Hello everyone! Today’s post will be the first of a collection of highlighter reviews. The plan is that I will be working on going through my personal stash of highlighters and making a dedicated post for each one over the next few weeks. At the end, when I’ve gone through all of them, I am planning on doing a round-up post ranking them in order of least favorite to favorite based on a few different criteria. Hopefully these posts will be helpful for you if you are on the hunt for a new highlighter. 🙂
With that being said, let’s move on to the first of my highlighter series: Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in Kitten!
Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighters were recently released as part of the Glitter Underground collection for Spring 2017. The Heaven’s Hue Highlighters consist of three shades
- Kitten – Shimmering nude pink; intended to brighten/illuminate; featured in this post.
- Transcendence – Opalescent cool pink; for an “ethereal glow”; not featured in this post.
- Bronze – Warm “sun-kissed” bronze; for adding radiance; not featured in this post.
They retail for $32.00 USD and each highlighter has 0.35 oz / 10.35 mL of product.
Ingredients: DIMETHICONE, POLYMETHYLSILSESQUIOXANE, MICA (CI 77019), DIMETHICONE/VINYL DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER, SILICA, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE. (+/-) CARMINE (CI 75470), TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891). *CONTAINS CARMINE AS A COLOR ADDITIVE.
Stila is cruelty-free. This product is not vegan as carmine is included in the ingredients listing.
Sephora’s website describes these highlighters as “a natural-looking, radiance-enhancing highlighter with a unique texture and barely-there feel” that can be worn on bare skin or over foundation. The unique texture that they are describing is further explained as having a “bouncy-to-the-touch” feel, and it is recommended to apply this product with a sponge, a synthetic brush, or fingers.
Honestly, there’s no better way to explain it. The product itself is incredibly soft to the touch and has a cushion-like feel. Many highlighters exist where you can feel how dense or dry they are with a light touch. This formula is different, because when you touch it, there is a bit of malleability, or “give”, that I can’t really say exists in any of my other highlighters.
Kitten has sort of a peachy-nude undertone to it. If it was any deeper of a shade, it would actually be too dark for my skin… you will see what I mean in the animated gif down in the swatch section. I am extremely fair skinned–to the point that the palest foundation shades most brands offer are still too dark for me–so the shade Kitten is more than likely going to work for many others.
How does it perform?
I was reading reviews on Sephora and saw comments that complained about the product going on sheer. I understand that the current state of highlighter trends is that the more blinding and bright a highlighter is, the better. While those sort of highlighters can look amazing in photos and video, it’s not the look I’m going for in my day-to-day life. I personally look for a highlighter that doesn’t enhance texture and will give me a “healthy glow”, not a glow that will blind people or leave them wondering why I look so shiny. Most days I would prefer a highlighter that takes some building up.
This highlighter isn’t sparkly, as in there won’t be any distinct chunks of glitter on your cheeks, but there is a spattering of micro-shimmer throughout. I can only really see it when I get up close to a mirror and look, so I’m not too concerned about whether other people notice it, because they honestly probably don’t. No one is looking at anyone’s face that closely. (If they are, then that’s a whole other story.)
I like to apply with a soft, synthetic, tear-drop shaped brush. I will roll it over the highlighter to pick up a little product, and then buff onto the high plane of my cheek bone, on my brow bone/area above my eyebrow, and then whatever is left over will be applied onto the bridge of my nose. I never feel the need to build this up because I noticed that while it might apply “sheer” on first application, it will quickly become more intense with a second or third application.
This highlight does not fade on me through the day. To be honest, I have a combination-oily skin type that gets oily in the t-zone and butterflies out toward the cheeks around the eight to ten hour mark, so the highlight tends to be less apparent not because of any fading on its part, but because it has to compete with my skin’s natural oils. The good news is that I’ve never noticed it separating or getting patchy after a full day of wear. This is not going to be a problem for any readers who have a dry to normal skin type.
Swatch was taken in natural light on the inside of my wrist. There is no primer underneath, and the product was applied with finger tip, one swipe. First image is intended to show you its tone, while second image is an animated gif so you can see the how the product reflects light.
I really enjoyed the feel of this highlighter. It’s cushiony and creamy without being wet, never looks powdery, it blends out incredibly easy, it is buildable, it is lightweight, and it wears all day for me. If I could change anything about it, I personally would just make it a bit lighter since it is toeing the line for almost being too dark to be a highlight for me. There is another shade called Transcendence that looks to be lighter based on what I’ve seen in swatches, but it has a pink, opalescent effect. I wouldn’t mind picking up that shade some time later down the road.
Who would I recommend this product to? If you want a no chunky glitter, soft glow, peachy highlight that is more on the sheer side but is blinging with a second or third layer, then this is the highlight for you. If the price point for this is a little out of your range, but you like the idea of this highlight, I would suggest checking out Essence’s Pure Nude highlighter. (It will not have the cool bouncy formula this highlighter has, but it will give you the glow that is more “lit from within” than blinding.)
Side note: Stila’s Kitten shade just happens to be light enough that I can wear it as a highlight. Essence’s Pure Nude highlighter is actually too dark for me, and I ended up giving it away to a friend who could wear it. So, if you are as pale as me and you are debating between the two highlighters, go for the Stila highlighter.
Hopefully you enjoyed this post. If you have any questions at all, please leave a comment for me and I’ll do my best to answer. 🙂