This or That: Cream/Liquid Highlighter or Powder Highlighter


While I was applying my makeup the other day, I started thinking about how random my daily makeup application was.  I decided to give myself a challenge to see what I considered “must-haves” in my collection.

What if I really had to choose to keep only my cream highlighters or powder highlighters.  Which ones would I choose?

To help me decide, I am just going to talk through some of my favourites and their pros and cons. Just want to put a disclaimer out there, this is not a definitive review and might be a bit of a generalization.  I can only base my decisions on the highlighters I have tried.

Powder Highlighters


One of the greatest pros about powder highlights is that you need very little for each application, but you usually get a lot of product.  For example, the popular Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders has 10 grams of products and the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed has 8 grams of product.  Especially with the highly pigmented Becca highlighter in Champagne Pop, you need so little that I have barely made a dent in it.

I feel like powder highlighters are also a bit more multidimensional when applied.  They usually have different pigments combined into a metallic sheen.  Furthermore, especially with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, they are good at blurring imperfections.  Lastly, their longevity is usually longer than an equivalent cream product.


One possible con is that they are best applied with brushes.  It can be a hassle to find a brush, but it also can give more precision during application.  It is a bit of toss-up.  Another possible con applies to super pigmented highlighters, like Jaclyn Hill’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop.  If you didn’t blend those in, you would look like you have bright streaks on your cheek bones. Therefore, sometimes I find a cream highlighter is a bit faster.

Cream/Liquid Highlighters


Cream highlighters just give a different look.  You can almost achieve a glossy finish with some cream highlighters.  Almost a little sweaty looking, but in all the right places.  My two favourites, the RMS Living Luminizer and the Kevin Aucoin Candlelight Highlighter in the Cream version, both give this effect.

I also find that cream highlighters are just a little easier to blend out.  You just have to apply with your fingertips and tap and blend with a clean finger.  Of course, you can always use brushes as well.


In general, one con is that many of the cream highlighters I have tried are a bit less pigmented. Although, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid really packs a punch.  Furthermore, during the summer time, you get so sweaty, you might not want to look even more “glossy.”  Lastly, I have found that the cream highlighters I have tried are less multidimensional.  Just an aside, the scent from the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector’s liquid version do linger a bit if you are sensitive to scent.


This is almost like picking between your children because they are all great products.  After much consideration (as if this is truly that serious), I think I would choose to keep my powder highlighters because there is more product, they last longer, and I enjoy the metallic glow a little more. However, cream and liquid highlighters are great to mix up in your everyday look.

If you only could keep one or the other, which one would you pick?


23 thoughts on “This or That: Cream/Liquid Highlighter or Powder Highlighter

  1. I love highlighter! I used to wear/love the Bobbi Brown Brick highlighter, but switched to the RMS Living Luminizer. RMS is subtle so it took a little getting used to, but I like that it looks more natural on the skin. I’m always trying to achieve that dewey look!:)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww where are you blogging from? I’m from the States but some of my favorite bloggers are UK bloggers and I’m always sad when I can’t get the same products, so I feel you! 😦


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