Astral Blue Star
Pat McGrath Astral Blue Star Chromaluxe Hi-Lite Cream ($30.00 for 0.23 oz.) is a pale, iridescent blue that shifted blue-to-green with smaller and larger sparkle/micro-glitter particles throughout. It seemed to have a more translucent base so most of the coverage came from the sparkle/glitter, which resulted in mostly opaque coverage that quickly blended out to semi-opaque coverage. It could be diffused further to semi-sheer to medium coverage if desired.
The texture was creamy, on the thicker side but had more slip compared to Pale Gold 002, so I found that this shade was slightly easier to work with and was more forgiving during applications as well.
The effect of the finish can be lovely when you get it right, but the application is tricky as there’s a fine line between too much and too little product. When I tried to pat it on top of another eyeshadow as more of a layering product, it was hard to get the product to adhere over the powder from my fingertip, but I felt like a fluffy brush made it dry down too quickly (so it was dry before it hit my lid!). I was able to carefully apply a second layer to get a little more bang for my buck as a topper shade.
As a standalone eyeshadow, it worked well all-over the lid or to highlight the inner tearduct, as it had a smoother sheen that was more forgiving and harder to over-do, though I’d recommend using less product than you think you’ll need initially to learn how the product works. I liked using a fluffy, synthetic brush to apply it to the inner tearduct and fingertips worked better for all-over lid application.
As a cheek highlighter, it applied better with fingertips as brushes seemed to absorb more product and sparkle (as it dried down) so not much translated onto my cheeks. The downside was that the quicker dry down coupled with a heavily sparkled–and therefore thicker, more textured finish–meant that I had to be very careful to avoid lifting up base products when it was applied over them (as opposed to bare skin).
If built up or over-applied, the finish became thick, textured, and emphasized my skin’s natural texture and lines; it could easily look patchy or “cracked” after dry down. The product is quick to set, which is good for avoiding initial creasing, but it does make it harder to work with. Once dry, I’d avoid working with it as it could flake off during more moderate to heavy blending. It stayed on well for eight hours with minimal movement/migration.
Note: I did experience some product exploding from the tube when I first opened it, but I didn’t experience additional product loss when opened on later occasions.
FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).
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$30.00/0.23 oz. - $130.43 Per Ounce
It's supposed to be a "gel-cream highlighter" that has a "glittering effect" that can be used on eyes and face. The brand says the formula can be applied with "finger or a brush" and has "full coverage" and "lasting wear." When the application goes well, they produce a sparkling, glittering effect that twinkles and reflects light, but the difficulty is in getting the application down, which I found to be inconsistent.
First and foremost, I had issues with both tubes pushing out product when initially opened. I tried unrolling the end of the second tube I opened to see if that helped, but it actually made it worse (two to three inches worth of product sputtered forth!). I didn't experience issues with the product continuously pouring out of the tube on subsequent openings. The tubes are on the smaller side (and explain the seemingly "low" price initially) and are more in line with the amount you'd expect for an eye product compared to a cheek product.
The brand recommended to apply with a "flat brush or fingertip" for highlighting the eyes; "brush or fingertips" for the face; and "fingertip" or "fluffy brush" for highlighting the cupid's bow (for lips). My personal experience found that they applied best with fluffier, synthetic brushes or fingertips over flat, firmer synthetic brushes, which seemed to push product around rather than diffuse it.
The product has much larger sparkles and micro-glitters in it (and doesn't contain any plastic glitter from what I saw in the ingredient list), so if you loathe glitter or more textured finishes, I'd skip and fine something with a more pearlescent finish instead. They were fairly pigmented and could be sheered out, and the nature of a cream-based product was that they tended to sheer out more than they did build up.
It has a creamy texture with a drier finish, especially as dries down and sets, to the point where too much blending post-dry down could result in product flaking off. For the most part, once applied and set, I didn't notice any fallout over time, and I had light creasing after eight hours of wear. They dry down fairly quickly, which was useful for working on my eyes but less desired no my cheeks. I felt like there was some lifting of base products when I patted the highlighters (with fingertips) on top of my complexion products, and on bare skin, they were slightly patchy and tended to emphasize my skin texture somewhat.
Both shades were smoother, more even, and less prone to emphasizing skin texture/lines when sheered out somewhat, and I would resist the urge to build up to avoid the texture becoming thick, uneven, and almost "cracked" in places (especially notice on my lid area).
Browse all of our Pat McGrath Chromaluxe Hi-Lite Cream swatches.