Benefit Mini highlighter review

Benefit highligher mini review swatch makeup look sunbeam highbeam watts up

Let’s talk about a long overdue review shall we? Benefit used to be my favorite makeup brand and back in the day my entire makeup collection consisted only of Benefit products. This was back when I first started out. It was hard to get, but worth it. One of my favorite products at the time? High Beam. Probably one of the first ever true highlighters on the market. I used it, loved it, and decluttered it because it ended up expiring. Knowing how much I loved that product, I decided to buy a mini set years later because they had since come out with other shades that I wanted to try. The set in this review has been discontinued, but two out of three of these products are still readily available. I love it when a brand doesn’t just discontinue their line every couple of years.

Review: Benefit Highlighter minis // Sunbeam, Highbeam & Watts Up!

I don’t even fully remember where or when I got this set. The only thing I know is that I was in the US and that I have had it for some time. It features Sunbeam, Highbeam and Watts Up! highlighter. All three are either cream or liquid highlighters and that is why I opted for this mini set. I don’t use a lot of liquid and cream highlighter and when I do it is in the summer time. That is why my original Highbeam expired on me before I could use it up: I just didn’t use it enough. So I got the mini instead. You can get a single mini Highbeam for €20 at the moment. The Watts Up! highligher is still available too and a full size sets you back €34. Another reason why I got this set as I believe it cost around $15 – 20. So that was a good deal.

Benefit Sun Beam highlighter

Benefit highligher mini review swatch makeup look sunbeam highbeam watts up

From what I can tell Sun Beam has by now been discontinued by the brand. It was not the reason why I got this set. From day one I already knew I wouldn’t be using it much as it is much too dark to work as a highlighter on me. As a liquid bronzer? Possibly, but I have always found this to have too much glow for it to work that day. For a deeper complexion this was stunning though.

What does Sun Beam swatch like?

Benefit highligher mini review swatch makeup look sunbeam highbeam watts up

Sun Beam as you can see was much too orange, dark and glowy for this to work on my particular skin tone. Hence I decluttered this one the first chance I got. The reason is very simple: this just didn’t work for me. It was a good product and I don’t understand why Benefit decided to discontinue it. Right now, their product range caters mainly to lighter complexions, which is a shame. They have a history of doing that, but if they’d have kept this product in the line, at least they would have had a product that could appeal to many different people.

Benefit High Beam highlighter

Benefit highligher mini review swatch makeup look sunbeam highbeam watts up

On to the OG: one of my first, if not THE first highlighter I ever owned. I remember using this all over my face when I first started using makeup. The brand recommends using this on the cheeks, inner cornes and on the brow bone. Who remembers shiney brow bone highlights eh? Well I certainly do, because a decade ago you couldn’t watch a makeup tutorial that didn’t feature an icy white highlighter beaming at you from just beneath the brow. I don’t think I have used a brow bone highlighter in 5 years now…

What does High Beam swatch like?

Benefit highligher mini review swatch makeup look sunbeam highbeam watts up

High Beam is perfect for my complexion as it is great for fair skinned people. It is an icy pink shade. I don’t love this on me in the summer time, but in winter, when I am at my palest, this shade just works. Perhaps not great for people with very warm or dark skin tones: I think this may easily turn into an ashy look which is none too flattering. I think that the times have also caught up with this product. While pretty, I do feel it lays on the skin. This is best used UNDER foundation or concealer I find, because it can be a bit too obvious and it is easy to overly apply. With a light hand and a stipple brush this does work, but I have other highlighters that take less effort to look pretty.

Benefit Watts up! highlighter

Benefit highligher mini review swatch makeup look sunbeam highbeam watts up

On to the third and final highlighter in this set. Watts Up! was a highlighter that sooo many people raved about when it was released. I had always wanted to try it, but because it was a bit expensive for a product I knew I wouldn’t use much I never caved. Until I found it as a mini and I have been using it all month as part of my July shop my stash. Because this is a stunning highlighter for the summer time. I am therefore happy to own this in a small size because I know that I will only be using it during the summer months. Why? The shade is simply too dark for me to work year round.

What does Watts Up! swatch like?

Benefit highligher mini review swatch makeup look sunbeam highbeam watts up

I think the best description I can give of Watts Up! is a champagne gold. It has a bit of a coolness to it which is why it works for me, but only when I have a bit of a tan. The base color of this product is simply too dark for it to truly work on me much. However, I have been loving just applying this to my fingers and then pressing it into the high points of my cheeks. Super easy, flawless looking highlight with a true lit from within glow. Great for no makeup- makeup days!

My final thoughts

Benefit highligher mini review swatch makeup look sunbeam highbeam watts up

I like these highlighters a lot but I don’t think anyone should splurge on buying the full sizes of these. You only need a little, so I would hold out and wait for them to do a mini or a set if you are interested in any of these. It is not only cheaper, but it also makes for an easier to handle product that you can potentially use up before it expires. With creams and liquids you can just never be too careful, so that is why I am happy to own these but in a smaller size.

Would I recommend these Benefit highlighters?

Only if you are truly on the hunt for these and can get them as a mini. I would definitely not pay full price for these. Why? There are liquid and cream highlighters out there that are more affordable and just as nice is one reason. The other reason is that these aren’t revolutionary compared to other products currently on the market. You can tell that these products were developed a few years ago. These don’t hold a candle to many liquid and cream highlighters I have tried that have been released more recently.

What is your favorite cream or liquid highlighter?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. retrodee says:

    High Beam was my first highlighter and I also was big into Benefit some years ago… It’s from San Francisco, so really easy to get here. I liked High Beam and Watts Up at first, but they always faded on me no matter how much I put on, plus my skin doesn’t tolerate creams too well (clogs my pores) So I switched to all powder stuff. I will say Benefit is a pretty great brand and yes, it’s great how they keep the same products in their line and aren’t quick to discontinue. I’ve also tried Shy Beam which is for more subtle highlights but it didn’t do much. Oh yeah and their Hula (in cream stick version) I use for contouring sometimes… That is second to none in my book!

    1. indiequeen84 says:

      I like their Hoola bronzer (powder) but it took them ages to come out with a shade that worked on my pale skin. But yeah overall I like Benefit as a brand.

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