Happy Makeup Wars Monday! Today we’re talking about the Best Cream Highlighters and Contours, with my picks for pale skin. I’ve got options for every budget including drugstore, indie, department store and luxury high end picks. I love highlighters, so I’ve got 20 different ones included. I’ve also got about 13 different contouring products too.
PR + purchased by me.
All of my picks are cruelty free, of course, and some are vegan.
Best Cream Highlighters and Contours
I wanted to share some swatches of some of the best cream highlighters and contours that I own.
L to R – Berry – Candle Light – Gilded – Gold Dust – Rose Gold – Blossom – Celestial
These are 7 of the Cover FX Enhance Click Highlighter Sticks. Celestial is a great highlight shade for pale skin, especially cool-toned.
L to R – NARS Luxor – Glossier Quartz – Glossier Moonstone
Luxor is such a pretty iridescent pink. Moonstone is stunning. I love the iridescent blue-silver color.
L to R – L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer in Highlighter – Life’s Entropy Alpha – Life’s Entropy Proton – Milani Fair Light Contour & Highlight
Highlighter has very slight shimmer to it, which you can see in the swatch below. Alpha is warmer than Proton. Milani Fair is warmer than Proton but not too orange. Unfortunately, the Milani Light highlight is too yellow gold for me to wear as a highlighter.
L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer in Highlight blended out on my hand. As you can see, it brightens the skin in a natural way. It looks surprisingly good.
I wanted to do a quick swatch comparison between OCC John Doe, which is a classic cream contour shade, and Milani’s Fair Light. I feel like Milani Fair Light is slightly warmer toned, but still a very workable contouring shade.
I’m wearing the Milani Fair Light cream contour here, but I did blend Aromaleigh Digitalis Purpurea (a grey contour) with it to add more depth.
In the first place, cream highlighters are on the subtle side in my humble opinion. They’re particularly great for dry skin. Many of my friends with mature skin prefer cream highlighters over any other type because they feel that they are especially flattering on them.
Silk Naturals HD Cream Highlighter – $4.50 (indie)
The Silk Naturals HD Cream Highlighter in Limelight is a beautiful creamy white highlighter. It’s perfect for pale skin. (v)
Jordana Glow n’ Go Creamy Strobing Stick – $4.99 (drugstore)
The Jordana Glow n’ Go Creamy Strobing Stick is available in 3 shades. Pearl looks like it would be good for pale skin, Radiant for medium skintones and Bronze for deeper skintones.
L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer – $5 (drugstore)
The L.A. Girl HD Pro Concealer has one highlighter shade called Highlighter. It’s a good pale skin option.
L.A. Girl Velvet Contour Sticks – $6 (drugstore)
The L.A. Girl Velvet Contour Sticks actually have blush, contour, and highlighter shades. The highlight colors are Radiance, Luminous and Cashmere. Their contouring shades are really bronzers, and look to be too warm / red to use for contouring.
Nyx Bright Idea Illuminating Sticks – $8 (drugstore)
The Nyx Bright Idea Illuminating Sticks come in 12 different shades. Lavender Lust and Chardonnay Shimmer are great for pale skin.
Darling Girl Lumos Shimmering Pearls – $8.75 (indie)
The Lumos Shimmering Pearls give you a gorgeous ethereal glow. I think Nevaeh (palest silver with purple highlight and gold iridescence), and Ophelia (white with golden sheen) are really gorgeous. (v)
Darling Girl Spectral Shift Illuminating Crème – $11.75 (indie)
The Darling Girl Spectral Shift Illuminating Crèmes are so pretty! Two of the shades are Blue Banana (cool blue with red sheen) and You’re on My Fax (pale silvery taupe). (v)
Milani Contour & Highlight Cream & Liquid Duos – $11 (drugstore)
The two in one Milani Contour & Highlight Cream & Liquid Duos come in 5 shades. I have Fair Light, which has a neutral toned contour side and a white gold pearl highlight side for pale skin. They also offer Light Natural (neutral light/champagne pearl), Natural Medium (neutral medium/rose gold pearl), Medium Dark (neutral dark/bronze pearl), and Deep Dark (neutral deep/gold pearl). I love that they’re offering options for all skintones. The Fair Light contour side works well on my pale skin.
Nyx Wonder Sticks – $12 (drugstore)
The Nyx Wonder Sticks are stick cream highlighters and contours. They’re available in 6 shades. Universal (light neutral shimmer highlight with yellow brown contour) is supposed to be for fair skin but I think it is likely too dark for pale skin. They also come in Light, Medium, Deep, Deep Rich and Deep Dark.
Ofra Skin Sculpting Wand – $14.95 (department store)
The Ofra Skin Sculpting Wand makes it easy to highlight around the face. The shade Dawn is for fair to light skin. (v)
COVER FX Enhance Click Highlighter – $18 (department store)
The COVER FX Enhance Click Highlighters come in such a wide range of shades for all skintones. Celestial is perfect for pale skin. (v)
Glossier Haloscope – $22 (indie)
The Glossier Haloscopes are really gorgeous. I have two shades – Quartz and Moonstone. Moonstone is my favorite, as it has more of a silver white glow. Quartz is a pearlescent highlight.
IT COSMETICS Hello Light Anti-Aging Luminizing Crème Stick – $24 (department store)
The IT COSMETICS Hello Light Anti-Aging Luminizing Crème Stick is a hydrating illuminator that has a lit-from-within pearly pink glow. There’s no glitter, just pure illumination.
Rituel de Fille Rare Light Luminizers – $29 (indie luxury)
The Rituel de Fille Rare Light Luminizers are beautiful. Ghost Light has a pale pink base with a violet-blue shift, making it perfect for pale skin. See my swatches and review.
Ilia Illuminator – $34 (department store)
Ilia Illuminator is so pretty! It comes in 3 shades. Polka Dots & Moonbeams is a pearl shade meant for pale skin.
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Crème Highlighter – $38 (department store)
The BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Crème Highlighters are probably the most popular cream highlighters out there. Pearl is good for pale skin. Champagne Pop is good for light to medium skin. They have other shades available too.
RMS Beauty Magic Luminizer – $38 (department store)
RMS Beauty Magic Luminizer is supposed to give you a beautiful, moonlit champagne opalescent highlight.
NARS The Multiple Sticks – $39 (luxury)
NARS The Multiple Sticks are a multi-purpose cream to powder makeup stick. The shades Copacabana and Luxor are perfect for pale skin. They have shades for medium and deep skintones too.
KEVYN AUCOIN The Celestial Skin Liquid Lighting – $52 (luxury)
The KEVYN AUCOIN The Celestial Skin Liquid Lighting claims to be waterproof and provide you with 12 hour wear. It’s a Cream and Gel hybrid formula for illumination. It comes in 3 shades – Starlight, Candlelight and Sunlight.
KEVYN AUCOIN The Guardian Angel Cream Highlighter – $52 (luxury)
The KEVYN AUCOIN The Guardian Angel Cream Highlighter is a pale white pink highlighter that gives a beautiful lit-from-within-glow.
Cream contours tend to be a favorite of people with dry skin. They’re also more goof-proof than a powder contours, as most people feel they’re easier to apply and blend out. You can just swipe it into the hollow of your cheeks and then blend.
Jordana Sculpt N’ Go Creamy Contour Sticks – $4.99 (drugstore)
The Sculpt N’ Go Creamy Contour Sticks come in 3 shades, Light, Medium and Deep to cover most skintones.
Wet n’ Wild MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Stick – $4.99 (drugstore)
The Wet n’ Wild MegaGlo Dual-Ended Contour Sticks come in only 2 shades – Light/Medium and Medium/Tan. I don’t know how well Light/Medium will work for pale skin.
Life’s Entropy Particle Contour Sticks – $8 (indie)
Top 10 Cream Contouring ProductsThe Life’s Entropy Particle Contour Sticks are the best option, in my opinion, for cream contouring. They come in so many different shades. Proton (a light golden ashy brown) and Alpha (a true grey beige) are perfect for pale skin. See swatches in Top 10 Cream Contouring Products. (v)
Pumpkin & Poppy Michelle Cream Contour – $9.25 (indie)
Pumpkin & Poppy’s powder contour for pale skin, Oak Bark, is a cult hit. Kristy created a cream version of it for pale skin called Michelle. (v)
Milani Contour & Highlight Cream & Liquid Duos – $11 (drugstore)
The two in one Milani Contour & Highlight Cream & Liquid Duos.
Nyx Sculpt and Highlight Face Duo – $11.99 (drugstore)
The Nyx Sculpt and Highlight Face Duo comes in 6 shades. Taupe/Ivory may work for pale skin.
Nyx 3C Conceal Correct Contour Palette – $11.99 (drugstore)
I’ve had a lot of people tell me that they love the Nyx 3C Conceal Correct Contour Palette. While it doesn’t work on my pale skin, I think it can work on light to medium skintones.
Ofra Skin Sculpting Wand in Sunset – $14.95 (department store)
The Ofra Skin Sculpting Wands have highlighting and contouring shades. Sunset is a subtle taupe shade for contouring pale skin. (v)
Nudestix Sculpting Pencil – $24 (department store)
Nudestix Sculpting Pencils make highlighting and contouring a breeze. Light / Medium 1 has a cool porcelain side for highlighting and a soft neutral brown taupe side for contouring, making it ideal for pale skin.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick in Fawn – $25 (department store)
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Foundation sticks also have a few contouring shades. Fawn, when used with a light hand, it’s workable for pale skin. (v)
BECCA Lowlight Sculpting Perfector – $38 (department store)
BECCA Lowlight Sculpting Perfector is a slightly greyed brown cream that blends seamlessly into pale to medium skin.
NARS Matte Multiple in Altai – $39 (luxury)
The NARS Matte Multiples can work as contouring products. For pale skin with neutral to warm tones, Altai is a good contouring option.
Cover FX Contour Kit – $48 (department store)
I wanted to include the Cover FX Contour Kit because my friend Corinne swears by it. She uses N Light for fair to light skin. While it’s too orange for my pale skin, it works beautifully on hers. She blends several of the shades together to create her foundation and then lightly highlight and contour her cheeks. (v)
Kevyn Aucoin The Liquid Contour Wand – $48 (luxury)
The Liquid Contour Wands come in 3 shades. Light is suitable for pale skin. It has a light-weight, silky serum formula to sculpt around the face.
If I had to narrow it down to just one highlighter for each price point
- Drugstore – LA Girl HD Pro Concealer in Highlighter
- Indie – Glossier Haloscope in Moonstone
- Department Store – BECCA Pearl
- Luxury – NARS Luxor
If I had to narrow it down to just one contour for each price point
- Drugstore – Milani Contour & Highlight Cream & Liquid Duos in Fair Light
- Indie – Life’s Entropy Particle Contour Stick in Proton
- Department Store – Nudestix Sculpting Pencil in Light / Medium
- Luxury – NARS Matte Multiple in Altai
What are your picks for the Best Cream Highlighters and Contours? Or do you skip cream products and just use powders? Let me know below![inlinkz_linkup id=689772 mode=1]
Pale Girl’s Guide to Beauty Series
- The Best Nude Lipsticks for Pale Skin
- The Best Red Lipsticks for Pale Skin
- The Pale Girl’s Guide to Concealers
- Top 10 Cream Contouring Products for Pale Skin
- The Best Foundations for Pale Skin
- The Pale Girl’s Guide to Highlighting
- The Pale Girl’s Guide to Contouring
- Contour Kits for Pale Skin
- Best Highlighters, Contours & Bronzers for Pale Skin
- Luminous Pale Skin Foundation Routine
- The Original Pale Girl’s Guide to Highlighting & Contouring
Oh….and would contouring or highlighting be better as stage makeup? Thank you…
If you’re doing extreme makeup, it’s better as stage makeup. If you’re doing subtle contouring and strong highlighting it’s fine for a night out or everyday, depending on your comfort level.
Hi. I’m a confused (nothing new)…….
When you highlight, do you still use two colors (or need a blush)? I was looking at the cover fx click sticks and the instructions reference using two colors – highlighting and illuminating. If I bought the Celestial, what would the second color be?
Here is what I’m looking at.
You can use contour, highlight and blush. Or you can just use highlight, or contour, or blush on its own. I prefer to apply contour, then put on highlight, then add a little blush between the two. You can also contour, put on blush, then highlighting blush, then highlighter. I personally prefer white based highlighters so I would use Makeup Geek Celestial and then Makeup Geek Glitz.