Monday, July 13, 2015

The Subtlest Sheen: Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Radiant Lights

Highlighting seems to be a big trend right now, what with the rising popularity of 'strobing' (is strobing the new contouring? Lol) or the release of BECCA's Champagne Pop. As much as I have absolutely zero interest in both of those things, I have to say that I've been enjoying highlighting a lot more than I used to, mostly because my skin's been getting more even-textured and less oily than it was even a year ago.
I've been ogling many powder highlighters online for months, and I particularly had my eye on baked powder compacts from a very affordable UK brand Makeup Revolution, known for duping many of the high-end brands. I actually first heard about these Vivid Baked Highlighter Powders from Polish YouTubers, and had a beautiful pale lavender shade called Pink Lights on a wishlist for my mom to pick up for me online. But recently, when Makeup Revolution became available at, I hopped over there and, in the absence of Pink Lights, chose Radiant Lights (now $6 for 0.375 oz, weirdly enough, two weeks ago I paid $6.99) instead, which is an icy pink shade. Ulta has it described as a 'unique lilac perfect for fair to medium skintones', so I'm thinking this is Pink Lights after all but the name's been changed in the US for some reason.
I have to admit that the packaging disappointed me a little right from the start; it just feels like a very lightweight, cheap and not very durable plastic, the rose gold lettering starting to disappear already. But the actual raised design of the powder, reminiscent of sand dunes and MAC Extra Dimension products, looks quite beautiful indeed, and suggestive of a much more expensive product.
From all the raves on Polish YouTube, I had quite high expectations for the texture and performance of this Baked Highlighter. I find that drugstore highlighting products often suffer from two major problems: either they're chock-full of actual glitter particles, or the particles are so subtle/ inexistent that they don't show up on the skin at all. But Makeup Revolution has got it exactly right: the shimmer in Radiant Lights is smooth and refined, but packs enough power to illuminate even the dullest of complexions.
The actual texture in the pan is quite firm and not at all powdery, but my brush picks up product very easily, and I don't need to either tap my brush off or build it up in layers to achieve a beautiful finish on the face. You'll hopefully be able to see it in my close-up arm swatches, but the level of glow of this Vivid Baked Highlighter is the most comparable to my beloved (and much pricier) Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01. I would say the main difference is that the Makeup Revolution has a bit of a harder texture in the pan (Matte Radiance can kick up quite a bit of powder) and maybe feels a bit less creamy - but if you've been lemming after Laura Mercier's but couldn't stomach the price tag, the Vivid Baked Highlighter seems to be an excellent alternative (not a dupe, mind you - Highlight 01 and Radiant Lights are two very different shades).
As for the actual shade Radiant Lights, it's a very cool pink with a silver opalescence, and as such I think it would be best suited to fair and light skintones with a cool or neutral undertone. Compared to other highlighters in my stash, it's the most similar to Benefit High Beam, although I think it shows up subtler on the skin, which I personally prefer. FYI, despite synonymous name and similar look in the pan, the shade Radiant Lights is nothing like Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous. In the swatches on my arm, Makeup Revolution Radiant Lights looks like nothing, but on the face it performs very well indeed - see that gorgeous glow on top of my cheekbone? I've also used it on my browbone and inner corners of the eyes, and it's just as stunning in that role.
L-R: Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Radiant Lights, Benefit High Beam, Laura Mercier Matte Radiance 01, Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous
All in all, I'm very pleased with this new addition to my highlighter rotation, and because the packaging is less bulky and the price easier to swallow, I can easily see Makeup Revolution Radiant Lights becoming a staple in my travel make-up bag. It compliments my skintone well (which is not that easy to find for us fair folk!), doesn't exacerbate my pores and is easy to work with, making it damn near perfect in my book. As for longevity, this baked powder wears all day on my face (I have normal skin type on my cheeks for reference).
Have you tried anything from Makeup Revolution already? What is your current favorite highlighter on your skintone?


  1. Oh now that's a pretty highlighter! And affordable too! Love it on your skin! I'll have to check out the brand when I go to California next time.
    All the hype around that highlighter is just too much for me. Makes me want to give up because I don't like what's going on anymore in the makeup biz these days.

  2. Gorgeous highlighter on you, Monika! You got me looking at LM Matte Radiance now too. *covers eyes*

  3. Wow!!! This is such a beauty! i like the shade and coverage. Its a must try indeed.

  4. Yes, another WOW here from moi.. your skin looks absolutely glowing yet not on-your-face. This is a great product -- not familiar with the brand but glad you feature it!

  5. That is a lovely highlighter - so many highlighting posts at the moment, think I need to whip up a post sharing the ones I've been using lately! Would love to have access to such an affordable brand here, all we really have are essence and some of the NYX products which have just come out in Australia.

  6. I've grown to like highlighting more recently as well, but I couldn't get down with Champagne Pop! Too warm and deep for my complexion. Judging by your swatches, the LM and MR highlighters seem like products I need to check out ;)