Which Do You Prefer and Why: Cream, Powder or Liquid Highlighter?

Published in: Just For Fun

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Illuminator

The BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Illuminators from the top down in Pearl, Moonstone, Opal and Topaz

I have mad love for all of ’em — creams, powders and liquids — but lately I’ve been reaching for liquid and powder highlighters more often than creams.

I don’t dislike cream highlighters, though. I think it’s mostly just a phase… You know how it is.

MAC Strobe Cream

MAC Strobe Cream — one of my faves!

It really depends on the situation and the look I’m going for. Like, some mornings when I get up and I feel like my skin looks kind of dull and blah, I’ll grab MAC Strobe Cream or BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector and apply that all over on my face first. Or, I’ll mix a bit in with my moisturizer or foundation for a dewy effect and some extra dimension.

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Illuminators

The $41 BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Illuminators from the left in Moonstone (a pale gold), Pearl (a white pearl), Opal (a golden opal pearl) and Topaz (a golden bronzed pearl)

Again, it depends. I won’t necessarily do this when I know I’ll be taking pictures because of the way all-over shimmer shines when you add a flash up in the mix.

OH! And I’ve also recently realized that I like applying liquid highlighter to specific areas of the face using a flat foundation brush for a really pretty, casual, “I just got a facial at the spa” look.

Becca Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed 2

Becca Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal

Highlighting powders — I love! Particularly for pics, because they make it easy to control where I place the shimmer on my face. When pictures are involved, I like my highlights to be more precise, since all-over shimmer makes me look like I’m running a marathon (i.e. sweaty).

I still love creams, but I just haven’t been using them much lately. I’m stuck on liquids and powders for now, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before I stumble upon a new cream highlighter I can’t live without.

Again…you know how it is! 😉

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



So, last night after dinner with my in-laws (we went to California Pizza Kitchen… OMG, the artichoke dip!) we were walking around the Corte Madera mall when I saw this sign in the window of a furniture store…

Work hard and be nice

I just love it! And I would’ve brought it home if — you’re probably going to laugh at me — the letters weren’t all randomly capitalized.

Seriously, what’s up with that? Why does “be” start with a capital letter?

I guess I shouldn’t talk… I’m the one who uses an ellipsis (improperly, I might add) once every five seconds, LOL!

Happy end-of-a-really-really-really-long-week! 🙂 Glitter, kittens and fro-yo for everyone!


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  1. I just organized my makeup and noticed I have a lot more liquid highlighters/illuminators than creams/powders so I guess liquids! The most recent one I’ve tried is the Revlon Photoready Skinlights!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Friday Favorites #11

  2. Liquid is more suitable for me since I have dry skin.
    Rikki Poynter recently posted … Urban Decay NAKED3 Makeup Tutorial – Bridal & Wedding Makeup

  3. Bella says:

    My very favourite highlighter is Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone. I can’t believe I’d never had a liquid highlighter before. It’s perfect.
    For powder, I have Nars Albatross which is a bit dramatic and which I use at Christmas (LOL), and Kevyn Aucoin the Celestial Powder which is more subtle and every day. Those come second.
    My only cream, highlighter is the Edward Bess one; it’s hard, barely shows up and I think I hate it. It was also terribly overpriced for the tiny amount of product and the pathetic result.
    So the short answer is: liquid!!

  4. Sunny says:

    Powder! I don’t know if it’s merely a habit or because I have normal/oily combo skin, but except for cream blushes, I really don’t tend to use that much liquid/cream products on my face.

    And yes, I’ll take some glitter, kittnes, and froyo, please!
    Sunny recently posted … Just When You Think You’ve Seen All the Pretty Fuchsia Pinks in the World, Guerlain Came Up with Rose Grenat Rouge G

  5. Scoo says:

    I only know how to work with liquid of cream highlights! they look the most natural. I really like Becca’s skin perfector, but MAC’s hush is outstanding! You have to try it to believe! I wonder why nobody talks about it as much!

    I posted a Bronzy makeup look on my blog, check it out!

  6. Leah says:

    I love Mac’s strobe cream – it’s one of my favourites too! x


  7. Natalia says:

    Haha, Karen! Just as I was reading the sign I thought, “I like it, but what’s up with the randomly capitalized word??” so we’re definitely on the same page!

  8. Alison M says:

    I think I prefer powders because they are easiest to place and blend. Liquids are alright, but tend to pack a punch and that can be problematic if they dry too quickly. I am trying to think if I own a cream… There is one by TopShop I really want to try. I’ve heard great things about cream highlighters!
    Alison M recently posted … Wen by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioner, Styling Creme, and Replenishing Treatment Mist Review

  9. Kayte CookWatts says:

    I have only used Vapour- a creamy stick.I use it underneath foundation to make it look less flat. The Becca looks divine though- I may try it.

  10. Natalie says:

    Powder! But mostly because I’m oily so they last longer and are more precise.
    Natalie recently posted … Clinique Cheek Pop Blushes

  11. Phyrra says:

    I love powders and liquids. My favorite is the Too Faced Candlelight Glow duo.
    Phyrra recently posted … Phyrra Says Vol. 10

  12. Let says:

    I prefer powder highlighter, which I mainly own. Besides, they’re easier for me to use. I only own 2 liquid highlighters: Revlon Photoready Skinlights (in Bare Light) and a deluxe sample of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (in Opal)

  13. Ashleigh says:

    I’m going to say powder only because my favorite is my Mac soft and gentle and I’ve pretty much shelved my other liquid highlighers since discovering it. It. Is. So. Pretty.! My latest highlighter-y purchase is the tarte brightening face primer. Not incredibly noticeable but it smells divine, has no silicones, and gives a subtle oomph to my finished look. So liquids second and creams third, although the only cream highlighter I own is a mini of Benefit watt’s up, which is too dramatic for me.

  14. Erin says:

    I prefer liquid or cream!
    Erin recently posted … Alteril Sleep Aid Review

  15. Mel Rose says:

    Definitely powder! I’m not good at blending liquid and creams so those kinds of highlighters look really streaky and obvious on me haha. 🙂

  16. Icequeen81 says:

    for quick touch liquid highlighter, applied with fingers is easy and fast. I prefer that above the other ones

  17. Sylirael says:

    I don’t really have a cream vs powder preference yet, as I only own one highlighter (a sample size of High Beam). What I do know is…

    …that once my gold purse is a little heavier, I am going to be ALL OVER some BECCA goodness!
    Sylirael recently posted … Found the Magic Lamp of Frivolity? Then Here’s a Rogue’s April 2014 Wishlist!

  18. Chelsea says:

    Either liquid or creams! I most often use L’Oreal Magic Lumi – a shimmery, white, illuminizing primer. Love it! I also have a stick one from Silk Naturals I like, as well as sometimes just using my MAC Paint Pot in Bare Study.

  19. breyerchic04 says:

    My first highlighter was benefit highbeam, and while I used to love it I’m not a major fan anymore. I much prefer mac strobe cream, the mineralize skinfinish I have in Perfect Topping, and Benefit Watts Up, which I guess covers all three formulas. At some point I’ll try the becca ones, they sound fun.

  20. Deanna says:

    The odd capitalization bothers me, too! I do like the statement, but I’d have passed on it, too.

    As for highlighters, I typically go for powder, because I just find that they’re easier to work with when I’m in a hurry. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish cream highlighter in Fairly Precious, but it takes a bit longer to blend it out, so I can’t use it every day.

  21. Vineetha says:

    I love liquid highlighters and the current fav is Becca perfecting one in the shade moonstone! Prior to that I was a big fan of Strobe and Clarins one!
    Vineetha recently posted … Guerlain Rouge G Rose Grenat Review, Swatches

  22. Fancie says:

    I love them all! I do prefer powders though because I find them easier to work with. Especially when I’m wearing foundation. I prefer to use my fingers over brushes to apply cream and liquid highlighters and it just gets messy sometimes
    Fancie recently posted … Milani Pink Rave Lip Intense Review

  23. Doreen says:

    I think powders. They are easy and can apply quickly.
    But now that you talked about Becca highlighter I think I’m going to try one or strobe cream. See how i like those!

  24. CatherineM says:

    I prefer liquid highlighters, especially my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Pearl and Lancome Teint Miracle (both have very fine pearl, instead of large shimmer or glitter particles). I like how you can’t really see them sitting on the skin when they are blended in nicely. Powders and creams always seem to sit on the surface of the skin and therefore look more artificial.

  25. Kai says:

    I love the finish of liquid highlighters more, looks more natural than the powder and cream ones. I find liquid ones easier to blend. However, with the powder ones, my favorite is the Dior Shimmer Star.

  26. Natalye says:

    I like powder because it’s easy to use
    Natalye recently posted … Lorac: Unzipped Palette Review and Swatches

  27. Alison says:

    Hmmm. I think I generally feel the most comfortable with a powder, because I can sort of remove most of it on the back of my hand and don’t feel like I’ll accidentally pour out or rub on too much. I’m not a huge fan of makeup that you can see, especially base makeup.

    That said, it ultimately depends on the formula and the visual result – if, say, the Becca Shimmering Skin perfectors were to give me the precise result that I like (and work well with my skin tone, etc), I’d definitely just go ahead and use them, especially if it was easy to get the right result.

    I’ve never actually used a cream highlighter before!

  28. Rachel P. says:

    Right now, I’m getting into powder highlights. I actually bought my first one (Too Faced Candlelight Glow duo) just a few days ago, and I’m loving it! Although, I wish I had sprung for a more peachy/bronzey one, just because summer is coming and I would like something like that to accentuate my tan. I am liking powder highlights now because they are so easy to apply/blend! I have a bunch of liquid and stick highlighters, but they take a little while for me to blend out (or maybe it’s just the products I have). I will say, creamy/liquid highlights last longer on me in the summer… it’s toss-up!

  29. Cindy says:

    It depends on what am going to do with the highlighter. If its for an allover glow than I like liquid highlighter. If it just to accent certain areas than I like a powder highlighter

    Cindy’s Little Black Book

  30. Nicole says:

    Before buying BECCA’s skin perfectors, I didn’t really have a preference in the types of highlighters I use. I have the skin perfectors in the liquid formula (Moonstone, Topaz, Opal, and the latest one in Rose Gold), and I like that, if I want, I can mix them in with my foundation, tinted moisturizer, or regular moisturizer. I even bought NARS’ Albatross when I bought my first skin perfector (Topaz), but decided to take it back to Sephora and get the liquid formula of Opal instead.

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