Highlighter. Never a make up product I cared for much. Until last year. I bought a pretty one from Dior in spring, and a little bit later I bought a stunning highlight by MUA. But both products were trumped the minute I placed my brush in The Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer. I had heard many good things about this highlighter on Youtube. And when I found it at a bargain price, I knew I had to pick it up and try it.
The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter
This product comes with a bit of a story. I was traveling round Europe last summer and my last stop on that trip was Copenhagen, Denmark. There I found some great Scandanavian stores, one of them & Other Stories (by H&M). I knew & Other Stories sells make up too so I browsed the store at length and came across a table with The Balm products. And they were on sale. For 15 DKK a piece. That is roughly €2 each. Normally The Balm isn’t a cheap brand so I checked with the lady at the register and indeed, all The Balm products cost a mere €2. I made a quick decision and bought this highlighter among 2 other things. The original price of this product is €15.
The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer
And would it be worth €15? I also have one by Dior which was €50 euros, and till I bought this that was my go-to highlight shade. Packaging wise this product doesn’t seem like much. The compact is simple and fuss free. There is a large mirror in the lid and the box and cover have an identical cheek-in-tongue picture with a hint of retro.
In total the product contains 8.5 grams which is a decent amount of product. The ingredient list isn’t too long but doesn’t contain much that I truly understand. Other than mica (it’s a powder) and dimethcone (a silicone), the entire ingredient list is nothing but abracadabra to me.
But it’s not the packaging or ingredient list that truly count. What counts is the product inside and how it performs. At first glance this powder looks like nothing special. When exposed to neutral light this just looks like any old champagne/ beige colored powder. So what’s all the fuss about? Well you need to look a little bit close for that.
The Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer is supposed to be a highlight that is non glittery and gives that ‘glow-from-within’ look. When tilting the product towards the light a hint of sheen can be detected, but this doesn’t show its true nature until you swatch it. As you can see in the picture below, the shine is truly there and a light hand is needed in other to not look like a grease ball.
Swatched this product barely looks like a powder. If you hadn’t seen this compact, I’m sure you’d have believed me if I’d have told you this is a cream. But nothing is further from the truth. This is a powder highlight that goes on like a cream. The texture is buttery soft and you barely notice this is a powder. And it does what a good highlighter is supposed to do: intensify that cheek bone glow.
Above: no highlight
In the close up the difference or the effect of this product is not as noticeable. Above I applied no highlight. Below I did and you can see some sheen (and I also feel like the bumps and lumps are less noticeable) but not as strong as in a more full face picture like this one:
Here you can see the product in full swing on my cheek bone. BAM! Highlight. Here I may have even applied a little bit too much. Because this product isn’t glittery it only needs a little bit to create a natural glowy look. Apply too much and your face can look shiny to the point where it may come across as looking greasy. It is therefore a very full on highlight, but still very pretty.
The color of this highlighter is spot on for my skin tone. The Dior one I have is quite a bit too gold on the daily (but very pretty in summer) and the MUA one is a tad too pink to go with many different looks. This is the perfect champagne/ beige shade that allows it to go with anything and everything I wear. Whether I’m wearing neutrals or something a lot more heavy: this always works.
I have taken to not only wearing this on my cheeks, but I have applied it to many other parts of my face. The bridge of my nose, my cupid’s bow, brow bone and inner corner are all places where this highlight can work its magic quite wonderfully. To show you the effect of the highlight, you can see the pictures above, but I am also wearing it in these looks: look one, look two, look three.
Yes, this product has definitely become one of my favorites and is now a staple in my make up routine. Every day when I do my make up I whip this out. The fact that I got it at such a bargain makes it even better, but even at €15 euros this product is well worth its price point. If you can get your hands on this and you’re fair skinned like me, this is one of the best highlighters to have.
What’s your perfect highlighter?