I have been on the search for a good highlighter/luminizer for years now, I have tried dozens of different ones and most of them I haven't been thrilled by. So far I have two that are my top favorites; one is a cream and one is a powder.
I have swatched in the photos 4 popular powder forms:
The first one is Albatross by Nars. It is a white highlighter with gold pigments in the sheen. This is a cult favorite, but personally I find it to be too white and chalky looking. I usually use it on my clients eyes instead of face. It works amazingly on the brow bone and inner corner of the eyes.
The second is Mary-Lou Manizer by theBalm. I love this one, its formula is super pigmented so just a tiny bit goes a long ways. It is more of a warm tone, so it looks good on every skin color and doesn't come off as chalky or white. It gives you an amazing healthy glow to your cheek bones.
The third is Perfectly Lit in Luminous by Lorac. I am a big fan of this highlighter too, because it is the most subtle, and the most natural looking. Perfect for highlighting down the nose, where you want a tiny bit of shine but not a dramatic metallic look. This powder also looks more like a face powder with some sheen in, so it actually provides some coverage on top of illuminating the face.
The fourth is Soft and Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish by Mac. I know a lot of Mac makeup artists swear by this, but personally I find it too metallic looking and dramatic to use on a clients face. It works better for highlighting your body (collar bone, legs, etc)
Two cream formulas that are swatched:
The first is Watts up by Benefit. I love this formula, and it looks amazing on eyes. It goes on really smoothly, and most importantly it blends easily and seamlessly. Also, the color comes off with a warm tone instead of white and chalky. Most importantly it is easy to blend.
The second is Living Luminizer by RMS Beauty. I'm not impressed by this one. The formula goes on very pale and white and is hard to blend. It seems to chunk up and look cakey.
My favorites that I will keep repurchasing are Mary-Lou Manizer, Watts up, and Perfectly Lit.