Highlighter Edit | 2016 Edition

Thursday, 5 January 2017


With the strobing trend hitting peak popularity, 2016 saw some serious highlighter innovation. From liquids to gels to crazy coloured pigments, we saw it all released to the market. Bring the devoted highlighter collector that I am, I had to try as many as I could. Some blew me away and, inevitably, some did not.
Let's put the first release first. Marc Jacobs came out with some adorable egg-like cream face products. Three are colour-correcting bases and the fourth is a shimmery white cream highlighter stick called the Glow Stick Glistening Illuminiser. I was probably most drawn to the cute packaging and Marc Jacobs label, but I also love the convenience of a cream product. As far as application goes, the product is too stiff to be picked up on a brush or sponge and putting the stick directly onto the face smudges the foundation underneath. Which leaves the classic finger blend technique! Even with the rather specific application style, I love the wet-look this highlighter gives to the skin. It is a white-based highlighter so it's more than likely to leave deeper skin tones looking ashy. But if you're looking for a wet blowy highlighter that blends into the skin for a more natural appearance, then the Marc Jacobs Glow Stick is worth a swatch!

Cover FX became a bit of a divisive brand with their releases this past year. In particular, their Custom Enhancer Drops took bloggers by storm. I can't say these highlighters received great reviews, in fact, many of them were bad. These drops have a high metallic finish that translates to an intense, nearly tin-man look to the skin. The problem is that the formula dries incredibly quickly, which can make application a bit tricky. My favourite technique is a sponge because it diffuses the pigment most naturally into the skin. Even then, work fast!

The most recent release from Zoeva was really looking to ride that strobing trend. The Zoeva Strobe Gel promised a completely different type of highlight with a putty-like formula. While it looks like this would be an awesome formula to deliver a natural but blowy highlighter finish, this product was easily the most disappointing product because it really doesn't work. You can read all about my unmet expectations in the review I wrote earlier this week.

While only hitting the Australian market this week, the new MAC Strobe Creams have been available in other countries for a few weeks at least. I purchased mine at a limited pre-release at Sydney IMATS and opted for the classic colour-way, now called Pinklite. But they've expanded the range to include red, gold, peach, and silver in the largest liquid highlighter range available. Strobe Cream is a classic formula that's been loved for years so it's exciting to see it get an update! My favourite way to use it is mixed into my primer or sunscreen to give an all-over sheen to my skin that looks great even under foundation.

Four new ways to highlight brought to us by the innovators of 2016. While some were closer to flops than anything else, it bodes well for some exciting releases in 2017. Perhaps, though, we'll see some capitalisation on new trends, as well.

xx Julia

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