Hey, you. Welcome back!
For the past few months I’ve been accumulating highlighters in search of one that either lives up to the hype surrounding it, or gives me something to create NEW hype about. Rather than doing an April favorites video, I thought I’d offer some insight into the ones I’ve been working with (so hopefully you don’t have to go out and buy them yourself!)
What I’ve discovered is that many of them are so similar, both in formula and intensity, that it really comes down to determining how you want it to look on YOU.
- Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl in Gilded Honey
I posted this one on Instagram as soon as it came in the mail. Laura Geller really did an amazing job with this product. I mean LOOK at it.
Often the name given to a product’s color is about as useful as a BA in English, but in this case “Gilded Honey” really does say it all.
It’s very golden and warm, but blends out so it just looks like someone is following you around with great lighting. You can easily build intensity from a light Tinkerbell-style dusting all the way to chroming out your cheeks if you’re so inclined.
- Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Powder in Moonstone
What highlight haul would be complete without one of the infamous Becca products?
I debated for longer than I’m willing to admit whether to get Moonstone or Opal, but read that Opal has more of a gold hue than Moonstone. Since I was already so happy with the Laura Geller, I went with Moonstone.
This is subtler than the Laura Geller highlighter. The formula is also a bit creamier and applies like velvet. The finish is smooth, diffused, and gives you a natural glowing-from within appearance.
- NYX Highlight and Contour Kit
This palette came with two highlighter shades. They are the ones at either end of the top row in this photo:
The other two light shades have no shimmer and I use them as a setting powder.
These two are great for a no-fuss (fussless?) morning that you need to slap something on your face and get out the door. I think of them as my utilitarian highlighters. Still great and relatively intense, as you can see here:
But they’re much more subtle than the others when blended out:
- Benefit Watt’s Up!
I was intensely curious about cream highlighters when I started this mission. Highlighter is always the last thing I put on my cheeks, and it seemed to me that slathering a cream-based product over a powder-based product (for example, blush) would result in a smeared Dali-esque mess.
I wasn’t entirely correct, but I wasn’t wrong, either. This product goes from cream to powder, which avoids the smearing problem but doesn’t make it the easiest to blend. The little sponge on the base of the stick is useless; I’ve been using my Beauty Blender.
What I will say for it, however, is that the formula allows it to be way more intense than powders, and the color is quite unique:
This is SIGNIFICANTLY blended. I probably should have taken a shot of it just swiped on, no blending. Sorry about that! But it’s got a beautiful peach tone that I like, which I haven’t seen replicated in any of the other highlighters I’ve tried.
- NYX Illuminator
This was the very first highlighter I bought.
What can I say about it? The formula is much more powdery than any of the others, which means it doesn’t stick around for long. As you can see here, there is little to no intensity at all.
If anything, I’ll dab my finger into it and use it to accentuate my cupid’s bow. But it’s not one that I’ll purchase again.
- Bobbi Brown
Like the Becca powders, word of Bobbi Brown’s shimmer bricks is everywhere. This quad is different than the ones where the different shades are in strips and are all in one color family, but I was NOT disappointed.
The resulting tone reminds me of caramel. Not quite dark enough for me to call it “bronze,” but richer in color than the Laura Geller. It’ll give you a nice glow like you’ve been out in the sun for a couple of hours.
As for the formula, I expected it to be more velvety like the Becca pressed powder. But its staying power is undeniable, so leave it to your personal preference.
- NARS Albatross
And of course, the equally infamous NARS Albatross.
In all of the YouTube videos that I watched and saw makeup artists use this bad boy, it just looked white. Worse, it’s listed as a blush on makeup websites. I never would have found it and thought to use it as a highlighter without being told. (In fact, I’ve come to realize that some of the best bronzers and highlighters are out there masquerading as blush!)
This is a gorgeous, ivory-champagne highlighter that will really draw attention to anywhere you apply it. It’s not as blendable as some of the other highlighters listed here, so use a light hand and build the product accordingly. A fan brush is great for this.
I use this one when I’m going for a slightly more dramatic highlight. It hasn’t disappointed me.
Help me foster my addiction and tell me what other highlighters I’m missing out on!!