Inke’s Beauty Corner

Inke’s Beauty Corner: Updating the Makeup Bag with Natural Cosmetics, Part 4 – Highlighter

Inke’s Beauty Corner | 16.1.2019 | Katja Kokko

Inke’s Beauty Corner puts natural cosmetics to the test as possible replacements for her go-to products.

I was struck by highlighter obsession a few years ago, and there’s no end in sight to glowing or going on about it. It all began innocently with an illuminator I’d bought to go with my party makeup, which got so many compliments during the night that I couldn’t resist wearing it the next day as well. One thing led to another, and the rest is history – today highlighter sneaks its way onto my face even on days when the rest of my makeup is taking a nap.

In hindsight, my first highlighter was rather potent for an ordinary Tuesday, but times were different and (hopefully) I wasn’t the only one to smear on the stuff a bit heavy-handedly. Since then, different types of highlighters have found their way into my makeup bag to ensure a constant glow and the perfect dose of glimmer and sparkle whatever the occasion. These days, though, I’d be happier with compliments about how radiant I look rather than the highlighter itself….

All this makes it hard to choose one product I use above the rest: one goes with the no-makeup makeup look, another at an evening do when the lights are low. But this highlighter fan could take another angle: If I could only choose one highlighter to take along, which one of the many options would always do the trick?

If I was asked to sneak a natural beauty product into the makeup bag of a makeup geek who is super sceptical about natural cosmetics – and get them to actually praise it – I’d choose a highlighter. I claim that natural highlighters on the whole are better than average. Take for instance RMS Living Luminizer, a cult classic across the spectrum  coined the highlighter of highlighters, which also fulfils the criteria for natural cosmetics. 

I have a feeling today’s test won’t be the battle of all times, but let’s see if I discover a new favourite – or even a new go-to highlighter that I’d take with me on weekend getaways? (Yes – I currently pack at least a couple even if travelling light with hand luggage only. I did say this is a matter of importance.)

TESTING HIGHLIGHTERS: 

Old fave: Oh dear – this highlighter hamster has hoarded plenty. I’m really into the Glossier Haloscope highlighter stick as well as the equivalent by Milk Makeup, which is a lot less greasy. 

My favourite highlighters have also included excellent natural versions: especially RMS and Kjaer Weis churn out some amazing luminizers…

Natural alternative: …there’s always room for another – perhaps the new one and only? This time, I chose to test newcomer Strobelighter by Manasi 7 in the shade Sunrise.

Why I love the original:Which one exactly?! All the highlighters in my makeup bag have a texture that makes them blend into skin smoothly and seamlessly, and they have a delicate pearly finish.  Glitters are another thing altogether: a highlighter needs to add some faint magic dust that grabs the light and creates a gorgeous three-dimensional makeup look. 

A champagne-hued highlighter in a soft and warm shade is the best match for my skin tone. In summertime, I might go for one with a richer formula to complement my non-powdered summer look, but for my working days in wintertime I’m after a dryer, more powdery texture. More powdery but not a powder – in my opinion, a cream highlighter is the best and most natural option!

How does the natural option compare:Well damn it! Finding another excellent natural highlighter didn’t exactly come as a surprise at this stage, but what on earth is this unique texture?! The Manasi highlighter is in a class of its own: creamy in the jar, but leaves behind a gentle shimmery layer when applied without being the least bit greasy or sticky. Strange – and really, really works. Creamy when applied with fingertips, but creates a delicate glimmering powder on the cheeks? Pure magic. 

The Sunriseshade is extremely flattering, natural and appealing, a peachy pink that leaves behind… perfect luminosity. The product goes a long way, but as it doesn’t leave a creamy texture on the skin, it’s much easier to layer than other highlighters. There’s after all only so much you can add when it comes to highlighters that create a creamy finish on the skin… 

In a nutshell: one layer for the office, two or three for a night out. You mean a single jar for different occasions? Is this the one?

Verdict: I found the one. Well I never. I’m glowing with delight, in and out!  

If I have to nitpick, then the container: it’s deep with thickish edges, making it hard to stick the end of the finger in a full container without breaking some product off with the nail. I can’t imagine using this with a brush – fingers are the best highlighter brush! 

A jar isn’t cheap (47 €), but as a replacement for two different highlighters in the makeup bag (am I the only one?!) it is good value for money. And the packaging size is exceptionally large: a total of 13 grams (compared to equivalents by e.g. Kjaer Weis that’s 3.5 grams and RMS 4.82 grams)! 

It also goes a long way, but let’s see how it will last in the hands of someone as lovestruck as me….

I’m digging it! Does this mean goodbye to the seven other highlighters in my makeup bag?! Perhaps – although sometimes a little change is good. But I wouldn’t need to hold on to the rest, as this works in the daily humdrum and on a night out without compromise. Wow! 

Any other highlighter fans out there? How have you solved the problem of transforming your look from day to night, or am I the only one who’s a little neurotic about this?  

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Updating the makeup bag with natural cosmetics – what’s it all about?In the following months, Inke’s Beauty Corner will be looking to swap her go-to products in the makeup bag with natural products – they have to be just as good but hopefully better. 

Updates so far:

skin tints that even out the skin tone and give light coverage 

cream blush stick in a certain shadeof coral pink

a good mascara with a lash-separating, natural finish 

–fairly natural but super fabulous cream highlighter

Upcoming tests:

– non-caking loose powder that sets makeup without killing glow 

– pigment concealer that comes in a jar

– serum foundation rich in pigment

– volumising, tinted brow gel

– cream eyeshadow applied with fingertips that intensifies the gaze

–perfect, fiery red lipstick with a matt texture that’s not dry

Translated by Rebecca Watson