What do you do when one of your favorite highlighters of 2018 hasn’t seen much use, let alone a review? Well, you bust it out in a shop my stash of course and you use it again. That’s exactly what happened to me and NARS’ Forte De France highlighter. After trying and loving their Albatross highlighter, I wanted to try more. I heard lots of people raving about Forte de France. And I have to say: while I am usually not a fan of gold highlighters, this one is a highlighter that is certainly up my alley.
NARS Forte de France Highlighter // Review, Swatch, Makeup Look
Since NARS is a high end brand, this highlighter naturally comes with a high end price tag. At €38 a pop, this is a steep price to pay for any makeup product, but especially a cheek product. For me personally, I don’t mind spending up to €30 for a blush, highlight or bronzer, but anything over that and I find it quite expensive. So when I bought this I definitely thought: this had better be as good as everyone says it is. Luckily, it did not disappoint.
NARS packaging: either you love it or you hate it. The black rubberized packaging looks and feels luxurious and sturdy but it is a magnet for dirt, finger prints and access powder. Because the rubber is difficult to clean, you always end up with a dirty looking compact after a while. This highlighter comes in the updated NARS packaging though: it is sleeker, has a bigger mirror and the pan looks bigger too, though I don’t think you get any more product than before.
With this highlighter, you definitely get what you pay for. In total you receive a whopping 14 grams of product, which is actually quite a lot. Many highlighters come with half that amount. Inside, you are met with a stunning golden toned highlighter. It is one of six shades available so there is something for every skin tone.
What makes Forte de France unique in the line is the fact that even if you are fair skinned or darker skinned this is a shade that works. It has a baked gelee formula meaning their isn’t too much back pigment, but instead just creates a stunning glow. The effect is closest to glass skin: the more you buff it in, the more glowy it gets, but never in a metallic in your face way. This never looks like too much and still works for a more natural look.
As mentioned, Forte de France is a golden toned highlighter which are usually not my favorite. The only other shade in the line that would suit me is Capri, but I already own plenty of icy pink highlighters so I wanted to try something differently. While this is golden toned, I still think it works precisely because the back pigment isn’t too strong. This blends seamlessly into the skin. I do have to buff it in with three different brushes to get the desired effect I like (intense brush to apply, fluffy brush to blend and a whispy one to buff it in), but I think it is well worth it. It has just the right amount of glow but it never looks overdone.
As per usual, taking pictures of this highlighter on my cheeks was a challenge. I have been wearing it in recent videos though. So if you want to see it in action, then most certainly watch some of those. I found I got the best result if I took a picture in the sunlight. As you can see here, this highlighter packs a punch, but not in a metallic way. It doesn’t lay on the skin but becomes part of it and that is very unique for a powder product. Not many of them can do that and it is an effect usually only achieved by applying creams. This looks like a cream, but it is a powder and therefore much easier to apply. You don’t have to go in with three brushes like I do, but I find it gives the best result.
My Final Thoughts
NARS Forte De France is one of my best highlighter purchases in years. It is not too much, but can be built up in intensity if need be. It is therefore suitable for work or school, but also for a night out. The shade is pretty much universal and can work for many different skin and undertones. Texture wise this is alos one of the best highlighters I have ever worked with. In short, what is not to love?