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Sephora Light Beam Microsmooth Baked Luminizer

Sephora Light Beam Microsmooth Baked Luminizer
Sephora Light Beam Microsmooth Baked Luminizer

Sephora Light Beam (02) Microsmooth Baked Luminizer ($14.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a very light beige with subtle, warmer undertones and a soft shimmer. Too Faced Pop of Light (P) is darker, more shimmery (95% similar). Laura Mercier Highlight 01 (P, $40.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Hourglass Incandescent Strobe Light (P, $38.00) is more pigmented, more shimmery (95% similar). Makeup Revolution Radiant Lights (P, $6.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). YSL Golden Contouring Highlight (P) is less shimmery (90% similar). Catrice Champagne Campaign (P, $5.99) is more shimmery (90% similar). Dior Luxurious Beige (LE, $82.00) is warmer, darker (90% similar). Becca Moonstone (P, $41.00) is warmer (90% similar). NARS Debbie Harry Highlighter (LE, $29.00) is cooler (90% similar). Cle de Peau Almond (16) (P, $55.00) is warmer (90% similar). MAC Too Chic (LE, $22.00) is more pigmented (90% similar). Urban Decay Luminous (P, $30.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). MAC Mystery Princess (LE, $22.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Dior Cosmopolite (LE, $45.00) is warmer, darker (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The formula is supposed to give a “natural, seamless luminescence” to the skin with “natural-looking color.” The texture was smooth, firmer, and had no powder kick-up like Stardust, but it had less color payoff, too. This shade had medium coverage, and on my skin tone, it didn’t impart noticeable color and lightened the area I applied it slightly. When applied, it gave the skin a luminous glow that did not emphasize pores, and I think it is hard to overdo. On my normal-to-dry skin, it lasted for seven and a half hours before fading noticeably. This is going to be ideal for someone who is very fair to light-medium in complexion and likes a subtle, but noticeable, highlight.

Sephora Microsmooth Baked Luminizer Light Beam (02)
9
Product
8
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
84%
Total

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Kevyn Aucoin Sunlight The Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion

Kevyn Aucoin Sunlight The Celestial Illuminating Emulsion
Kevyn Aucoin Sunlight The Celestial Illuminating Emulsion

Kevyn Aucoin Sunlight The Celestial Illuminating Emulsion ($52.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark brown with warm, golden pearl. Kevyn Aucoin Sunlight (P, $44.00) is cooler, more shimmery (95% similar). CoverGirl Bronze (200) (P, $9.99) is more shimmery (95% similar). Becca Topaz (P, $38.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Tarte Park Ave Princess (P) is more shimmery (95% similar). Makeup Geek Sunlight (LE, $20.00) is cooler, lighter, more shimmery (90% similar). NARS Laguna (P) is lighter (90% similar). Cover FX Candlelight (P, $38.00) is darker, more shimmery (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion is supposed to be a “weightless highlighter” that “stays put for “12 hours” that can be used as a “primer, foundation, or even a highlighter.” It has a thin, liquid-like consistency that’s more watery than it is substantial, so it mixes well with a variety of products without adding heaviness. I’m a big fan of using this type of product mixed with moisturizer or liquid foundations for an all-over glow. Of the three shades available, Sunlight is the shade that adds the most noticeable color when applied to the skin, so those with lighter complexions may want to experiment and use a bit less if they want to retain the subtle effect of the other two shades when mixing in for all-over use. Those with deeper skin tones may find this works better than the other two shades for all-over. It can still be used as a subtle highlighter on its own, especially as the thinner consistency makes it very spreadable (but harder to leave in place, as it will take forever to dry down in a thick layer!). It gave my skin a soft, golden sheen that’s slightly dewy (but not oily or shiny) and a touch of warmth. When I tried it as a primer, it added an hour or so of wear to my base products, and when I wore it alone as a highlighter on cheeks (over bare skin), it lasted for eight and a half hours. This shade is very similar to its powder version.

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion Sunlight
Sunlight
Sunlight
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total

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Makeup Geek x Kathleen Lights Highlighter Palette

Makeup Geek x Kathleen Lights Highlighter Palette
Makeup Geek x Kathleen Lights Highlighter Palette

Makeup Geek x Kathleen Lights Highlighter Palette ($39.00 for 0.75 oz.) has three warm-toned highlighters–peachy gold, rosy pink, golden bronze–that leans toward the more extreme of highlighters, as they’re very shimmery and produce a strong sheen when applied. They are easiest to use at medium or higher coverage, but with a light touch and a feathery brush, you can get a less intense look. The powders were consistent in feel, performance, and payoff: they were soft, just a smidgen dusty but blendable on the skin with rich color payoff and a high-shine, frosted finish. I had a noticeable emphasis of pores when I wore the shades at medium or greater coverage. All three shades lasted a solid eight hours on me before fading. On my light-medium skin tone, all three produced some color as well as shine, so I expect that lighter skin tones will find these more to work as highlighting blushes, while darker skin tones will appreciate the lack of white in the bases across these shades.

Each shade is 0.25 oz., which is larger than some full-sized highlighters; but as soon as you open the palette, it’s clear that you’re getting a ton of product. I think they could have definitely gone with smaller pans and decreased price, but at least you’ll know you’re getting a good value for the price!

Nightlight is a light-medium gold with warm, yellow undertones and a sparkly, metallic sheen. The texture was soft, blendable, and just a smidgen dusty to the touch, but it applied easily to the skin with rich, opaque coverage. I would use a lighter hand or a less dense brush if you prefer a sheer to medium coverage application. The shimmer did emphasize my pores/skin texture slightly. The color lasted for eight hours on me before fading. Laura Mercier Addiction (P, $44.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Illamasqua Rush (P) is lighter (95% similar). Tarte Spotlight (LE)(95% similar). Dior Glowing Nude (002) (LE, $58.00) is darker, less shimmery (95% similar). LORAC Twilight (P, $22.00) is cooler, lighter (95% similar). Anastasia Sunray (LE) is more shimmery (95% similar). Becca Champagne Pop (P, $38.00) is more muted, more shimmery (95% similar). Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is darker (95% similar). Anastasia Bubbly (LE) is cooler, darker, less shimmery (95% similar). Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Glow (Original) (P) is lighter, less shimmery (90% similar). Dior Transatlantique (LE, $58.00) is darker (90% similar). Colour Pop Electric Slide (DC, $8.00) is darker (90% similar). Bobbi Brown 24 Karat (P, $46.00) is lighter (90% similar). Looxi Beauty Luxe (P, $7.50) is warmer (90% similar). Cover FX Sunlight (P, $34.00) is cooler, lighter, less shimmery (90% similar). Anastasia Dripping in Gold (LE) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer (P, $24.00) is lighter (90% similar). bareMinerals The Shining Moment (LE, $26.00) is cooler, less shimmery (90% similar). Looxi Beauty Centerfold (P, $7.50) is cooler, darker (90% similar). Laura Geller Gilded Honey (P, $24.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Starlight is a slightly muted, medium rose pink with warm undertones and a sparkly, metallic finish. It had nearly opaque color payoff with a soft, smooth, and lightly dusty texture–it felt almost like a baked highlighter in that sense, as it did not look dry or sheer out instantly like a truly dry or dusty product might. There was a noticeable sparkle in this one, and the resulting finish was shiny and almost metallic on, so there was some emphasis of my skin’s natural texture. Of the three, this was the most forgiving on the skin. It wore well for just over eight hours on me. Bobbi Brown Wild Rose (LE, $46.00) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Viseart Highlight #2 (P) is warmer, lighter (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Sunset Glow (LE, $46.00) is warmer, less shimmery (90% similar). Makeup Geek Rekindle (P, $20.00) is warmer, less shimmery (90% similar). Anastasia Sassy Grape (LE) is cooler, less shimmery (90% similar). Lancome Moonlight Rose (LE, $42.00) is lighter, less shimmery (85% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Starlight (P, $52.00) is warmer, darker, less shimmery (85% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Cool (Winter 2016) Highlighter (LE, $55.00) is cooler, less shimmery (85% similar). Sleek MakeUP Ecliptic (P) is cooler, less shimmery (85% similar). MAC Beaming Blush (P, $30.00) is cooler, lighter (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Sunlight is a medium-dark, reddish-brown with warm, golden shimmer and sparkle. The texture was drier and a little looser compared to the other two shades, but it remained blendable on the skin, and I really didn’t notice it being dry during application as it didn’t sheer out too readily nor did it look dry or patchy on. It had good pigmentation that lasted for eight hours when I tested it. Cover FX Candlelight (P, $34.00) is darker, less shimmery (95% similar). Viseart Highlight #3 (P) is lighter, less shimmery (90% similar). Becca Topaz (P, $38.00) is lighter (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Sunlight (P, $44.00) is warmer, darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Anastasia Bronzed (LE) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Makeup Geek Ignite (P, $20.00) is darker (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Sunlight (P, $52.00) is warmer, darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Looxi Beauty Honeychild (P, $7.50) is lighter (85% similar). Laura Mercier Seduction (P, $44.00) is darker, less shimmery (85% similar). Cover FX Candlelight (P, $38.00) is darker, less shimmery (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Makeup Geek Highlighter Palette Kathleen Lights
A-

Limited Edition

9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total
See All Glossovers

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Also In This Review

A-

Nightlight

Limited Edition
Read Review
A-

Starlight

Limited Edition
Read Review
B+

Sunlight

Limited Edition
Read Review
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Kevyn Aucoin Starlight The Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion

Kevyn Aucoin Starlight The Celestial Illuminating Emulsion
Kevyn Aucoin Starlight The Celestial Illuminating Emulsion

Kevyn Aucoin Starlight The Celestial Illuminating Emulsion ($52.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is a light-medium rosy pink with warm undertones and fine, pink and gold shimmer. Looxi Beauty Venom (P, $7.50) is more shimmery (90% similar). Bobbi Brown Wild Rose (LE, $46.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Makeup Geek Starlight (LE, $20.00) is cooler, lighter, more shimmery (85% similar). Bobbi Brown Sunset Glow (LE, $46.00) is cooler, lighter, more shimmery (85% similar). Anastasia Sassy Grape (LE) is cooler (80% similar). Anastasia Starburst (LE) is lighter, more shimmery (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion is supposed to be a “weightless highlighter” that “stays put for “12 hours” that can be used as a “primer, foundation, or even a highlighter.” It has a thin, liquid-like consistency that’s more watery than it is substantial, so it mixes well with a variety of products without adding heaviness. I’m a big fan of using this type of product mixed with moisturizer or liquid foundations for an all-over glow. I reviewed the original shade, Celestial, years ago here, and I recently noticed the brand released two more shades, Starlight and Sunlight. The formula is very subtle as a targeted highlighter, but it works well patted onto cheekbones, down the nose, above the cupid’s bow, and so on, if desired. There’s a soft sheen and dewy finish that’s apparent but doesn’t move around my base products easily. The brand says 12-hour wear, which I don’t get; it added maybe an hour of wear time to my base products when mixed in, and on top of bare skin as a typical highlighter, it lasted a solid eight hours. I don’t expect that one needs to collect all three shades; this is ever-so-slightly more pink-toned and less golden, so it may suit those with pinker and redder skin tones a bit more than the original Celestial. Worth noting, the liquid version is pinker and not quite as peachy as the powder version.

Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion Starlight
Starlight
Starlight
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total

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Cover FX Sunlight Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Sunlight Custom Enhancer Drops
Cover FX Sunlight Custom Enhancer Drops

Cover FX Sunlight Custom Enhancer Drops ($42.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark copper-shimmered bronze with warm undertones and pink and gold pearl. Lancome Glowing Lights (P, $30.00) is warmer, less shimmery (90% similar). Colour Pop Butterfly Beach (P, $8.00) is warmer, darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Moodlight (Candlelight) (LE) is cooler (90% similar). Becca Rose Gold (P, $38.00) is warmer, darker (90% similar). Jouer Topaz (P, $24.00) is lighter, more shimmery (85% similar). MAC Pearl Sunshine (LE, $22.00) is warmer, brighter, darker (85% similar). Laura Geller Ballerina (P, $24.00) is warmer, lighter, less shimmery (85% similar). Becca Rose Gold (P, $41.00) is darker, less shimmery (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Custom Enhancer Drops are a liquid formula that can add a “highlighting, strobing, or bronzing effect” to your favorite liquid products or used alone on top of (or underneath) your other products (including powder); two of the six shades are bronzing and four are more shimmery/metallic for highlighting. It is a buildable coverage product, so that you can use as many or as few drops as desired for the effect (and it will depend on how you use it; mixing with a moisturizer for all-over may require less product than spot application on cheeks after other makeup is applied!). These are similar to formulas like Giorgio Armani Fluid Sheer (runs a bit sheerer overall, less buildable), Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid) (much sheerer), and NARS Illuminators (sheerer, usually contains larger shimmer/glitter particles). The major difference is the intensity of the pearl and buildability in coverage (easier to get to full coverage but still easy to retain sheer coverage).

What’s neat about these is that they are versatile as you want them to be; they really do perform well mixed with various liquid and cream products (moisturizer, foundation, tinted moisturizer, primer) while also working under and over makeup, and they really are buildable from sheer to opaque coverage. Initially, the formula might seem incredibly pigmented, but the thin, liquid consistency makes it very easy to sheer out. They are actually sheerer than they seem upon initial swatching or application, as the consistency naturally creates a sheerer layer as soon as you work it across the skin. That being said, unless you’re mixing with a base product, one drop is likely overkill for spot application. These have a strong sheen but very fine shimmer, so it produces more of a pearly, glowing effect on the skin–lightly dewy with moderate shine and some noticeable shimmer. They dry down within 10-15 seconds of blending out the product and feel like a powder but with better hold (I get almost no transfer, and it doesn’t noticeably lift or move), so the sheen you see is from a damp or wet product, it’s the reflective quality of the pearl. You can, however, build these up to opaque coverage, and at that level, some of the shimmery shades can emphasize the texture of the skin. The formula also wore well on me, ranging from eight to ten hours with minimal signs of fading. I’d expect that this formula will work for someone who likes moderate highlighters with luminous, shiny, pearly finishes or likes all-over warmth (in the case of the bronzing shades) with a satin-to-matte finish.

Sunlight had the most intense finish of the four, though it wasn’t much more intense than Candlelight or Celestial. The texture was thin, so it was easy to spread and blend on the skin as well as to mix with various liquids and cream products. The product felt lightweight on the skin, especially after it dried down, as it feels and looks more like a powder. I didn’t notice any emphasis of my skin’s natural texture or pores when I wore this as a cheek highlighter at medium coverage. It had buildable pigmentation from semi-sheer to fully opaque, but a little still goes a long way. The best way to work with it is to err on the side of less is more and then build-up, if necessary, to achieve the coverage level you desire. One to two drops was plenty when I mixed in with my moisturizer or foundation for all over luminosity, while I needed less than half a drop to apply on top of bare skin or makeup on specific areas. Once applied, I had enough time to blend and diffuse the color as I wanted before it dried down, but once it dries down, it is much harder to blend so I recommend doing one area at a time to ensure you’re able to get the blended application you want. This shade lasted just over eight and a half hours on me as a cheek highlighter and didn’t impact the wear of my base products when I mixed it in with them.

Here’s an in-depth look at how I’ve used and trialed all the shades:

Alone: I’ve patted them over bare skin, liquid foundation, and liquid foundation with setting powder on top. For best results, I like to tap my brush against the applicator (not even using the droplet applicator to get a drop out) and then stipple the product onto the skin. I tend to apply both my bronzers and highlighters more along the cheek areas, so I would stipple a few times along my cheeks or cheekbones and then lightly buff in small circles. It worked equally well just dabbing my fingertips against my skin and using the side of my fingertip to sweep and blend the product out. I was particularly impressed by how well it applied over powder, as the sheerer, smooth texture didn’t disrupt base products and move foundation or turn the area patchy. When testing for wear, I used its longevity on bare skin as my major measure for the rating, but I did wear the shades mixed in and layered with a multitude of products to ensure that the formula wasn’t prone to shortening the wear of other products.

Mixed with Primer: I tried it with both water and silicone-based primers, and I had no preference for one over the other with respect to these drops. I used one to two drops for all-over luminosity; I preferred one drop myself, as it gave me a dewier finish that wasn’t over-the-top for my preference. If you wear a lighter-coverage base on top of primer, mixing with primer could work for all-over glow/warmth, but if you wear light-medium or heavier coverage, I would suggest mixing with your foundation or applying on top of your foundation as it gets lost under heavier coverage.

Mixed with Foundation: I tried it with tinted moisturizer, sheer coverage foundation, medium coverage foundation, and full coverage foundation. In general, heavier coverage foundations are a bit thicker than the ultra sheer formulas. I found one to drops was sufficient with tinted to medium coverage formulas, while full coverage was less receptive–it made the foundation dewier but wasn’t as luminous as with lighter coverage foundations. If I wore full coverage foundation, I preferred this patted on top at the end, rather than mixed.

Mixed with Moisturizer: Like primer, this method works well when you skip foundation or wear lighter coverage foundation. I can imagine this combination working well for those with flatter or more matte skin naturally, as it gives noticeable luminosity and dewiness. While I didn’t personally like the level of sheen it gave my face when mixed with moisturizer, I loved it for body–particularly on shoulders and decolletage. It is also gorgeous on legs. I really liked mixing one of the highlighting shades with a bronzing shade for a little color, warmth, and sheen on legs.

Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops (Illuminating) Sunlight
Sunlight
Sunlight
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total

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Cle de Peau Almond (16) Luminizing Face Enhancer

Cle de Peau Almond (16) Face Luminizer
Cle de Peau Almond (16) Face Luminizer

Cle de Peau Almond (16) Face Luminizer ($55.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a light beige with warm undertones and a light gold shimmer. Becca Moonstone (P, $41.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Sephora Light Beam (02) (P, $14.00) is cooler (90% similar). Cle de Peau Bal Masque (LE, $120.00) is lighter, more shimmery (90% similar). Hourglass Incandescent Strobe Light (P, $38.00) is cooler, less shimmery (90% similar). Viseart Highlight #1 (P) is lighter (90% similar). Catrice Champagne Campaign (P, $5.99)(90% similar). Cle de Peau Delicate Pink (14) (P, $55.00) is warmer, brighter, darker (90% similar). Urban Decay Luminous (P, $30.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). MAC Tutu (LE, $30.00) is more shimmery (90% similar). Laura Mercier Highlight 01 (P, $40.00) is cooler, darker (90% similar). Tarte Filtered Light (P) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is darker, less shimmery (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Cle de Peau’s Luminizing Face Enhancer formula is a powder highlighter for the face (that’s about all official description says). It is available as just a pan or in a bejeweled compact for $95 (when confronted with paying $40 for packaging, I cannot do it, so I always get the pans and keep them in a Z-Palette!). I’m a big fan of the formula for a subtle to light highlighter–it’s not ultra-metallic, shimmery, glittery, or shiny on the skin–and tends to complement satin to frost blushes exceptionally well without adding a lot of additional sheen. The texture was very soft, finely-milled, and smooth to the touch, which made it easy to apply to the skin as it diffused with minimal work and produced a subtle, but noticeable, glow to the skin. It looked more glowing than overtly shimmery on my skin tone, but it may be more noticeable on very fair skin tones due to the natural warmth of the powder. The powder lasted for eight hours on me skin, which is normal-to-dry.

Cle de Peau Luminizing Face Enhancer Almond (16)
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total

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