You can bet that as soon as a new highlighter comes onto the market, I’m scoping it out to see if I need it in my life. The answer is normally yes, of course. Especially when it comes from one of my favourite, most reliable beauty brands. The Smashbox Spotlight Palettes*, made in collaboration with Youtuber, Casey Holmes, took my fancy the second I saw them. Three shades, of varying intensities, all from the same colour family and all in one handy trio? I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them and I freaked out a little when a package from Smashbox arrived at my door.
Housed in their sturdy, chic packaging, Smashbox came out with two palettes – one Pearl and one Gold. They each have three shades, Turn It On, Crank It Up & Blow A Fuse. As you can probably guess from the names, they start subtle, building in intensity.
I actually really love this idea. That way, there’s a little bit of everything – a subtle shade, one that adds a bit more intensity and a shade that I’ve been treating sort of like a ‘topper’ for the other two shades. In both palettes, Blow A Fuse has a little more of a pronounced glitter to it so I haven’t been wearing it by itself, instead lightly blending a little over the other shades to add a little somethin’ extra. Even if you’re rarely after a subtle highlight, the first shade in each palette, Turn It On is perfect for highlighting inner corners or the Cupid’s Bow without going too over the top.
The powder can kick up a little bit of excess in the pan, as the formula is so soft, so it’s important to tap your brush before applying. But beyond that, I haven’t been having any issues with application. I find they apply best with a larger, fluffier highlighter brush. On me, they don’t look too intense or metallic, instead, they leave the skin looking glowy and almost lit from within.
Swatched: Pearl, Gold
Pearl houses three beautiful, champagne shades. Turn It On Pearl is incredibly subtle, just adding a bit of glow to the cheeks. Crank It Up Pearl is my favourite of the palette. Just warm enough without being too golden on fairer complexions. Blow A Fuse is similar in tone to Crank It Up but a little sheerer and has more glitter in it. I built up the swatch quite a bit in the pic above to show you the shade on it’s own but it’s much nicer when used sparingly over the top of the other two shades.
Gold is definitely one for those with deeper skin tones than me. The only shade that I could get away with is the first, Turn It On Gold. Crank It Up is a stunning warm bronze but unfortunately, is just too dark on my cheekbones. Blow A Fuse is, again, similar to Crank It Up but sheerer and with more glitter.
These trios are pretty much fool-proof and can be built up beautifully, starting subtle and working their way up. They’re not really ever going to give that metallic glow that some highlighters provide but if you’re after something that looks a little more natural, that you can make more or less intense, depending on the day, these are well worth a look. Pearl has quickly become a favourite for me, particularly on minimal makeup days.
Do these look like your kind of highlighters?
*some products in this post have been provided for editorial consideration, honesty as always!
*this post contains affiliate links