Getting To Grips With Powder Highlighter

Is there any particular part of makeup that you struggle with? Whether its getting the perfect eyeliner flick, achieving a flawless red lip or not messing up nail polish (thank goodness for gel!) - there is often one thing that we 'struggle' against. For me, that is powder highlighter. Whilst it looks great on Instagram, in the flesh, powder highlighter can look really strange. I've tried many techniques, and powders and after many trials and tribulations - I think I've got it. Or least that I can work with!

A flat-lay of Sleek Makeup, Illamasqua and Benefit Highlighters

Avoiding the stripe

The main issue that I have had with powder highlighters, is trying to avoid the stripe. If you are putting it on to purposely put on social media, it doesn't really matter how it looks in person. A lot of people with blur out edges or fix things when editing. Yet in real life, a bold stripe on the top of your cheek does look a little odd. 

It was that reason that I most often would go for a liquid or cream highlighter. Overall they tend to blend easier, and look natural enough. Also, sometimes highlighter will sit pretty much on the same line as undereye concealer ends. I've had powders in the past settle very strangely in that area. 

What I've Changed

Over the years, I've managed to find ways to get a good highlight look without a distinct stripe. I will admit that some kind of stripe might always be there, but you can certainly bring it down. When applying, the phrase 'less is more' really helps. By applying a light layer at a time, it is easier to blend and avoid stripe city. 

Another thing I've been doing, is applying lower and blending into blush. This helps avoid the weird concealer-highlighter line, and also helps the blush warm up your face even more. It also helps the highlighter look more seamless too. 

My Picks


This is the newest powder highlighter to my collection, and its probably the one I use the most. Out of the three I'm mentioning, this is the most subtle. If you are a newbie to highlighter, I think this is a great one to try. I've got the travel size, but it is available in the 'normal' size. However I find the the Benefit travel sizes last for ages!

I love using this, but Benefit also brought out two new highlighters recently, Cookie and Tickle. This are definietly more intense than Dandelion Twinkle if that is want you prefer. I'm not sure would suit all skin-tones, so you might want to swatch in-store first. 


This is the most expensive out of the three, but if you are happy enough to spend money - it will be worth it. These powders are very glowy! They are finely milled so the shimmer you are left with is not difficult to blend. I have the shade Daze, but there are also other shades, and just saying - the shades OMG Burst and Risque look amazing!

Daze has a pink iridescent glow - which looks amazing when in the light. Now I wouldn't normally go for a pink-toned highlighter, this is the one where I would place it just where it meets blush, like I mentioned above.


This palette covers all bases. It has got cream and powder highlighters. The powder highlights are more intense than the other two. However they are very blendable, and one is usually not as intense. As I said, some of the shades will be quite intense so you love intense highlighter but don't want to spend loads of money on a higher end option, I would really recommend this palette. 

I have the Solstice palette, but they do have a few other colour options. I really like all the different shades, even the pink and purple highlighter shades look really nice on the skin, and don't make you look like you've dressed up for Halloween! Or you've stayed too long out in the cold. It is affordable, highly pigmented and lasts really well.

What are your thoughts on powder highlights?

Ellyn xx

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