Ever since Anastasia Beverly Hills released the Moonchild Glow Kit palette, I’ve been lusting after weird-colored duochromatic highlighters. Unfortunately, I’m cheap and practical; I know I will not wear sparkly green highlighter enough to justify a $40 price tag. Kat Von D’s Alchemist palette was more tempting–the shimmer finer, the duochrome more striking–but at $32, it’s still a bit more than I wanted to spend on something I wouldn’t wear often.
Enter NYX, drugstore innovator and producer of excellent makeup. They recently released five duochromatic highlighters ($7.99/.21oz each); I picked up four to test out.
PSA: Ulta currently has all face and eye makeup buy one, get one free at Ulta–if you combine it with your $3.50 off coupon (like I did), you could get all four of these for $12.50!
Twilight Tint is stunning, a pale blue base with iridescent blue-to-violet shimmer. Though it looks nearly white in the pan, it’s by far the most pigmented once applied (no chalky white base) — not because the base is pigmented, but because the shimmer is so strong and opaque. I wasn’t expecting to care for this one, but it’s probably my favorite. If you don’t want a streak of solid blue on your cheekbone, be careful to use a very light hand! (Fortunately, it blended out very nicely.)
Lavender Steel is a pale lavender base with darker lavender shimmer. This one is only faintly duochromatic, and the shimmer isn’t as refined as in the others — it’s a little dustier and harder to blend, compared to the creaminess of the other three. The shimmer looks flat by comparison. I’m a fan of lavender, and have seen some great lavender highlighters, but this is easily my least favorite of the NYX offerings.
Crushed Bloom is a dark peach with golden-peach and pink duochrome. Though the base shade and shimmer are similar in tone, the shimmer is far more elegant than the flat shimmer in Lavender Steel. This one also felt denser than the other three, and is dark enough that it would probably function best as a highlighting blush on fair- to light-medium skintones.
Snow Rose is my second favorite (and the one I’ll probably wear most regularly): a pale creamy gold with iridescent light pink- to fuchsia pink-shimmer. Of the four, this one is the most strongly iridescent, and probably the most wearable on light skin tones (the base color blends into my natural coloring). This one fulfills all my five-year-old fairy princess dreams. I love it.
There is a fifth in this series: Synthetica, a dark orangey-coral with strong coral-gold shimmer. When I swatched it in store, it was too metallic to function as a blush on my skin and too dark to function as a highlighter (so I didn’t buy it). It was thoroughly beautiful, though — if you’re darker (or braver!) than I, I’d recommend it over Lavender Steel.
One thing to note: if you have a hard time picking up product with your brush, try running your finger around the pan a few times — the very top layer was stiffer than the rest on a couple of my pans.