Rant & Rave: Cream Highlighters

Share: Tell us what you love and hate about Cream Highlighters!

my answer: For highlighting specific areas of the face, I prefer them over liquids, but for mixing in foundations, I find liquids to blend more easily with the existing base product (moisturizer or foundation).

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27 Comments

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I have the Benefit Watts Up and I haaaaate having to use my fingers to blend it. Ick. Especially when I don’t have hand santizer on hand to get it off. Too lazy to walk all the way to the bathroom to wash my hands every time I use cream ANYTHING lol

I keep make up wipes and a clean towel on my vanity to wipe product off hands. I was never a fan of the Watts up product. I would love to hear what cream contours you guys like, tho!

They’re often really hard for me to blend into my skin. Benefit Watt’s Up is easier to handle, but I prefer liquid or powder highlighters and contour products because for me, they are easier to blend.

I prefer liquid over cream. Creams tend to end up a greasy mess on my skin after a number of hours and I do not have oily skin. I also find they tend to disintegrate my underlayer in the process. I stick to liquid..works for me.

rave: i’m obsessed with illamasqua’s aurora! such a believable, seamless glow.
rant: i feel like there are not enough good formulas out there.

Hi Attika,

I agree with you 100% about there not being enough good formulas out there. Cream blush has made a quantum leap during the past year but highlighter hasn’t lived up to the advancements made by its more colorful “sister”. Perhaps it’s because there are so many superlative liquid and powder formulas already out there that are far more versatile.

I love love love cream highlighters! They are subtle and natural and deliver the “lit from within glow” perfectly! I love the MAC cream color base in hush!

ITA. I love creams and liquids for a natural dewy look (just in my experience most but the most expensive, finely milled powder highlighters tend to have more visibly distinct shimmer particles resulting in a less natural finish) on the skin. I love MAC Pearl CCB.

I find some cream and liquid highlighters can sometimes blend out a little patchy. I had that problem with Benefit’s Moon Beam (more liquid) and Girl Meets Pearl (more cream/gel); when I tried to blend them in, they’d end up patchy. Also, I ended up with a VERY obvious streak of shimmeriness, no matter how hard I blend.

Nars 413BLKR is my favourite creamy, liquid-y highlighter because it blends out really nicely, and I have enough time to blend it before it sets.

I think I only have one or two cream highlighter that I never reach for. If I want a super natural look, I prefer a liquid. I also like to use a liquid to add to a matt foundation to give it more ‘life.’ Powders are just so much more convenient.

Yes! They’re my thing. I use them everyday, under, over and with foundation, without foundation, on the face, on the eyes, on the lips over lipstick, under glosses, on the cupid’s bow, everywhere!!!

I love Benefit’s Watt’s Up, but it’s more of a cream-to-powder product. I use it over moisturizer, but before foundation/concealer to avoid having it streak or start to bunch up. I prefer a subtle highlight effect, so adding the layer of foundation helps there too.

There is a cream highlighter in Chantecaille’s Les Macarons Palette that starts out as and stays a creamy consistency and I find it difficult to work with, especially around my cheekbone area, as it tends to slide around and never feels like it sets.

If you consider YSL’s Touche Eclat a cream (in pen form), I love it and use it every single day. It brings very, very subtle radiance wherever it is applied.

I use creams and liquids less than powders, but that’s just because it seems powders (that I like, and can be obtained without jumping through hoops) just tend to dominate my stash. I would actually prefer to use creams more often, but that is simply due to the fact I have drier skin, and often prefer not to use setting/finishing powders, which cause powders to go patchy, and highlighting before just defeats the purpose.

If Watt’s Up is considered a cream, I find they really hard to blend and buff out the edges.

Although, liquids tend to smear off my foundation, so I haven’t been a fan of those either.

I’m getting a cream highlighter in my Glossybox that just shipped and this is in a pot instead of a stick like Benefit, so I’m curious.

So far though all I reach for are the powder versions.

I have 2 issues with cream highlighters (Benefit’s Watts Up). The first is that I often wear a mineral powder foundation, so I’m never sure about applying the cream under or over so I just don’t bother and use a powder highlighter if I’m in a mood to highlight. The other is that if I do apply over a liquid foundation, I find that blending in the Watts Up often removes or messes up the nice foundation application I’ve achieved.

I usually use powder mineral foundation, and I use a cream highlighter and blushes over the foundation and powder, after they’ve had a few minutes to set. I hope that helps.

I find creams can be a bit troubling to blend. But after that, they’re gorgeous. As someone with dry skin, I try to reach for the creams and liquids, so there’s always that too.

Rave: They’re more natural looking than powder, and you don’t need a brush.

Rant: They can fade more quickly into my oily skin, and they can be messy.

Rave! I have dry skin, so they’re really a bit of a life-saver for me. I use the palest Face of Australia Liquid Highlighter mixed approx. 50/50 with a (sadly discontinued even if extremely matte) Illamasqua Light Foundation. The shade was so pale its a perfect match for my skin-tone. I’m already frantically looking for a replacement for the foundation, which is no mean feat in Australia especially over S/S. Sorry to veer into O/T Rant territory…
I also love Illamasqua’s Aurora & use it an awful lot, despite the fact that even on my dry skin it can tend to “migrate”. I find the solution to that particular problem is applying it over a little HD Powder before using a little Makeup Finish Spray. That seems to set everything in place all day &/or evening 🙂

I LOVE mac’s CCB in Pearl, absolutely my HG cream highlighter. It’s the first one I’ve tried that applies easily with a light hand, can be covered with a translucent powder but still shines through, and never gets cakey or moves into fine lines/pores. Those were my issues with cream highlighters before, and the CCB absolutely is what I was looking for. For work, I do mac face and body, the ccb on my cheekbones, down the nose and on my cupid’s bow, some MUFE cream blush, a little bronzer to contour, a little bit of mascara and I fill in my brows. The cream highlight makes it look like I’m actually awake and took time to look nice!

I am really oily, so cream highlighters just make me look oily, not dewy, just shiny and greasy. I have been using TheBalm Marylouminizer with quite a bit of success. I did like MoonBeam by BeneFit, but it was sadly discontinued. SunBeam doesn’t suit nor does the other one, HighBeam. Even with a powder, I have to use a really light hand. I want to look well rested, too much and I look like I need a good face washing.

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