Massive Beauty Purge Project: Powder Highlighters
Okay guys, we are officially more than halfway done with the purge. I still have some pretty large categories to go through, but today we’re tackling my pile of powder highlighters. I took these photos and purged everything before receiving the new Spring collection from NARS in the mail, so I still need to decide which of those I will be keeping and which will be gifted. Now, this is what my collection looked like a couple months ago, and it was actually smaller than I thought it would be, considering I love powder highlighters. I probably have products tucked in here and there in my cosmetic bags, because I swear I had more highlighters than that. I guess I’ll have to just purge them separately.
BH Cosmetics Backlight Highlight 6 Color Palette* ($17) – It’s a gorgeous palette that lets you try a bunch of different highlighter colors on a budget. Each one of the pans is buttery and pigmented, and the finish is so intense, it’s basically made for gathering Instagram likes. However, as much as I wanted to be that girl that wears cool highlight, it’s just not me. I had to be honest with myself here, because even though it’s super trendy to use colored highlighters, I never liked that look on myself.
e.l.f. Illuminating Palette* ($6) – After reading the reviews online, I thought this would be a total dud, but strangely enough I like it. I can see why people said it’s a bad highlighting palette – it doesn’t give the skin that strobing highlight from space look. Instead the shimmer is very subtle, almost candlelit, so it’s more of a complexion enhancer, and you know I’m all about that. The formula does feel chalky, but that makes the highlighters easier to blend. I don’t know, normally I wouldn’t like it, but there’s something about this palette that I’m drawn to and I actually use it a lot.
Kevyn Aucoin The Neo-Limelight Ibiza* ($58) – I love the way this highlighter looks on others, but no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t pull it off – that lilac tint kills my complexion and makes me look like a zombie. 🙁
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter Gradient Glow* ($38) – I think it’s a really cool idea to blend all of the brand’s best-selling highlighter shades in one, but in the end I think the shade is just too dark for me. Look at the swatch and tell me if I’m right about that, because I didn’t give this one away yet.
Chanel Le Signe du Lion in Or Rose and Or Blanc* ($70) – Words can not describe how beautiful these look on the skin! There’s no glitter, just gorgeous luminous sheen that makes my face look lit from within. I don’t think I will be parting with this duo anytime soon, and not just because it’s Chanel – the formula truly is outstanding. If there’s any way you can get these still [this was a LE release] – I highly recommend hunting them down. You might stop using the rest of your highlighters all together as a result.
Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlighter 01 ($42) – This is the OG among the subtle shimmery highlighters in my collection, and it was my go-to way before Hourglass released their famous soft glow powders. I still love the formula after all these years, and bring this mini along when I travel because of the compact size and the versatility – it works well as an eye shadow too.
marsk Mineral Eyeshadow in Vanilla Frosting ($22.50) – Yes, it’s technically an eyeshadow, but ever since I received it in some beauty bag a million years ago, I only used it as a highlighter. It gives a very shiny, frosted look to the skin. I think it will look amazing in low light situations, like in the club or at a late night party outdoors. I almost never go to such events so I might as well give it away and use something else when I do.
Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls* ($9.99) – The brand’s anniversary collection came out last year, and I got to try a few pieces. The highlighter is absolutely gorgeous – it looks like a pretty pink pearl! – but the glittery bits just don’t look good on me anymore. I used to like glittery makeup back in the day, and it’s back in style again, so I can totally understand why so many people rave about this highlighter.
Glo Skin Beauty Shimmer Duo in Candle* (N/A – discontinued) – I love Glo products, and this is actually one of my favorite highlighter duos, but my little sister totally fell in love with it, so I’m going to let her have it. Seriously, I hope she enjoys it as much as I do. She doesn’t buy a ton of makeup because she’s super picky, and I have other products that I can use instead.
Makeup Geek Cosmetics Highlighter in Luster* ($20) – First of all, did you guys know MUG will be sold at Ulta? Yay! Now back to the highlighter, which by the way is buttery smooth and utterly gorgeous. If beige and rose gold had a baby, this would be the color – it looks very pretty on the skin and doesn’t accentuate pores, lines, or dryness. If anything, it kind of makes my skin look smoother. It’s a true shimmer – there’s not an ounce of glitter in the formula.
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer ($24) – I think this was the first full-sized highlighter I ever bought, and it’s still the formula I grade other highlighters by. I used it so many times that I almost reached the bottom of the pan. Actually, I can see the round outline of the pan, so there’s maybe a millimeter of product left until we see the aluminum. Considering how little highlighter is needed for a makeup look, that should give you an idea just how much wear it got over the years. I love it, but it’s time to retire this compact, because it’s just too old.
100% Pure Gemmed Luminizer in Moonstone Glow* ($37) – I don’t have a lot of natural and non-toxic makeup, so I was going to keep this one regardless, if only for reference when writing reviews. Luckily, the formula is actually pretty good. It’s not quite the same as conventional products because it lacks that buttery smooth feel, but it does give the skin a very pretty glow and actually stays put all day. The cool thing about this highlighter is that it uses actual crushed crystals and stones in the formula, and I’m not talking about the standard Mica. 100% Pure Gemmed Luminizer contains Labradorite, Moonstone, Australian Opal, Pyrite, and Sunstone. I need to use a denser brush to pick up enough pigment though.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Otherearthly ($32) – This highlighter is pretty interesting. At first glance it seems like the three shades in the pan don’t go together at all, but they actually kind of do when you swirl them together; plus the sections are big enough to be used separately. I don’t really wear this one anymore, but instead of giving it away I’ll stash it in a box where I keep powder products that have sentimental value or I just think they will be fun to revisit in 5-10 years. I can’t imagine that it will go bad, but if it does, I’ll throw it away then.
I had the hardest time narrowing down what to keep, but my choices are probably not all that surprising. I decided to keep my e.l.f. Illuminating Palette*, since it works well with my skin tone, and I can actually use all four pans. I am also keeping both Chanel Le Signe du Lion* highlighters, because the formula is outstanding and I just love the way they make my skin glow. I am planning to have another green beauty month in June or July this year, so I’m definitely going to get a lot of use out of 100% Pure Gemmed Luminizer*, and my tried and true Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder will accompany me during travels this year.
What brand makes your favorite powder highlighters? Have you tried any of the products mentioned in this post? Let me know in the comments below!
*Indicates PR samples.