I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an expert on highlighters. I hardly ever use the few that I own, and I have just the bare basics. But I like the idea of highlighting – that luminous glow, the cliché “lit from within” appearance. I feel that all the steps I’ve taken up to the point of a finished face (exfoliation, hydration) have helped to keep some natural radiance on my face so the extra step of applying a highlighter seems redundant. But, like a good makeup addict that I am, I still dutifully purchased highlighters. I chose 3 to share today:
• VS Makeup Illuminating Face Powder in All or Nothing
• theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer®
• Shiseido Luminizing Face Color in High Beam White WT905
Here are all three swatched, in the same order as show above:
Highlighters are notoriously difficult to photograph, so here’s additional information on each:
VS Makeup Illuminating Face Powder in All or Nothing – 8g (unfortunately this was LE, and Victoria’s Secret has discontinued their cosmetics line, I think I paid about $10 for this)
This was a surprising find from VS – I was at VS not for makeup but a sale drew me over to the makeup section and this looked gorgeous in the display. It’s a baked product so I turned it over to read the label, and sure enough, it’s made in Italy, like most other high quality baked products (MAC MSF, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders etc). The pink colour is different than typical highlighters, but it works really well on top of cool toned blushes. From looking at swatches online, I would say the colour is similar to that of ColourPop Teasecake. In terms of sheen, I would say this is about a medium level.
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer® – $24 for 8.5g (Rexall, online)
This thing is so famous, its name is even trademarked. I would consider this a high shine, full-on shimmer highlighter. A makeup pet peeve of mine is when people have obvious streaks of highlight and I’m willing to bet that the majority of the time, Mary-Lou Manizer is probably the culprit! For me, this highlighter requires a gentle touch. I only ever use a fan brush to apply this one. And after applying this, I then buff my face with my powder brush to reduce the shine even further! This makes a nice inner corner eye highlight as well.
Shiseido Luminizing Face Color in High Beam White WT905 – $38 for 6.5g (department stores, select drugstores, online)
This is my favourite out of the 3 shown here, and the most subtle. It is a very smooth powder and has no obvious shimmer. It highlights in 2 ways: a subtle sheen, and also the light, nearly white colour. Most people think of highlighting with shine or shimmer, but a lighter matte shade is also quite effective as a highlight since it works by bringing that section of the face forward. Pro-tip: if you’re ever looking for a subtle highlight, try using a face powder that’s a couple of shades lighter than your natural skin tone.
Here are some placement recommendations for highlighters:
J.J. Abrams would be proud.
On my wish list are highlighters from Becca (Shimmering Skin Perfector) and ColourPop (Hippo, Jelly Fish, Boba… so many of them!), and Hourglass (probably Dim Light) – these seem to get rave reviews online.
What’s your favourite face highlight product?