Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Powder in Candlelight - review and swatches


This is one of those products that I've had and loved for ages, but I've never reviewed it because it isn't the easiest product to photograph - its effect is very subtle, and it's not the kind of powder that's super visible in real life, let alone in photos.

But it is a cult product for a reason and I can see why it's found a permanent place in many beauty lover's collections, as it has done in mine. It's the kind of natural-looking highlighter that isn't as easy to find as it should be, perhaps in part because intense highlights are all the rage these days.

Kevyn Aucoin packaging is indeed luxe and the little embossed dust jacket you receive with each powder is a nice touch. It's not my favourite packaging to look at (I prefer eg Becca and Hourglass packaging), but it's the kind of thing that you're happy enough to display and pull out in public.

Each compact clicks to close and you open it by pressing the gold bar at the base, and you get a little mirror inside that can be handy if you're on the go.

One thing to note is that you only get 3.1g of product, which doesn't bother me because I never finish powder highlighters anyway, but it does understandably bother some - particularly because the old compact contained more product and the brand didn't reduce the price when they updated the packaging and reduced the size of the powder itself. A little cheeky ; )

Kevyn Aucoin claims/product details:
  • A sheer, opalescent champagne-coloured powder that works like a soft-focus lens
  • Blurs imperfections and accentuates your best features with an illuminating gleam
  • Highlights cheekbones and illuminates any areas that light would naturally strike
  • Lustrous formula that's never harsh
  • For an ethereal glow that's lightweight, subtle and sophisticated
  • Cashmere-like texture blends effortlessly into the skin
  • RRP $54 AUD for 3.1g, but do shop around (from memory I got mine for around $40)

There's the powder in direct sunlight:

And in natural light:

Direct sunlight:

Natural light:

Swatched in direct sunlight (I've left this shot slightly out of focus so you can see that it doesn't contain any huge chunks of glitter):

And in natural light:

Wearing the product on my cheek and brow bones, shot taken in natural light (I'm not wearing blush or eyeshadow so you can just see the powder on its own):

A close-up (click on any image to enlarge it):

Same again, direct sunlight:

A close-up:

And here I'm wearing it as my highlighter shade, in the inner corners and along the lashline:


I really love this highlighter. It's the kind of product that I always want to have in my collection because it's so easy to use and so hard to stuff up - plus it doesn't emphasise texture or imperfections, and the same can't be said of many other highlighters on the market.

It offers a sheer, natural luminosity to the skin that's never too much. The glow is definitely there but it's not overly reflective and doesn't look glittery, nor does it give you the 'I'm wearing highlighter' look, which not everyone wants all the time. 

It's what I'd call a work-appropriate highlighter, and those can be hard to find, in my experience - unless you have time every day to be super careful with your highlighter and really blend it out, which many of us don't.

Candlelight is a pale, golden beige colour that should suit a lot of skintones. It's a colour that I'm happy to wear in all seasons and for both day and night. It goes with any look and is great for those lazy days when you reach for what's easiest and what you know will work.

The texture is soft, smooth, creamy and finely milled, and the product applies and blends well. It also lasts well on the skin so I don't find myself needing to touch up with this - another plus.

I've seen some people apply this heavily so it looks more metallic and intense on the skin - so it is versatile in that sense because you can wear less or more depending on the occasion - but I tend not to do that with this highlighter because I prefer keeping it for natural days and using more intense products for night or special occasions.

As far as I'm concerned, this product meets all its claims and I really can't fault it. Yes it's expensive but you get what you pay for, and its biggest selling point is that it doesn't emphasise pores or fine lines, which isn't an easy task when it comes to illuminating products.

On top of that, it offers a natural sheen without the use of glitter or shimmer, and I wish that more products like this existed on the market since glitter isn't everyone's cup of tea for everyday wear.


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