What are your deal-breakers when it comes to highlighter?

I like light to intense glow, so anything really subtle ends up being a miss for me. I’m not particular about color or pigmentation level as I find most are forgiving and easy enough to work with. I love a more sparkling/glittery finish but it can’t migrate too much over time.

— Christine
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21 Comments

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My deal-breaker is glitter in a highlighter, unfortunately. I personally prefer subtle highlighters, and I love highlighters that just give a subtle glow or sheen to the face. I absolutely adore glittery eyeshadows, but glitter doesn’t work for me on the face.

I agree 100% with this. For me, I love a glowy radiant look, definitely no glitter on my face. Something that catches the light and gives my skin a youthful luminous sheen.

Something too powdery that doesn’t mesh into my skin or emphasizes my texture is a deal breaker for me. Which is why I tend to be more attracted to cream highlights, generally.

Chunky glitter is the biggest dealbreaker for me. I don’t like highlighters that are too intense; I prefer a more subtle glow-from-within. Also, I don’t like unnatural colors, like green or rainbow—groovy in theory, but scary on my face.

I prefer a matte pearl or radiant finish with no visible glitter particles or at most the very very finest micro shimmer. Glitter is pretty and I love it for a night out, but I find that glittery highlighters look really awful under my office lighting and that a lit from within radiance looks more put together in my 9-5 environment. One massive deal breaker to me is not being buildable. I prefer a natural/sheer highlighter that I can build up to medium intensity versus a high intensity that is difficult to make look less than blinding. That being said… if a more shimmery/glittery highlighter blends out to sheer and is only glitter with no base that is no bueno. There is a happy medium.

Glitter, certainly.
And crazy colours, like green. Even if it’s just a tint. I have a hard enough time hiding my lizard self in this human form.

1.) Anything too thick looking or that otherwise emphasizes skin texture.
2.) Chunky or obvious glitter.
3.) Too cool toned shades of lavender or pink. This is only due to them clashing with my olive undertone.

I’m quite game in terms of finish and colour. I tend to avoid anything considered subtle. I’m not a fan of glitter and highly metallic finishes or any product which does not seem to mesh with the complexion and comes off stripey looking.

1) Irritating ingredients or heavy fragrance. I have sensitive skin.
2) Creams that are too emollient or waxy. My skin is also oily, and they won’t wear long.
3) Too dark
4) Hard to blend
5) Chunky glitter
6) Too subtle

1. Emphasizing my texture.
2. Glitter
3. Too dark or wrong undertone. If it is too dark it looks like a bruise on my cheek or makes my hyperpigmentation appear darker.
4. Requires too much blending to look nice. Again, because of the hyperpigmentation.
5. Too much glow! I know that sounds crazy but I prefer a more subtle highlight. I just think it works better with my super fair skin and appears more natural. Too much glow and I think it looks a little ridiculous on a 66 year old.

My deal-breakers for highlighters include:
1. Anything that is not powder formula. – I do my highlighter at the end of my routine & cream just doesn’t sit well on top of powder. (For me at least)
2. Agreeing with a lot of others on this one but I can’t pull off the greens. I also don’t like the darker shades. I really prefer the pinks, and Icey cool shades.

I have found that I don’t particularly like highlighters – they end up making me look too dewy (read greasy). But if I did like them – the deal breakers for me would be: overly shimmery and shimmery.

For me the deal breaker for highlighters are finish , does it emphasize skin texture , and color a lot of highlighters look ashy or too frosty on my skin .
I prefer the finish to look luminous and a bit brighter , not glittery.

Glitter
Crazy unwearable colors (purple, greens, blues)
Silver / harsh yellow based
Messy application
Palettes (let’s face it .. you can’t use them all)

I have pretty high expectations in a highlighter, so there’s no wonder I really only like three (even though I tried dozens). For me a highlighter cannot have any glitter or sparkle in it. It should also only be visible on the skin when it hits the light, which limits the color range I go for.

My deal-breaker is glitter. Yikes. Excessive glitter reminds me of being 12 and experimenting with makeup and going WAY overboard with glitter gel. And strip clubs. Neither are a good look for me and I cringe when I see it on others. I love highlighter to accentuate cheekbones with a nice pearl finish, but less is more, not more is WAY more.

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