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The Best Cruelty-Free Highlighters To Get You Glowing

by Toni Olukiran

5min read

Highlighters have become a makeup must-have over the years and are the crown jewel of any and every makeup look. Here are the best brands making pigmented and dreamy highlighters that are also cruelty-free.

Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo

Fenty highlighter on white background

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Fenty pulled out all the stops for this highlighter duo, resulting in a highlighter that gives you a lovely glow. The duo is perfect for daytime on-the-go looks and nighttime glam-and-glow looks thanks to the subtle, more sheer highlighter half and the more shimmery highlighter half. The cream and powder hybrid formula is buildable and easy to apply and blend seamlessly into your skin. If you want to be crafty, it can be used as an eyeshadow too — the makeup looks are endless with this nifty highlighter. Fenty Beauty is committed to cruelty-free beauty, and many of its products are vegan — and if you’re interested in skincare, Fenty Skin is completely vegan and cruelty-free too.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Finishing Powder

Hourglass highlighter on white background

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If you want to look like you’re constantly standing in front of a ring-light, this product is the one for you. Hourglass has managed to capture light into this powder so that every angle is your best. Combined with your favourite bronzer or contour sticks, you’ll look airbrushed and glowy; it blurs fine lines and pores so that light bounces off your cheeks. It is super pigmented, making it great for highlighting the little details of your face — a little on the inner corners of your eyelids, the bridge of your nose and your top lip along the cupid’s bow will make your whole look pop. Hourglass is a brand to keep your eye on; it's cruelty-free and has pledged to change its products and make them vegan this year, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Becca Shimmering Pressed Highlighter

Becca highlighter swatches on three different arms

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Becca still somehow feels like a secret in the UK even though it is so well known and loved over in the US, but more people deserve to have this on their radar. Coming in ten different shades, there is a highlighter for every skin tone that gives you that perfectly soft glow. The creamy powder formula is easily blendable and sinks into the skin without looking streaky or harsh. Becca is cruelty-free and has PETA’s seal of approval, so definitely watch out for this and other Becca products. 

NYX High Glass Illuminating Powder

NYX High Glass powder swatches on three different arms

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The NYX High Glass highlighter proves that effective shimmery highlighters can be found for under a tenner. Inspired by flawless and glowy Korean beauty, this pressed-gel highlighter gives you a radiant and mirror-like sheen. NYX is a brand loved and respected by makeup lovers and makeup artists alike, providing quality products like the High Glass powder that won’t break the bank. It’s also a fantastic cruelty-brand with a range of vegan products— like this illuminating powder.  

Glossier Haloscope

two tubes of Haloscope on white background

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Glossier makes every beauty buy list because it’s great for people who like more natural beauty looks, and also it's great for people who are, like me, lazy when it comes to everyday makeup. Designed to be applied by hand, it's great for putting on in a rush. This highlighter is a cream formula that is especially recommended for anyone who has dry skin. One thing about powder highlighters that those with dry skin are wary of is the fact that it can then feel more drying particularly in prone areas like the nose; it can also make your makeup look cakey. The sheer formula in the Haloscope prevents this entirely, as it is hydrating. The inner core of the highlighter is made of moisturiser and loaded with vitamins. It’s a highlighter that works best for a simple and dewy look rather than a matte glam look, so it's practically made for low-maintenance makeup looks.

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Toni Olukiran
by Toni Olukiran

Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Interns, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at a last count) or playing tennis in the park.

Read more from Toni


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