December Highlighter Swatches

Clockwise from top left: Hard Candy 3rd Wheel, Hard Candy 3x A Charm, Hard Candy 3x A Lady, RMS Living Luminizer, Smashbox Soft Lights Shimmer, Stila All Over Shimmer Duo

It’s been nearly a year since the last time I swatched my higlighter collection and a lot’s changed. Surprisingly the only one that I’ve kept since then is Stila’s All Over Shimmer Duo (travel size). I really do like it, especially that pink half. The powder’s very soft but nicely pigmented. The level of shimmer and glow falls somewhere between Kevyn Aucoin’s Candlelight which is very sutble and the super frosty theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, though probably a bit closer to Mary-Lou than the former.

At a quick glance I think you’ll notice that I’ve shifted away from yellow-based and beige highlighters, like Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight, Laura Mericer Matte Radiance Highlight and theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, towards brighter pink and white highlighters such as the ones found in the Hard Candy Trios, Smashbox Soft Lights Shimmer and RMS Beauty Living Luminizer.

I still really dig and recommend the Hard Candy Trios but looking over my stash I had to ask myself if I really needed so many highlighters. The answer was a resounding no. There’s no way I’ll ever finish one compact let alone three, so better to put them up on my blog sale so someone else can put them to good use.

If you want an inexpensive, drugstore price range powder highlighter I would strongly suggest checking out the Hard Candy Trios. You can find them at Walmart for $9 each. The quality’s great and you get a bronzer and blush in the same compact. What’s not to love?

I bought the Smashbox Soft Lights Shimmer highlighter out of curiosity. The highlighter’s been around for ages and I’ve seen lots of YouTube gurus recommending it time and again so I figured it was about time I gave it a chance. The powder’s very soft and pigmented, definitely on the pink side and heavily applied it could almost be a blush, but it’s not quite what I expected. I guess I thought it would be subtler based on what I’ve heard other people say but it’s actually quite shimmery/sparkly, particularly in direct sunlight. I don’t mind shimmer but, for the money, it didn’t offer me anything radically different from the Hard Candy Trios or Stila duo that I already had and loved, so it ended up not impressing me much. It’s a pretty highlighter though, so I’m not knocking it.

Clockwise from top left: Hard Candy 3rd Wheel, Hard Candy 3x A Charm, Hard Candy 3x A Lady, RMS Living Luminizer, Smashbox Soft Lights Shimmer, Stila All Over Shimmer Duo

Since these photos were taken I’ve narrowed down my highlighter collection even more. When I said I was trying to reduce my makeup stash, I was serious. I’m now down to just the Stila highlighter and RMS Living Luminizer. One powder highlighter. One cream highlighter. That’s really all I need.

Note: the RMS Living Luminizer was swatched very heavily so it could be captured in photos. When it’s normally applied it’s virtually undetectable and pretty much looks like healthy, well moisturized skin. Out of all the highlighters I’ve tried, it’s by far best highlighter I’ve ever used to achieve that naturally glowy, dewy look.

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