The few, and decidedly bizarre instances where I have been asked what my dream super power would be, my reply was mind reading. However, after a recent scarring encounter with a bathroom mirror and fluorescent lighting, I will, from now on, reply “24 hour candle light”. Photographers, models and beauty gurus alike will agree with me when I say lighting can make all the difference. The harsh, tell-tale light cast by fluorescent bulbs has the ability to make you look the worst you possibly can. Any blemishes are basically waving a white flag of surrender, fine lines become canyons, eye bags become larger than an Hermès Birkin, any dry flakes look like they could be the Hulk’s dandruff and the slightest hint of shine is exaggerated to look like an oil spill. Candle light, on the other hand waves its soft-focus wand over your face and, voilà you don’t have to worry about any imperfections. Since I (and I suspect the majority of people out there) do not have the option of living my life in a dimly lit restaurant (or my zen candlelit bedroom), we have to ensure we look good even in the worst of lights.
Cue operation Candle Light.
Upon scouring the streets and trawling the internet for the best soft-focus inducing product, I like to think I have finally found it: Benefit’s Watts Up
It is a highlighter that looks like a luxurious gluestick. Housed in a violet twist up tube with a sponge on the other end for blending, it looks more suited to a primary schooler’s pencil case than a dressing table, but as we’ve been told all our lives, don’t judge a book by its cover. This tube of glory works wonders.
I apply it on my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose (focusing on the tip), my cupid’s bow, brow bone and inner corners of my eyes, and it really does soften my features and make me look decidedly glowy and candlelit. It is a champagne tinged hue, which makes it a cut above its either too gold or too pink highlighter competitors.
Whilst it can’t banish blemishes or fix those fine lines, its strength lies in its ability to make your overall appearance softer and focus on the high points of the face. It is surprisingly long lasting (I wore it yesterday from 8am until 11pm and it had barely moved or faded) and very buildable, meaning your highlighting can be as subtle as an angelic glow, or positively Kardashian-esque.
If I had to fault it, it would be the sponge applicator taking up unnecessary space. I use my fingers to apply it, or, if I want more glow, I stripe it directly on and use a blend-and-pat motion with my tips as opposed to faffing around with the fairly useless sponge (which seems to remove most of the product!). It’s portable, affordable and a little really goes a long way with this highlighter.
Overall? I cannot recommend it enough, and whilst I still haven’t solved the no-candlelight issue, this will do in the meantime.