I’m a recent highlight convert, basically because I always thought I’d look like a fairy princess with sparkle all over my face. And that was definitely not the look I was going for.

But after all the buzz about Watts-Up and High Beam, and the crazy-good reviews we’ve had on here from pretty much anything Benefit, I tried them out and I was immediately hooked. There isn’t a day that, if I do my full face of makeup, I am not wearing some type of highlighter. So when I got to try a new “Illuminator” from one of my already favorite makeup brands, Kismet, I was super excited. The “Lovely Illuminator” isn’t technically a highlighter (because you can wear it all over your face, mixed with your foundation, and get a nice subtle glow a la Laura Mercia but for half the price). But watching the tutorial video and seeing the product in person, it’s pretty easy to see why it can and should be used to highlight your cheekbones and give your complexion a pop.

(Related: This Highlighter Is The World’s Most Underrated Beauty Product)

The illuminators come in three colors, each of which works with a different skin tone. Rosy is the lightest of the three and immediately reminded me of High Beam:


Goldie is the next darkest and made for medium skin tones, with a golden hue. It’s definitely reminiscent of Sun Beam as well (I’m sensing a theme here):


The last and darkest illuminator is Toasty, and that’s made for darker complexions:


To test them out and see if they’ve found a better spot in your makeup collection than High Beam has, we tried all them on all 3 skin tones (with help from Nakeisha over at Gurl)



Sara’s light skin worked really well with the pigment and in the lights of the studio, you could easily see her cheek bones pop out. It was a nice, subtle sparkly rather than an in-your-face shininess like some highlighters have.



Here’s Goldie on me. In the light, it had a really nice, golden glow to it. I always get nervous for yellow-toned makeup because I already have very olive skin, but the golden hues really mixed well, instead of making me look sickly like some lighter highlighters do.



This was Nakeisha’s first highlighting experience and I think we have made her into a convert. It blended nicely into her skin and just left a really great streak of glow across her cheeks.

Kismet’s Lovely Illuminators will run you $20 a pot, but it’s a lot of product and you definitely do not need a bunch of it to show it. A lot of times with highlighters, you only get sparkle and no color, especially if you want to make sure you have evenly blended it into your skin. These, however, give you a small hint of color as well as sparkle and you don’t need as much product to achieve it, which means no risk of rubbing it all out by blending too much. Another great thing is if you’re in between skin tones and not sure what color, you can get all three in a trial size for $5 (and you even have the option to try their Opulent Body Bronzer if you know you’re definitely not one of the three shades).

All-in-all, if you aren’t happy with your highlighter, you should for sure give the Lovely Illuminators a try. I immediately added it into my makeup rotation for days that I want a highlight but don’t want full-on Kim Kardashian face. They’re perfect for adding a little bit of glow, even if you don’t have any other make up on.