I've noticed with the market so saturated with highlighters lately, it seems there are a few different categories - the ones that will give a subtle, lit-from-within glow (think Laura Mercier Matte Radiance), the ones that pack an almost reflective sheen (Anastasia Glow Kits), and then the ones that make you look like you drank your eight glasses of water and got your eight hours of beauty sleep. They're not necessarily shimmery, but they just do that whole "wet" look so well that it actually look like your skin is shining on its own. The key here is to either find a slightly oily/wet formula, or find a product without noticeable shimmer in a color close to your skintone - we want it to look like your own skin is glistening, rather than having a stripe of a shimmery color on top.
The highlighter that introduced me to this look (and immediately got me hooked) was the rms beauty Living Luminizer. It uses nothing but some skin-nourishing oils and some mica to bring light to the skin in the most natural way. Dabbing a bit on with the ring finger leaves the skin glistening. A new addition that's pretty similar but easier to apply is the Glossier Haloscope highlighter (review) in Quartz. Since it's in stick form you can just sweep it on directly and gently blend the edges with a finger. This has a solid oil core with a surrounding ring of rose quartz extracts. This adds a radiant shine to the skin like nothing else - it catches the light and gives you that cool, almost sweaty look (that I'm 100% into). The Milk Makeup Highlighter in Lit is also quite similar, but the shade "Lit" is slightly more of a rose golden tone - it would suit people with more medium to deep skintones beautifully.
Some slightly more intense stick highlights come in the form of the Pat McGrath Skin Fetish 003 (review) and the Marc Jacobs Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator* (review). It seems like the Skin Fetish may be gone for good, but if you were lucky to get your hands on it you'll know what a thing of beauty it is. McGrath is known for how she manages to light up the skin, and this stick definitely gets you on your way. The Marc Jacobs stick is really easy to tailor to your taste - you can dab it on with fingers for a subtle glow not unlike the rms beauty, or you can stripe it on from the stick for something more intense, but that still gives that wet look. The different tones in this make it blend with any skintone and look like a believable highlight, rather than a streak of silver or gold on the skin. More intense still is the Colourpop Highlighter in Smoke N Whistles. This has to be dabbed on lightly to get that wet-look effect, as it's so pigmented, and a little certainly goes a long way. When patted into the skin over a more subtle cream highlight, it's simply stunning.
If it's a liquid you're after, look no further than the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfectors - they come in a range of colors for different skintones, so you can easily find a believable glow for you. I have the shade Moonstone and it perfectly lights up my skin when dabbed on over the top of makeup. This one is very versatile as well - I like mixing it in with foundation for an all-over glow.
Lastly, if you're wanting something with no shimmer whatsoever, then certainly try using a clear balm instead. The Glossier Balm Dotcom is perfect for this. It's quite thick and definitely sheen-y, so it'll give you that editorial glossy effect in no time. This is one to be a little careful with, as it can get sticky on long, hot days. You could also dab on a bit of the balm side of the stick from the Skin Fetish - it gives a similar look to the Glossier Balm, and it has the added bonus of smelling really nice, too.
Are you into the super dewy look? I'm embracing my natural oils for summer and even amping them up - I need all the glow!