Glow Galore – a highlighter collection review

Collection posts are fun. At least I love to read them. It’s like someone giving a tour of their candy shop. And you go along and think “I want that. And that. And that one. I want that…”.

I’ll give a short description/overview of each product here. If you have questions about a specific one or even would like a more in-depth review, feel free to ask in the comments. The ones marked with a ♥ are my most used favourites.

Gaze in awe at my Microsoft Paint skills.
The two forgotten ones that din’t make it in time for the family photo. Mary-Lou is a favourite, Becca is a classic.

The classic champagne:

  • [1] Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter, from TheBalm ♥: one of my favourites, a classic highlighter in every sense of the word: it was famous before the highlighter trend, it’s a yellow-y champagne colour that’s universally flattering, extremely high shine and lasts all day. It has a whiter base colour than the typical champagne that makes it extra illuminating. But it does enhance pores. It’s the down side of the bling factor.
  • [2] Pretty Vulgar’s Shimmering Swan highlighter in 41- Glimmer of BS: a cooler tones, rosy champagne highlighter. Smooth texture, long lasting.
  • [3] MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle: like Mary-Lou, this is also a cult favourite. I think the champagne colour is the “most natural” when it comes to high shine. The texture of this one is a bit grittier though, and a few individual sparkly bits are visible. They aren’t specifically glitter, but they’re obvious nonetheless. The texture could also be smoother.
  • [4] Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in Beige: oh my, talk about memory lane. This was the all mighty highlighter back in 2008 when I started becoming interested in makeup. A true shimmering beige, though the texture is a bit more obvious than what would be ideal.
  • [5] Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal: darker than all the other champagne counterparts, it’s also the most reflective. It darkens when the light isn’t hitting it directly, but when it does, BAM. Blinded.

The peaches (all of these are top notch, btw, and amazingly affordable):

  • [6] Milani’s Strobelight Instant Glow Powder in 02 – Dayglow: a champagne with a strong peach undertone, it’s pretty smooth and blends well on the skin.
  • [7] Wet n Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals: a peach-champagne highlighter, with a very smooth texture, and very shiny as well.
  • [8] Maybelline ‘s Master Chrome metallic highlighter in 050 Molten Rose Gold: it’s a peach with a strong golden sheen, almost a duochrome. A very smooth powder, pigmented and it sits well on the skin.

The white/light beige:

  • [9] Make Up For Ever’s Pro Light Fusion in 01: this highlighter is peculiar. It’s very reflective, and depending on the light it’s either white, a very light pink shade, or a whitish see-through base with tones of nano-glitters (very tiny, not gaudy). Also very smooth;
  • [10] MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Lightscapade: a soft highlight, not very shimmery, almost bordering on matte but with a nice light base that doesn’t darken on the skin,
  • [11] NYX Mosaic Powder in 01 Highlighter: damn, another throwback product. I’ll say it: this is old. But the colour is great: when you mix all the shades, you’re left with a light shine white highlighter that lifts the face. The texture is smooth and blends with your skin giving the most natural finish. Too bad they discontinued it;
  • [12] Kiko Illuminating Duo in 100 Almond Translucency: it’s very light powder, that could pack a punch if it wasn’t so powdery. Due to the powdery-ness, it can blend to almost nothing.
  • [13] Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01: I was debating if this should be on the subtle category. The base is an intense, very light, almost white beige that definitely lifts the cheek. it’s very pigmented but without being powdery. It has a soft, natural sheen – nothing too blinding. Quite unique.

The subtle:

  • [14] Kiko Mosaic Highlighter in 01 Future Light – a gold, very very subtle colour. It’s to typical highlighters like candlelight is to fluorescent light. If it wasn’t so yellow toned you could almost use it as finishing powder all over the face.
  • [15] Wet n wild Coloricon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana: sure, “bronzer”. Anyway, regardless of what they call it, it is an amazing product. The colour is subtle and very skintone like, but trust me, it’s pigmented. It is not high shine, just a little sheen over matte – like satin. It blends amazingly on the skin. I love it to buff out blush when I applied too much.
  • [16] Milani Hypnotic Lights highlighter in 03 – Luster Light: a gorgeous, gorgeous, duo (trio?) chrome of peach, gold and pink that shines and shifts but is subtle enough to look light your skin naturally produces that colour and glow. So god damn gorgeous.
  • [17] Guerlain’s Meteorites Illuminating Powder in Perles de Nuit: this is basically a translucent powder, with a very soft luminous finish, that you use all over the face. Not an intense highlighter but still a flattering and visible one if you decide to pack it.
  • [18] Chanel Highlighting blush in 12 Coups de Minuit – a true beige with a sheen that’s more natural but still very visible. The texture is pretty smooth for a Chanel baked product.

The gold glow:

  • [19] Diorskin Shimmer Powder in 002 – Amber Diamond : This could be a tad too dark if it wasn’t for the lighter left side of the compact that you can concentrate your brush in for a more balanced highlighter – for lighter skintones, that is. That said, it’s a stunning gold highlighter that can make you look almost bronzed, and blends perfectly into the skin.
  • [20] Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Illuminating Powder Gelée: it’s a bit dark for me most of the time, but when I’m a bit more tanned this looks amazing. With an exotic glowy skin. Similar to Dior Amber Diamond, but yellower, less copper.

The pinks:

  • [21] Sephora highlighting compact powder in Pink: a very frosted pink based highlight with a few sparse micro-glitters;
  • [22] Shiseido Face Colour Enhancing Trio in 1: with a strong white base, it has a pink shift (assuming you mix all the colours together). A pretty but slightly too powdery highlighter.
  • [23] Bourjois Universal Illuminating Powder, Poudre de Riz de Java – the texture is very smooth, like a finishing powder, and the highlight would be very subtle apart from the ocasional tiny sparkle. Poudre de Riz means rice powder, the traditional face powder from our grandmothers era, and it feels just like that.
  • [24] The Body Shop Brush on Radiance: like the Kiko pearls (number 24) these are a bit too sparkly and obvious on the skin. Not as powdery, but still, there are much better highlighters in the market. The colour is somewhat of a warm pink, but still light enough to highlight.

The cool toned:

  • [25] Urban Decay’s Afterglow highlighter in Aura: a duochrome cool pink/lavender highlighter that gorgeous. It has translucent quality to it, that gives it a more “natural” finish. The texture isn’t obvious at all, and it does enhance pores;
  • [26] Kiko Shimmer Pearls in 02 – Optical Highlighter: a white base with a cooler undertone, I’m not a major fan of this one. The texture is a bit obvious, powdery, and although the glitter particles are very small, there are too many of them for my taste;
  • [27] NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating powder in Lavender Steel: a fun highlighter, very lavender, shiny but with enough transparency so as to not to look like a lilac stripe across your face. More wearable than it might appear.

The blush toppers:

These are the hybrids, the products that stay in the limbo between blush and highlighter, because they contain enough color and shine to belong to either, but not so much that the category is obvious. Some of them were intentional, some of them are products meant for other skintones that I convinced myself I could pull off.

  • [28] Milani Illuminating Face Powder in 02 Beauty’s Touch: it’s packed with colour upon first application, but it fades completely within 5 hours. The shine remains for a bit of time, but the pinky colour is gone.
  • [29] MAC Beauty Powder in Pearl Sunshine: I sometimes use it as a blush, but it is truly a hybrid. It’s a good one for when you get distracted with the bronzer, or if you want to keep your face nearly bare. It is your typical pinky-peach colour with gold shimmer that you see in blushes, only lighter – but not less pigmented. Not top 5, but a favourite.
  • [30] The Body Shop Shimmer Waves in Blush: this is one that might be a blush for lighter skin. I know it says “Shimmer Waves” and it is quite shimmery – just a degree before frosted – but the pink colour is pretty intense. The good part is that you can choose where you swirl your brush to get either a lighter or darker colour.
  • [31] MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Refined: the highlighter in this product is more due to the light colour than the shine, which is very subdued. It’s a light peach that, depending on your skin tone, can either lift the cheek or work as a blush. A tad powdery, though.
  • [32] MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Porcelain Pink: it has a nice, soft sheen and some tiny shimmers over a warm, light pink shade that’s not uber pigmented and blends well into the skin.
  • [33] Lancome Illuminating Smooth Powder in La Roseraie: not a great one. It’s basically a peach and beige matte powder that when mixed together result in a light, barely there colour that’s not white enough for a matte highlighter but not pigmented enough for a nice blush.

The Liquids:

This is not my favourite type of product. I prefer powder because I like to apply it after setting powder. With liquids tough you can have a more intense highlight that still looks like your natural skin.

  • [34] Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlights in Opal: a peachy champagne, like the powder version. Blends well.
  • [35] Benefit’s High Beam (sample): a light, white-ish highlight that’s very reflective.
  • [36] Benefit’s Moon Beam (sample): the colour is really close to the Milani’s Luster Light, a bit more gold, a little less shiny. Beautiful as well.

The odd colours (aka not highlighters but products so damn shimmery they only fit in this category):

  • [37] Physicians Formula Butter Highlighter in Rose Gold: a very, very reflective copper shade that looks like a blush when it’s shaded but a mirror when the light hits it. It’s beautiful, but I’m not sure it’ll work as a highlighter – it’s kind of new in my collection. I might use it as an eyeshadow. The texture though. Girl. Gurl. It’s like touching velvet. How? How do they do that? I have nothing else that feels like it. It’s like touching fabric. It’s smoother than Barry White.
  • [38] The Body Shop Baked-To-Last Bronzer in 02 warm glow: a very beige “highlight”. I think this is sold as a bronzer, but to me, it’s like my foundation shade but with shine. Good for a tanned skin or if I want to use only one face colour product.
  • [39] Too Faced Bronzing Powder in Pink Leopard: a light brownish pink that’s very shiny. Again, it’ sold as a bronzer but I think it’s too shiny for that. Another great product if you want to dust it all over your cheek for a highlight, blush and bronzer all at the same time.

Hope this is useful in some way. It was to me. I assessed I have too many shiny things.

3 thoughts on “Glow Galore – a highlighter collection review

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