Tag Archives: highlighter

Review: theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer

19 November 2015

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Hello all!

As I write, I am in exercise-induced agony. I’ve been trying to tone/reduce my somewhat generous lady lumps and I’m certainly paying the price today. Nonetheless, my fingers are about the only thing that aren’t causing me grief every time they move so the blog must go on.

Anyway, you’re probably as weary as I am from hearing about theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer but I wanted to write a review before we are bombarded with yet another ‘must-have’ highlighter. In the grand scheme of things, I doubt a highlighter is ever a must-have. Obviously if the flat was on fire, I’d go for the cat, husband, photos and ABH DipBrow before saving any kind of highlighter but it wouldn’t be too far behind!

Mary-Lou-Manizer has probably been the most talked about highlighter of recent times, and with good reason. Finely milled, a universally flattering champagne tone, an ethereal glow without the glitter…it’s easy to see why the beauty world has gone bananas over it. Unhelpfully, the only other higher end highlighters I own are in different colours so it’s difficult to deduce whether Mary-Lou is favourable over something like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector. I would say that compared to Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight, Mary-Lou Manizer is less finely milled and leans more on the golden side of the the spectrum, but it also packs more of a punch.

I’ve been been opting to use Mary-Lou on the daily for the last few months – on my cheekbones, inner corners and sometimes if I’m feeling especially loose, as an eyeshadow – I generally haven’t looked twice at my Kevyn Aucoin. For a day time look, I sweep a light dusting on my cheek bones with a fan brush, and to ‘dial up the drama’ as they say, for the evening I just pile more on or layer it over a cream highlight. It blends out pretty easily, but because it’s so sheeny, you need to check it is really well blended on the edges.

One word of warning: theBalm suggest using it all over your face as a finishing powder which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend for fear of being mistaken for a disco dancer but if that’s your prerogative then who am I to stop you?

Judging by how little product you need, I’m guessing Mary-Lou will last me approximately until the next ice age, so the £17.50 price tag is extremely reasonable.

Dupe Alert: NARS Albatross Highlighter

16 November 2015

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Does anyone else feel a bit overwhelmed by the amount of highlighters on the market these days? Well here’s two more: NARS Albatross highlighting powder and its dupe, Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights.

Albatross is a finely milled, white highlighter with a golden iridescence. It might not look like it but it is truly a highlighter for every skin tone. The light colour means it isn’t too overpowering for pale skins, and the golden tone complements darker skins beautifully. Plus, although it’s pigmented, it’s not so intense that it looks over the top. It gives a great golden sheen on the cheekbones without being sparkly.

The Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Golden Lights is the closest dupe I’ve found to NARS Albatross. In terms of colour, tone and iridescence I’d say it’s pretty much identical. The texture and colour pay-off is where I’d say the two differ, hence why the swatch looks more white than the NARS. Where the NARS version is finely milled and smooth, the Makeup Revolution one is MUCH more pigmented but quite a lot less finely milled and definitely more powdery. You definitely need less of the budget version for a similar effect. If anything, if you go in all guns blazing, Golden Lights will end up looking very sparkly, and almost glittery – but you can’t deny that pigmentation.

You can see in the swatches how much more intense Golden Lights is than Albatross. It’s also more metallic so if you’re into a full on highlighter, definitely go for Golden Lights. Albatross is a lot more subtle but can be built up if you want a look that packs more punch – making it a great day-to-night product.

If you’re on the fence, maybe the price difference will be the thing that sways you. NARS Albatross is £23 for 4.5g of product, while Makeup Revolution Golden Lights is £3.00 for 7.5g. It’s a no brainer on that front.

I personally use Albatross more often than Golden Lights, but that’s probably because I want to get my money’s worth! However I’ll definitely be cracking out Golden Lights for the festive season ahead (plus, I have a sneaky feeling it would make a great eyeshadow).

Have you tried either of these? Which do you prefer?

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