I was always of the mind that Nars low-key had one of the first highlighting powders, back before highlighter was a thing. The stark white shade Albatross looked out of place in the row of shimmering pink, coral, and red shades lining the powder blush row. It wasn’t until I ran my finger across the pan that I realized that it wasn’t just a chalky white powder — Albatross was the prettiest pale champagne-flecked face shimmer I’d seen. (Mind you, I was probably in high school at this point). At the time no one was really doing a subtle powder highlighter, that I knew of — it was chunky glitter or matte powder colors only. Now, obviously, I don’t think anyone can imagine a pre-highlighter world and luckily, as a grown woman, I can afford a prestige makeup product, instead of longingly and resentfully lamenting how no other face shimmer powders compared to Nars’s Albatross.
Not that highlighter is necessarily a new category to the Nars collection (the Multiples sticks are divine for that subtle glow-up), but the brand is expanding their Highlighting Powders to include a total of six shades. Albatross is in there, of course. But there’s also Fort De France (champagne), Capri (pink pearl), Ibiza (yellow gold), Maldives (rose bronze), and St. Barths (warm bronze).
As soon as these landed on my desk I proceeded to smear them all over my face, as one does when receiving a gift from Nars. Just like that first experience I had with Albatross in a Sephora on Long Island, all the shades had that same sheer glimmering finish — shimmery but still so finely-flecked as to look like an ethereal filter on the skin. The powders themselves are very densely packed into the compact and quite finely milled, so using a slightly denser makeup brush than a stippling or fan brush will give you a definitively detectable strobe. Otherwise, a tapered highlighting brush will give you a nice veil of shimmer that’s only seen when the light hits just so. It’s a pared-down highlight (if you’re afraid of highlighter).
Even packing it on proved to take a bit more effort due to the nature of the densely packed pans, but I’m sure if you really tried you could get your glow level set to flare. For the most part, this is a highlighter for those who don’t necessarily want to mess up the white balance on their camera.
OK, this is me wearing the shade Fort De France as well as St. Barths as a bronzer (hey, multi-purpose). As you can see, I am very glowy. I am also wearing a lot of both shades. Highlighter is difficult to photograph, OK? Regardless, these wear exquisitely. They brighten up your complexion in a way that is sort of like a light-catching finishing powder, so you look polished but not overly like look at me look at me. There are highlighters for that mood too though, you know.
These lighting-crew-in-a-compact highlighters will cost $38 and are available on March 15 at Nars boutiques and narscosmetics.com. You can find them at Sephora.com and Ulta.com starting April 1, and then at department and specialty stores on April 5.
More ways to glow:
Here’s 100 Years of Blush: