11 Best Brushes To Apply Highlighter In 2024, As Per Beauty Expert

The best brush to apply highlighter can make applying the illuminating product easier. Brushes can help you blend the products to achieve a flawless look. With the right set of these, you can prevent a streaky or uneven finish. Many like to highlight with their fingers, but it might not blend well and leave you with a patchy finish. Moreover, a highlighter turns quite blinding when you use your fingers, and this might not be the look you’re going for.

If you’ve followed the proper steps of wearing makeup, you don’t want to ruin the last and the final step, that is, the highlighter. So, we are here to help you get the best finish and glow with the tried-and-tested top highlighter brushes available online.

Highlighter brushes help you define the high points of your face, such as your cupid’s bow, the cheekbones, brow bones, and bridge of the nose, so that your features look sharp. If you don’t want to go wrong with choosing the right highlighter brushes, have a look at our list to make the right purchase.

In This Article

11 Best Brushes To Apply Highlighter For A Flawless Look In 2024

1. Best Ergonomic: Wet n Wild Makeup Brush

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4.1
Wet n Wild Makeup Brush Image: Wet N Wild Beauty
worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The whopping 219 positive reviews on Amazon reflect the superior quality of this product.

The highlighter makeup brush from the celebrity-endorsed brand Wet n Wild allows you to apply highlighter seamlessly in just one stroke. The fan-shaped brush design lets you apply the highlighter to specific areas and achieve a luminous glow without picking up extra product. Soft and ultra-plush, the two-toned synthetic polymax fiber bristles feel just like natural hair, and the ergonomic handle allows you to control the movement of the brush effortlessly. You can also use this flat brush to remove excess eyeshadow fallout from the under-eye area.

Ferrule Material: Aluminum | Skin Type: All | Material: Polyvinyl Chloride | Color: Fan Brush | Product Dimensions: 7.28 x 1.77 x 0.39 inches | Weight: 0.6 Ounces

Pros

  • Two-toned high-quality bristles
  • Suitable for powder highlighters
  • Does not shed
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Gluten- and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Brush might be a bit stiff
  • Handle might be a little flimsy
My Personal Experience

"This fan brush is great for blush and highlighting. It retains shape even after cleaning and applies evenly. The bristles are soft, odorless, and shed-free and feel great on my skin."

2. Best Long-Lasting: Unimeix Highlighter Brush

Achieve amazing results with this highlighter brush that is hand-carved and is made to be long-lasting. Its bristles are made of high-end purified wool and the brush feels soft on the skin. Thanks to its premium quality material, this product has a comfortable and stable grip. Its sturdy wood handle does not let it slip off your finger. You can apply highlighter, blush, and eyeshadow with this brush. Also, it is a great product to blend your makeup and achieve a flawless finish. As a plus, this blending brush is made for both professionals and beginners.

Ferrule Material: Aluminum | Material: Aluminum | Color: Brown

Pros

  • Made of high-end wool
  • Thick aluminum mouth tube
  • Soft and dense bristles
  • Feels soft on the skin

Cons

  • Might fall out over time
  • May not be great for precise application

protip_icon Beauty tip
Avoid applying pressed highlighters with a damp brush, as the formulation may dry, turn waxy, and look very shiny on the skin. Also make sure to apply highlighter with a light hand, or it will look the same as applying with a damp brush.

3. Best Precision Brush Head: Real Techniques Tapered Cheek Makeup Brush

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4.7
Real Techniques Tapered Cheek Makeup Brush Image: Real Techniques
Now 26% Off

Apply powder, liquid, or cream highlighter evenly with this makeup artist-approved tapered makeup brush. Its precision highlighting brush head enables you to apply highlighter, blush, bronzer, or setting powder to enhance and add depth for a natural finish. Further, its soft, synthetic hand-cut bristles help you seamlessly blend the product onto the desired areas without poking your delicate skin. The bristles are designed to pick up the right amount of product while allowing buildable coverage. Moreover, it can also be used as an eyeshadow blending brush and blush brush.

Handle Material: Aluminum | Skin Type: All | Material: Aluminum | Color: Pink | Bristle Material: Synthetic | Product Dimensions: 1.77 x 1.02 x 8.27 inches | Weight: 1.41 Ounces

Pros

  • Gives a soft, natural glow finish
  • Easy to clean
  • High-quality synthetic bristles
  • Works fine with even cream and liquid highlighter
  • Tapered brush head
  • Extended aluminum ferrules
  • Lightweight and easy to hold
  • Long-lasting makeup application

Cons

  • Brush handle might be a little short

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This is a quality brush with soft and consistent bristles. Even as a beginner, it made my makeup application a breeze. While I've dealt with scratchy, disappointing brushes before, this has sustained multiple washes well."


Wet n Wild Makeup Brush
Best Ergonomic
Unimeix Highlighter Brush
Best Long-Lasting
Real Techniques Tapered Cheek Makeup Brush
Best Precision Brush Head
Ferrule Material Aluminum Aluminum-
Skin Type All- All
Material Polyvinyl Chloride Aluminum Aluminum
Color Fan Brush Brown Pink
Dimensions 7.28 x 1.77 x 0.39 inches- 1.77 x 1.02 x 8.27 inches
Weight 0.6 Ounces- 1.41 Ounces
Handle Material-- Aluminum
Bristle Material-- Synthetic
Rating
Reviews2192,13550
Price$3.96$9.99$5.92

4. Best For Seamless Application: EcoTools Luxe Soft Highlighter Makeup Brush

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4.1
EcoTools Luxe Soft Highlighter Makeup Brush Image: Ecotools
Now 33% Off

Use this oval-shaped makeup brush to highlight significant areas of your face. The handle of this PETA-certified powder brush is made of 100% post-consumer recycled materials and has an ergonomic design for precise, controlled movements. This highlight brush can be a perfect addition to your vanity collection with its dense and soft bristle option and sleek look. You can also use this brush to apply other powder products to achieve a lifted glow.

Ferrule Material: Aluminum | Skin Type: All | Material: Synthetic | Color: Pink | Bristle Material: Synthetic | Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches | Weight: 1.41 Ounces

Pros

  • Vegan synthetic brush bristles
  • Suitable for buildable coverage
  • Features luxuriously soft bristles
  • Eco-friendly

Cons

  • Bristles may be a tad long

Our Reviewer's Experience

"As a highlighter enthusiast, I found this brush a great addition to my brush collection. Gentle and soft, it applies ideal amounts of highlighter while allowing for buildability. It also effortlessly blends and dusts off excess powder. I highly recommend this product."


protip_icon Quick tip
When cleaning makeup brushes, dry them face down with the handle raised to prevent water from trickling into the base of the bristles and weakening the glue. Also, let them dry on a towel or a specially designed brush tower that holds the brushes upside down.

5. Best Hypoallergenic: Beauty Junkees Pro Highlighter

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4.5
 Beauty Junkees Pro Highlighter Image: Beautyjunkees

Beauty Junkees’ Pro Highlighter featuring a tapered brush head is ideal if you’re looking to ace your highlighter look. Its synthetic bristles feel soft on the skin and are hypoallergenic, making them suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. This fluffy brush is easy to hold, thanks to its strong yet lightweight handle. Plus, it holds the right amount of product to give you an impressive highlight in a few sweeps. You can use this makeup brush to apply your favorite highlighting product, whether it’s in the form of powder, cream, or minerals, to the center of your forehead, bridge of your nose, cheekbones, the arc under your eyebrows, and the cupid’s bow on your upper lip for best results.

Handle Material: Wood | Skin Type: Sensitive | Material: Copper | Color: 1PC PRO HIGHLIGHTER BRUSH | Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 1 inches | Weight: 0.64 Ounces

Pros

  • Handles made of thick copper ferrule
  • Dual crimps to prevent bristles from falling out
  • Durable wooden handle
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Well-shaped, high-quality bristles
  • Quality contouring brush
  • Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly

Cons

  • Some bristles may fall out
  • May not feel very dense
Our Reviewer's Experience

"This brush is soft, fluffy, and meticulous in applying highlighter. The handle is sturdy, and the bristles are easy to clean and maintain. It's versatile enough for other applications like contouring too. A bit more density would enhance the highlighter, but it still does the job well."

6. Best Vegan: Sigma Beauty Tapered Highlighter Brush

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4.6

To all the vegans out there— this brush is meant for you! The benefits of this tapered highlighter brush are not just its ability to apply perfect highlighter or primer but also that it is hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. The wooden handle of this highlighter and bronzer brush is lightweight and offers a sturdy grip to prevent slipping off your fingers. The fiber hair of this brush is delicate and soft enough to not prick your skin while you dab on your highlighter. This tried-and-tested brush makes it easy to define the specific areas of your face while adding the right amount of glow. Check out this product review video to learn more.

Ferrule Material: Aluminum | Handle Material: Metal | Skin Type: Sensitive | Material: Wood | Color: F35 | Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.3 x 0.2 inches | Weight: 0.32 Ounces

Pros

  • Gives a diffused finish
  • Long-lasting quality
  • Made of synthetic fibers
  • Suitable for daily use
  • Two years limited warranty

Cons

  • May not feel very dense
  • Might start shedding upon washing several times
Our Reviewer's Experience

"The Sigma Beauty tapered brush applies both highlighter and bronzer flawlessly. Its soft, shed-free bristles are gentle on my skin, even on sensitive areas around my eyes and nose. Though I wish the brush were denser for a more intense highlight, it’s great for achieving a subtle glow."

7. Best Fan-Shaped: Pippa Of London Highlighting Fan Brush

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3.4
Pippa Of London Highlighting Fan Brush Image: Pippa

This fan brush makes the application of a highlighter to the desired areas of your face super easy. Because of its fan-like-shaped bristles, it holds the perfect amount of highlighting product and helps in covering large parts in just one motion. And this brush, known for its proven efficacy can also be used for applying contour and blush. Its feather-soft glides smoothly, which is why you can sweep the brush across your cheeks and other parts of the face multiple times without the bristles irritating the skin. These bristles are cruelty-free, which is good news for those who love animals.

Ferrule Material: Metal | Handle Material: Metal | Material: Metal

Pros

  • Vegan synthetic bristles
  • Easy to clean and shed-free
  • Tightly packed bristles for durability
  • Medium density
  • Lightweight highlight brush
  • Enables precise application

Cons

  • May not be firm enough
  • May not be dense enough for bronzers
Our Reviewer's Experience

"I love using this brush for my makeup routine. Its well-made handle sits comfortably in my hand, and the ultra-soft bristles gently apply the product to my face. It works best as a highlighter brush, so opt for a denser one if you're looking for a blush brush."

8. Best Dual-Sided: Eve Pearl Dual Brush

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4.2
Eve Pearl Dual Brush Image: Eve Pearl

This hypoallergenic dual-sided brush by Eve Pearl is made of micro-silk bristles and synthetic fibers. The tried-and-tested versatile dual-sided brush is designed for highlighting, contouring, and blending. The dome-shaped blending brush head on one end allows you to apply blusher and precisely highlight the inner corners of your eyes or contour your nose or jawline. Furthermore, its ergonomic handle is comfortable to hold and allows you to pick up the ideal amount of product every time.

Item Weight: 0.02 Pounds | Skin Type: Sensitive | Material: Pearl | Color: 204 Fan Highlighter

Pros

  • Suitable for cream and powder highlighter products
  • Quick and smooth application
  • Not tested on animals
  • Comes with a reusable pouch

Cons

  • May not be great for beginners

Our Reviewer's Experience

"I find myself reaching for this brush often. The fanned end is great for highlighting, and the tapered end is suitable for setting my undereyes. The handle is sturdy and comfortable, and the bristles are soft. It gets the job done flawlessly."


protip_icon Point to consider
Use a fan brush to concentrate the highlighter for a dramatic, blinding effect, and use a round brush to diffuse the highlighter if you prefer a softer glow.

9. Best For Sculpted Look: Real Techniques Makeup Brush By Sam & Nic For Blush And Highlighter

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4.4
Real Techniques Makeup Brush By Sam & Nic For Blush And Highlighter Image: Realtechnique
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Define your features with this uniquely designed and expert-recommended half-fan flat brush that is made for blending your makeup and making your face look sculpted. Applying highlighting powder using this brush is hassle-free as it holds the right amount of dust. You can also apply blush with this versatile brush. To use this powder brush in the right manner, begin with the flat section that helps in the blending process and then, finish off with the thinner section that makes contouring easy. The bristles of this cruelty-free and angled brush are ultra-soft and do not separate or fall off the handle.

Handle Material: Aluminum | Skin Type: All | Material: Aluminum | Color: Multicolour

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Suitable to use powder highlighters
  • Offers controlled application
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Angled highlighter brush for precise application
  • Easy-to-hold extended aluminum ferrules
  • Ultra-plush synthetic brush bristles

Cons

  • May not be great for precise application
  • May be difficult to use in some angles
Our Reviewer's Experience

"The angled shape of this brush helps with precise application of blush, highlighter, and contour products. The bristles shed a little, but this isn't a major issue. I am pleased with the quality overall, and the cruelty-free and vegan make aligns with my ethics."

10. Best For Everyday Use: Docolor Fan Brush

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4.5
Docolor Fan Brush Image: Docolor

Use this fan-shaped makeup brush option to illuminate your cheekbones, bridge of the nose, cupid’s bow, and other high points of your face. The synthetic bristles of this brush are soft, fluffy, and dense, making it suitable for sensitive skin. This fan brush can also be used to apply bronzer and setting powder as the fluffy bristles result in light-handed, delicate application. Further, the brush is easy to clean with a solution of baby shampoo and water.

Pros

  • Handcrafted wooden handle
  • Suitable for everyday use
  • Not tested on animals
  • Does not shed
  • Allows uniform application

Cons

  • May not be suitable for precision application
  • May be a bit big for some

11. Best For Precision: e.l.f. Pointed Brush

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3.9
e.l.f. Pointed Brush Image: Elf Cosmetics

Use the e.l.f makeup brush with a pointed end to precisely apply highlighter to smaller areas of your face, like the inner corners of your eyes and your brow bone. You can also use this results-driven brush to contour your nose or jawline and as a concealer brush for your under eyes. The tapered synthetic bristles allow you to use powder, liquid, and cream products. To blend the product evenly, use the pointed highlighter brush in a patting motion instead of dragging it across your face.

Pros

  • Multifunctional and versatile
  • Durable aluminum ferrule
  • Skin-friendly
  • Cruelty-free and vegan

Cons

  • May not be great for liquid foundation
  • May shed over time

How To Choose The Right Brush To Apply Highlighter?

Go through the following points to make the right choice.

  1. Comfortable handle: When you want the best highlighter brush, choose the one with a comfortable and strong handle. It helps prevent slipping or the chances of losing the grip of the brush while applying the highlighter. When you opt for a type of brush with an ergonomic handle, it also helps control the pressure you apply for desired results.
  2. Soft bristles: The feather, bristle, or hair of the brush should be ultra-soft to prevent it from pricking your skin. Brushes that are made of good quality synthetic fibers have soft bristles. Also, soft bristles have more chances of not irritating sensitive skin.
  3. Easy to clean: If you are applying makeup or peel masks with your brush on a daily basis, it is essential to clean it frequently. Keeping your brush clean is only possible when your brush does not lose feathers when you try to wash them. So, choose the ones that can be easily cleaned without any hassle.
  4. Long-lasting: Pick a brush that doesn’t lose its bristles and look worn out just after several uses. This is especially applicable for those who love using highlighters on a regular basis. You need a highlighter brush that lasts long, even after using it every day.

Simone de Vlaming, a makeup and skincare expert, says, “You should opt for a brush that isn’t too big, to ensure precision application each time. Also, as you don’t want highlighter all over your face, a smaller brush makes a good option.”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a brush to apply a highlighter?

Highlighters can be applied with the fingers, but it’s best to use a brush for precise, well-defined application.

2. What kind of brush do I use for highlighter?

There are different types of brushes for different parts of the face:

  • Fan brush caters to the cheekbones
  • Tapered eyeshadow brush for sleek or narrow portions
  • Dense highlighter brush for a better glow
  • Pencil brush for the inner corners of the eyes

3. Where should I apply the highlighter on my face?

The highlighter is applied:

  • On the center of the forehead
  • On the inner corners of the eyes
  • Under the eyebrows
  • On the cheekbones
  • On the bridge of the nose
  • On the cupid’s bow
  • On the tip of the chin

4. How should I use a brush to apply a highlighter as a beginner?

Identify the areas on your face that catch the light, and take a small amount of highlighter on the brush and apply gently. Ensure to blend away the harsh lines and avoid areas with large pores or texture for a smooth, dewy effect.

Why Trust MomJunction?

If you need the right brush to apply highlighter, this article is for you. Poulami Nag, our in-house fashion and beauty enthusiast, has undertaken in-depth research to find the best products for you. Her interest in this field enables her to understand what her readers want. Here, she has compiled the best highlighter brushes that allow you to blend your makeup seamlessly, giving you a sleek and polished look. All the products she recommends in this article are of high quality, and their notable features have been highlighted for your convenience and understanding.

The Bottom Line

Applying a highlighter by hand when you are already in the middle of decking up can be super messy and give you imprecise results that look cakey and uneven. Highlighter brushes make this process smoother and easier by creating an evenly blended finish so you can look flawless and step out with complete confidence. For precise application, we recommend the no-shed Wet n Wild Makeup Brush. You can also try the Real Techniques Tapered Cheek Makeup Brush for a natural finish and the Sigma Beauty Tapered Highlighter Brush, which is hypoallergenic and lightweight. Before choosing the right brush, ensure it has soft bristles, is simple to clean, and is made of durable, long-lasting materials. Also, look for one with a sturdy, ergonomic handle that is easy to hold and makes putting on makeup an easy-breezy task.

Infographic: How To Apply Highlighter With A Brush?

Achieve a luminous glow with precision by applying highlighters with a brush. You can enhance your features and add a touch of radiance with the right brush application techniques. Check out the following infographic to better understand how to apply highlighters with brushes to attain a dewy look with perfection.

Tips For Applying Highlighter With A Brush (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team


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Simone De Vlaming

Simone De VlamingMakeup & Skincare

Simone de Vlaming is a Dutch-based beauty expert, content creator, beauty blogger, and founder of Beautymone.com. She specializes in makeup, skincare, fragrances, and nails. During her graduation days, Simone decided to start a beauty blog as an outlet for her passion and work as a beauty advisor in a beauty store/perfumery.  Over the years, Simone expanded her beauty knowledge through...read full bio