If ever a makeup item has defined a time, surely it is highlighter defining right now. I’m not that old (I really promise I’m not), but I remember a time when highlighters solely referred to neon pens. In fact, I remember discovering Benefit High Beam (which I’m pretty sure was the first mass-market highlight) and not even knowing what it was! Can you believe?
Now it seems highlighter is everywhere, quite literally. And it’s constantly being updated and re-invented. We have holographic highlights, putty highlights, glossy highlights, highlights made of slime. If you want to glow, well, what a time to be alive.
But sometimes it’s nice to get back to basics. A makeup product designed not to be totally crazy dude, but rather one which is designed to make you look a bit nicer. And one such product is the Ellis Faas Glow Up.
Put simply, it’s a highlighting powder – a pressed pan of pigment with some light reflective properties. It comes in three shades, all of which are based in the realm of real skin tones, with no reflective lilacs or holographic silver particles in sight. And rather than beaming like a metallic foil, the glow this imparts is an altogether more grown-up affair.
If you swatch this, you may be initially disappointed. When compared to some of the Trophy Wives we’re used to today … well, there’s really no comparison. But that’s fine! They’re just two different products. This is designed to “play with light” – to create an optical illusion of pronounced cheekbones and healthy skin, rather than to really look like makeup at all.
For me, the glow from this is so subtle yet stunning that I’m loathe to just keep it to cheekbones. I’ll dust this all over my face with a fluffy brush to look like I’m bathed in candlelight, thus tricking the entire world into thinking they’re on a date with me. Lucky!
And in spite of its powdery nature, there’s nothing powdery about the Glow Up. This is because one of the key ingredients is vitamin E, which even skincare morons know is a great ingredient. It’s moisturising and protective from environmental aggressors and the very brilliantly named ‘free radicals’. This also gives the powder an almost creamy texture, making it blend into the skin rather than sitting on top of it.
A final word on the packaging: I love it. Buying a case and compact separately can seem an annoyance, but having a refillable compact is very glamorous old divorcee who lives overlooking Central Park, so I can get on board. It’s also good for the environment, or whatever. And even if you never need to top up the compact, it’s just great. Slightly space age, slightly retro, wipe clean, including a magnifying mirror, with space for a “puff.” Put simply, it’s all the good stuff.
Ellis Faas, Glow Up, £14.50, Slappshop.com