Melt Cosmetics Nova SexFoil Liquid Highlighter ($39.00 for 1.01 oz.) is a rich, coppery bronze with warm undertones and warmer, lighter golden shimmer throughout. It had semi-sheer to medium, buildable pigmentation; it was slightly more pigmented than other shades in the range, but it was really about how much was applied and how long one let it sit to dry. In practice, this resulted in semi-sheer, buildable coverage when I used the product on my face and more medium coverage, that could be sheered out or built up, on my body.
The consistency was lightweight, thin, and more like a very fluid gel, which helped it work as a body product as it could be spread over larger surface areas. On the flip side, it was overly spreadable when trying to use it on a smaller area, so I applied some to the back of my hand–using as little as I could dispense–and then swirled my brush in that before tapping it on.
This helped let the product “dry” a little and kept the coverage more concentrated where I applied it to my face without having to spread it out too much to get an even layer of product. It stayed on nicely for nine hours before fading visibly but wasn’t transfer-resistant enough to not get onto clothes.
FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).
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$39.00/1.01 oz. - $38.61 Per Ounce
The formula is supposed to be "an emulsion of liquid pearl pigments that illuminate, hydrate, and add radiant dimension." The formula is intended to be used as a standalone highlighter on the face and the body, but it can also be mixed in with foundation. They recommend using a shade deeper than one's natural skin tone for a liquid bronzing effect. It is supposed to have "light" coverage and give a "natural glow" when worn alone.
It's a very fluid formula, almost watery, but there was more of a gel-like feel when I played with it and spread it out over my arm. I've found that despite being rather runny, it has a faster dry-down than I would have expected and applied well on bare skin, over foundation, or mixed in with foundation.
A few shades had more noticeable sparkle, and unlike a lot of liquid highlighters on the market, these had more depth in the shade spectrum, so some shades may work better for multi-tasking (e.g. alone, mixed in, etc.) than others depending on one's skin tone. In general, the shades produced a smoother, pearlescent sheen that wasn't as intense as the product name might suggest but certainly could be built up and made foil-like.
They sheered out readily and were a lot less intense/opaque compared to the brand's swatches (which were particularly frustrating since they took a full pump of product and didn't even let it dry!). The applicator took some getting used to but almost always pumped out too much product for use on the face.
It had more semi-sheer, buildable coverage, though it certainly depended on how much product was applied. For higher-coverage on the face, it was best applied onto the back of your hand, and then swirled a few times on a synthetic brush, then applied. This gave the formula some time to "dry" while being picked up on the brush, which translated to higher coverage on my face that didn't spread out as much.
They wore well for eight to nine hours on my cheeks. It was supposed to be transfer-resistant, which it sort of was--it didn't immediately move or migrate, and most of it was left behind, but a light tap of of my fingertip against the product revealed pearl on my fingertip (no rubbing was done!). There wasn't a noticeable scent.
Browse all of our Melt Cosmetics SexFoil Liquid Highlighter swatches.
WATER (AQUA), MICA, DIMETHICONE, ISONONYL ISONONANOATE, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, VP/VA COPOLYMER, C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE, MYRISTYL ALCOHOL, BEHENETH-30, GLYCERYL ISOSTEARATE, PHENOXYETHANOL, GLYCERYL STEARATE, GLYCERIN, POTASSIUM CETYL PHOSPHATE, SODIUM ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE, CARBOMER, ISOHEXADECANE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE, POLYSORBATE 80, SORBITAN OLEATE, SODIUM STEARATE, TOCOPHEROL, ASCORBYL PALMITATE, CALCIUM SODIUM BOROSILICATE, SILICA, TIN OXIDE. MAY CONTAIN: TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891), IRON OXIDES (CI 77491, CI 77499).
Disclaimer: Ingredient lists are as available by the brand (or retailer) at the time of publishing. Please always check product packaging, if it exists, for the ingredient list applicable to the product you're purchasing, or the brand or retailer's website for the most up-to-date ingredient list.