Face Highlighters

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?

48 thoughts on “Face Highlighters

      1. Ooh, too many for someone who rarely uses them! I have an Hourglass powder and NARS Light Reflecting (if those count), one or two from NYX, MAC Strobe Cream, a random mini from Ipsy, and a suuuper old Elizabeth Arden highlight powder, full-sized from a GWP (or PWP?). The compact is heavy and nicely mirrored, which is why I still keep it around.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You have an Hourglass and Nars and you neglect them? For shame! lol. I do really want to try Hourglass Dim Lighting powder – I think it could replace the MAC MSFN as a setting powder for me.
          I love some of the old EA compacts – very old school and good quality. You should bust that out for a #TBT!


  1. I love the Mary Lou Manizer but I agree it requires a light touch. I once made the mistake of wearing too much of it but only noticed in photos that were taken and it looked horrendous. The Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder is my current favourite. I’ve heard the Pur Minerals Afterglow is really nice too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the first time I highlighted my nose with Mary-Lou Manizer I looked sweaty. I’ve seen great reviews on that Kevyn Aucoin powder (including your review!) – I don’t own anything by him and am curious. The quality looks so good!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary-Lou Manizer – looks lovely, I’ve never used it, but it seems like something I could fall in love easily 🙂 My favourite at the moment is Illamasqua Skin Base Lift Concealer in White Light – that I use as a highlighter, it’s really really white matte shade, so this particular one would be just for a fair skin. I have my eye on Illamasqua Gleam in Aurora – it looks like a nice dewy highlighter. Might get it next month 😀 http://www.illamasqua.com/shop/face/gleam-in-aurora/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man, all this talk of Illamasqua, you’re just making me wish I’d bought more! 😛 I never did really get into their concealers – one of the makeup artists used it on me during a make over and I found it creased a bit. I didn’t know they made a white shade though! Ooooh gleam looks lovely! I’ve never seen that. Yes, please get it and then do a review! 😀


  3. I have a love the Mary Lou Manizer! I haven’t even hit pan on it yet and I’ve had it for such a long time even though I used it all of the time! Definitely worth it! 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Becca is famous for their highlighters – but I’m not sure if I would like the wet version (the one they’re more famous for) or the pressed powder format. I know I would use the pressed powder more though.


    1. Get it already! You can’t get theBalm where you live? Oooh Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks – I don’t hear much about those that often anymore. I have a couple of knock off ones from the Body Shop and they’re nice too – I forgot I had them until you mentioned the Bobbi Brown lol!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yess!! I just purchased the nude dude palette and I’m impatiently waiting for it lol stalking the mailman like a hawk!! 😛 Trust me I’m going to purchase that next! lol I’ve been eyeing it for quite some time now! lol glad I reminded you of them 😉 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have one from physicians formula, the shimmer pearls one, can’t remember the exact name. But it is great, it’s really subtle and not a streaky highlight even if you tried. Perfect for every day. For night I usually use benefit watts up for cream or nars albatross (so intense I will never use up the whole pan in my lifetime)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. at the moment? or in general?
        at the moment I have this Kevyn Aucoin one that I really love ( http://anniesbeautyblog.com/2015/06/25/summer-essentials-kevyn-aucoin-the-creamy-glow-duo/ )
        and my all-time favourite has to be the Hourglass Incandescent Light ( http://anniesbeautyblog.com/2014/07/01/summer-of-2014-bronzed-glowing-healthy-summer-look-tip-1-powders-hourglass-ambient-lighting-powder-luminous-light-and-hourglass-ambient-lighting-powder-palette/ ).

        what’s you all-time favourite lovely?
        lots of xx

        Liked by 1 person

  5. All three of these look great! But, I have to agree. The Shiseido one looks the most lusty worthy to me. My favorite highlighter…. Hmmmm. I like my Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow. I just purchased her Norman Parkinson Dreamy Glow Highlighter as well… Can’t wait to try it out!!!
    Hope your weekend is great. XO

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been dying to get my hands on Mary Lou-manizer by the Balm!!!!
    Also, Jaclyn Hill is coming out with a new highlighter with Becca Cosmetics! I am sooooooooo excited! it launches July 2nd!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I lusted after Mary Lou for a while. Then I swatch it myself, I felt blinded *LOL* If I do end up buying it, it is totally for collection only. I can’t see myself using this level of frost on my face. So how many years will you estimate to pan any of these? 😛


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