Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter Review, Photos, Swatches

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter
Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter ($26.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a sheer wash of champagne sheen. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $28.00) is less shiny. Burberry Nude Radiance No. 01 (P, $48.00) is thinner, liquid. NARS 413 BLKR (P, $30.00) is more shimmery. Illamasqua Aurora (P, $24.00) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The product’s description is confusing, because in one breath, it’s described as an “iridescent powder gelee,” which is then followed by the term “sensorial cream.” To be totally clear, this is like a very firmly-packed cream–think like a lipgloss that’s been put into pan-form. It’s not at all powder-like, and it doesn’t dry down at all, so it remains shiny and glossy on the skin. If you prefer a more matte finish or lightly luminous highlight, this probably isn’t a product for you, because it is shiny and can look oily as much as it looks glossy. It’s not a product that worked well over foundation and only seemed suitable on bare skin (the latter of which is what I test wear for, but with something like this, I also play with it to see how it would react with base products under it), as over foundation, it tends to break down base products more quickly. It lasts for six and a half hours and migrates slightly over time (so the area that I highlighted got larger as the day goes on).

It doesn’t have underlying pigment in the base, but it has champagne shimmer that translates into more of a sheen, even though in the pan, it looks more beige/champagne. It’s very sheer when used, and the only way to get sheer to semi-sheer coverage is to pat the product onto the skin with fingertips and then only blend the edges with a soft touch. Otherwise, the product sheers out to nothing but a wet-looking sheen. In practice, it is more shine than shimmer, more shine than color. Estee Lauder said it could be used “dotted onto cheeks for an allover polished glow,” which I think would be a very specific look as it would give the skin a wet/oily sheen wherever it is applied (but might be nice for drier skin types), which can work when it’s done on high planes, but it is easy to go overboard if you apply it everywhere! The texture is thin, somewhat spreadable but really benefits from the warmth of fingertips rather than brush for good application. It’s not really tacky, but my hair will get stick to it (as will a stray dog hair, found that out as well!).

The brand could have described the color/coverage of this product better, because I think knowing that is necessary so anyone who purchases knows what they’re getting themselves into. In the press release, Courreges was inspired by his desire to “let the light into my clothes” when making this product. This is absent in Sephora’s description, but the press release seems to indicate that the coverage is something in the sheerer realm (certainly opaque, as light wouldn’t come through), though it isn’t totally clear where it’s supposed to fall, and it falls on the very, very sheer part of the spectrum. Descriptions like these (and lack of more specific ones) are what makes rating more difficult, and I’ve tried to weigh the idea that “this isn’t supposed to be opaque” with “but this is almost clear,” but sheer and clear are quite different to me. (Wouldn’t it be nice if brands used a 1-5 opacity system?!)

The pan is small, and it is hard to get some brushes in it with ease. Something about seeing the pan’s rim combined with the packaging felt cheap to me, but that’s a very subjective observation, so some may love it and others may feel the same. The amount contained in the pan seems small, but there aren’t a lot of products like this on the market to compare size with. I honestly think that a liquid highlighter (like Kevyn Aucoin’s or Becca’s) would be a better investment, but both will give a must less shiny finish.

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter
Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter
Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter
Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter
Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter
Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter
Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter

Makeup Look
On face:
  • Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Loose Setting Powder
On eyes:
  • NARS Colombo
  • Jezebel
  • Brousse
  • All About Eve Eyeshadows
  • Sephora Sun Tan Eyeliner
On lips:
  • Sephora Rosy Future Super Gloss


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Comments on this post are closed.
ray Avatar

You look awesome as always but you may as well have put Vaseline on your cheeks. Did it really come in that vending machine packaging? Sigh

Marina Avatar

Hi Christina,

You are absolutely correct! 🙂

Courreges is a brand know for it’s mod/ architectural / futuristic designs. Pretty inspired by sci-fi too.

Hannah Avatar

I have dry skin and I like to wear minimal makeup and I like the glossy look. I often find that liquid highlighters dry down and end up offering less shine but some visible shimmer, which is not what I go for, so the effect this offers sounds appealing to me… but $26 for such a small amount? Do you think it wears any better than a light schmear of vaseline or aquafor across the tops of the cheekbones?

Katherine T. Avatar

Oh, dear, this sounds like a really hot mess. It actually sounds like regular sweat –doesn’t dry down, makes skin look oily and wet, breaks down foundation, and hair sticks to it. Yikes !

Marlene Avatar

My skin is dry like hell, but i wouldn’t wear this at all :/ it looks wet! What the hell? I don’t understand the purpose of this.

Rachel R. Avatar

It doesn’t look dewy to me. It looks like my greasy face in the morning. lol I try to keep my skin from looking like that.

GK Avatar

Your description is spot on, wish I had waited to read it before I purchased this! I got it as soon as the advance email came-it’s really a waste of time & money. The powder highlight that you reviwed from the collection would have been a better choice, but it wasn’t even showing on the screen. It seems to be difficult for companies to get a highlight just right.

Dustin Avatar

I have this but haven’t even gotten to open it yet! I have worries what with Tom leaving and this new youth market they are chasing after. Fingers crossed they don’t turn into Madonna with her overly muscular arms trying to suck the youth from those around her like a great old vampire queen.

Dusty Avatar

I haven’t! I can’t believe it I’ve just been busy and haven’t had time to take pictures of it yet. I’m partly holding out for the other few products that haven’t been released yet so I can just do the whole thing all at once. LOL I’m a fan of the 60s mod thing so I’m all over the packaging personally. Excited to start messing around with it all 🙂

Trish Avatar

Sounds like “tween” makeup- something my niece who is 12 going on 18 would be crazy for along with oodles of glitter shadow, liner & lip gloss… All at once!
Ugh… I’m super disappointed tho- was hoping it was a great product from EL- but an obvious fail.

spring Avatar

Am I the only one who thinks this looks beautiful? 😀 Not sure about the price, and I probably wouldn’t like it if it’s very sticky, but sometimes I just want a sheen/glow with out any shimmer. Something that would look nice under/over blush. Sounds like the consistency of this would make it very difficult to work with though. Thank you for the review I was very curious about this!

Missy Avatar

I like this. Yes, it’s not pigmented, but I think it imparts the JLo glow for those of us with dry skin. I easily use it over my foundation on the upper cheek below the eyes, where you put highlighter. I don’t use a ton, and think it’s great, especially during the day. It’s not disco ball pigmented in the light of day outside. I know this has been slammed by many, but I think folks should try it, especially if you have dry skin and aren’t 20.

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