Here are some swatches of highlighting products from my makeup collection in early December with some short reviews. I’ve since rid myself of the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01.
Laura Mercier describes the Highlight 01 shade as a “Golden Nude.” In the pan it looks similar to Kevyn Aucoin’s Candlelight but swatched heavily it’s peachy next to the golden beige of Candlelight. The finishes are quite different. Candlelight has a very uniform pearly finish (no shimmer) whereas Highlight 01 contains visible shimmer in direct sunlight. My issue with the Laura Mercier powder, though, is with its texture. Although it’s creamy smooth to the touch, it’s very powdery. In the short time I owned the LM powder, I barely touched it and yet there was always loose powder residue on the plastic all along the edges of the actual baked powder. Too messy for me.
theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer is a lot more golden than the Laura Mercier and KA powders and it’s far more shimmery, too. At full strength Mary-Lou Manizer will give you an intense, frosty glow. Used more sparingly with a gentle touch, you’ll get a subtler but still very shimmery finish.
LORAC Spotlight resembles LM Highlight 01 in the pan but on the skin it’s not even close. Out of all the highlighters I swatched, Spotlight is the darkest and bronziest. Honestly, I’m not wild about this one and I would’ve purged this highlighter from my stash long ago but it’s a product that gets mentioned a lot in relation to other highlighters. I’ve kept it solely for comparative swatching purposes.
e.l.f. Pinktastic is actually a blush but works well as a frosty highlighter. The formula and finish reminds me of the Hard Candy baked face products.
I only swatched the lighter pink left-hand side of Stila’s All Over Shimmer in Kitten. The rest of the products can all be considered “nude” highlighters on light skin — even Spotlight — but the darker half of Stila’s All Over Shimmer in Kitten could be a straight up shimmery bronzer. It’s a much, much deeper bronze than Spotlight which only has a hint of bronze.
I don’t know why people don’t talk about the bareMinerals READY luminizers more often but I think they’re lovely. I picked up both recently after reading the rave reviews on Temptalia (The Love Affair, The Shining Moment). Prior to using the luminizers, the only bareMinerals READY products I’d used were the pressed eye shadows and they’re all winners in my book. The luminizers are no different. Finely milled with a smooth, velvety texture, these highlighters impart a gorgeous shimmery sheen to the skin. They’re not as frosty as Mary-Lou Manizer but definitely much more shimmery than the KA and LM powders. The READY luminizers are very pigmented and pack quite a glowy punch so you’ll want to use a light hand with them. I suggest just barely touching your brush to the product versus swirling. Both are great but I prefer the pink champagne of The Love Affair to the yellow gold of The Shining Moment. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to continue to hang onto it or not but I think The Shining Moment would be more flattering on darker, warmer complexions than mine.