BH Cosmetics Backlight Highlight Palette Review

I saw this palette launch and managed to hold off on pulling the trigger for a while. I don’t own, but have lusted over, the Kat Von D Alchemist palette and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glow Kit (or its more recent iteration, the Aurora Glow Kit). Anastasia is notoriously rough to get a hold of in Australia if it’s not stuff that’s stocked in Sephora, and the trickle through is slow and inconsistent. Kat Von D…stock is limited to Sephora, and it either launches fast and sells through nearly instantly (this seems to have been the case with the Alchemist palette) or comes very late and with far too much stock (a la Serpentina and the Metal Matte palette). The biggest issue, and the thing that underpins most “anti-hauls” concerning highlighters – please treat yourself to Kimberly Clark, idea originator, tackling the highlighter influx – is that the differences between highlighters are so small on your face that it isn’t really necessary to have 22 different kinds. I have highlighters that I love! I’ve written about Mac’s Soft Frost, for example, over here, and it’s one of my absolute favourites. I’ll talk more about my favourite formulas for reference later. I can say that there are objectively good and bad formulas out there, but instead of spending upwards of $50AUD to splurge on some interestingly coloured highlighters, I waited til one of the roughly weekly BH Cosmetics sales and snapped this palette up to fill the spot in my heart.

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Let’s kick this off with a terrible photo! There are six shades in the Blacklight Highlight palette. Their names range from fine to utterly cringeworthy, and they have quite strong bases. I don’t have individual swatches – the website ones are pretty accurate – nor face swatches, because my camera quality is honestly not going to add anything anyone’s not already done better. Instead, here’s my little discussion of the colours because all I have to give to the world are words.

My favourite colours in the palette are definitely the less conventional ones. I’m actually wearing Laser today – it’s a green shift on an almost white base. There’s glitter in all of these shades but in all of the three here, it’s small and doesn’t over-emphasise skin texture. Having quite strong bases, none of these are going to be subtle or particularly forgiving – you go into a formula like this knowing that. I feel similarly about Kween, which to spite its terrible name is an icy blue highlight and really flattering. And then possibly my favourite shade, Illusion, which looks pink and has a pink base but has a beautiful blue-lilac shift and shimmer. It’s one of the smoothest shades, very wearable, but still something that catches eyes.

I’m less of a fan of the other shades. On Point is a lovely colour but the base is a little too strong of a purple for me to pull of ordinarily as a highlight. Electra is nice, but I don’t tend to go for yellow or golden tones unless I’m wearing a very specific kind of look. Then there’s Strobe – Strobe is easily my least favourite shade of the bunch. It is by far the most standard shade, a classic white highlight, but it is also the most opaque and the chunkiest as far as glitter goes. It makes for a great formula in terms of eyeshadow, but perhaps a little too stark for a highlight. It’s very hard to not make this shade just look like a stripe on my face, and I think that’s due to the opacity of it.

Miscellaneous points to note: Don’t buy this palette for its full price. BH is perpetually on sale, and if this is not marked down to at least $12.74USD (25% off the “full” $16.99), you should wait a week. The mirror is good and it feels decent quality, which is a perk for the price. Some reviews comment on a weird smell and my palette didn’t have any of that. I wish it wore longer – by the end of the day, it looks like a generic highlighter, rather than something a bit more interesting.

I’ve been reaching for these a lot. It’s fun to play with them and to have them in the one place, and it’s fun to have the full array of weird colours in the one place. I don’t have an overwhelming need now for anything else. To fulfil my desire for the especially weird things, I have my Femme Fatale Gemtone powders – Fire Opal, for example, has an amazing Red Shift, and I love that they are all shift with no base. The formula is not exceptional – it’s just that little bit too quick to fade, that little bit too glittery (I’ve heard that complaint with the ABH ones as well, while the Kat Von D palette seems very smooth), that little too icy for me. If you have a lot of highlighters, you absolutely do not need this. I’d say coloured highlighters are only something worth buying if you are absolutely keen on experimenting, but I’m glad there’s an affordable and easily accessible option around. I do recommend checking out the Femme Fatale options, because you can buy them as singles, but I personally am useless with loose powders. The more expensive ones will undoubtedly be higher quality, but really do evaluate the frequency with which you’ll use them and what else you have in your collection. Someone with less use for strange makeup than me but a collection of my size would absolutely not need this palette, but for my needs I’m glad I picked this up.

 

 

 

Bite-Sized Five: Products I’ve Been Thinking About in October

October has been a truly brutal month. I’m only writing right now because honestly, I need a bit of a distraction, and grief is blocking almost all of the inspiration I need to get any of my work done for university. This post might be impersonal, and it might really exceed in the bite-sized stakes, but it’s something.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Light – This is the baby size, and I caved to rave reviews in my quest to find something nice for everyday when I go to Hawaii and for during the awful Australian summer. While I really enjoy the light feeling melding with decent coverage – this isn’t a foundation, but it definitely does a more effective job at covering blemishes than the majority of BB or CC or XX whatever creams – but it is definitely thicker feeling than other lightweight bases I have used, and I do feel like a primer is necessary with this one. When I have used it sans primer, I’ve found it tends to get a little clingy onto dry patches. The colour range is not spectacular and it has quite a strong smell, and I’ve heard a lot of reports of it being not so great in terms of triggering breakouts (I personally can’t comment on this either way). The wear time is alright, and I probably will reach for it more come summer, but I do wish it were a little more fuss-free. I guess that’s the trade-off that comes with wanting some coverage when you’ve got spots and scars and the like.

Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Ultra Black – My local Priceline didn’t have a Physician’s Formula stand and I’ve also only really heard good things about like two of their products, so I never really paid much attention to the brand. When a new Priceline opened up with a stand, I thought I’d finally give a go to the one product I hear raved about consistently from the brand, especially compared to one of my absolute favourite products – the Kat Von D tattoo liner. It does have a brush tip, which I like on the KVD for the precision it provides, and it is definitely very black. That said, I find it much thicker and harder to control, and I can’t get precision at all. I like using it to get the actual line along my eye, nice and opaque and intense, but if I’m doing a wing, nope. A lot of people call these dupes, and while this will get used, I would definitely not consider them equal.

Teeez Dessert Metals Mascara in Tigers Eye – I got this in my July Lust Have It bag,  and in the off chance that you come across it, my verdict is that it’s fine. Brown mascara doesn’t really suit me, despite the gorgeous packaging. The biggest claim of this mascara is that it is longwear but easy to wash off, which is a claim I’d have to dispute – I find this to be a bit of a pain in the ass to remove, if I’m honest. The wear is decent, but not spectacular. It’s fine.

The Body Shop Down to Earth Eye Palette Smoky Gold Quad – The first of two palettes I wanted to talk about quickly, and my requisite single body shop product per bite-sized five. These new eye palettes launched, and I really do have to commend The Body Shop for upping their game on the eyeshadow front. Each palette – I’ve played with them all – differs in quality, but they are a huge step up from the previous Body Shop palettes in terms of blendability and ease of use. I appreciate the focus on ease of use and simplicity rather than pigmentation, because it’s very in-line with the demographic (not me). I do really love this one. It’s so smooth, and the pigmentation is great in each shade. The individual shades pop out, but aren’t available separately yet. There’s a nice highlight shade (or base, on my skintone), a good deep matte brown, a beautiful satin shimmer gold and a pretty shimmery taupe. I also have the Smoky Brown palette, which has two peach shades, and I can say that the glitter shades are definitely the weakest ones. I’m not so much of a fan of the pigmentation on the plum quad, which also doesn’t go on very plum and has a boatload of fallout, and the black quad isn’t my thing. The palette of eight is a nice mix of the golds and the plums, but I stayed away because I wouldn’t use the black or the plums. I love the nice big mirror and the new packaging and basically holy shit, these are so much better than the shimmer cubes. They aren’t cheap, especially for four shadows – when you compare it to the Zoeva palette, it’s excessive – but you do get deep pans and they are, when you pick the right palette, good quality. I’d say tread carefully, choose wisely (strong recommendations for this one and the brown one, and the grey one is nice on fair skin), but a step in the right direction.

Zoeva Naturally Yours Palette – I recently sold my Rodeo Belle palette, which was full of colours that didn’t inspire me, and was thinking about replacing it with another one because the Zoeva palettes are lovely quality, affordable, and good for playing around with. I went with the full intention of getting a more well known option, like the Rose Gold or the En Taupe or something, but for some reason the Naturally Yours palette was just the one that was calling to me. I know who I am. I know I like bold lips and bland eyes with the occasional pop. Zoeva shadows blend beautifully and their palettes work cohesively and this is just a really easy palette to create the basis for anything. It’s got your creams and your browns of different hues and some great easy shimmers. It’s not a good base-for-any-eye kit in the same way that the Kat Von D Shade and Light eye palette is, but it’s great if you know you want neutral but aren’t feeling inspired. So basically, it’s great for me.

I haven’t got a lot else in me, right now. I’m consumed by a lot of weird emotions and everything feels heavy and slow.