Pale Gold 002
Pat McGrath Pale Gold Chromaluxe Hi-Lite Cream ($30.00 for 0.23 oz.) is a pale, white gold with more of a translucent base but was chocked full of both finer and larger-sized sparkle and micro-glitter. It appeared slightly white gold at certain angles and then shifted to a brighter, yellower gold (that was about as “cool” as you’ll see for a gold highlighter) with a sparkling, metallic finish.
It had opaque pigmentation but the cream format made it more inclined to diffuse and sheer out slightly to more medium to semi-opaque coverage. Application worked best with fingertips or fluffy, synthetic brushes, as that seemed to help smooth and diffuse the product without encouraging it to thicken or clump up (a flat, synthetic brush did that).
I recommend using a small amount of product and playing around first to figure out what the ideal amount of product is. When I tried to build up coverage, it often resulted in a thicker, uneven texture that emphasized skin texture/lines as the formula is quick-drying. Heavier application looked drier and more visibly textured, too, so the learning curve on this product might be steep for some.
When I applied it on my eyes, it worked best as an inner tearduct highlighter or all over the lid for a sparkling effect. When I wore it on my brow bone, it was better in person but sometimes looked like I had a bald patch because of the way the light didn’t reflect off of it at all times.
As a cheek highlighter, it blended out without too much effort but I had to be careful applying over complexion products as it could lift them up. I felt like it emphasized my skin texture when worn at medium coverage or higher. It wore around eight hours on eyes and cheeks with minimal migration.
Note: I did experience a significant amount of product exploding from the tube when I first opened it; this tube I unrolled at the end after experiencing the same issue with the other shade. 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).
- Artist Couture Gold Digger (P, $27.00) is less shimmery, lighter (95% similar).
- NARS Bionic (DC, $25.00) is lighter (95% similar).
- Anastasia Helia (PiP, ) is less shimmery, lighter (95% similar).
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Early Bird (LE, ) is less shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar).
- Colour Pop We Jammin' (P, $8.00) is warmer (90% similar).
- Natasha Denona True Gold (20M) (2019) (PiP, $29.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar).
- Pat McGrath Fine Gold (003) (PiP, ) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar).
- Colour Pop Blurred Lines (LE, $4.50) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar).
- Makeup Geek Voltage (DC, $6.00) is less shimmery (90% similar).
- Becca Citrine (LE, $38.00) is less shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar).
$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.