Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: Benefit High Beam

A dewy, healthy glow is a signature look for many models and celebrities. Makeup companies churn out products for the rest of us that claim to shimmer, shine and illuminate their way to a similar look. Unfortunately, most miss the mark -- but I recently added a new product to my collection. Enter Benefit's High Beam, a "luminescent complexion enhancer" designed to give you a healthy glow when blended onto the top of your cheekbones. The packaging notes that it can be used on brow bones too, but I opt for a more minimalist approach. Let's see if High Beam rightly earned its "model in a bottle" nickname, shall we?

  • (potentially) Perfect for skin tones ranging from light to medium-dark
  • Icy pink color that works with either rosy or golden undertones, although there is a more warm-toned peach version called Moon Beam
  • Blends smoothly onto the skin
  • Has staying power
  • No glitter, just very soft, light-reflecting shimmer
  • Gives a "candlelit glow"
  • May cause breakouts if not washed off before bed (learned that the hard way) 
  • The brush applicator is similar to a nail polish brush -- I don't mind, but many reviewers dislike this
It can be difficult to capture in photos, depending on the light. But here's a decent example:

The overall verdict? I love it. I can learn to live with the above-mentioned cons, and I'm a big fan of the way it kicks my look up a notch -- provided I don't pile it on. Too much of this product is definitely a bad thing. You want to look glowing, not glow-in-the-dark. My general rule of thumb is to use it sparingly (if at all) during the day, and apply it a bit more liberally for an evening out. Do what works for you. =)

Do you use an illuminating product?


  1. When I went to the counter they tried this on me and I LOVED it. I think it's especially nice on my dark skin. The only think I didn't like about this was the price :/ I can do without glow for that much. Do you know of any cheap dupes?

    p.s that picture of you is so pretty!

    1. Aw, thanks Joanna! I'm with you on the price, although it is a huge bottle for the purpose. If I didn't have my Birchbox points (or maybe a Sephora gift card) I'm not sure I could have brought myself to buy a bottle. In any case, you're in luck as far as dupes go! Here are some similar products I found via other blogs or videos:

      - Boots No7: High Lights Illuminating Lotion (these may be at Target, or online)

      - Elf: Facial Whip in Lilac Petal

      - Elf: Facial Whip in Spotlight

  2. I don't use an illuminating product ... I usually go for the matte look. Love this though!

    1. The matte look is great too Jolene! =)

  3. i've used a similar product by benefit, but i forget which one it was. it was a solid stick though, same concept as a highlighter. i only used it once when i was visiting a friend, but i did like the effects. guess i should ask her what it was :)

    a peek of chic

    1. It might have been Girl Meets Pearl, though I'm not sure. =)

  4. I love your review (and your earrings). I have been thinking about trying it myself. Glad to hear you were so happy with it.


    1. Thanks Erin! It's definitely worth it, but there are some comparable dupes, as I mentioned in the comments above to Joanna. =)