I have never liked the way blush looks on my brown complexion—as someone with medium-toned skin that has mixed undertones, a little rouge always looked totally unnatural on my skin (I don’t even blush naturally). I had pretty much given up on trying to get a natural-looking pink-ish flush on my cheeks till I starting seeing the TikTok-famous Charlotte Tilbury Highlighter Wand ($40, Sephora) look incredible on a wide range of skin tones in each of their six shades.
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Made by celebrity makeup artist-turned CEO, I was cautiously optimistic about this blush being a game-changer for me. I tried the super famous “Pinkgasm” shade (which gained so much popularity that it literally garnered a 50,000 person-long waitlist and is frequently out of stock) as well as “Peachgasm”, which has more of an orange tint.
Here are my honest thoughts on the ultra famous highlighter wand:
It really seems universally flattering.
South Asian skin can be hard to color match since most of us just don’t have a pink, blue, or yellow undertone. As an Indian woman, for example, I have a mix of all those combined with a bit of red and orange, too. While most makeup on the mass market is catered towards lighter skin with cool undertones, this highlighter features a wider variety of options.
While I did actually like the way that the cult-favorite “pinkgasm” color looked on me, I’d say it’s more well-suited for times I want a more dramatically glowy look. On the other hand, “peachgasm” looked more natural on me since the orange-like shade match my undertones (see below for the before and after of me wearing peachgasm!).
It blends well.
Unlike a lot of luxury brand makeup products, a little goes a very long way with this highlight. You can over-use it really easily, and I definitely made that mistake when I first tried it out by dapping it on to each of my cheeks four times. Just one little tap on each cheek is all I need, so I’d say it’s absolutely worth the $40. If you’re going for that glowy, bronzed, dewy look that’s super in right now, it’s perfect. It blends in to the skin in an almost water-like consistency once you tap it on.
What’s important to note is that a lot of people talk about how messy the applicator can be, and I fully agree. Rather than dab the cushiony soft applicator on your skin (tempting as it may be), it’s way easier to just use your finger to have more control over how much product you’re using and where you put it.
I’ve worn it nearly every day since I received it a few months ago. Because it adds so much oomph to my look, I’ll simply pair it with some under-eye concealer and mascara for an everyday “no makeup-makeup look”.
It’s not as long-lasting as I’d like.
I have really dry skin, and when it gets dried out, it likes to overcompensate by over-producing oil. Unfortunately, this did make my skin look a little too shiny after a few hours, but I was mostly able to control that with a blend of my favorite Smash primer ($39, Sephora) and Hourglass finishing powder ($46, Sephora). And if you have particularly sensitive skin and prefer a cruelty-free formula with more nourishing ingredients, I highly recommend Live Tinted’s Hue Glow ($34, Ulta)—it’s a head-to-toe bronzer made for and by Indian skin that I truly wear by.
That said, Charlotte Tilbury’s Highlighter Wand is still totally worth the hype, in my opinion. Between the luxurious travel-friendly packaging, beautiful shade options, and radiant, dramatic glow it gives the skin, it makes a great makeup staple for a wide variety of skin tones.
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