‘Hannah, why’s your nose shimmering like that?’ – Girl From College, 2015.
I stumbled upon the world of highlighting (and we’re not talking Stabilo here!) at the age of seventeen. To give you a little bit of background context; Kim Kardashian’s full contour routine was the thing at the time. Girls were walking around college with unblended terracotta lines across their MAC foundation-coated faces, dusted off with this glowy powder stuff. I hadn’t heard of highlighting up until this point, but as soon as I found out what the hell it was… I knew I wanted in.
So, I saved my hard-earned £4-an-hour wages (I hate retail.) and purchased my first ever powder highlighter. And I. Ran. Amok.
‘No, why would I want you to do my highlighter? All my friends say you look like you have tiger stripes!’ – My Sister, 2016.
Today I’m a bit more skilled.
Sorry. I’ll rephrase that; today I like to think I’m a bit more skilled.
What I lack in practical skill, I make up for in enthusiasm! (Hmm… sounds a bit familliar. Are you sure we’re talking highlighters here?)
I’ve collated five affordable highlighting liquids/powders, revealing the good, the bad and the truly, truly ugly…
I have to admit, I never fully did my research on this highlighter! I saw a lot of Instagram posts talking about how revolutionary it supposedly is. ‘WOW! This is only $5 and it totally does the job of *insert gaudy high-end brand here*!’. I honestly had hi-i-i-gh hopes for this highlighter in particular.
I purchased it in the colour Blush Gems and, with the element of anticipation hanging like the first decoration of Christmas in the air, I swatched it for the first time.
Let’s just say, the Instagram posts were giving me dewy, post-10K run, high-points realness. My swatch gave me year-five-school-disco-Tammy-Girl-body-shimmer desperation. A glow was pathetically trying to show itself on my skin, and ended up in a sorrowful whimper of glitter. E.l.f.; if I wanted to cover my face in body glitter, I would’ve transported back to 2003.
If I sound heated, it’s because A. I bloody well am and B. I certainly don’t LOOK heated, no thanks to this highlighter. E.l.f. is mega affordable, there’s no doubt about that! But the quality is average at best. There’s nothing better than a bargain-bucket product with bougie quality, as we’ll find out later on…
After the less-than-satisfactory start regarding the e.l.f. highlighter (guys and gals – we shall never speak of it again.), I was ready for more. I wanted to go with a completely different number this time, opting instead for a liquid highlight over a powder highlight. The packaging of this highlight was adorable; the little pipette reminded me of year eight science, to be honest with you! I’m just looking for a little petri dish and a bunsen burner to match!
I started off by applying it under my foundation. I’m pretty sure this is a BIG no-no in the beauty community…
…but I’m totally not a beauty guru, so I play by my own rules. I’m bad to the bone, baby.
This time I was served with dewy realness, which I was chuffed to bits at! Applying it on top of my makeup didn’t really meet my expectations, though. Don’t get me wrong, it was much better than she-who-shall-not-be-named, but the longevity just wasn’t there. I’m leaving the house looking as glowing as a pregnant woman after a fifty-kilometre run, and coming home looking drier than… something after an ex-tinder boy messages me with ‘still want to bang?’.
WOW! This really did only cost me £5 and it totally does the job of *well, definitely not e.l.f.*! I love this palette! I love the colour variation…
I see highlights of white,
Pink highlights too!
I see two shades of brown
For me and you
And I think to myself…
What a wonderful world!
…and the pigment is very impressive indeed! It provides me with longevity, and leaves me glowier than a girl who got her first kiss on prom night! Thank you, Primark for restoring my faith in the high-street system. I will continue to love and support you with my heart, soul, blog and bones. I declare my first born child will be named Primark.
Inevitably… we come to the king of all highlighters. The don. The Godfather. The Mac Daddy.. Huda Beauty starts quaking in her boots. YSL falls silent. Jeffree Star’s Skin Frost collapses in a flood of tears on the floor. This product smells like PVA glue, but they certainly didn’t come to play kid’s games with us. The glow on this highlight is iridescent, fluorescent, and a lot of other –escent words, too. This glow, unlike any I’ve tried in the past, adds true dimension onto the face. This highlighter makes a statement. It’s not just shyly peaking out, trying to be subtle. It’s large and in charge, and it knows it.
Which highlighters have you been loving and loathing so far this year? Let me know! For more of the same, sign up for an email subscription below!