The general guide with highlighter is that it is meant to mimic natural beautiful highlights on the high points of the face or that glossy look you get from being in the sun. No one should be able to tell you have it on, if blended correctly it will look like part of your skin not sit on top.
If you’re not totally comfortable with blending and textures then use this simple guide,
If you prefer powder foundations or you like to apply lots of powder over foundation, I find loose or pressed powder highlighers are best. Cream or liquid may leave a streaky mark, the Benefits highbeam over powder comes to mind with this.
If you like cream or liquid foundations then any method of highlighter is ok depending on the consistency as some are more creamy than others so powder highlighters may stick.
There’s definitely no rules as make-up is about preference and what you feel comfortable with.
The MAC cream colour bases aren’t big or clumpy but as a make-up artist they take up way to much room so I depot mine into a lip palette which is actually made for the OCC liptars but work perfectly. I got mine at love-makeup.co.uk