With more and more hybrid products on the market, sometimes it’s difficult to know what to make of them or why we would want them. The concept of a highlighting/concealing pen was confusing to me at first but now has become an important part of my daily low-key makeup routine. They have a natural finish, and concealing the dark circles and highlighting just the right part of the face can instantly make you look more awake, fresh and radiant.
Since the products are sheer/medium coverage, you can blend it in to brighten the area without looking like your foundation is too light. Since they provides a natural finish, it does not add extra glow/shimmer to oily/shiny skin and give you a no-makeup look. In general you should pick a shade that’s a bit lighter and while it provides enough coverage to cover some minor redness, I would recommend a real concealer for acne and such.
The illustration is from YSL but the application/technique also applies to other highlighter/concealer pens. You can use them to brighten the undereye area (which brightens the face), as eyeshadow base (haven’t tried this), in strategic areas for contouring (my favorite) or to define the lips (“plump” them by making the surrounding area brighter).
I have the Dior Skinflash and YSL Touche Eclat and use both regularly. Here’s the breakdown for price/packaging/shades:
Dior Skinflash: $37 for .05oz, most expensive of the three. Takes about 20+ clicks for products to come out the first time it’s opened, afterwards it only takes 1 or 2 clicks. It comes in a little velvet pen/tube pouch, which is kind of pointless in my opinion. You twist the bottom for product to come out.
YSL Touche Eclat: $41 for .1oz, cheapest of the three. Takes about 20+ clicks for products to come out the first time it’s opened, afterwards it only takes 1 or 2 clicks. You click the button on the bottom for product to come out, which makes me worried that when I travel the button will be accidentally clicked in the bag if it is packed tight and products might spill. Mine in the picture above have the LE packaging, different pattern but same size.
Givenchy Mister Light: $34 for .05oz. I only have packet samples of Givenchy Mister Light so I can’t speak to the packaging.
NOTE, the swatches are from store testers and are meant for shade comparison/reference. Some pen are dried up while others are new so even if some swatches look matte and others dewy in the picture, they all have a natural/satin finish on the skin. The shades for them are:
- Givenchy Mister Light – 1 (Mister Meringue), 2 (Mister Milk), 3 (Mister Toast), 4 (Mister Macaroon), 5 (Mister Biscuit) and 6 (Mister Cinnamon).
- Dior Skinflash – 001 (Rose Glow), 002 (Candlelight or Ivory), 025 (Vanilla Glow), 003 (Sunbeam or Apricot Glow), 035 (Almond or Peach Glow) and 045 (Honey Glow). The store did not have 003 so that’s the missing swatch in the picture.
- YSL Touche Eclat – 1 (Luminous Radiance), 1.5 (Radiant Silk), 2 (Luminous Ivory), 2.5 (Luminous Vanilla), 3.5 (Luminous Almond), 3 (Light Peach), 4.5 (Luminous Sand), 5 (Luminous Honey), 5.5 (Luminous Praline), 6 (Luminous Amber), 6.5 (Luminous Toffee), and 7(Luminous Mocha).
Conclusion: Dior have a natural finish and spreads easily, YSL feels more like makeup and is a tad thicker/more powdery while Givenchy have more coverage. YSL is the cheapest and offers a wide variety of options for darker skins. If you are looking for more of a concealer than highlighter effect then Givenchy is a better choice. If you want the most natural looking, no-makeup skin then Dior is my favorite. I like a natural look and am always running late in the morning, so having one product that highlight and conceals to make me look more put together is definitely convenient.