"It just looks like sweat!" critics of highlighter say.
People who have never swatched a highlighter on their hand and felt their value as a human being skyrocket because they looked like gold treasure just don't understand. They're not in touch with their inner drive to turn into precious metals and gem stones, from gold and bronze to amethyst and pearls. Luckily, there's a world of cosmetic highlighters catering to our collective aspiration to shine so bright that diamonds look like pebbles next to our fiercely cut cheekbones (and brow bones, inner eye corners, and cupid's bow–obviously).
The tricky part is that highlighters too often have questionable ingredients in order to create that otherworldly glow–from phthalates and pore-clogging silicones to straight-up lead. And no one's trying to die for the shine. So there's a growing number of organic, natural make-up brands proving that you don't need to resort to cheap shortcuts in order to create accessible, wearable products that shimmer like the moon's reflection on a lake.
While no one could've foreseen the radical events that have changed society and daily life as we know it in 2020, this summer you can still be seen like a beacon in a stormy sea. Why not become a walking beam of light during these dark, uncertain times? Try out these non-toxic highlighters and feel your spirit lift as high as your cheekbones!
Founded as a completely organic, vegan, and cruelty-free cosmetics company, RMS Beauty creates products pure enough to double as skincare.
This cute quad includes four of RMS' Living Luminizer shades, flattering for all skin tones and formulated with buriti oil, "rich with vitamins that offer super potent antioxidant protection," and vegetable squalane, "a moisture-rich, plant-based ingredient that hydrates and protects skin."
Ilia's liquid highlighter is actually a serum with skincare benefits. In order to tap into its hydrating and nourishing powers, it's best to apply this liquid underneath foundation or on its own for a no-make-up look with a soft, golden glow. Its shine is a soft, metallic gold for a natural, dewy, and sun-kissed appearance. Ilia's liquid highlighter is "vegan and cleanly formulated with a blend of organic and natural botanicals...and provides a boost of freshness on contact with a soft wash of metallic glow."
Plus, natural marine extracts add protection from UV light and pollution!
Nomad's non-toxic products capture the theme of wanderlust and traveling the world, from its Berlin-themed eyeshadow palette to this sun-kissed palette based on the warm summers of Sydney, Australia. This deal from Ipsy offers the Ipsy-exclusive Sydney Bathers Kiss of Sun Palette, with two highlighters, one contour color, and one bronzer shade inspired by Sydney's balmy beaches.
You also get FLESH's lipstick in Gorge, a "warm brown shade [with] a rich and creamy formula that's infused with nourishing rosehip, lavender, and white tea extract to make your lips supple and smooth."
The iconic YouTuber and beauty guru NikkieTutorials collaborated with Ofra Cosmetics to create this neutral champagne shade as part of her own collection with the brand. Ofra is known for creating "plush, pearl pigment highlighters that capture the light in all the right spots and illuminate all your fave features," and the brand's signature "liquid to bake technology includes the highest grade pearls and richest pigments to create a smooth highlight formula that melts into the skin, giving a lit from within, radiant glow."
Glow Goals is a perfect shade for medium skin tones. (For a discount, use the code "IPSY20" to get 20% off)
A cosmetics company created to empower women, Venics Organics is also committed to sustainability. Their website reads: "All the materials we selected are recyclable or biodegradable, together, we can make a difference. We have always striven to produce eco-friendly, sustainable packaging to protect not only your products, but the world, too."
This small, organic, up-and-coming brand offers some of the creamiest highlighters on the market. With 100% natural and preservative-free ingredients, the coconut oil-based formula of a Diamond Glow Melted Highlighter™ indeed melts like butter on the skin. First Christmas has a frosty pink pigment with a luminescent finish, giving a youthful, natural glow to your face.