Sunday Swatches: 5 Best Golden Highlighters

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Here's a post I've been mentally putting together in my head for a while, based on my current obsession with highlighting. 
There's days I legitimately want to shine like a beacon a la Amrezy in my attempt to blind people with my strobe so that they don't see how tired I really am.. and I think it works most days!

So I thought I'd put together a post of my favourite golden highlighters at the moment.. I can get away with some pinker-toned highlighters and some more bronze-toned ones so I may do a separate post for them altogether, but right now I'm drawn towards gold *sparkle emoji*.

So here's my current favourite line up of 5 Highlighters that I highly love:

the line up:
L-R: Illamasqua OMG, theBalm Mary-Lou, Burberry Nude Gold, Too Faced Warm Glow, NARS Jubilation
swatched with blur so you can see true colours/effect

1. theBalm Luminizer: Mary-Lou Manizer

I had to start with my number 1 favourite golden highlighter; if you didn't catch my Mummy Beauty Essentials post in March, I explained why I love highlighting (helps me look more awake/alive).
The reason why the Mary-Lou Manizer stands high above the rest is because of its difference in texture and pigmentation.

Packaging: Standard cutesy theBalm packaging, with a handy mirror in the lid.
Colour & Pigmentation: In the swatches above, it looks like the most whitest of them all, but it's a beautiful, light, "honey-hued" gold.
theBalm have done an amazing job with the formulation of this highlighter; to date I've not found a highlighter that compares in pigmentation and buttery-soft texture (thought I'm still yet to try other HG/raved about highlighters).
Price: It's not on the cheap side (£17.50), but it's worth every penny as the texture just melts into the skin like no other highlighter, and the shade is also flattering for 80% of skintones at least.
Available at Superdrug and Debenhams for £17.50, but currently cheapest at LookFantastic for £16.
{DISCOUNT CODE: "JETSET" to get 15% off your order, which means you get the Mary-Lou for as low as £13.60!}

Overall rating: This highlighter without a doubt, gets a full 5 from me!

2. Too Faced Candlelight Glow: Warm Glow

My second go-to highlighter is the Too Faced Candlelight glow; I love that it has a mix of slightly peachy gold and yellow gold that you can wear separately or together for an even stronger highlight.

Packaging: Pretty lid with a gold base encasing the highlight powder. The embossed candelabra on the highlight powder is pretty and the lid also contains a mirror.
Colour & Pigmentation: In the swatches pic above, you can see the champagne and peachy gold tones.
I tend to find using a natural bristle brush picks up more product with this product, or running a spoolie/disposable clean mascara wand to make it a loose powder.
Price: Again, slightly pricey (£25.00) but if you want to achieve a glow with more depth to it, then the two colours can give you that.
Available at Debenhams for £25.00.

Overall rating: As my second go-to highlighting product for the last couple months, I'm giving it a 4

3. Illamasqua Beyond Powder: OMG

A recent addition to my collection, this Illamasqua Beyond Powder is a baked golden powder highlight that is multi-dimensional.
Packaging: Standard Illamasqua packaging with a mirror in the lid.
Colour & Pigmentation: In the swatches pic above, the Beyond Powder seems to lean on the peachier-gold side. The actual powder looks more light yellow gold but the iridescent-type effect of this powder gives it that peachy/multi-dimensional effect.
Pigmentation is fairly strong; I tend to find with baked products they're more powdery and are probably best used with a slightly damp brush for a really strong impact. 
Price: This highlighter is even pricier (£32.00) but don't be fooled; baked products last a lifetime and the amount of product in this for the price you pay is well worth it as you won't be hitting pan any time soon!
Plus it's a pretty unique highlighter, I've not seen any other iridescent type golden highlighters out there, so it's pretty special. 
Available at Debenhams, LookFantastic and of course directly from the Illamasqua website for £32.00.

Overall rating: I love how unique this golden highlighter is; and how much product you actually get in it as well as how pigmented it is, so I'm giving it a 4.5

4. Burberry Runway Palette: Nude Gold

Another recent addition, this be-oo-tiful highlighter is one I couldn't leave out.
Packaging: If you're anything like me, you appreciate all forms of art including packaging. As expected for a premium luxury brand, Burberry beat any of the others' packaging; from the outer cardboard, to the fabric sleeve (with cute angled brush), to the casing with the mirror. But more importantly the embossed powder is what makes this highlight so recognisable. I needed more than a minute to appreciate this when I received it *heart eyes emoji*
Colour & Pigmentation: This highlight literally has the perfect amount of peach-gold tones and yellow gold tones to it. Pigmentation-wise, I find that using a wet brush works better for this, though it's quite sparkly, a bit like MAC Soft & Gentle (which I also adore by the way!).
Price: The most expensive of these all (£45.00), I would imagine this would be best given as an indulgent present to someone (or yourself of course). 
Available online at Burberry for £45.00.

Overall rating: I do love this highlighter, but feel like it's too pretty to use and also one to probably use on special occasions, so I give it a 4.5

5. NARS Dual Intensity Blush: Jubilation

This gorgeous golden duo was given as a birthday present last year and is one I pull out on special occasions or when I'm tanned, to give more warmth to my skin too.
Packaging: Standard NARS packaging on the outside, gorgeous separated duo of highlighting powder on the inside with a angled embossed lines.
Colour & Pigmentation: A lovely rich, yellow gold and a pure peachy shade is included in the Jubilation duo. Again, I find using a wet brush the best way to use this (what can I say, Mary-Lou has spoiled me in my expectations of pigmentation!), but I do find that this duo is gorgeous when I have a tan.
Price: Priced at £30.00, it makes an amazing present (I was definitely over the moon when I received this!) and again, it's pretty unique as has a true rich yellow gold in it as well as a peach shade.
Available at House Of Fraser, John Lewis and of course NARS online.

Overall rating: At first I wasn't overly impressed with the dry pigmentation or colour as I was pretty pale at the time I got it; but as I tanned last year, this beaut of a product made me look healthier and glowy so I give it a 3.5


Overall, my number one highlighter turned out to be the cheapest in this post, but each highlighter has their own reason for making this Top 5 Golden Highlight post and I hope it's helped you in some way!

Have you tried any of these highlighters? Can you recommend any more golden ones that I should try??

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