Rant & Rave: Liquid Highlighters

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Liquid Highlighters

THE PUMPS! So many of the liquid highlighters on the market have pumps that dispense far more product than you really need, so I wish the packaging would be improved. I love being able to mix with moisturizer, foundation, or use on top of bare skin.

— Christine

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16 Comments

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I love using them as a base in certain spots before my foundation. And then I still mix them into my foundation too. I love to glow! The one thing I might have a problem with sometimes is putting it on top of my makeup. Sometimes it moves my makeup so I need to learn how to do it right.

Christine – agreed! I took my Armani highlighter and dispensed some into a jar. I use a small face brush to get a bit of the product and gently tap it on where I want it.

Rant: You definitely got that right; pumps are a PITA! Also, brands that don’t offer smaller sized amounts of product for less $’s, and not just for cost sake, but potential spoilage of product before it can get used up!
Rave: I absolutely LOVE mixing them with my foundation or BB cream! It just gives my face such a soft, fresh glow. And I love that effect! Can also spotlight ones facial high points or strobe with them too!

Rave: I like that they usually give a nice glow without the powderiness that comes with a pressed highlighter. In my experience, they tend to be less sparkly (as in no visible shimmer particle) than most powder ones, and I like that.
Rant: nothing to rant about much, but for some reason I very rarely use them. I couldn’t really tell you why because I do like them!

I’m with you on the rant and the rave bit. Love liquid highlighters, hate ending up with a foundation-sized glob of it due to pumps. Oh, btw this is OT but! My NYX Suede lipsticks came in. Stonefox, Kitten Heels, Cherry Skies, Sway, and Amethyst were in my first order. Should’ve probably grabbed one of the nude-ish shades to test as well. So far I’ve only gotten to swatch them and wear a bit of Amethyst and Stone Fox. They swatch nicely and wear extremely comfortably so far (I have had zero lip drying, weirdly. Obviously not super hydrating either, but neither dries nor hydrates). I don’t pick up a smell or a taste, which is nice. The hand swatches definitely don’t wear as ironclad as KVD/other favs with a light amount of bleed and less transfer resistance. But I kissed Monster’s fur and he didn’t get a big ol’ purple lip mark on him so that’s good! Seems they dry a bit patchy, but since I’ve only worn two colors on my lips on a low-key day I really can’t say for sure yet. However, they do go on bold and opaque and the applicator is not too shabby for precision. So far, Stone Fox is wearing nicely but both shades did bleed a bit. All-in-all, it seems a nice formula for picking up at 7 bucks or for people who like the shades of liquids but can’t deal with the cling or want to experiment with such colors w/o a large investment. No, it’s not as good as KVD or Lip Tar et all for me personally but still promising with cool colors at a lower price point. Will update once I’ve gotten to properly test them more 🙂

Rant: The L’Oreal Lumi Primer (which is basically a liquid highlighter marketed as a primer) made my foundation apply patchy and break up and cake, but I think that’s more a case of a poor product than anything else. Also, if I apply my Josie Maran one (which I love, by the way) on top of my foundation, it can move around the foundation if I’m not careful.

Rave: The Josie Maran Argan liquid highlighter is so gorgeous mixed in to my Studio Fix Fluid, which is a satin-matte finish foundation, to give more of a natural glow back to my complexion. I think liquid highlighters are the most versatile form of highlighter, as you can mix it in to your foundation (my favorite), apply it on top or underneath, or even mix it in to your body lotion for better looking skin. Mixed in with the foundation or on top, they give the most natural highlighted look of all the different formats (in my opinion) since the sink in and become one with the skin.

Rant: They don’t work great with oily skin.

Rave: You can mix them with foundation for an all-over glow. They can be more subtle than powders.

Love them; don’t buy any that come in a pump – NARS Illuminators (love the small sample sizes!) and just picked up Becca SSP in a small tube from Ulta this past weekend.

The tubes make it so much easier to control how much comes out. Both of these are so lovely – NARS Hot Sand and now Becca Opal – not sure which one I love more. Even the tiny tubes I know will last me forever because I use so little to get a healthy glow.

I purchased travel sized Becca skin perfectos in opal and moonstone in tubes at Sephora. Really handy and avoids the pump problem at a cheaper price point. Also love Kevyn Aucoin’a liquid highlighter.

My only problem is that it doesn’t do an effective job of highlighting unless I use it alone or on top of makeup, which can move my makeup around. Mixing with foundation doesn’t do much for me.

Many contain some form of petroleum, which is also containef in most makeup removers, which is probably why it “moves” foundation…

I love the way they’re give a soft glow,easy to use and can be used in many ways like mix in with foundation for luminous finished or used just point highlighter,mix with body cream to give body a soft glow.the only down side was if you used it on top foundation as highlighter they often make foundation crack or fade aways faster than normal due to thier water base

Pros: They’re quite versatile. They can be blended into the surrounding makeup to create a natural glow or they can be applied in a more concentrated fashion to create a spotlight. They can give a soft, dewy glow or a metallic sheen without looking glittery. They’re easy to apply (I lightly tap on with a finger and then use a very soft brush to blur the edges). The liquids that come in a pump are sanitary and remain in good condition far longer than cream formulas. Brands like Becca and Armani offer a huge range of shades. .
Cons: The pump always squirts out entirely too much product–such a waste! They don’t wear as well as powders do and they can migrate on oily complexions.

Becca makes some great liquid highlighters called Shimmering Skin Perfectors. Come in five different shades so you can find one that works with your skin tone, and most importantly they don t look like a glitter bomb went off on your face.

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