Left to right: The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, Benefit High Beam, MAC Skin Finish in Soft & Gentle, MAC Skin Finish in Stereo Rose, Revlon Skin Ready Photoready Skinlights in Clair Rose.

 A ramble about my favourite highlighting products has been long overdue. Having an underbite has left me lacking in the cheekbone department so anything that gives the illusion of cheekbones has always felt like fairydust in a compact. These days I never leave the house without a little shimmer on my cheeks. Blush just isn’t my thing, so a highlighter swept over the tops of my cheekbones is always a step in my make-up routine.
My first highlighting love was MAC’s Soft & Gentle which I purchased along with my first ever MAC foundation (oh, the nostalgia). If you’re a pale gal like me, there’s nothing like adding a little highlighter to your cheeks to pump some life into your face. I can pinpoint my obsession with Soft & Gentle as my initiation into high end make-up. I started wearing it in my first year of college and still remember the sense of accomplishment when that defined cheekbone started popping up in my tagged photos. Cue comments (by myself) of ‘GUYS I HAVE CHEEKBONES!!’ and say hello to that annoying head-tilt that every girl had going on age 16/17. Okay, I still have it going on, but there you have it – MAC Soft & Gentle is to blame. So what’s so great about it? It’s a gorgeous bronzey shimmer which gently contours your cheeks and gives that gorgeous sparkle. It’s not too overpowering so perfect if you’re someone who wouldn’t touch an actual bronzer with a barge pole. It’s probably my all time favourite product and you will always find it in my make-up bag.
 Moving on in the MAC Skin Finish world, Stereo Rose was a surprise gift from my boyfriend who had more than enough of me googling swatches running up to the re-release. It’s the most dreamy dusty pink with a hint of gold running through it. What I love so much about the MAC Skin Finishes is that you never get the exact same colour on your brush and can sweep over the different little veins to make it darker or lighter.

The lovely girls at Company popped the The Balm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter in my goodie bag at the end of my internship. It was popping up all over the blogosphere at one point and was one of those products on my wishlist that I just never got around to purchasing. Having never really opted for a neutral, powder highlighter before I was definitely excited to try it out. It’s a honey-hued illuminating product that is extremely pigmented and is incredibly effective at brightening and structuring the face. The champagne hue can be a little overpowering if too heavily applied but you only need a tiny amount of the product to go a long way as it blends effortlessly.
As for cream highlighters, Benefit High Beam, do I really need to tell you about it? Possibly one of the most loved products in the blogosphere, it definitely gets my vote as the best cream highlighter I’ve tried. It’s a shimmery pink which you dot on the tops of your cheekbones and blend out for a natural, dewy finish. I absolutely love this product as it’s much less hassle than any powder product with a shimmer. On my minimal make-up days I always opt for this and don’t have to worry about patchiness or blending it out.
Finally, as for the Revlon Photoready Skinlights, I think the #bbloggers world might be missing out on something here for dupes of high-end highlighters. It’s a similar consistency to Benefit’s High Beam but Pink Clair is much darker, although this makes it pretty to pat on underneath pink blushes to make their colour pp. When compared to High Beam it doesn’t blend out like a high-end product would, but it’s still pretty and gives a similar effect on the face. I’d definitely suggest trying this out if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative.

What do you think of these products? Is there a highlighting product you just couldn’t live without?

Lydia Rose,



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    • August 13, 2014 / 9:44 am

      Hopefully they'll continue it again! xo

  1. August 12, 2014 / 6:41 pm

    I need soft and gentle in my life! Xx

    • August 13, 2014 / 9:45 am

      Everyone seems to have it haha! Definitely deserves the love 🙂 xo

    • August 13, 2014 / 9:45 am

      Exactly! It's so pretty, I'm sure it'd look lovely with a tan as well 🙂 xo

  2. August 12, 2014 / 7:59 pm

    Great post, I love Mac soft and gentle, I have the balm one added to my wish list .. The Cindylou and Marylou ones they sound amazing xx

    • August 13, 2014 / 9:50 am

      I really like the look of the other Balm ones, too! xx

  3. August 12, 2014 / 8:42 pm

    Soft and gentle is probably the only highlighter I have ever used that I really really like…I think high beam just isn't good enough for the price !


    • August 13, 2014 / 9:51 am

      I think for the amount you get it's worth it personally – depends how much use you get out of it! I was the same with Soft and Gentle, only just started trying more recently!

  4. August 12, 2014 / 9:31 pm

    I have wanted to try the revlon one for a while after trying the photoready foundation xxx

    • August 13, 2014 / 9:54 am

      I've never tried that foundation! xo

  5. August 13, 2014 / 1:32 am

    The way you talk about Soft and Gentle is exactly how I felt about it when I first purchased it! From that day I have been equally obsessed and love that although I am so pale I can wear highlighter like that.

    • August 13, 2014 / 9:55 am

      Haha I'm glad someone feels the same – it's so pretty isn't it! xo

    • August 13, 2014 / 9:58 am

      It's definitely worth trying, such a lovely product 🙂 xo

  6. August 13, 2014 / 12:44 pm

    I actually need a new highlighter so will definitely take your recommendations into consideration 🙂 <3

    lovely written post!

  7. August 13, 2014 / 5:20 pm

    ahhh this could not have come at a more perfect time- i've been thinking of getting a highlighter. I'm excited to see you put a cheaper (Revlon) alternative- I'll definitely be nabbing that one from Target this week 😉

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  8. September 29, 2014 / 11:52 pm

    I feel you… I have absolutely NO CHIN and highlighter/bronzer are my two best friends. Dior used to make the most amazing shimmer brick that started out dark and went light so you could use it to both contour and highlight. It was seriously the best product on Earth. I have no idea why they discontinued it!

    Other than that I know Tom Ford has a really great contouring palette–it's entirely matte though!


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