Since most of the face highlighters I have were purchased overseas (I recently came back from a couple years living in Germany so a lot of my makeup collection is not available in the U.S.) and thus many people won't be able to get their hands on these products, I didn't want to do in-depth reviews for each one. However, you know I enjoy sparkle, so I did want to talk a little about the highlighting products that I've accumulated. I'm just going to show you some photos and give some quick thoughts about each of these 5 products. Before I go into detail, I'll show you the swatches. These are done indoors, with a flash, unblended. The color you see when you wear one of these normally would be a lot more subtle--and I know that even in the photo, some of these are hard to see, particularly the first two. Highlighters are difficult to photograph! Left to right, these are in the same order as the reviews: Essence, Catrice RR, Catrice P&F, R Young, and Benefit.
Essence Dark Radiance Collection Cream Highlighter
This product is limited edition from Essence. I picked it up in Germany a few months ago, so I doubt it's still on the shelves, but it's still interesting and I'm going to talk about it! It's a cream highlighter, and it's a really unique product - instead of being just shimmery, it's actually iridescent! It's a white product with an iridescent pinky/purply shine when the light hits it. Gorgeous! The packaging is nice enough, considering it's Essence and one of the cheapest brands at the drugstore, but nothing to write home about.
Catrice Rocking Royals Collection Scented Highlighting Powder
Isn't the whole idea of this just so luxurious? Scented highlighting powder? It's a little weird, but I love the idea. The Rocking Royals collection (I think it was sometime in the fall that this was released) had a lot of great products, though! I also have an eyeliner, two lipsticks, a blush, an eyeshadow, and a nail polish from that collection...I went a little bit crazy! It was pretty cheap, though - for those who don't know, Catrice is a German drugstore brand. It's made by the same company as Essence, but with a little better quality and slightly higher prices to match - still very cheap though. Anyway, this powder comes in a pretty gold tin, with a puff inside and a sweet scent. It's a pretty subtle highlight - there is shimmer in it, but it's not full on frosty or shiny like some highlighters. I like it quite a lot, and feel fancy when I use it even though it only cost about $6!
Catrice Prime And Fine Highlighting Powder
The packaging is a little banged up on this one, but that just shows it's well-loved! I'm a big fan of Catrice, and I hope some of their products make it over to the U.S. soon! This highlighter is from their Prime And Fine range, which is a part of the permanent collection. However, I did notice that my drugstore stopped stocking the highlighting powder at the beginning of 2014. I'm not sure if that's just my store (it was a Rossmann, if that matters) or if that's everywhere, so I'm not sure if this is still available or not. Anyway, it's in a sleek black compact that I like (it looked sleeker when it was new), although a mirror would have improved it. It's a nice, soft powder, and a gorgeous pink-gold shimmer that I think looks amazing on my fair skin. Love this one!
R Young Baked Highlighter
R Young is one of the house brands of Rossmann, a German drugstore. I know, I know, all of these products are German! But this is a nice product, considering I don't like many things from Rossmann's house brands. This highlighter comes in a cheap-looking clear plastic compact. Cheap-looking because it is cheap. Less than $5. The texture of this pink highlighter isn't nearly as smooth as the Catrice product mentioned above, but the color is a pretty pink shimmer. This is super pigmented, and when worn, it's one of the less-subtle highlighters I own (in a good way, it's still not over the top).
Benefit High Beam
This is the only product on the list available in the U.S., the only liquid highlighter mentioned here, and the only one not from the drugstore. I really like this, and it was my first highlighter! It comes in a bottle, and I only have the mini size (but a little goes a long way!). It's the more pinky shade of Benefit's two "beam" products - Sunbeam, which I don't have, is a golden highlight. Being liquid means you can even mix a little with your moisturizer or foundation if you want to look especially luminous! (I don't do that, though.) I quite like this one as well!
I love and use all of these highlighters, but the Catrice Prime And Fine and Benefit High Beam are my favorites. I think highlighting is a great part of my routine, adding a little sparkle into my life even when I'm wearing a matte eye, for example. It's important not to go overboard with the highlighter on a daily basis, or you'll look like Edward Cullen at the beach, but a little of one of these products can add something special to any look!