Saturday, 20 December 2014

Highlighters War!

From L to R: MAC Soft & Gentle, MaryLou Manizer, MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter, ELF Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearl and KIKO Water Eyeshadow 208. 

Left: ELF Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearl
 Right: KIKO Water Eyeshadow 208.

From L to R: MaryLou Manizer, MAC Soft & Gentle and MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter.

(Picture Credits: Faryal Pechuho/ Curls & Cookies)

Highlighters are my favourite and the most important part of my make-up stash. Although each of these highlighters are going to last for a life time I still got my hands on multiple brands, that's how a highlighter hoarder is, no? :D
Moving on with the review, this post is specifically directed at comparisons between different brands of highlighters, their pros and cons, longevity, which will suit the Asian skin tones the most etc.

    M.A.C describes Soft & Gentle as a 'Glided Peach Bronze". Comes in a typical M.A.C packaging without a mirror. However lately, M.A.C has launched this product with a new window packaging. Packaging is not travel friendly in my opinion (as I almost broke the transparent lid while it was in my makeup pouch) so be extra-careful if you have to travel with it. I simply LOVE this product. This was my first highlighter and I bought it around three years back and I still have a lot of product left (haven't even hit the pan yet). So this is going to last you for a life time. It appears as a gorgeous gold-bronze highlighter on my skin tone (Asian Skin, for reference I'm NC 25-30). It has tiny speckles of gold glitter to it which do not really show up as glitter chunks on the face (thank god!) rather appear as an evenly glowy skin. Does not exaggerate my pores or any flaws (provided you keep a light hand while applying). Blends very easily. Pigmentation is pretty good too. I usually like to wear it over heavier makeup/formal events. I believe this is too much for an everyday look.

  • The Balm MaryLou Manizer: The Balm describes MaryLou as a "honey-hued Highlighter, Shimmer & Shadow". Comes in a beautifully designed metal pan with an in-built mirror. Packaging is chic & sturdy. MaryLou Manizer has slight silver undertones in my opinion. On my skin it appears as Golden-silver coloured highlighter. One thing about this product; it is insanely pigmented! Over the time one thing that I have noticed about this product is that it is a bit difficult to blend at times because of which it appears concentrated on the skin thus cheeks end up looking more like 100-watt bulb lights :/ Oh and it magnifies my pores into 30 times the actual size, something I totally dislike about this product. I usually wear this product during the day time. 

  • MUA Undress Your Skin Shimmer Highlighter in Pink Shimmer: MUA describes this highlighter as "Lightweight baked powder that transforms complexion with luminescence shimmer." As the name says, it is a pink coloured highlighter with slight silver undertones. To be honest, I do not reach out to this highlighter much since it is more pink based. I feel that this is not really made for Asian skin tones and would suit people with paler skin more. It is not very pigmented either. Multiple strokes are needed to bring out the desired glow. Quantity is enough to last us a life time. This highlighter has waves like pattern/design in the pan which makes it appear chic. Comes in a white coloured plastic pan with a transparent lid. No in-built mirror. Packaging is sturdy. 

  • ELF Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls: ELF describes this highlighter as "Infused with Vitamin E, Jojoba, Sunflower, Apricot and Grape to nourish and hydrate the skin. The long-lasting baked shimmering color can be applied wet for a vibrant effect or dry for sheer pigmentation." I'm not impressed with the pigmentation of this highlighter much. It blends easily though without much struggle, but multiple strokes are required to bring out the desired glow. This is a light golden coloured highlighter with prominent silver undertones. Is somewhat similar to The Balm MaryLou Manizer in colour but not exactly the same. Comes in a black plastic pan with a transparent lid. No in-built mirror. Packaging is not very travel friendly in my opinion. (For detailed review, pictures & swatches check here).

  • KIKO Water Eyeshadow in 208 Light Gold: KIKO describes this as "A mixture of groundbreaking spherical powders for an outstanding colour effect, bringing together extreme coverage, pure luminosity and long lasting." This is basically a water eye shadow and not a highlighter BUT since the colour is said to be a dupe for the MAC Whisper Of Gilt highlighter thus it can be used as a face highlighter. Since I haven't used MAC Whisper Of Gilt, I will not draw a comparison between the two. The pigmentation is pretty impressive. Honestly I wasn't expecting it to be filled with pigmentation since it is originally a water eye shadow.  Comes in a small sized black plastic pan with a small in-built mirror. It is a golden colored highlighter which imparts a gorgeous glow to my skin and lately I have been reaching out to this more & more. It blends like a dream. 
  1. Product with the LEAST fall out in the pan: The Balm Marylou Manizer.
  2. Product which has an absolute travel friendly packaging: The Balm Marylou Manizer.
  3. Product which blends effortlessly: MAC Soft & Gentle & KIKO Water Eye Shadow 208.
  4. Product which gives the MOST frosty fake look: The Balm Marylou Manizer.
  5. My favourite: MAC Soft & Gentle.
  6. Product with the highest price tag: MAC Soft & Gentle.
  7. Product with the lowest price tag: ELF Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls
Price & Availability:
  • M.A.C Soft & Gentle is worth US$32.00. 
  • The Balm Marylou Manizer is worth $24
  • ELF Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls is worth $3
  • MUA Undress Your Skin highlighter is worth £3.00
  • KIKO Water Eye Shadow in 208 is worth GBP 8.90
If you're in Pakistan, you can purchase these highlighters from several different Facebook pages like Rouge,
HashLush Grooming BargainsBeauty Enhancers. If outside Pakistan, you can purchase these products from
 their respective brand websites.


  1. Wow :) U have a great collection of highlighters :) Love kiko water eyeshadow ^_^ i want it now haha. :D

  2. You have really great collection of highlighters, really nice and detailed post :)

  3. Awww loving them all, especially the ELF Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearl <3

    Love XoxoX

  4. That Kiko one so pretty!!! (*.*) And I still want Mary-Lou in my life :D

  5. I like the kiko highlighters amongst all. Its more pigmented than mac. Nice comparison. Thanks for sharing :)

  6. wow i really want to try kiko and mary lou highlighter :)

  7. I purchased highlighter online from Awesome bazar. Awesome Bazar provides best competitive prices product and fast delivery process . Really very nice service of awesome bazar, Awesome bazaar best Shopping destination . Find At


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