Today’s post is a review on the Essence Pure Nude Highlighter, which has been getting a lot of coverage around the beauty community in the last few months.
I usually don’t wear highlighter on a day-to-day basis to work, because sometimes it seems a little much for the office, and it’s just an extra step that I don’t always have time for in the mornings. However, I have been on a highlighter kick for the last few months, and currently have so many highlighters on my wish list. I purchased this Essence Pure Nude Highlighter back in December. It was a little difficult to find! It was sold out at every store I visited, until I randomly stumbled upon a few at a store I had already checked a few weeks prior.
I bought this highlighter at Shoppers Drug Mart, which I find is the store in Canada where Essence is most readily available. It retails at $5.49 for 6.5g, which is a steal, even for a drugstore product. If you compare the price to a high-end highlighter like the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed, the Becca is $46 for 8g. Per gram, it works out to $0.84/g for the Essence highlighter vs $5.75/g for the Becca highlighter. Crazy!
First, let’s talk about the packaging. The highlighter is housed in a plastic compact. The lid is clear so you can see what’s inside, and there is no mirror or brush included. Overall, the packaging feels pretty light, but the lid snaps tightly closed and the packaging feels sturdy enough for travel.
The highlighter itself is a peachy shade which leans champagne, and is a very subtle highlight. It has no discernible shimmer in it, but does have a slight sheen – I would say that it is a satin finish. I’ve been wearing it to work every day, and it gives off a very natural glow. I think that people who prefer strong highlights will not really find what they are looking for in this highlighter. Also, if you are very fair, this highlighter may pull too orange on you. Unfortunately, it is only offered in one shade so there is nothing lighter to choose from.
The highlighter is baked, so it feels a bit drier and dusty to the touch; it’s not as soft or smooth as a highlighter such as the ones from Becca. The pigmentation is not strong, but can be built up gradually; for example, in the swatches you see below, the Benefit and Becca highlighters needed just one pass for a clear swatch, while the Pure Nude Highlighter needed three. It’s too subtle to apply with a fan brush; you wouldn’t really see much of anything. I usually apply it using a small rounded complexion powder brush with more hairs than a fan brush. The highlighter has a very slight scent when you stick your nose right into the compact. I can’t really tell what the scent is – I think it’s floral, but either way, no smell can be detected at all once applied.
I wanted to compare a swatch of the Pure Nude highlighter with some of my other favourite highlighters. The top photo is the highlighters swatched straight onto my arm, while the bottom is the highlighters blended in, which is how you would normally wear it.
Benefit Watts Up and Becca Opal are clearly the most metallic, although Watts Up is the most similar shade to Pure Nude. You can see that Pure Nude is a peachy shade that is pretty close to my skin tone, while Hourglass’s Incandescent Light is a much whiter shade. It’s interesting, because I think that the Incandescent Light looks the most natural on camera, but Incandescent Light actually has shimmers in real life that the Pure Nude highlighter does not.
The highlighter is made in Poland. I was a little taken aback, since in my head, I always associate less expensive makeup products with being made in China, although that isn’t always necessarily true.
These are the ingredients of the highlighter:
Mica, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Magnesium Stearate, Boron Nitride, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Silica, Glyceryl Caprylate, Sodium Levulinate, P-Anisic Acid, Sodium Anisate, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).
To summarize, these are the pros and cons of the highlighter:
-Natural highlighter with no shimmer
-No/very subtle fragrance
-Too dark for very light skintones
-Only one shade available
-No mirror included in packaging
Overall, for $5.50, I would say this highlighter is highly worth a try if your skin tone can handle warmer peach shades and you like more subtle highlights. Have you tried this highlighter? If so, what do you think?