Makeup Geek Highlighters (Sunlight, Firework)

Makeup Geek Highlighters Sunlight and Firework Swatches dark skin
Makeup Geek Highlighters, L to R: Sunlight, Firework

If you’ve never tried a Makeup Geek highlighter, the formula is somewhat dry feeling to the touch, but still manages to have good pigment. They are hard pressed in the pan so they have no kick up, but they are not hard to pick up on a brush. I think that by today’s standards this is on the more subtle side of formulas, but I do think they can be built up for more impact.

The shade sunlight is described as a soft copper, ideal for medium skin tones. On me this shade accentuates more texture than I prefer to see after applying highlight. I do think that it is just the nature of this shade being a little light for me. It doesn’t come off ashy and I can get away with it, it just isn’t my ideal shade. I do go over it with my beauty blender and that helps it blend into the skin more.

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Smashbox Cali Contour Medium-Dark Palette

Smashbox Cali Contour Medium-Dark Palette swatch dark skin
Smashbox Medium-Dark Cali Contour Palette

Smashbox quietly released this medium-dark version of their popular Cali Contour palette sometime back in 2020 (?). I say quietly because I don’t think there was any sort of marketing letting people know they had created this new shade variation. I was searching for a review of this palette for the longest time with no luck. I was surprised that they didn’t try to hype this up more considering all of the valid complaints companies have been getting about shade ranges lacking inclusive options. Anyway, I broke down and got it because I continued to hear lighter skin tones rave about the original light medium shade and finally had to see for myself if it was good.

  • Top row, left to right: warm contour, shimmer gold, cinnamon matte
  • Bottom row, left to right: banana matte, apricot shimmer, coco rojo
Smashbox Cali Contour Medium-Dark Palette swatches dark skin
Smashbox Medium-Dark Cali Contour Palette
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NARS Highlighting Powder Swatches (Maldives and Ibiza)

NARS Highlighting Powder in Maldives swatch on medium dark skin
NARS Highlighting Powder in Maldives

NARS Highlighting Powder in Ibiza swatches on medium dark skin
NARS Highlighting Powder in Ibiza

These powders are firmly pressed in the pan so they do not kick up powder, but are still easy to pick up on a brush in my experience.  This formula does not accentuate texture but still has enough shine to actually highlight the face.  The closest thing in texture I’ve used was the MUFE Artist Face Color (click here for a swatch and review of shade H106).  Ibiza is my personal color preference, but if you like a pink toned highlight, Maldives performs just as well.

NARS Highlighting Powder in Maldives and Ibiza swatches on medium dark skin NC44/NC45
NARS Highlighting Powder in Maldives and Ibiza

The NARS Highlighting Powders are $38.00 at narscosmetics.com and are available in six shades.

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theBalm Bonnie-Lou Manizer (50% off today)

Today is another day in what is certainly theBalm’s longest 50% off sale.  The sale originally started back on April 7 but has been extended several times since the original end date of April 12.  If you aren’t familiar with the brand, they typically have these sales 2 or 3 times a year.  No company is immune to times being hard right now so I’m sure that has everything to do with the sale extensions.

theBalm is a brand worth checking out if you are sensitive to either talc or parabens and like supporting cruelty-free brands  Over the years I’ve tried a sampling of theBalm’s products and by far my favorite product of theirs is highlighter.  The more recent release of the shade Bonnie-Lou Manizer is the swatch I am sharing with you today.

thebalm bonnie-lou manizer swatch on medium dark skin

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