Review, Swatches, Comparisons | Pat McGrath Sublime Skin Highlighter in Lunar Nude (Holiday 2021)

I promise this is the last post I’m making about the Celestial Odyssey collection. Yes, holiday season as come and gone, but Pat McGrath’s collections tend to stick around for a while, and products once sold out come back in stock, so I think this post might still be relevant. Fingers crossed.

The Sublime Skin Highlighter in the shade Lunar Nude was the first of it’s kind that was released by Pat, and it’s a powder gelée formula with a champagne-peach shade with a few, minuscule specks of micro glitter. Being that it’s a gel-powder type of texture, it’s harder to pick up product from the pan, because it’s the furthest thing from powdery, so you need a denser brush – trust me on this one. I tried it with a softer, fluffier brush, and with a dense brush, that’s when this highlighter truly shines (ha!).

Being a denser, firmer type of product doesn’t make it difficult to use though, because it’s not a dry or patchy formula. On the contrary, like a typical powder gel, it’s a powder that behaves like a cream: it’s smooth, dense but lightweight, and melts into the skin to the point where it looks like part of it. And it blends like a dream, have I mentioned that?

But unlike many other gel-powder highlighters I own, the shine on this is super metallic. The photos do not make it justice. The one I have that’s comparable to it is MAC’s Extra Dimension Skinfinish in the shade Superb specifically (because not all Skinfinishes are the same), and even then, Lunar Nude outdoes it. But for how intense it looks when swatched, when I applied it on the cheeks, my initial thought was that it was, dare I say it, subtle?

But that’s not it. Unlike the last highlighter I reviewed, that was subtle but not natural, this one is natural but not subtle. These two words might seem interchangeable but they’re not: Lunar Nude is strong, very wet looking, but, the shade is neutral enough not to clash or contrast with people’s skintones and it does not emphasise skin texture at all. At. All. For something so metallic, it’s crazy. How did they managed to do something like this? It must be the same type of pact with the devil that makes Jennifer Lopez age backwards (I’d like to get in on that, if anyone knows where I sign up, hit me up).

It lasts about 10 hours before I can see a difference in intensity (it was a bit faded after that time). The packaging is pretty hefty, and it contains 8,5 grams of product. Just in case this in fact doesn’t come back in stock, I made comparison swatches with the highlighters in my collection that are closest to it, in hopes to find a dupe:

I have no actual dupe for this, both when it comes to finish and shade, which surprised me the most. I mean, how many champagne-peach highlighters could there be? A lot, apparently. Wet n Wild’s Precious Petals is what comes closest in colour, but it’s peachier. The picture does not make justice to the shine of any of the highlighters, but certainly not to MAC’s Superb or Pat McGrath’s Lunar Nude. Nothing comes close to those, they look like foiled eyeshadows.

This is becoming a fast favourite. It’s the most outrageous natural highlighter I’ve ever owned (makes no sense, and yet, it’s true). If you still find it available, don’t think twice.

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