As much as I want to deny it, I can’t. When it comes to highlighters, I can only do subtle up to a certain point. Although I still feel that Shiseido’s High Beam White is a fantastic product for achieving an understated luminosity, it’s simply too subtle for my personal tastes. When I apply highlighter to my cheekbones I want a more noticeable glow and Kevyn Aucoin’s Candlelight delivers that.
Candlelight is a champagne highlighter with a silky smooth texture. The color looks pretty similar to theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer in the pan but swatched Candlelight is far, far more subdued and isn’t nearly as opaque or shimmery.
People often suggest Shiseido High Beam White and Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight when talking about natural or subtle highlighters. I consider High Beam White the ultimate when it comes to extremely understated, “barely there” highlighters. Candlelight, however, produces a more noticeable sheen on the skin and has a softer (more loosely packed) consistency in the pan so it’s a lot easier to pick up product with a brush.
I much prefer Candlelight to High Beam White. In my opinion, Candlelight’s more user-friendly. Excluding the extremely fair who might benefit from a highlighter that’s as pale as High Beam White, I feel that Candlelight’s champagne color is more adaptable. It can be applied lightly for a soft sheen or built up for a stronger, more pronounced glow that blends easily into a wider range of skin tones. High Beam White, in my experience, isn’t nearly as buildable or versatile. It’s great if all you want is the barest hint of glow but if I try to layer the product to achieve a stronger effect, there quickly comes a point where the powder starts looking stark and ashy against the skin.
Bonus pictures! My sister is visiting this week and she uses NARS Albatross as a highlighter. I’ve always been curious about this powder so I decided that now was a good time to do a swatch/comparison.
Conclusion: NARS Albatross just doesn’t compare to Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight or Shiseido High Beam White. Albatross has a much drier, harder texture than the other two powders which are silky smooth to the touch. Albatross actually reminds me of Too Faced’s Candlelight Glow powder in terms of texture. They’re both very firm and dry in the pans making it harder to pick up product with brushes and, when swatched, come across as looking slightly patchy. Even in finger swatches, I think you’ll be able to see how much creamier the Kevyn Aucoin powder is compared to Albatross.
The NARS highlighter is interesting in that it looks like a plain, ivory powder in the pan but once it’s on the skin it transforms into more of a transparent layer of golden shimmer. Compared to Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight and Shiseido High Beam White which give the skin an even, soft, luminous sheen, I find Albatross much more obvious and less refined. Surprisingly, under direct sunlight Albatross is just as shimmery as the extremely glowy Mary-Lou Manizer (lightly applied/blended) but I find Albatross rather unnatural looking because of its strong yellow-gold color that appears almost metallic/frosty in full sun. In addition to being a more wearable champagne shade Mary-Lou also possesses a smoother texture and is a lot more pigmented than Albatross. In my opinion, Mary-Lou is more versatile too: apply it sparingly for a shimmery glow similar to Albatross or heavily for a more intense highlighting effect.
Yeah, I don’t really care for NARS Albatross.