Monday, June 20, 2016

Not Quite Strobing: Marc Jacobs Glow Stick in 700 Spotlight Review

It seems that thanks to Influenster, this year will be all about discovering Marc Jacobs Beauty range for me - and I'm not mad at it. This time we've received a very trendy product to review: the Marc Jacobs Glow Stick Glistening Illuminator in the shade Spotlight 700* ($42 for 0.49 oz/ 14g). I'd only tried two other cream/ liquid highlighters in the past - Benefit Watt's Up and MAC Strobe Cream - so I was excited to give the MJ version a go.
The highlighter stick is packaged in a minimalist short but fat tube; at first I thought the price of this product to be rather high, but you really do get A LOT of product here - I can't really see how you'd be able to use the entire thing up in a reasonable amount of time, unless you were using it all over the face under foundation and/or on your body - which you absolutely can. That's definitely one area where I believe cream highlighters have a leg up over the powders; they can be layered with other products and multitasked more easily.
The shape of the stick is oval, which may look like it would come in handy to apply directly on the cheekbones; however, for my face at least, the size is too big, and with its impressive pigmentation, I find the Glow Stick more user-friendly when applied with my fingers, a beautyblender, or a smaller brush.

It's quite an emollient formula; I don't own the Watt's Up anymore so I can't compare there, but it is definitely thicker/ more viscous than the liquidy MAC Strobe Cream. Nevertheless, the Glow Stick's formula is very blendable, both under and over foundation. I don't think it sets necessarily, but when sheered out in a thin layer, it doesn't move anywhere on the face and wears beautifully for the entire day. I would recommend this formula to anyone in the combination-normal-dry skintype spectrum; if your cheeks are oily, it may migrate more for you.
On Sephora's website, the shade Spotlight (which is the only shade available) is described as 'universal glow'. I don't believe that's really the case. As you can hopefully see from my close-up shots and swatches, this highlighter is a very, very pale white gold - I can't pick up much of the golden tones once it's blended out on the skin, so you could also describe it as a very light ivory shade. It's fantastic on my fair skintone, and I think it would suit a variety of undertones as the shade is quite neutral; but if you're medium to dark skintone, I believe this shade would look quite stark and maybe even ashy.
The finish of Marc Jacobs' Glow Stick is a fine pearl, no large shimmer or glitter particles in sight. It packs quite a punch though so you can definitely get a more dramatic strobing/ mirrored effect if you want - that's not really my style, so I'm glad that it can be sheered out more easily too. In my experience, it doesn't accentuate my pores or fine lines on top of my cheeks, and layers just fine over both powder and cream blush, although I like the finish better when worn with creams - just looks a bit more natural.
Highlighters are definitely one of the more challenging products to photograph but I hope you can see the tone of Spotlight quite well compared to some of my other highlighters. In my review of the Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in Starlight, I called that shade a 'pale white gold' too, but as you can see, compared to the Marc Jacobs Glow Stick, it's definitely more peachy pink. Surratt Eyeshadow in Scintillante has a less dramatic pearl finish, and the base shade leans more grey (but somehow nearly identically matches my skintone).
L-R: Marc Jacobs Glow Stick in Spotlight, ABH Illuminator in Starlight, Surratt Scintillante. I'm sorry you can't see these shades more clearly in the arm swatch, but that's just the consequence of swatching products which are incredibly close to my skintone.

In the face shot, I'm wearing the Marc Glow Stick on tops of my cheeks, tip of my nose, Cupid's Bow and a tiny bit under my brows. My base is Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream in 31, applied with a damp blender sponge and lightly set with MAC Blot Powder on the T-zone. I think the Glow Stick looks lovely and fresh - I applied a bit more than I would usually do for the photo, but I still think the overall effect is not too overdone. Even though I've been a lot more into highlighters these past two years, I'm still not convinced by the strobing trend, and I'm glad the Marc Jacobs product can be made to look more natural for every day wear.

Are you into strobing? I know a lot of us beauty fanatics just love shopping for and collecting different highlighters - and I can definitely see why, so many of the limited edition highlighting powders are just too pretty to pass up! Do you prefer highlighters in the cream, liquid or powder texture?

Disclaimer: Item marked with an asterix (*) is a press sample I received from Influenster for testing purposes. All links are non-affiliate. All opinions are 100% honest and unbiased, no matter if the products featured were purchased with my own monies or provided free of charge. Thank you for reading!


  1. I hope im not the only one who initially thought this was a deodorant products - that packaging completely threw me off. I think it looks very pretty on you, but I am always super-wary of shades that declare themselves universal all the same, cant wait to get to sephora to swatch it first. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I totally thought it was a shiny deordorant when I saw it in sephora. I guess the only way to use it up would be applying it on the leg for slimming effects? But I supposed people would prefer bronzy lotiony for summer?

    Anyway, I like your eye makeup here!

  3. I don't use highlighters much. I have only a handful of powder highlighters and come to think of it, I haven't used them at all the last few months. I used to have a liquid highlighter but on my normal skin, and in this humid weather, it moves around. I think it looks great on you Monika. On me, I find that after a few hours, when my skin starts to shine, highlighters tend to make me look greasy. So, I just save it for special occasion like a night out or something :-)

  4. I thought it was a deo at first but as I read closely its a highlighter which I find a pretty one to try out. I like the shade and coverage. It looks great on you and I guess it would look good on me too for we have the same skintone.