Rather than the “natural” radiance a typical highlighter imparts, holographic highlighters are shot through with light-refracting pigments that offer a three-dimensional glow: At one angle, that streak of iridescence might read frosty pink; at another, it could be icy blue. Since most holographic highlighters lean toward cool-toned pastels, choosing the best holographic highlighter for you will mainly depend on the type of highlighter you prefer, whether that's a liquid, a powder, or a cream. On this list, you'll find drugstore options that start at just $8, all the way up to luxury highlighters from brands like Anastasia and Cover FX.
As for how to wear holographic highlighter? Just like their warmer, sunnier cousins, these iridescent highlighters look gorgeous dabbed onto the high points of your face, like your cheekbones, brow bones, and the tip and bridge of your nose. But they work just as well as pearlescent eyeshadows, or even blushes, depending on the shade you pick.
Scroll on to shop six of the best holographic highlighters you can get your hands on right now.
We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.
1. Best Prestige Palette
Fun fact: This Moonchild palette from Anastasia was inspired by the '80s fantasy film The NeverEnding Story, and The Childlike Empress would certainly approve. All six of these frosty, cool-toned pastels refract dramatically with the light: There’s Blue Ice, for instance, a slick chrome with a blue shift; and Lucky Clover, which has a mint green base shot through with gold, yellow, and silver. Their metallic finishes make you look positively alien, in the best way possible.
2. Best Drugstore Palette
Here's another one of the best holographic highlighter palettes, only from a drugstore brand. These four shades are a little less quirky than those in the Anastasia palette — there’s gold, pearl, silver, and pinky-lavender, all suffused with light-catching pearls — so it’s a great choice if you’re new to the holographic game. Still, these shades are intensely pigmented, and their creamy textures are a dream to apply and blend with a powder brush. They layer beautifully together, too.
3. Best Drugstore Single
These NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powders are one of the best drugstore highlighters you can get (holographic or otherwise) — they’re silky-smooth, long-lasting, and just so darn pretty. You can’t go wrong with any of these five shades, all of which are cult favorites in their own right. I’ll be picking up Snow Rose (pictured above), a soft, opalescent white that “contains every color of the rainbow,” as one Amazon reviewer reported. Or, try the rosy-gold Crushed Bloom shade as a blush, for a holographic alternative to NARS Orgasm.
- Available shades: Crushed Bloom, Lavender Steel, Snow Rose, Synthetica, Twilight Tint
4. Best Liquid Highlighter
Get a little DIY with these Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops, the highlighter counterpart to the brand’s genius Custom Cover Drops. All seven shades are beautifully dynamic, but Halo (pictured), a sky-blue/lilac emulsion, is the true holographic one of the bunch. Use this solo, as a concentrated liquid highlighter for your face or body; or mix a drop or two in with your moisturizer for a subtler, allover glow. A single drop packs a big, intensely pigmented punch, so this bottle, while pricey, will last you a while.
5. Best Cream Highlighter
All of Rituel de Fille’s products have a supernatural, witchy bent, so it’s no surprise that they’ve included holographic cream highlighters inspired by cosmic light phenomena in their lineup. It’s refreshing to see a few warm-toned shades here, in addition to the usual frosty colors: like Anthelion (pictured), a warm gold inspired by light haloes emitted from the sun. Like all Rituel de Fille products, these luminizers are made with entirely naturally derived ingredients, including nourishing jojoba seed oil, rosemary extract, and lavender oil.
- Available shades: Anthelion, Ghost Light, Phosphene, Solaris
6. Best Travel-Friendly Highlighter
Take your glow on the road with these Pacifica Beauty highlighters, conveniently packaged in lip gloss-sized tubes (perfect for slipping in your bag) and outfitted with doe-foot applicators for fuss-free application — no fingers or brushes required. This range has two holographic shades (the appropriately named Nebula and Unicorn), and two packed with chunky, yet somehow sophisticated, flecks of glitter. Either way, these liquid highlighters are intensely prismatic, surprisingly sweat-proof, and comfortable on skin, thanks to jojoba and rosehip oils in the formula.
- Available shades: Crystal Moon, Dance Like This, Nebula, Unicorn