Hi Beauties – If you have been following me on Instagram you might know that recently I made a tutorial on three kinds of highlighters: (1) liquid, (2) powder and (3) stick!
The tutorial was all about application techniques, tools that work best with each type of highlighter and, of course, the end result.
However, in this post I want to give you an in-depth session about the products themselves. I will cover aspects such as quality, price, consistency and packaging.
A full review post!
Let’s first start with the names of the highlighters I have chosen to go with:
- Liquid: Cover FX – Custom Enhancing Drops in Sunlight
- Powder: Bobbi Brown – Shimmer Brick in Golden
- Stick: Smashbox – Cheek Stick in Hollywood Highlight
Of course, there are plenty more options on the market when it comes to highlighters; however, this post is more about working with different consistencies. For example, the various liquid highlighters work in the same way when it comes to applications. The difference is in the color and/or the intensity (shimmer/glow).
Having said that, let’s start with the first type: the liquid highlighter! 🙂
Sleek, long-term usage and travel-friendly!
This thick glass bottle is very thoughtfully designed. It is sleek with 15ml content and its lid has a pump that avoids wastage as you can use it drop-by-drop. The various ingredients are mentioned and, of course, the name of the shade.
Each bottle, containing a different shade, has a different packaging color. This makes each easy to recognize. Moreover, the liquid color itself also varies.
Consistency & Intensity
A little goes a long way, it’s a bottle full of shimmer.
The liquid is of medium thickness, which makes it easy to handle. By using the pump, you can precisely take whatever amount you need without messing around. Moreover, due to its oily feel on the skin, the liquid is great for dry skin-types.
The drop itself is intense; however, when smudging it on a larger surface its intensity in color lowers yet its shimmer intensity remains. The more you blend it, the smoother it can look.
Personally, due to its intensity and consistency I feel that this highlighter is best for night-looks, i.e. for looks that want that extra drama or for people that like to make their highlighter pop. For day-time it can be a little too much, or you should use the tiniest drop for a more natural-looking highlighter.
Once the liquid sits, it will stay! This means that you have to work fast with it. I have experienced that using a damped Beauty Blender works best: it evenly spreads the product on the surface, soaks any excess and leaves it looking seamless.
Using your fingers for a skin-to-skin blending technique also works. Especially when you are on the go and/or want a quick way to apply the liquid highlighter.
As said before, its intensity is high, which means that it can be a little hard to blend it out well. Therefore, practice and practice is key 🙂
Price Quality Ratio:
This particular highlighter, Cover FX Enhancing Drops, sells for USD 42 each. Comparing this with its quality, content, long-term use and intensity, I personally think it’s a fair deal.
This bottle goes a long way, as its intensity is so high that you won’t be using a lot at a time, meaning of course that you can use one bottle for a long time.
Moreover, it is of good quality, perfect for all skin-types and it works for various looks. The only thing that might be a little annoying it that you need some time to blend it in well, as the liquid can be a little stubborn.
The second highlighter is a powder highlighter. Want to know more? Keep on reading!
As you can see in the image above, I used Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Brick Highlighter (trio). These are mostly sold individually in both travel and normal size.
Again, I just picked up one of the many options in the market. If you want to see me using another powder highlighter, click the link! 🙂
A powder highlighter is the easiest highlighter form to work with, especially as beginner: no blending issues, easy to apply and you can use any type of light-shimmer shade as a highlighter (= super handy when on the go).
Square shaped and a mirror.
The actual (full) size Brick Shimmer has a square shape, nothing too big or small. Due to its shape it fits perfectly in corners of either travel-bags or on your dresser. The cover is chic, shiny black with Bobbi Brown on it in white. Moreover, it comes with a mirror: super handy when on the go.
Beautifully pigmented and buildable product.
The intensity of this highlighter is amazing, mostly due to the effect that the various brick shades have. The shimmer itself is also very visible, yet beautifully blendable onto the skin.
This powder highlighter can really be built up to your particular preference. The first swatch is when I just swipe it once, whereas the second swatch is intensified with a little more product.
This second swatch can look cakey on the cheeks, especially if you have a dry skin. Therefore, I would personally recommend to use the right application tools and techniques for a flawless pop of shimmer.
Powder highlighters need some extra attention when it comes to a flawless finish. I would recommend to apply it with a fan-brush if you’re a pro or, for the sake of ease, just go with a more precise (smaller) brush. In the picture below you can see some of the options:
If you like it more intense, spray some face-spray/finish-spray onto the area highlighted, let it dry for a few seconds (not completely dry) and go over it with some more highlighter powder.
To blend it into the skin for a more blended and flawless look, use a damped Beauty Blender and just go a few times over the highlighter.
Working with powder highlighters is easier only if you exactly know where you want the product to sit and stay. It’s a little harder to remove (if gone wrong), due to its powdery texture, of course.
Price Quality Ratio:
Fair, but be careful!
The Shimmer Brick retails at USD 48 per piece, which might seem a little too much. However, this powder product goes a long way. The only thing is that you have to be a little careful with it, because if it falls (badly and sadly) it can break into a thousand pieces.
Having said that, I find the quality very good and it really sticks to the skin all day long. Moreover, these bricks can be used as shimmer eye-shadows as well!
The third – my definite favorite – is the stick highlighter. Why is this my favorite? Let’s find out!
Simple and comes with a sponge.
A comfortable to hold stick. Not too thin, not too thick, and it comes with a blending sponge 🙂
I don’t have a lot to say about the packaging: it’s just simple and easy.
One stroke, wow!
It’s intensity, again, is buildable just like the liquid and powder highlighters. However, I do feel that one stroke (see picture below) already does an incredible job. Moreover, the stick formula is very nice on the skin, making it perfect for dry-skin-types.
Not only does the highlighter have a beautiful shimmer finish, but it also gives a beautiful glow to the high points of the cheeks.
Note: this highlighter comes in many other shades, too; however, this particular shade – Hollywood Highlight – is perfect as a highlighter.
Personally, I never use the sponge it comes with. I feel that the skin-to-skin technique (using my fingers) works best. I either directly draw a line onto the surface and then blend it out, or I go into the product with my fingers and then take it in patting motions onto the surface.
Why don’t I use a sponge? A lot of product goes to waste, as sponges soak up all of it. You might be wondering: but you did suggest it for the liquid highlighters…
Yes, you are right. The reason is the liquids are much easier to blend onto the surface with a sponge for a more flawless finish. If you only use your fingers, it won’t look seamless.
Price Quality Ratio:
The Smashbox Highlighter’s quality is good; however, I definitely agree that there are some better ones, which I will come back to in a second. This one retails for USD 29 each, which is a reasonable for what you get (0.17oz).
The (better) options I was talking about are the Charlotte Tilbury’s (CT) Beach Sticks. Just like the Smashbox Sticks they are also for both cheeks and lips. The notable difference is that I find them better and more beautiful on the skin (especially dry-skin).
Nevertheless, the CT Beach Sticks aren’t comparable to the Smashbox Sticks due to pricing! CT’s sell at USD 85 each, which is more than USD 55 more expensive.
Anyway, as I already stated at the beginning of the post, there are plenty of options when it comes to highlighters:
- and the finish after blending.
Want to see me applying these highlighters?
I hope you enjoyed this review post 🙂 If you did, please give it a like and share it with friends.
Moreover, I would loooove to know which highlighter type is your favorite to work with?
…Liquid, Powder or Stick…
Thanks Beauties, see you soon!