Wednesday, July 27, 2011

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Review and Swatches

Being the oily-skinned creature I am, I've never really given much thought to luminizers.  Why would I want to make myself look shiny?  But as I've become more makeup-obsessed and started reading more beauty blogs, my horizons have expanded.  Luminizer (also called highlighter) is used to accentuate the places on your face that the light would naturally hit: tops of cheekbones, nose, browbone, cupid's bow.  It's still not something I would wear regularly, because my skin is more than capable of drawing attention to itself, but for special occasions (where I redo my makeup beforehand and know I won't be sweating or getting too oily!) it's a nice touch.  I've tried using Benefit's High Beam (review to come, my GOD I say that a lot), but the first powder luminizer I've used is the lovely Mary-Lou Manizer, which came in the Balmbini palette.  I'd read many good things about it before, and was very excited to give it a try!
From left to right: Mary-Lou Manizer luminizer, ShadyLady Eyeshadow in Insane Jane, ShadyLady Eyeshadow in Jealous Jordana
And I was not disappointed!  Mary-Lou Manizer (henceforth MLM) is a finely milled golden ivory with mild shimmer, which when blended gives a lovely sheen.  I sweep it on my cheekbones with a clean blush brush (my smallish E.L.F.) after I've put on all my other face makeup, and it makes them subtly glowy––nothing flashy or obvious.
MLM blended on my arm
The golden sheen makes it better suited to warm-to-neutral skin, though if layered atop a cool blush I'm sure it could work for cooler folk as well.  MLM can also be used as an eyeshadow (as can Hot Mama and Down Boy, not that I personally ever would; pink eye is not my thing), and when brushed on the inner corner of my eyes, it gives a nice bit of glow and opens my eyes up.
MLM over primer (top) and bare skin (bottom)

MLM in same order, different lighting (you can see I didn't get the primer swatch quite where it should have been, my bad!)
I am a fan.  It's subtle, but adds luminosity, and is great for those times when I want to glow.

Since I got this in a palette, I can't speak to its packaging, heft, or design in its full-size incarnation, but according to Sephora it comes in a mirrored compact, which is a nice touch.

$24 for 0.30 oz, available from theBalm and Sephora

Pros: Subtle, luminous, finely milled, sheer
Cons: Warm-toned

Price: 6 ($24 is steep for me, but compared to other high-end pressed-powder luminizers, it's definitely one of the cheaper options)
Value: 8.5 (0.30 oz is about average for a luminizer, but the cheaper price bumps this score up; I would never be able to make use of that much luminizer, so I'm glad I got the smaller palette size (only 0.05 oz), but this score is for a regular luminizer wearer)
Quality: 9.5
Ease of Use: 5
Pigmentation: 5 (subtle and sheer, just as expected)
Duration: 5 (admittedly, it's hard to tell how long it lasts on me once my oilies start to compete for attention, but it lasts all day on my eyes)
Consistency: 5
Grade: B+

The majority of the points lost here are due to how expensive it is, but in terms of high-end, high-quality luminizers, MLM is a steal.

Do you use luminizer?  If so, which one(s)?  What do you think of Mary-Lou?
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