On Highlighters

After accumulating just enough blushes, eyeliners, lipsticks, lip glosses, eye shadows, and tinted moisturizers, I discovered that I had one apparently *very* important product missing from my storage box - a highlighter! I mean, really, what makeup collection is complete without one? I'm not even sure I knew what a good highlighter was supposed to do, I just knew that I wanted the top of my cheeks to have the glowy white sheen (it is always white, no matter what your skin tone) that women seem to have in all their best Facebook pictures. And so I searched.

And searched. And searched.

Not all the highlighters I found were really highlighters. Some were glowy powders. Some were creams with multiple uses. Some were suspicious-looking liquids. The biggies that I contemplated taking home for good:

NARS Blush in Sertao - Too close to my own skin color, which made it more of good "finishing" powder.
NARS Blush/Highlighter in Albatross - Beautiful. But seemed like a lot of product and a high price tag for something that I realistically won't use all too often.
NARS The Multiple in Copacabana - Bleh color on me.
BeneFit High Beam - Sales Associate shook her head in approval while I watched this disappear on me.
Benefit Moon Beam - Ditto.
Stila Illuminating Finishing Powder in Rose Glow - Who cares? A full-sized product packaged with another full-sized product at $10 for the holiday season is a no-brainer.
Stila Illuminating Finishing Powder in Bronze - Ditto.
Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Bronzer, Blush & Eyeshadow in Peach Glow - Eh. Gorgeous color and formula, but didn't show up very well on me.

I kept telling myself to return the Stila package, add a few bucks, and get a good lipstick, but I JUST COULD NOT DO IT. And so I kept Albatross and tried to play with it on several occasions. It had taken one very flamboyant Sales Associate at Sephora to teach me how to correctly apply this. After learning, I thought - this $25 sparkling white powder just to dot along my cheekbones (wherever they are - apparently, there is some Chanel "C" formed along my cheekbones and side of forehead) and bow of upper lip? Impossible!

But I hadn't brushed it off yet. I kept it until something comparable came along. That something was Black Radiance Mosaic Bronzer in Summer Shimmer.

Ok, I know comparing NARS to Black Radiance might seem unacceptable to some, but hear me out.

Summer Shimmer is one of those multi-colored bronzers meant to do just about everything. It gives you a sun-kissed glow! It can be used as eyeshadow! It is also a blush! And of course, a highlighter as well! I normally don't fall for this, but I'm feeling pretty partial to Black Radiance's take on this mosaic business right now. This "bronzer" has four light squares of color - white, beige/gold, pink/gold, and bronze/gold. It is actually the lightest shade in a collection that includes Golden Shimmer and Bronzing Shimmer, but this is what makes it work as a highlighter (at least the white part) for I would say almost all skintones, and not just a bronzer.

The white square in Summer Shimmer and Albatross are both a warm, white gold. Albatross is not as fine-milled but is a bit more pigmented. This is alright with me since I'm not planning on wearing it to perform in "Chicago." But it is still pigmented enough to show up on your skin. In terms of texture and blendability, I'd say it's pretty much on par with Albatross - maybe slightly more, slightly less, depending on how you apply and your skin. In my opinion, Summer Shimmer looks a little bit more natural and is definitely more manageable.

The deal-breaker for - NARS is about $25, while Black Radiance is about $5. Given that both will last almost forever, I think Black Radiance is still the way to go, unless you want really phenomenal Facebook pictures and nothing but Albatross will do. Let's face it - I will probably only wear this stuff once a week at the most, and no matter how long the NARS product would last, keeping something so precious and expensive is just not me. After all, I dated Duane Reade for a while. Well, I still am. Of course, my Albatross was purchased on my never-ending credit and/or exchanges/returns at Sephora, so the price wasn't a huge concern - just a matter of principle. I'll admit, though, that I'm not that principled. I can see myself succumbing to Albatross again soon, but for now, Summer Shimmer will suffice. It's always good to know what your options are, and this is a pretty darn good one.


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niki.hill said...

I totally agree with you, that the Black Radiance Mosaic Bronzers are awesome. Don't get me wrong, my NARS Albatross Highlighter Blush Powder will always be my number highlighter but I feel it's too much most for the time, so I either use the Black Radiance Mosaic Bronzer or NYX Mosaic Powder in Highlighter (which is just like NARS Albatross but not glimmery or as shimmery).

Suman said...

I'm glad you agree! I haven't tried the NYX one but I'll have to find it and give it a try :)

didi said...



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