In one of my recent posts, I decried the hype of a cult favorite—the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade, which I reviewed here—and a number asked Well, what’s a good highlighter for you?
I don’t own the most favorite one I’ve tried (I don’t know why), but I do own eight others (again, I don’t know why). I’ve been planning this for a while, and never got around to it, so I hope you appreciate the effort and I hope this short overview helps you out. 🙂
Let’s begin with the one I don’t own, but whose effect I loved—the NARS Illuminator in Orgasm. I received it as a sample, which dried up. I never got around to purchasing the full size, just because. Here it is, in action:
It’s a really pretty, peachy-golden pink creamy highlighter that you can put on the “high planes of your face,” or just mix in with your face base. I thought I would hate the shimmer, but I really don’t. To be fair, it actually has more of a sheen than a shimmer, so there’s that.
The glow on the tops of my cheekbones are courtesy of this beautiful highlight, though it’s a tag-team effort by Orgasm and a secret friend, to be revealed somewhere this post.
As for the highlighters I do own, I’ll start by formula.
My only cream-to-powder highlighter—and the first one I ever bought—is Benefit Watt’s Up! It’s a beautiful pearly champagne color that does well with medium, warm skintones. I did a full review here.
Honestly, I forgot how much I loved Watt’s Up! until I started using it again. I’m very sad that Benefit is “against animal testing,” but still tests on them anyway, because this is something I would definitely repurchase. Still, though, they make good products.
Next up are my liquid/cream highlighters and illuminators, of which I have two. I generally use these mixed in with my base, but creams and liquids generally tend to work well on the skin as highlights because of their (generally) natural finish, the same way cream blushes may look more natural than powder blushes.
The first one I got is too cool for school’s Dinoplatz Pearl Bay Invasion Illuminator in #1 Mother of Pearl.
too cool for school Dinoplatz Pearl Bay Invasion in Mother of Pearl + Snoe Beauty Let it B with WasaB in Warm Honey
It’s a nice, light consistency, though the pump has a tendency to dispense more product than I need so I don’t really get to use this as a highlight-only product. There is a very gasoline-rainbow, duochrome effect when you first pump the product out, but it sheers out when you apply it to your face.
I usually mix 1 part of the too cool for school highlighter with 2 parts of the Snoe Beauty BB cream and apply it all over my face. It makes the consistency of the BB Cream easier to spread out and I’m a fan of its glow.
My next liquid/cream highlight is my latest acquisition, from an aunt who lives in Sydney: the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal.
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector under bareMinerals Original Foundation in Medium Beige
It’s BEAUTIFUL and suits deeper, warmer skin tones. I am in love. Of all the highlighters I’ve owned, this resembles the NARS Illuminator the most, in terms of color and consistency. It does have rather glittery particles, though. Many people say that it’s supah fine, but they are very perceptible at a very near distance, so I can’t say if that would be bothersome for you.
At the distance between face at which people normally talk, though, you can’t see glitters, just a sheen and a glow. I love this also because it has added skincare benefits as well as SPF 25+, which makes it the perfect glowy base or primer, so that’s freaking awesome.
Onto the powders!
Up first is the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade. The full review is here. As you can see it is a very good highlighter, but I just don’t see why that big of a fuss has been thrown around it when other highlighters clearly work just as well.
Many say that it is one of the most natural highlighters they’ve ever met, and that may be true, but a “natural glow” isn’t hard to achieve when you live in a country that’s just summer & monsoon all year round, so maybe that’s why I wasn’t so impressed.
Still, if you want it, it’s not a bad product. I do actually reach for it a lot. I just don’t get what all the commotion is about.
Next up is the bareMinerals READY Luminizer in The Love Affair, which is yet another golden highlighter more suited for warmer skin tones. Full review here.
If I don’t want to fuss with a highlight but want a certain kind of natural glow, I reach for this. It’s very fuss-free, easy to apply and easy to bring around, but can be monumentally frustrating if you want a more obvious glow, as the effect of this highlighter is really rather subtle.
Next, I’ll tackle the more “finishing powder-y” of the bunch. Here is MAC Pearlmatte Powder in Veronica’s Blush, from the Archie’s Girls Collection. I’ve written up a full review here.
It is a combination of a shimmery finishing powder (I think!) and a blush (Frankly Scarlet), both of which are part of MAC’s permanent line. There is a very, very slight & subtle pink tint to it (the pink in the photo is from a different blush), but it gives the skin a nice sheen and glow about it. You could wear it alone, actually, if you were quite pale.
I think this would suit cooler-toned girls, though I can wear it no problem. (I really am beginning to suspect that I am a neutral. What is new.)
Next up is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light, which is not technically a standalone highlighter, but it may very well be.
The power~ of this highlighter is in subdued natural lighting. In direct sunlight, it’s nothing special, but when your face needs a little perk up in dim rooms or something, this does the trick very, very well.
I called its effect on me “The Galadriel Effect,” and if you can get that Elven in the Woods kinda glow from a powder compact, I’m thinking it’s a keeper. Read the full review of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders I have (3: Ethereal, Luminous & Mood) here.
Last but not the least, I have my lone tin of Guerlain Météorites in Perles d’Azur. I’ve reviewed these here.
These came out with the Emilio Pucci collection, and there are a lot of variations around that you can try. Because, if I’m being completely honest, I don’t see how the subtle changes in colored beads can drastically change your overall look. Maybe I’m not refined enough, who knows?
I do know that this baby has given my mood a lift, because I always felt like a million dollars when I have even just the thinnest veil of this all over my face. It’s the météorite effect, I tell ya.
And for comparison’s sake, some swatches of the things I featured in this post:
Anyway, that’s all folks! Hope I helped you out. I know I don’t have a lot of the culties here, but my friends who have theBalm’s Mary Loumanizer swear by it, if nothing on here tickles your fancy.
I am still astounded by the fact that I own eight highlighters in a tropical country where “dewiness*” reigns supreme, but I really am working on my EQ. I suppose that being on a ban helps me out in stunting the growth of this area of my makeup “collection,” too.
Let me know if you have any favorite highlighters yourself. 🙂 I’d love to know! (Or do I deserve to know, as a lady who owns eight?)
* Or, okay, oiliness and sweatiness, yeesh!