It's time to declutter another part of my collection and this time it's going to be highlighters, which I think will be a real struggle! My apologies that part 2 was so delayed - this is another really big category so it took me a long time to edit the photos and pull this all together. However most of my future instalments will be a bit less bulky! If you want to find out why I'm going through this process and what I do with the products I no longer think I need or want, then check out my first post and you can browse the entire series as I add new instalments here - there's going to be a new category up every few weeks. For now, though; let's dive into these gorgeous highlighters...
My thoughts on highlighter
Highlighter is definitely a product category that gives me the heart-eyes! I wear highlighter every day that I have makeup on; I love how it looks on the skin and even just seeing the product in the pan makes my heart melt. I think this has been the danger for me; by nature it's not a product you're going to use a lot of given that you apply it with a light hand only to strategic areas, so obviously you aren't going to use up dozens of highlighters.
Particularly with highlighters, I do have a lot of similar shades but the different formulas are going to make it difficult to part with some products that are in the same colour family (I'm not going to swatch everything in these posts but will show you some informal colour comparisons and link up my reviews of the products like I did in the palette edition). I'm going to try my hardest only to keep the very best formulas in there and the ones I really invested in (without keeping products purely because they're from a high-end brand). These aren't products I don't like (so please don't feel bad if you read about any of them here and went out and bought them!) I just have a ton of gold highlighters so I have to cut some of them. I think I'll have to compare a few of the 'maybes' from this posts to shades I have in the palettes I looked at last time.
I mainly have ColourPop's Super Shock Cheek Highlighters | $8 each | in this category. From left to right, top to bottom in the image below we have: Iced, Churro, Glo Up, Candy Man, Frosted, Dream Catcher, Lunch Money, Wisp, Party of Five and Avalon. I've reviewed and swatched all of these on my blog at some point but some of them are discontinued - you can check out an overview here. It looks similar but the one in the black packaging actually isn't ColourPop - it's the L'Oreal L'Or Highlighter | £6.99 | review. It has a really similar mousse-cream formula and I love this shade so it's definitely staying!
From top to bottom I've swatched Lunch Money, Frosted and Dream Catcher. Although Dream Catcher has a pink shift (that doesn't really show up in photos) it's a light gold like the other two and I definitely didn't need all three! Lunch Money is the frostiest and least remarkable, so I'm saying goodbye to it.
I also noticed my two tie-dye shades produce a similar effect (yes, Churro once had that finish, before I used it to death!) I'm letting go of Iced and keeping my beloved Churro. I'm keeping hold of Party of Five because I'm so drawn to this colour and want to use it more! Wisp is a classic shade that I also really like and will be keeping.
I also have two Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors Poured | £30 | review | which I think have been discontinued here in the UK! I have the shades Opal and Moonstone, and will be hanging onto both because they just give a gorgeous, non-greasy dewy highlight to the skin. I actually forgot to include it here but a great budget highlighter that I am going to keep is the Topshop Glow Pot in Gleam | £10 | review | though sadly it looks to have also been pulled from production.
I've only decluttered four highlighters from this set but hopefully we can do better in the next round...
I don't actually love stick highlighters - I tend to apply them with my fingers anyway to warm up the product, so if I can get a similar look with a different format, then I wouldn't choose to have my highlighter in stick form.
The KIKO Radiant Touch Creamy Stick in 100 Gold | £9.90 | review | is gorgeous and I totally recommend it but - as you can see from the swatches (KIKO on the left, Becca on the right) - it looks a lot like Moonstone! Like I said; I prefer creams in compacts and I did spend more money on the Becca, so sorry KIKO but it's goodbye...
I am going to keep my Fenty Beauty Match Stix Highlighter in Rum | £21 | review | because although it's quite a deep colour that works best with a tan, I really like this formula and the finish. An old favourite of mine is the No7 Instant Radiance Bronzing Highlighter | £10 | review. It's so underrated and has such a gorgeous soft metallic finish, so I'm definitely keeping it. I also want to hang onto my By Terry Glow-Expert Duo Stick in Amber Light | £38 | review. This shade is definitely unusual in my collection and I love that super-dewy finish because it still has payoff.
Along with the KIKO I'm letting go of the Glossier Haloscope in Topaz | £18 | review | because I find this to be very glossy and it's just not my favourite! I'm also decluttering Benefit Sun Beam | £22 | review | (which probably should have been in my liquid category...) It's a very pretty colour but I never use this and have avoided throwing it out on so many occasions, yet I still always overlook it!
I do like a liquid highlighter and I only have a small handful here but I still think I can trim it down a little!
I have a few colours in the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops* | £34 | review, review | though these minis were from a gift set you can't get any more. These are really great and have that molten metal look - you can add them to your foundation / primer or use them over the top for serious impact. The shade Candlelight is beautiful but definitely quite deep on me, so I'm going to pass that on. I'm letting go of the blue-shift Halo as it's just not a great shade for my skin tone, along with the pinky-hued Celestial for similar reasons. I swatched Moonlight (bottom) alongside my Iconic London Original Illuminator* | £30 | review | (top) and - given I have other shades in the Cover FX and the Iconic london is a full-sized bottle - I'm decluttering the former and keeping the latter. The only shade I'm going to keep is Rose Gold - this is absolutely beautiful and I really wish I had it in the full size instead of Candlelight!
I'm also keeping my Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal | £34 | review | which I really want and need to use more!
I know they're similar but I love both my Marc Jacobs Coconut Dew Drop in Dew You?* | £32 | review | (top swatch) and my Laura Geller Dewdreamer Illumating Drops in Gilded Honey* | £21 | review (bottom swatch). However I use them both a lot so it's not unreasonable to think I could use them up...
High-end powder products
Next we have my high-end powder highlighters. There are definitely a lot of quite similar shades in here and despite my aversion to getting rid of expensive products - it was time to be brutal! First up I have my Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Indiscretion | £32 | review. It's a pretty, natural-look champagne highlighter - I definitely want to use it more so it's staying.
I have two gold-toned highlighters that I'm keeping: the Too Faced Love Lights Prismatic Highlighter in You Light Up My Life | £25 | review | and the Illamasqua Beyond Highlighter in Epic* | £35 | review. The olive-gold tone of the Too Faced highlighter is unique to my collection and is actually pretty similar to Fenty's Trophy Wife. I've been using the Illamasqua highlighter a lot lately because it has such a lovely formula.
This is where things start getting tricky... as I noticed I have several slightly frosty-toned light gold shades - below I've swatched from left to right: Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in So Hollywood (discontinued) | £28 | review, Anastasia Beverly Hills Amrezy Highlighter* | £29 | review, Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder in Brilliant Light | £34 | review | and Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter in Sin | £20 | review. I decided that it was time to let go of So Hollywood as I love the Amrezy highlighter now and they're really similar! I never reach for Sin and Brilliant Light is sadly neglected but the formula makes me want to hang onto it. Another similar colour is the Balm's Mary Lou Manizer | £16 | review | but this is just such a classic with an amazing formula so I can't let it go!
Swatching So Hollywood alongside Make Up For Ever's Pro Light Fusion in 02* | £28 | review | and Laura Geller's Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey | £16.50 | review | just cemented that it had to go. I really like the Laura Geller for travel as it's so compact - I know that's a stupid reason to keep it but it's well-loved and I still use it. The Make Up For Ever just has the most gorgeous formula so it is staying, as my favourite highlighter in this 'warm light gold' colour family. The swatches run left to right: So Hollywood, 02 and Gilded Honey.
I have two full-sized highlighters from Jouer | £19 each | review | - Topaz (a neutral champagne) and Tan Lines (a warm bronze). I do really like this formula - it definitely has an impact on the skin. Topaz is a pretty standard product but I reach for it a lot because you really can't go wrong with this sort of tone. I actually got Tan Lines because I wanted Skinny Dip but it was out of stock and I misjudged how dark this would be! It only really works on me during summer, so I think it needs to go. Topaz (right-hand swatch) is very similar to Becca's Opal (left-hand swatch) which I have in a palette but I really can't choose between the two.
I decided to keep all of my Becca highlighters - please don't judge me! However given the price-point, these were all considered purchases. I have the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed | £32 each | in the shades Champagne Pop | review | and Gradient Glow | review | (this was limited edition in the UK but you can still get it in the US). It's just the most smooth, blinding, dewy, gorgeous powder highlighter formula! I also have the Split Pan in Prosecco Pop & Amaretto (discontinued) | review | which is a backup I bought given the amount of the blusher I've got through in the Jaclyn Hill palette. Since putting together this post I've given away my Champagne Pop single as I have it in Jaclyn's palette so never really reach for the individual now!
Finally, I'm keeping my MAC Mineralise Skinfinishes in Global Glow & Soft and Gentle | £25.50 each | review. I really like this highlighter formula - it's subtle and dewy and although it looks a bit glittery in the pan, that doesn't translate to the skin. Global Glow is a warm summery golden-bronze and Soft & Gentle is a light, slightly frosty champagne.
I'm going to provisionally keep hold of Gilded Honey and Topaz, as I do have similar shades but there's something stopping me from letting them go. Let's see if I use them over the coming months...
The slightly disappointing pile of high-end powder highlighters I'll be getting rid of comprises of So Hollywood, Tan Lines and Sin.
Affordable powder products
I absolutely love the formula of the Milani Strobelight Instant Glow Highlighters | £13 each | review. I've been sent a couple of these and bought one myself - they give such a pretty, natural glow! I have Day Glow, Sunset Glow* and Glowing* - it pains me to let go of any of them but I'm going to say goodbye to Glowing as it's quite deep on my skin tone and I already have golden-bronze highlighters I've kept hold of. One of these is the ColourPop Pressed Powder Highlighter in Bae Area | $8 | review | which I looooove!
I do find my Topshop Highlighter in Sun Warrior (discontinued) | £12 | review | and Pixi Glow-y Powder in Santorini Sunset | £14 | review | to be very similar! I've swatched them against the Hourglass and Laura Mercier below in that order. I've decided to keep the Pixi and let go of the Topshop, though that one is still lovely.
Finally, I'm keeping my Elf Baked Highlighter in Apricot Glow | £5 | review | because I love how natural it looks on the skin and this warm peachy tone is unique at the drugstore.
I'm going to declutter my Topshop Highlighter in Horizon (discontinued) | £12 | review | because although it's a really good affordable option, you can see below - it's very similar to Bae Area (which I reach for more) and Illamasqua Epic (which just has an incredible formula). From left to right below we have Horizon, Bae Area and Epic.
Finally, I also have a few minis, which are actually not a bad idea if you want some variety given that I don't think many people pan highlighters!
The two I'm definitely keeping are the ones that are visibly the most used and abused! These are: the Becca Mini Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Rose Gold | £15 | review | and the Jouer Mini Highlighter in Skinny Dip | £35 (for the set which has now been discontinued) | review. I find both to be consistent with the formula of their full-sized counterparts. I really love Rose Gold and don't really have anything like it in my collection - it's rare to find a pinky colour that has a warm undertone. I actually wish I'd got Skinny Dip in the full size as I love love love this warm peachy gold.
I'm provisionally going to hang onto the Jouer Mini Highlighter in Rose Gold | £35 (for the set which has now been discontinued) | review | because (although it doesn't look it in the pan) it has a really unique shift to it and I want to use this more. Perhaps against my better judgement, I also really want to keep my mini Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder | £28.50 (for full size) | review | because it's such a soft, pretty everyday highlighter.
I neglected to include it in the image but Ice from the Jouer set is going because it's just not a colour that's going to work for my skin tone.
I thought highlighter was going to be a tough category and clearly; I wasn't wrong! Although I do wish I'd been able to let go of some more, highlighter is one of those product types that brings me utter joy. I've managed to declutter around 1/3 of the products I have and I've definitely learned that I have a lot of duplication in my collection, so going forwards I'll only be making new purchases if I think a product truly adds something different to the mix. Hopefully I'll do better next time... (I have a feeling I will because we're tacking foundation and concealer in instalment #3!)
Are you a highlighter junkie? Have you ever managed to pan a highlighter? Let me know in the comments!