Apr 21 2015

Benefit Highlighters: A Comparative Study


Benefit is a brand I love to admire but rarely purchase any products from. I’m not sure why. I do own some of the blushes, of course. Who doesn’t love Rockateur? But when it comes to Benefit highlighters, which are among their most popular products, I’m not drawn in. With these products being long loved by makeup enthusiasts across the globe, however, I thought I’d better give them a proper go.


Benefit Highlighters Comparison Review


As you can see, the Benefit Highlighters in my collection are only samples. One of the reasons I think I’ve never purchased a full size is the fact that I’m not big on cream/liquid formulations of blushes, highlighters or bronzers. Its weird. I like the concept, I like how some of them look once applied, but I rarely, if ever, reach for the ones that are in my collection. This makes me wary of accumulated more such products. So how does Benefit do?


High Beam (“luminescent complexion enhancer”)


Benefit says that this “satiny pink liquid highlighter accents cheek and brow bones for a dewy, radiant glow”. It is recommended for use over makeup for targeted highlighting or under to add subtle luminescence.


Benefit Highlighters Comparison Review


A little goes a long way with this cream-to-liquid highlighter which is intensely pigmented. I love the soft pink tint of High Beam and the fact that it’s not glittery or too shimmery. However, I don’t think it blends that well over make-up and I’ve tried it all kinds of ways. Whatever I do, it breaks down my foundation more often than not. I’m fully aware that this could be attributed to the texture of my skin which is not as smooth as when I was 16. 🙂 Also I’m not a fan of the nail-polish-brush-like applicator (which is the same in the full size). But it does last a really long time.


Watt’s up! (“soft focus highlighter for face”)


Benefit says that this “soft focus highlighter turns on “watt” ya got with a delicate champagne glow that’s gorgeous”. It’s a cream-to-powder finish that promises smooth application and luminous sheen.


Benefit Highlighters Comparison Review


A subtle champagne glow offered in a cream stick formulation, I wish I could get on better with this product. It’s fine if I’m applying it over a light application of BB cream, but trying to get this to look great over a full face (before powder), is a struggle for me – especially on the cheek bones. It works better on my cupids bow and brow bone. Despite my woes, I do think that more youthful skin can probably achieve a fantastic dewy look with this.


Sun Beam (“golden bronze complexion highlighter”)


Benefit says this “golden bronze highlighter gives you a natural, sunkissed radiance” for liquid sunshine in a bottle. They recommend that the product be blended over cheek and brow bones for a bronzed glow that complements all skin tones.


Benefit Highlighters Comparison Review (2)


Similar in texture and delivery to High Beam, I actually find that this gorgeous shimmery golden liquid highlighter performs a little better. It doesn’t cause my foundation to shift and is more forgiving on my skin texture. Although Benefit says this is for all skin tones, its probably best suited for medium and deeper skin tones with yellow/olive undertones.

In total, there are four Benefit highlighters in brands’ range and all of them are creams or liquids. The one that’s missing from this post is Girl Meets Pearl which is a liquid pink toned pearl luminizer.  The newer “Fine-One-One” is also categorised by Benefit as a highlighter but I see it as more of a blush.

Though I was pleased with Sun Beam and can use both High Beam and Watts Up in moderation, I still prefer a powder highlight. Maybe I’m just lazy? Are there any cream/liquid highlghters that you think will blow my mind? Recommendations welcomed.



Interested in checking out the latest giveaway?



Beauty Isles on social media: Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest!






All products featured in this post were purchased by the author with the author’s own money. All opinions are the author’s own honest opinions. No affiliate links. See Disclaimer here for more information.






Beauty Isles Signature    

All items featured in this post were purchased by the author unless otherwise noted. Any products or services provided as PR will be marked with an asterisk "*". This website uses Skimlinks and this post may contain affiliate links.


Skip to comment form

  1. I like the look of Sunbeam! xx

    1. Isn’t it pretty? On olive skin tones…simply stunning!

  2. Such a shame you don’t get on too well with the Watt’s Up highlighter, I really like it!
    I usually just dab it on my cheeks lightly, for when I just want a little bit of glow. I find streaking it on my cheeks into a line does not have a good look on me, I can hardly blend it out when i do that 🙂 Maybe you can try dabbing it on or putting it on with a brush?

    Love, Charline | Charline Has a Blog

    1. Thanks for the tips, hun. I’ve actually tried both ways (the dabbing and a brush) and while dabbing definitely works better than “streaking” it, it still ends up patchy on me. Must be my skin texture, lol. 🙂 xo

    • Jen on April 21, 2015 at 10:29 am
    • Reply

    I like the way they both look, I think I’ll try out Sunbeam first though. Nice review!

    1. Thanks, Jen! I wish I could get on with cream and liquid highlighters better as they do give a more “natural” effect. xo

  3. I love all of these! They’re so easy to blend in.

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

    1. I wish I could love them too, the just don’t work for me but I can see the appeal for sure. 🙂

  4. This is super interesting. I’ve always found Benefit products a bit hyped-over so until a few months ago I never tried any of it. I might try one of these next!

    I have a Sleek highlighter, but I don’t think they have that brand where you live, or do they?


    1. Benefit is very hyped up, I agree. There are some products that I love – like the Porefessional. No, they don’t sell Sleek here but I do have a blush (Rose Gold) and the Storm palette that Silke (Laura London) sent me in a swap and the brand is great for the price!

  5. I’ve never been overly sold by High Beam and Sun Beam but I do love the Watt’s Up highlighter. I use it mostly in Summer as it looks lovely with bronzed skin. I am definitely with you on powder though, I do much prefer these to cream formulas. x

    Kirsty – http://www.effortlesslyexcessive.com

    1. Glad to know I’m not the only one who prefers powder. 🙂 I wish I could get on with the cream formulas better because the highlighters really are lovely, Watt’s up is subtle but beautiful.

  6. This is really neat! I like the look of both, really.

    1. Sun Beam works best for me, but I can see why Watt’s Up is so popular. 🙂

Share your thoughts with us!

%d bloggers like this: