter. It's by the far the greatest one I've tried thus far. It's comfortable, does the best job and lasts the longest.

  • Chanel Craves
    June 18, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    Just came across your blog, and love it. Great post. I've never tried any of these liquid highlighters, but now I def want to buy one.

    Come check out my fashion blog.

  • Catanya
    June 15, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    Great comparison! Thanks for being so informative. I am a new follower!

  • xLovelyMakeupx
    June 10, 2010 at 1:01 PM


  • Rachel
    June 10, 2010 at 1:33 AM

    hmmm…if i were logical this review would lead me to buy the elf one. but the benefit one has such cute packaging!

    June 10, 2010 at 3:04 AM

    The high beam really makes you beam and gleam! It gives that soft glow on the skin:-) it suits ya!

  • Whitney
    June 10, 2010 at 1:10 AM

    Thanks for following!! Great review and comparisons! I have been using pink rebel lately and I really like how natural it looks- and I absolutely LOVE mixing it with my foundation! I haven't used High Beam in years (I used to work for Benefit so I got over the benefit hype lol!).