Farsali Rose Gold Elixir and Volcanic Elixir Review

dsc07823So I’ve been busy. If you want to read more about what’s been going on in my life, read this post over here on BakedByH. I probably won’t continue that narrative on this post but it may help to explain why all my reviews are coming at once instead of in a timely manner. That, and, I just haven’t been feeling make up recently. But I’ve still been keeping up with skin care, and hopefully going to expand on my routine over the next few posts.

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Today we’re talking about the Farsali Elixirs. I’ve been using these for about ten months now, so they’re definitely tried and tested. Generally, I really like these. Both of them, for different reasons. First we’ll talk about the Rose Gold Elixir.

This is the popular one in all the Instagram videos, with the tell-tale gold flicks. It looks bougie, and it kinda is let’s not lie. It’s $35 for 15ml, which is a fairly small bottle. The ingredients are: Rosehip Seed Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, 24k Gold, Vitamin E, Lemongrass Oil, Orange Peel Oil. These are all natural and fairly easy to obtain (aside from the gold). The cynic in me thinks the Rose Gold Elixir is just a fancy bottle of Vitamin E oil, but I’ll suppress that thought for now.

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It’s quite a thin consistency and the gold flecks disappear when blended out, I mean.. I’m not entirely sure where they go but they seem to dissolve into the skin. Which means I’m now made of gold? Idk. Hmm. *Ponders* 🤔

The oil is lightweight and won’t clog your pores – it really is a moisturiser. I use it in the morning on freshly cleansed and toned skin (current cleanser: Alpha H Balancing Cleanser or Mario Badescu Glycolic Cleanser twice a week) and current toner: Pixi Glow Tonic).

I have repurchased this one, in the larger size because I do really like it. I take it everywhere as it can be used both morning and night, and under the eye so I don’t have to travel with a million creams!

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Ok, the Volcanic Elixir. It’s a greenish thick oil that occasionally gets a little solid if cold. It is also really great. BUT. There is a but. And it may be a deal breaker. It smells like curry. No lie, actual proper depths of a spice market, I can’t even describe it, CURRY. And, like, I’m Asian sooooo, I don’t want people to think that’s just what I naturally smell like, you know?! Okay, I’m exaggerating slightly – the smell does disappear after about 15 mins and I only ever use it at night time to minimise the consequences!  But this is the one I use when my skin is really dry and quite textured. It evens, brightens and calms it overnight. It’s better than the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (in my opinion) because it delivers on all of those claims but does it better. It’s just stronger. I do like the Kiehl’s, and I use it when I need something a little lighter with a nicer fragrance.

It’s made of 100% Polynesian Tamanu Oil. I understand this isn’t as common as the ingredients in the Rose Gold Elixir, but I can totally get on board with it.

I do have dry skin, combination to some extent – my t-zone is normal but, my oh my, do my cheeks and mouth area get dry over winter! The cold weather is so unforgiving to delicate skin types and facial oils are my saviour. I have no desire to change the three oils mentioned in this post as they all work for me. Of course, I may add more. But, currently no pressing desire to do so.

I have noticed an overall evening of skin tone with these products, though, it’s likely that’s in conjunction with the rest of my fairly rigorous skin care routine… But they are really quite lovely products. I would definitely recommend the Rose Gold Elixir because it’s suitable for pretty much everyone. The Volcanic Elixir is good – more potent and does more for the skin, but the smell is extremely overpowering and I know that would be enough to put some people off.

Farsali is the brainchild of Farah Dhukai and her husband, I believe. I bought these at the beginning of Summer 2016, off the Farsali website. Although I paid in dollars, I was charged in £ and not charged customs because it was shipped from the UK, if you order in the UK. There are often hidden deals on each of the elixirs, and a page comes up before you buy one of them, offering the other at a potentially discounted rate. I think that’s the case anyway, or it was when I ordered them.

It’s an 8.5/10 from me for the Farsali Elixirs. 

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette Review

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Let’s talk about the (not so new) Anastasia palette – The Modern Renaissance Palette. This is a particularly aesthetically pleasing palette. Right from the warm pink toned colour family to the pretty pink fluffy exterior, it’s certainly eye catching. But just how practical is it? It’s ABH’s first permanent palette and I find that interesting because it’s so trendy. This post took about two months longer than intended to publish because I had just refused to make my mind up about this product. I’ve now formulated a somewhat less than popular opinion so keep on reading if you want to know.

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It’s undeniable, this palette is of superior quality. That is, the formulation of the shadow is slightly better than any of ABH’s previous palettes (I have the amrezy palette, the world traveller palette and the glow/contour kits for comparison). These shadows are creamier, more buttery, more pigmented and more consistent than any of ABH’s previous products. They blend well and the various eyeshadows complement each other in the palette. In terms of pigmentation and quality, it’s comparable to the Lorac Pro Palettes (1 &2) which are arguably, two of the best palettes out there. As with all super pigmented eyeshadows, there’s fallout – it’s the compromise to having a lot of pigment in the formulation, the excess needs to go somewhere and it’s usually termed fallout. Just tap your brush off on the side before applying to the lid so that it doesn’t go all over your face.

Here are the swatches. The first three pictures are finger swatches and then there’s a brush swatch of all the shades because you don’t generally apply eyeshadow with your finger so brush swatches give a more accurate representation of pigmentation.

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Brush Swatches, using a Zoeva 234 Luxe Smoky Shader

There are only two true shimmer shades – a gold tone and a pinky silver tone. That really is all you need amongst the warm sea of matte shades. There’s a couple of in-between satin finish shadows that have some slight shimmer but it doesn’t foil on the lid therefore making them look quite flat and matte (Antique Bronze is a prime example).

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As for the fluffy exterior. I feared it might get super dirty and look ugly really quickly but if you have this palette and you want to know how to keep it clean then don’t worry because I’ve figured it out. Just get some antibac brush cleanser on a tissue and blot at any marks. They come right off. I use this stuff for all my brushes and to keep everything clean. You’re welcome.

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If you’ve made it this far you might be wondering when my so far, glowing review becomes less than popular. It’s not to do with the quality of the palette. It’s to do with how useable it is. In my opinion, pink eyeshadow is just not very flattering on many people. It looks great on the Instagram pictures, you know where the beauty gurus use ring lights and skin smoothing apps? But actually, in person, more often than not it looks off. I mean, to be honest only about three shades in the palette are responsible for the offending pink eye (conjunctivitis pun intended) situation. These are Love Letter, Venetian Red and to some extent Red Ochre. The rest of the palette is super flattering and actually, very neutral. It’s just this trend of pink eyeshadow that needs to move on IMO.

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For example, I used the MR palette for this look with zero pink shades and loved it.

Just one more gripe about the price: it is $42 and £41. I actually bought this the day it became available in the UK. When it arrived, I refused to use it for a few weeks and kept it in a drawer because I resented having to pay so much for it! These prices are set by ABH and not our retailers so it really was their call. Slightly disappointing as none of my other ABH palettes have been more expensive than about £25. I assume as the brand is growing, the prices are increasing to maximize profitability. Annoying, but such is life. If you’re wondering whether the palette is worth it then it’s your call. If you want a warm toned palette with a great selection of warm crease and transition shades and you’re willing to fork out for the quality, then yeah you can get hold of it here (waitlist but it’ll come back eventually). If you want the palette because it’s trendy AF then maybe try pink eyeshadow in any other palette you’ve got or get a cheaper alternative to make sure the colour suits your eyes. If you want a new palette that’s a little more versatile with colours check out my last review.

All in all, it’s a nice palette and you can create some very pretty looks with it. It has an excellent selection of transition, blending, crease and outer v shades which look and blend excellently but when I think of the palette, I tend to forget about these and focus on the fact that I don’t like pink eyeshadow on pretty much anyone. Maybe this clouds my judgement, but I had to get it out there.

  • Pigmentation – 10/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 6/10
  • Overall – 8/10

 

Urban Decay XX VICE LTD RELOADED palette review

 

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This is Urban Decay’s latest ‘Vice’ palette, and it’s meant to pay homage to all the old skool UD shadows, such as Acid Rain and Gash. It has 20 different shades that can be found in old UD collections as well as common palettes such as the Naked palettes, but the shades are in UD’s new (and better) eyeshadow formula. I’ve been playing around with this palette since about April despite its UK release date being August – my mum was in the UAE and picked it up for me there, so I’ve had a long time to form an opinion. I wasn’t expecting to love it – I’ve never really been into UD palettes but this one really is excellent. It’s the palette I go to when I’m lacking inspiration. It’s got most colour families included which is great if you’re travelling or you have multiple events that you need to get ready for and it’s especially great for asian events!

The quality of the shadows is really good – I’m very fussy when it comes to eyeshadow and this pleasantly surprised me. All the colours bar one perform well (Shallow) and have good staying power with and without a primer. My only gripe about this palette is that I always need another palette full of transition and crease shades to go with it. There’s only three matte shades and if you’re of medium or darker skin tone, the only matte shade that’ll show up in your crease is Suspend which is a very cool toned almost grey brown shade. I like to use the Too Faced Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette with this palette to get the best variety of eye looks. Some of the darker shades (Oil Slick and Twice Baked) have a little fallout but it’s not unmanageable. I’d recommend doing your eye makeup before your face makeup if you’re working with glittery dark shades anyway.

The packaging is great – it’s a sturdy plastic palette with a push button mechanism so there’s no chance of the palette falling open at every opportunity. It’s got a huge mirror so it’s good to travel with. It comes with a dual ended brush – a fluffy side for blending and a less fluffy side for packing on colour. The brush is okay, but I always use my Zoeva Rose Gold Eye Collection for eyeshadow 🙂

It is pricey – at £43 for the full 20 shades but it’s definitely worth it if you’re in the market for a new multipurpose palette (as opposed to the pink toned palettes that seem to be dominating the market ATM), or you’re an UD fan. It’s annoyingly more expensive here than in the states but so are most things when you’re a UK based makeup hoarder!

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 7/10
  • Overall – 9/10

You can purchase it here.

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The outer packaging

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The palette

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Just a handful of the looks I created with this palette 🙂

Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Review

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Okay, so these were very hyped up by the Instagram beauty community, and even by Huda herself. She made a number of seemingly outrageous claims, like these are “hydrating” and “the longest lasting liquid lipsticks ever” and that they’re super “comfortable”. It almost pains me to say it but these completely top the LL league table for me and I was NOT expecting that. They really live up to their claims!! And possibly the best thing about the shades? They are completely brown girl friendly. *applauds*

I got the shades Trendsetter (an orange based brown-nude), Icon (a warm toned strawberry pink), Flirt (a cool toned grey brown) and Spice Girl (a neutral-warm brown). All the shades are super flattering and they all perform as well as each other.

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  • Pigmentation – 8/10
  • Texture – 10/10
  • Longevity – 10/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 10/10

You may notice the lower than perfect score on pigmentation – these aren’t super pigmented – but it works. They’re pigmented enough to cover any discolouration but they don’t have the flakey dryness that comes with super high pigmentation. I’m assuming it was a compromise to having a ‘hydrating formula’.

Texture-wise, they’re very liquid, which can get a little messy but it’s NBD really. Worth mentioning though, they dry a lot darker than when first applied and they take about 30-60 seconds to dry down.

They last for aaaages, and they wear off super inoffensively. I literally wore flirt today for 14 hours. Sure, it wasn’t perfect at the end of the day but I didn’t top up once and I ate a full three meals. It still looked fine after all those hours because it’s so neutral and lightweight.

The only downside to these, are the price. I paid £18 per 5ml lipstick on Cult Beauty. Having said that, they really are worth it in my opinion. They look good on medium skin and they’re comfortable and long lasting. What more could you want from a lipstick, really?

Well done, Huda.

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Best nude liquid lipsticks for brown girls

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From L-R. Colourpop Chi, Jeffree Star Celebrity Skin, Dose of Colours Truffle, TheBalm Committed, Coloured Raine Mars, Kat Von D Lolita 2, NYX SMLC in Cannes, TheBalm Charming, Kat Von D Lolita, Jouer Noisette, TheBalm Trustworthy

This is probably one of the topics I get asked about the most… I love a good nude lip. But if you’re anything beyond NC25 you may have noticed that a lot of ‘nudes’ look straight up baby pink or like you have concealer on your lips circa 2009. That would be because they are often made for lighter skin tones. That’s a whole other debate, and I won’t get into it other than to quickly say that I’m glad more brands are catering for women of colour these days! Anyway, the trick to finding the ‘perfect nude‘ is to look at the undertone of it. Nudes with brown undertones tend to be fairly flattering on brown skin, though they’re often a little dark so channel that 90s vibe. If you want a straight up nude, go for something warm/neutral/orange based. Anything pink/cool based like lighter nudes won’t flatter medium/tan/dark skin very well. Of course, this is all dependent on individual preferences. There’s a lot about your lips that will influence how a shade looks on you including natural lip pigmentation, dryness and size.

Why Liquid Lipsticks?

I pretty much ONLY wear liquid lipsticks now. I have a lot of them, last count was 40 odd?! Crazy I know. But it’s because a few years ago, before there was the plethora of liquid lipstick (LL) choice, I really really struggled with lipstick. I have naturally pretty pigmented lips and no bullet lipstick could cover the pigmentation properly and stay true to the colour and finish that was promised. Trust me, I tried all of them. Everyone used to swear by the MAC matte bullets but seriously, they stayed on my lips for a hot 2.5 minutes before disappearing into thin air. Then, years and years ago we were on holiday in Abu Dhabi, and I went in to Sephora and bought a Sephora Cream Lip Stain. These were one of the first ‘liquid lipsticks’ out there, and they weren’t even marketed as that back then. I realised that I could wear it and it would stay put on my lips for hours! I had a super dark vampy colour and I loved it but I didn’t get anymore of those. The current formulation of LLs across the board are far superior. So not long after, I discovered Stila’s Stay All Day LLs. And I told everyone and their mother (including my own mother). Seriously, I bought loads of colours for myself, I bought more to give to people as gifts, I just had to let people know about this lipstick advancement! Word spread quickly, and soon enough all my friends and family were walking round with their Stila LLs in their bags. I maintain to this day that the Stila formula is one of the best and it was one of the originals, so if you want to start somewhere then Stila is a great brand. It’s also easily accessible in the UK, online or in M&S. You’ll notice that Stila hasn’t found its way on to this list.. The colour selection is somewhat disappointing. And the ‘nude’ shade of the bunch – Dolce, is not the best. It’s patchy and weirdly glittery and I just don’t like it. Patina, on the other hand, is a nice rosy shade but I wouldn’t class it as nude. It’s a light mauve. It looks VERY different on different skin tones but it doesn’t look bad on any at all. It used to always be sold out but I think the Patina hype has died down a little now! I remember when I got it a couple of years ago, I was on the waiting list for ages and as soon as it came out it had sold out within the afternoon! Ah, those were the days.

Anyway, lets move on to the nudes.

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Colourpop, Chi$6 (£4.63)

This was part of the Karrueche ColourPop collection a few months ago. It’s a neutral nude, perfect for medium-tan skin tones that won’t pull grey or pink. The formula is pretty good and it’s not expensive.

  • Pigmentation – 8/10
  • Texture – 7/10
  • Longevity – 7/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 8/10

Jeffree Star, Celebrity Skin, £14 (Keep checking back for stock updates)

Controversy aside, JS are known for having one of the best LL formulas. I obviously had to test this out, so as soon as Cocktail Cosmetics got a restock of popular shades I was all over it. It’s one of the lighter nudes on this list but it’s warm based and will work for light-medium skin no problem. Tan skin might struggle as it’ll pull a little grey/pink and might blend in too much, but dark tones should be able to pull it off as a lighter nude. It’s pretty thin, and it can go on a little streaky so needs a couple of coats but tbh, that’s common with all lighter LL shades. I think it’s due to the type of white pigment. It wears off fairly inoffensively and doesn’t tend to crumble which is always good. I’m not sure I’d consider it the best formula out there but it’s a solid effort and it’s a decent price.

  • Pigmentation – 6/10
  • Texture – 7/10
  • Longevity – 7/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 7/10

Dose of Colours, Truffle, £14.50

This one is almost always sold out but I’m particularly grateful to beautybay for stocking dose of colours as a brand anyway. This is another brand that supposedly has the best LL formula and again, I have to disagree. Whilst this performs better than some others on the list, the moussey texture lets it down more than expected. It wears away and looks a bit silly in the centre of the lips even if you don’t eat anything oily. I would put this down to the shade but I have another one from DoC, called Berry Me and that one is even worse! It literally peels off. This one isn’t as bad. It’s very comfortable and easy to reapply once you’ve put it on so its longevity is not a huge deal if you’re prepared to carry it around with you all day. The packaging is cute and sophisticated also. It’s a pink based nude and it’ll work for light – medium skin. Any darker and you’ll be wearing a lovely shade of pink, as opposed to nude.

  • Pigmentation – 8/10
  • Texture – 7/10
  • Longevity – 7/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 8/10

TheBalm, Committed, £13.50

A warm, pinky nude that is comfortable, smells great, easy to get hold of (online or in Superdrug stores), lasts for ages and wears away fairly inoffensively. It’s perfect for lighter – medium skin. Anything beyond NC42 will find it pink.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 8/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 9/10

Coloured Raine, Mars, £15

This one is a dusty rose, it’s not really brown based but it’s the Stila Patina shade for brown girls and the formula is excellent. It’s a good price and is very flattering. This is a ‘go to’ daily shade for me.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9/10

Kat Von D, Lolita 2, $20 (£15.48)

I bought this as part of the Lolita duo released on Sephora website last year. I’d always wanted KVD Lolita and the chance to grab both of these shades was too good to miss. It’s a travel sized tube so it’s a bit on the tiny side but you can get it in full sized. I heard KVD was launching in Debenhams this September so hopefully her LLs come with her! It’s a terracotta nude. Orange based nudes are VERY flattering for asian medium skin in particular so I always get lots of compliments when I wear this. The KVD formula can be a little drying but pop a lip balm on beforehand to moisturise if you suffer from dry lips.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9/10

NYX SMLC, Cannes, £5.50

This takes a while to dry down fully, it’s pretty similar to Charming from TheBalm in terms of colour when dry but it takes about half an hour to dry and mattify. That’s great if you know you can’t eat or drink for half an hour! It’s a nice, daily colour that wears off subtly. It’s very affordable so NYX SMLC are a great place to try out different colours.

  • Pigmentation – 7/10
  • Texture – 8/10
  • Longevity – 6/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 7/10

TheBalm, Charming, £13.50

This is one of my all time favourites. It’s a deep mauve shade as opposed to a nude but it complements my skin tone really nicely. It’s a trendy shade too – it channels major popular colourpop/girlactik vibes. The formula, as described above, is excellent. It’s one of the few lipsticks that I have a backup of incase it ever goes missing!

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9.5/10

Kat Von D, Lolita, $20 (£15.48)

Although I have this in the mini size as part of the kit, I also have it in full sized because it’s so perfect. It’s a browny, dusty rose that looks different on everyone (not to mention the fact that there have been three versions of the same shade), but i think this is the one here to stay. It evens out my lip pigmentation so it looks like I have none and is just a very flattering, comfortable lipstick.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9/10

Jouer, Noisette, £15

My favourite nude of all time. The formula is great, it smells nice, it’s easy to carry. It’s a lovely warm medium brown with neutral undertones and not a hint of pink. It dries almost immediately and lasts for ages. Although the Jouer brand is very good, Cassis which is a purple mauve shade slightly underperformed compared to Noisette, so not all the colours across the brand are perfect unfortunately 😦

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 10/10
  • Longevity – 10/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 10/10

TheBalm, Trustworthy, £13.50

This is one of the newer shades from TheBalm. It’s a spicy reddy brown and is actually the liquid lipstick version of Spice Lipliner from Mac. **Cue mad rush to buy it**. TheBalm is very consistent with its formula across the shades and this one is as excellent as the other two on this list.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 9.5/10

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From L-R.  TheBalm Trustworthy, Jouer Noisette, Kat Von D LolitaTheBalm CharmingNYX SMLC in CannesKat Von D Lolita 2, TheBalm CommittedColoured Raine Mars, Dose of Colours TruffleJeffree Star Celebrity SkinColourpop Chi

My favourite highlighters

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It’s no secret that alongside liquid lipstick, my favourite item of makeup is HIGHLIGHTER. I mean, it’s having its moment in the sun right now – everyone is all over this exaggerated, borderline obnoxious highlight and I just love it. What’s not to love about smothering yourself in glitter?! Obviously, you’ll get some people (Debbie Downers) who think that the current trend is ‘too much’ buttttt that’s not what BBHb thinks 😉

I have been collecting highlighters for some time now, and the purpose of this post is to review all of my highlighters, mentioning their strengths and weaknesses and who each one is best suited to. Let’s start, shall we?

These are in no particular order, per se… Each has its own merits and deserves a place on this list – the hardest part is choosing which one you want!

1. Mary Lou Manizer, TheBalm £17.50 for 8.5g

This is an oldie but a goodie, it’s an intense champagne coloured highlight that you’ll be able to see from space. It’s not the smoothest or the butteriest, but it’s fairly blendable and has decent pigment. It’s a safe investment and will work for most light to tan skin tones. Darker girls may struggle with this as it’s so intense from first stroke but it could work with some clever foundation blending. It lasts for a good 7 hours from first application.

  • Pigmentation – 8/10
  • Texture – 6/10
  • Longevity – 8/10
  • Price – 7/10
  • Overall – 7/10

2. So Hollywood Illuminator, Anastasia Beverly Hills £28 for 9g (currently out of stock)

This was a cult product. It flew off the shelves like nobody’s business, much like everything ABH releases. It’s a warm golden highlighter, or ‘illuminator’ that capitalises on the intense glittery highlight trend. The glitter particles are rather large in this one, it’s great for parties but it’s not a natural glow like some others on this list. It’s also really pricey. It would work for warm light to medium dark complexions as it’s so gold but I have to say, my favourite way to wear this illuminator is on top of another more subtle highlight to diffuse the blending.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 7/10
  • Longevity – 9/10
  • Price – 6/10
  • Overall – 8/10

3. Wisp and Teasecake, Colourpop $8 for 4.2g (roughly £6 each)

So I bought these a little over a year ago – when they first came out. Though I was always reluctant to recommend them to my friends over here in the UK because back then, colourpop was near impossible to get hold of. Despite spelling ‘colour’ the British way, this American brand and their weird moussey formulas did not share the goods. I am now happy to report that as of July 2016, they have started shipping internationally! Yayyyyy!

Wisp is a beautiful, soft golden colour and has a mix of high glitter and intense sheen. It is one of my all time favourite highlighters because it’s intense but so easily blendable. With these colourpop ones, or cream highlights in general, you can apply the product with a damp beauty blender after foundation and it just does all of the work for you. You aren’t left with any harsh lines of glitter but you can build up the intensity on the highest points of the face easily. The formula is weird. It’s soft and spongey and moussey all at the same time. It dries to a powder like finish but it’s a dry mousse sort of texture? Idk. It lasts on the face for AGES, longer than any of the other highlights on this list and retains its intensity.

Teasecake is a lovely pink/gold highlight. I like to use it as a blush topper as well as a highlight when I’ve got cool/pink tones on the eyes. It’s very pretty and gives a healthy flush to the face. Both shades work for light to tan skin tones, in my opinion.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 10/10
  • Price – 7/10 (it seems a great price, but you get almost half the product as the bigger pans!)
  • Overall – 9/10

4. Gilded Honey, Laura Geller £21 for 4.5g

This purchase I can fully blame on beauty bloggers and youtubers. Ahem; Amrezy, Lustrelux, Desi Perkins.. I’m looking at you. It’s gold… Like really really gold. And really glittery. It doesn’t reflect as much light as ABH So Hollywood but the difference is pretty negligible. One might say they are ‘dupes’ for each other. However, drastic price difference. Although the ABH one is expensive for a highlighter, this one is HALF THE SIZE! If you have the ABH, pass on this and if you have this, don’t worry about adding the ABH to your collection. They look very similar on the skin. Because this one pulls a tad more gold, it may be unsuitable for very fair skin tones. It will, however work for most others. Although it’s a powder, and there’s a fair amount of fall-out on the pan when you swipe a brush into it, it has a creamy, buttery texture that can be blended out with a little extra time. The packaging is also pretty basic considering the price tag. It’s a nice highlighter, but I’m not gonna lie – I rarely reach for it.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 8/10
  • Price – 5/10
  • Overall – 7.5/10

5. Golden Rose, Autograph at M&S, £15 for 10g

Okay, if you’re wondering how M&S made it on to the same list as Becca and ABH then oh my gosh you need to go look at the autograph range in store. It is excellent. This highlight is one of the few things I have from the range but it’s as good as, if not better than some high end or cult buys. I loved this one so much, I got my mum another of the highlighters in the range and she loves it too. This golden rose shade is pretty pink, but it’s a warm pink and goes nicely with yellow/golden undertones, unlike some other pink highlights. It’s got pretty chunky glitter and is another one that can be seen from space but it definitely deserves its spot on this list, the light reflection is in.sane. The wear time is slightly compromised due to the chunks of glitter but its easily blendable and can be made to look very natural and rosy. It’s not dark enough to be a blush topper so I use this for highlight with warm pinks on the eyes.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 8/10
  • Longevity – 7/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 8.5/10

6. Sunbeam, Topshop Beauty £10 for 6.5g

I really like Topshop makeup, it’s always very pigmented and well priced. This yellow gold highlighter is no exception. It’s truly YELLOW. It looks amazing on medium, tan and deep skin but I feel like lighter skin tones might not be so accommodating. It’s the kind of glow you want after a holiday in the middle east. The glitter is not chunky, but it can be built up to deep intensity. It can also be brushed over the cheekbones lightly for a “lit from within” look. (I hate that phrase so much, however it’s accurate in this context). It lasts for a good while on the skin but the colour does fade. As it is a ‘baked’ product, it’s meant to give more of a wash of colour than provide intense pigment and butteriness but this is very pigmented regardless.

  • Pigmentation – 8/10
  • Texture – 7/10
  • Longevity – 7/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 8/10

7. That Glow Glowkit, Anastasia Beverly Hills £39 for 4 x 7.4g

Here’s a clearer picture of the swatches:

IMG_3320

This is another one that was really highly anticipated, but for good reason. It gives one of the glowiest glows ever. It doesn’t have huge glitter particles and gives more of a sheen but that’s why it’s so flattering. You can use the colours individually or mix them for a layered and super intense effect. I like to mix Dripping in Gold (a pure gold) with Bubbly (a cooler champagne gold) as a base and then spray my face with Urban Decay all nighter setting spray (or MAC fix+) and apply Sunburst to the very highest points of my cheeks. This adds dimension to the highlight and avoids the streak of shiny stuff. Golden Bronze is one of my all time favourite bronzers to use as it acts as a true bronzer and not a contour. All in all, every single shade in this kit is versatile and useful and considering the size of the pans, it’s extremely good value… Especially compared to the ABH illuminators.

  • Pigmentation – 7/10 (it’s not the most pigmented – it’s all about layering this one and it’s actually a good thing)
  • Texture – 9/10
  • Longevity – 8/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 9/10

8. Albatross, Nars, £23 for 4g

This is a relatively new addition to the family. I got it because I can hardly call myself a highlighter collector if I don’t have Nars albatross! It’s a classic and I guess I can see why… When it first came out all those years ago it didn’t have the same competition from every other cosmetics company and it really does give you a strong glowy highlight. It looks white in the pan but the actual pigment is clear so you only see the reflects which pull VERY STRONGLY gold. Surprisingly, it’s most like topshop sunbeam on this list than any other once brushed on to the cheeks and blended out! It claims to be “universally flattering” because of the unusual concept of transparent pigment, and I guess that’s believable. I would stay away if you wear pink toned foundation and you’re fair though, as it might just clash.

  • Pigmentation – 7/10
  • Texture – 7/10
  • Longevity – 7/10
  • Price – 7/10
  • Overall – 7/10

9. Sun Beam, Benefit, £19.50 for 13ml

This was one of the first highlighters in my collection. I’ll be honest – I don’t use it often. It had more of a place before the Becca SSP as I used to mix it into my foundation for a nice glow. It’s more purse friendly than the Becca, so if you’re happy to spend under £20 for a liquid highlighter, this won’t disappoint! Although I will say, the applicator is pretty impractical – a pump would be better!

  • Pigmentation – 8/10 (sheers out quite a bit)
  • Texture – 8/10
  • Longevity – 8/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Overall – 8/10

10. Moonlight Shimmering Skin Perfector, Becca, £34 for 50ml

I saved the best for last. This is my all time favourite highlighter because it does everything… It’s a thick liquid consistency that can be mixed in to your base, you can also pat it straight on to the high points of the cheeks and it lasts forever! It’s super blendable and you will never get the dreaded highlighter streak. It doesn’t alter the texture or longevity of your foundation but does make it ever so slightly lighter so bear this in mind if your foundation errs on the light side. It’s yellow toned and pulls champagne on medium skin. There are a few colours – Pearl for the very fair, and Moonstone and Opal for medium skin and Topaz and Rose Gold for tan-dark skin. They’re all just as gorgeous and if I could justify having all of them, I would. I honestly don’t have enough good things to say about it. It is one of the most expensive products on this list but it is totally worth the price because of the whopping 50ml (!!) of product. You’ll literally never use it up. (Ok Becca pls hire me now thanks.) All joking aside, the only downside to this product is the amount dispensed in each pump is quite a lot. It’s not really a big deal because there’s so much of it, but I hate wasting product nonetheless.

  • Pigmentation – 9/10
  • Texture – 10/10
  • Longevity – 10/10
  • Price – 9/10
  • Overall – 10/10

 

Beam of Light Highlighter 02, Kiko Milano (unavailable)

Okay, so this one isn’t available anymore apparently but it deserves honourable mention because it’s the ONLY highlight I reach for on “minimal makeup days” i.e, no foundation. It’s not at all glittery and reflects the light soooo naturally. Very gutted this isn’t available for you guys to pick up but if it ever comes back make sure you grab it!