Rant & Rave: Powder Highlighters

Tell us what you love and hate about...

Powder Highlighters

Mostly raves–I love a great highlighter! They’re a definite weakness. I don’t like when they’re really, really pigmented and metallic, though, as I tend to personally opt for more medium-level highlighters that are buildable.

— Christine

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Same here, MissJae! I forgot that one other factor in my comment: I hate a chalky base. Those look ashy and weird on my NC40 skin tone.

Same as well. I’ll take a Drugstore eyeshadow over most Drugstore highlighters for that reason.

I’m hesitant to use cream highlighters because from my experience they break down the structure of my silicon-based foundations I like to wear.

Rant? But I lurrrrve powder highlighters! They are seriously my weakness- I even love the metallic ones! My rants would be chalky base (I want to highlight by reflecting light, not making my skin white), and chunky/visible glitter.

I have the world’s largest pores (aka swimming pools) so I have to be careful with shimmery products now – I love Hourglass’ ambient powders for this – they’re quite buildable as highlighters in addition to being very smooth, subtle finishing powders. I reach for them the most.

I do own Becca’s Opal in the full size, but wish I got a mini instead of the full because it’s so pigmented I can only wear it on a fancy night out – even with the lightest hand.

As for non-powder highlighters, I still have my Benefit High Beam deluxe sample – not sure the best way to use it, it’s so waxy and hard. Anyone been able to make it work for them and how do you use it?

I have the High Beam deluxe sample as well- and I don’t love it! I agree, it’s quite stiff and dry, and therefore does not apply well over base makeup, especially powder. I have had the most luck rubbing my ring finger on the top of the product (to warm/ soften it), then patting my finger under my brows and onto the year duct area. Honestly it applies best to bare skin so I have mostly used it on vacation when we are going to the beach a lot, to perk up a bare face.

I have enlarged pores on my nose and chin. Before I apply makeup, I.use the Dr Brandt, Pores No More Primer. This has temporarily caused my pores to be smaller. This allows my to apply highlighter even with enlarged pores.
I too have cream to.powder highlighters and avoid the because of application issues. Luckily, the one or two. I have were GWP.

I too have giant pores (plus oily skin, lucky me) so I’ll definitely check out Hourglass’–thanks for the tip! I have that High Beam sample too. The only use I get out of it is applying it just below my eyebrows for a bit of highlight. I wouldn’t dare put anything that waxy on the rest of my face because I’d probably break out immediately.

Rave: when they’re finely milled they can give a really nice glow without looking powdery, and they’re easier to apply very lightly than cream/liquids for a very subtle sheen.
Rant: they can emphasize pores. And the obsession with strobing has caused major abuse lately. I mean, what you see on Instagram these days… the light-bulb nose doesn’t look good on anyone!

Raves: Even though I have dry skin, I prefer a smooth, buttery, easy to blend powder over liquids or standard creams. They apply without any drag or disturbing the makeup underneath. They can be applied subtly or layered for more drama. Whether they are a soft-focused glow or full on glitter bombs isn’t the issue for me because that’s strictly a matter of taste and trend. Rants: I won’t purchase if the base is chalky or it looks like it is sitting on the surface of the skin when applied. That seems to be more of a problem with powders than with creams and liquids.

Rave: Powder products are my favorite, and this goes to highlighters as well! I love THAT GLOW AND SHIMMER, the moment I’m putting on highlighters with my highlighter brush, I feel happier!

Rant: I don’t like when there are visible sparkles when applied or when pores are emphasized. And I don’t like that I haven’t found a suitable dupe for Burberry Gold Glow No. 01 :'(

Powder highlighters are my newest fun obsession. I use them lightly, and it’s as if I have a secret to glowing! I cannot stand the chalky ones. Here are some of my current favorites thanks in part to Temptalia!
Kevyn Aucoin in Candlelight
Hourglass Ambient palette (Incandecent Light..the middle one)
Laura Mercier Baked Matte Radience Highlight
When traveling and in a pinch, I have used MAC eye shadows in Phloof! or Dazzlelight

Rant: No rants as a whole. I don’t like ones with chalky formulas, or that have chunky glitter.

Rave: Powder highlighters are my favorites, especially intense ones and duochromes. Powder highlighters work great with oily skin. It’s easy to find a finish and shade for most skin tones. There are more color options than for liquid highlighters.

Said it perfectly above, Christine ^^^!
I too have no rant, really. But I can rave that I love my highlighters!!! The only thing I don’t like is if it emphasizes my rather large pores or has a dry, gritty type of fallout prone glitter in it. Otherwise, I love to get my glow on every day! ?

What I don’t like about them is that they can emphasize pores, even if they are not very big.
I like them very light in colour, intense and cool-toned, as I am very pale and sometimes champagnes look more like blush toppers on me.

Rave: finely milled powders such as the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders, I LOVE them! Eyeshadow as highlighter! I’m pretty sure half of my ‘highlighter’ collection are eyeshadows. Great pigmentation — first product I think of is MAC Soft & Gentle, I’ve had it for years and the product looks barely used even though I use it all the time.
Rant: chunky formula, it feels itchy on the skin.

Think I prefer powder to other formulas…so many years of having my skin eat cream products. (Thanks or fixing that, Paula) Recently found that the light MUFE diamond shades can do pretty well as offbeat highlighter shades.usually the ones named ‘crystallized.’ Some real interesting options there..makes me want…is it mauve green? ST like that.

Rave! I love highlighter! I tend to prefer powder products, but I have a few cream products that I love also (Becca Opal Poured comes to mind). The Hourglass Ambient Light Strobe Powders are my current favorites. I don’t like highlighters with a lot of glitter. I don’t mind the ones that have a metallic like finish, but I tend to only use those on a night out. I have way more highlight products than I need, but I can’t seem to stop collecting them!

This is another product I have too much of. I have one in an IT palette. It is decent. I
Also have a Laura Mercier highlighter in a creamy color, my favorite.
Have Albatross by NARS. This has a fun color shift to a cool pink bordering on purple.
In addition to those, I have several sample sizes including two liquids shimmer by Purlisse and Tarina Tolentino, spelling may be off, and at least one cream to powder formula.

Rave: I use powder highlighters almost exclusively and have no complaints. They’re effective and nearly foolproof.

Rant: Chalky finishes or any that emphasize pores. I’m sure this will be a surprise to no one, but I don’t necessarily have a problem with glitter as long as it’s not chunky.

I’m pretty much the same a you Christine, though I do have Champagne Pop for if I want the occasional “disco ball” highlight. Mostly I use things like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, the CT Filmstar Bronze & Glow, and cream or liquid based ones that are more subtle or buildable.

Rave: I love really pigmented highlighters. If one swipe is enough to make me glow all day, I’m sold.
Rant: I absolutely hate hightlighters that show up almost white on my skintone; it makes me look ashy. I’ve noticed that quite some colors look nice on my skintone (nc45) but those almost white, icy kinda highlighters are just not for me. I recently bought the Sleek Solstice palette and I can’t get used to it.

I love powder highlighters. What I like is that the intensity is very easily “adjustable” from subtle to more intense and I don’t remove my foundation in the process of blending, which isn’t the case with stick/cream products. I have TWO Benefit Watts Up sticks (a full size, that I purchased, and a mini that was a Sephora giftie of some sort) and as much as I thought I would love it (which is why I bought the full size), I find it a real pain to use because it does “lift” my foundation as I blend and it can also look cakey.

Love powder highlighters… Not the chunky metallic ones. Kevyn aucoin candlelight is my favorite. Dont use any otger kind of highlighter. If i have to use something to add to a matte foundation to get a glow … I use a liquid illuminator instead.

Rave — I like powder highlighters in small doses. I have tried MANY, including all the Becca options. My favorite? Wet & Wild from the drugstore — the compact with four colors you can blend. I took a chance for a whopping $6.50, and I could not believe it. It’s lovely and it lasts.

RANT!!!! — OMG, what is with walking around looking like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz? The product is a “highlight,” not a full metal face statement. I think women, young and old, walking around like that (including the so-called gurus on YouTube ) look laughably ridiculous. Rant over. 🙂

I’m looking for a holo glow highlighter, but not metallic, and without shimmers/glitters, or with the smallest shimmers it can be made.
If anyone know where I can find such thing, pls let me know.

Rant : I don’t like them to be metallic, or with glitters or noticeable shimmers.

Rave : They add dimension on the face after the foundation. Also I think I like them for the kind of “subjective magic/fairy touch” they make me feel when I apply them.

I love powder highlighters as they tend to play well with my Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation.

However, I hate glitter in powder highlighters. I don’t want to sparkle or be a shiny mirrorball.

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