Highlighters 101 + My Collection!

Hey guys! Today's post is going to be all about highlighters, and you will be able to see my current highlighter collection as well. Unfortunately some of the products I have are limited edition, or discontinued, but there are still so many different options you can choose from in this post. They have recently BOOMED in popularity amongst consumers, and everyone is into the whole highlight/contouring thaaang. I personally am a highlighter freak, and I wear it every time I do my makeup. I know some only prefer it on more dramatic makeup, but that's just my preference to wear it all the time. I think a highlighter makes anyone look healthy and glowy, and even if your sick, or tired or just plain look like crap, a little bit of highlighter can make a big difference. Of course like with everything in life, a highlighter should be used in moderation...unless you're going for the disco ball blinding look that is. I seperated the baked highlighters, gel-like highlighters, pressed highlighters, and loose highlighters below. Be warned, this post is photo heavy!

A highlighter is basically a product that is used to bring attention or draw out a feature on a person's face. It is the opposite of contouring, which is a technique used to create shadows on a face to recede certain features. Highlighters, contrary to popular belief, can be MATTE, or does not have to have any shimmer whatsoever. My collection of highlighters however are primarily shimmery, and I use concealers for a more subtle matte highlight with it.  In case you aren't familiar with where you should apply a highlighter, I found this image on Google that breaks it down for even the slowest of people like myself :) 

So below are my coveted highlighters, and some OK ones which I will point out which ones are your basic powders, compared to the powders that have become the loves of my life.

I actually feature two MAC MSF's on below pictures, but the packaging is pretty much the same hence why I only photographed Lightscapade. They are both the older packaging from MAC, but they look slightly different now. MAC MSF's are one of the first highlighting powders I became familiar with and still remain a favorite to many. I still have my eye on one more (Global Glow I'm coming for you!)
You can purchase them here for $32.00.

No one ever believes me when I say that this blush is really amazing. It's quite comparable in my opinion to the MAC MSF in Soft & Gentle, but costs a heck of a lot less. Sorry for the crappy appearance, I've definitely had it for a long time.
You can purchase this here for $3.00...yes I said $3.00!

As you can see, Lightscapade is not as shimmery as Soft & Gentle or Pinktastic. It looks better IMO on fair skinned people, and it's a great everyday highlight as it isn't too sparkly. It is very subtle and lightly highlights without being overbearing. On darker skin tones this may appear ashy.
Soft & Gentle and Pinktastic are similar in how it appears on the skin and in the pan. Soft and Gentle is slightly more creamier in texture, but share equal pigmentation as Pinktastic (okay ELF I see you!) Soft & Gentle is also a little more warm toned than Pinktastic as Pinktastic tends to be slightly less yellow and share a few pink veining.

When I discovered this highlighter in the clearance box of Victoria's Secret, I didn't realize how amazing it would've been and if I can go back in time, I would've purchased 6. I believe these are no longer made, and it's such a shame because the texture is unbelievably creamy and illuminating (hence the name), and I can't believe I paid no more than $7.

Yes...I have the infamous Estee Lauder Heatwave, the cream of the crop, the pricey sister to MAC's Whisper of Gilt. I remember when I purchased this at the Cosmetics Store in an outlet, I almost peed myself when the clerk told me this is the last one. I definitely said a prayer to the makeup Gods that night. This gem is worth the hype, and every penny. I don't remember the original price, but I paid a discounted price of $31. Like I said, the makeup Gods had blessed me that day :) I know this goes upwards of $70 on eBay now, but it truly is beautiful. I save mine for special occasions!

If you were reading my previous blurb on the EL Heatwave, and was sorely disappointed when you realized how difficult it is to get your hands on, I am here to cheer you up again! This bad boy is actually an eyeshadow. The Kiko Wet/Dry Eyeshadow in 208 is an almost spot on dupe for Heatwave. If you live in Europe, you can find this at the KIKO stores, and I believe in NJ/NY, there are also a few KIKO stores. My wonderful friend purchased 2 in Germany and brought it back for me after I realized they no longer sell this shade (208) online. She bought it for 5 euros! Yes, that was 5 euros which is almost the equivalent of 7 DOLLARS! I did a happy dance that day when she gave it to me. Not only is the color VERY similar, but the gel like texture is very close as well, so I use it on my cheeks instead. It does look stunning on the eyes too however, but I'd do anything to preserve my Heatwave!

For the 2014-2015 holidays, this Bobbi Brown shimmer brick was on everyone's Christmas list! I purchased mine off of the Bobbi Brown website the day after it was released. It wasn't as difficult to acquire as other limited edtiion highlighters, but it still sold out completely after a couple weeks on the market. Absolutely love the texture and the pigmentation, and it's more bronze than the other highlighters I previously mentioned so it will work beautifully on darker skin tones as well.

My favorite type of highlighters! This gorgeous gel like texture! These are more intense and will give you a shimmer-like sheen on the skin, and are usually more smooth to blend on the skin due to the texture. These are more intense than the powder and baked highlighters making them perfect for nights out...unless you're like me and wear these on a daily basis haha!
Here's a little side by side action for you all. Man, I can't tell you how much my arm was killing me trying to get these shots! #onemanarmy
As you can see, the finishes between the baked highlighters and the gel textured one are different with the gel ones leaving more of a smooth sheen. Bronze Glow is the most warm toned with Lightscapade being the most cool toned. Victoria's Secret Next to Nude has a rose undertone but still looks flattering.

Now this one was more of a let down than I had remembered it being. I don't usually reach for this highlighter, and I've had it for a couple years now (yes I know, I should toss it). When I just bought it, I remember being very smooth and pigmented, typical of ELF blushes. When I swatched it for the pictures, it was very chalky and didn't have the iridescent shimmer I remember it having. Many say this is a dupe for NARS Albatross, but I do not own Albatross so I cannot speak on it. What I can say though is that I'm pretty sure the NARS blush is a much better quality than this particular ELF blush!
You can purchase this here for $3.00.
The Mary-Lou Manizer is one of my favorite products from the Balm Cosmetics. The Balm has been one of the first mid-end cosmetics I have ever purchased, and they have never disappointed me after all these years. I've always heard so many things about their highlighters Mary-Lou Manizer and Betty-Lou Manizer. After researching and comparing the two, I decided to go with the Mary-Lou Manizer for it's champagne shimmer. I absolutely love the texture, pigmentation and packaging on the these highlighters, so if you prefer a warm rose toned highlight, I'm sure you'll love the Betty-Lou Manizer as well! I have two Mary-Lou Manizers, one in my kit and one for personal use. They look amazing on everyone and gives this gorgeous glow that catches the light. It's smooth, and finely milled so the shimmer isn't too chunky, but it's not subtle either! If you have dark to very dark complexions, this may appear a little too cool on the skin.
You can purchase Mary here or on Hautelook who frequently has them on sale!
Another stunning highlight, yet it is limited edition, sorry guys! :( This blush is gorgeous, and can be used as eyeshadows or a blush. It has 4 different quadrants (see pictures below) with different shimmer shades, and combined creates a gorgeous soft rose highlight. It's pretty cool how customizable this one can be though! If you want more gold in your highlight, or more rose, you can be a little more heavy handed in that quadrant. As eyeshadows, it is very finely milled and extremely smooth. This is a winner all around, and a great multitasker!
How stuning is the Bobbi Brown Nude glow though? :D

More arm-killing swatches for you folks...it was worth it though except for ELF's...man that swatch just looks pasty and chalky as sh*t. If you look really closely though, you might be able to see the gold iridescent in Gotta Glow.
These are Inglot's Sparkling Dusts in the shades 02 and 03, my two newest purchases! I fell in love with these at first swipe. They are so glittery and beautiful and gorgeous and aahh..just so pretty. I really love how these are multifunctional. They look stunning on the eyes, or you can use it to add some interest to your décolleté. An Inglot representative had also used it as a highlight on her cheek which surprised me! These are the only ones I've swatched with actual fine glitter on them, so of course my main concern was looking like I just got beat up by the sparkle fairy. Once blended out with a fluffy brush, the glitter/sparkle kinda melts into the skin. I can't even explain it right, but it's more of an intense highlight that isn't OVERLY shimmery, but noticeable. I like it, and they're so versatile. These are loose powders, so you need a very light hand with them, but once you get started on these Inglot powders, you will want to buy them all!
You can purchase these here.

Inglot 02 is more of a champagne gold, very universal on light to medium skin tones, and for a more bronzy glow, Inglot 03 is warmer and more gold. 03 will look amazing on medium to deep skin tones. Both very gorgeous and the most intense highlighters I own!

Final comparison swatches for you guys. Those Inglot ones are incomparable to anything else!
My favorite of the bunch:
For everyday use: Soft & Gentle or Mary Lou-Manizer
For a warmer highlight: Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow
For a cool toned highlight: Mary Lou-Manizer
For an intense highlight: Inglot Sparkling Dust in 02
♥My favorite of LIFEEEE♥: Estee Lauder Heatwave

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! I absolutely love highlighters so I was so excited to create this post for you guys. Share your favorite highlighters below, I would love to know what they are! 
Cassandra ♥


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