Japonesque Liquid Light in Shade 02 - swatches and mini review


So we're back from taking the kids swimming and I'm still trawling through Maslow & Co photos (why oh why did I take so many?!), and I went to use this highlighter because it's on my Project Pan list so it's on daily rotation - and turns out it's time to cut the tube open so best I sneak this post in now or it'll be gone forever.

Long story short, this highlighter came as a GWP with a BeautyBay order ages ago and it took me a while to open it because I already had too many liquid highlighters at the time, but I'm now low on them (thanks Project Pan) so I thought I may as well use it rather than declutter it, which is what I previously thought I would do.

While I don't mind the product, it's too peach for my personal tastes (that's why it was on the 'potential declutter' list) - plus it contains very fine bits of glitter that, although tiny, are definitely there - so it's not something I've used much for spot-highlighting on the face. That's why I'm calling this a 'mini review': I haven't used it enough to warrant a full one.

Still, I've used it enough to make some (hopefully) useful comments for anyone who's interested in trying the product, so I wanted to do a quick post on this today while I still have some left.

Japoneqsue claims/product details:
  • Illuminate the complexion for naturally radiant look 
  • Unique, weightless formula glides onto the skin for a silky and effortless feel
  • Contains light reflecting particles that uplift the skin and create a younger looking, more supple complexion
  • Available in three different shades suitable for light to dark skintones
  • Directions for use: blend onto the skin; can be worn alone or under foundation; can also be used to highlight facial contours
  • RRP $36.75 AUD (see eg lookfantastic.com), but do shop around

Now for swatches.

Below I've done an unblended blob, a heavier stripe and a lighter stripe in different lights.

Here we are in natural light:

Indirect sunlight:

And direct sunlight:


This isn't a bad product, I'm just a bit confused by it to be honest. 

First, I've had a look at the three available shades and they're all quite dark and have a good amount of pigment. What this means in practice is that they're not going to suit lighter skintones (despite what's said in the product claims) and they're also not particularly versatile.

My skin is light-medium to medium, and while I can get this to work on me if I really sheer it out, what I'm left with when I do that is lots of micro-glitter and not much of a sheen. Since a sheen - as opposed to glitter - is what I want from my highlighters, this obviously isn't the right product for me.

If you're my colouring or lighter, you could probably use this as a blush or blush-topper, but I don't think it's the right shade for highlighting. The other two shades are a pink and a bronze - and again, they're both quite deep so I think paler lasses would have trouble finding something that works. I'm not the only person to have mentioned this (indeed, I've seen quite a few reviewers say the same thing), so that's worth noting too.

The other problem with the depth of colour is that this product actually looks better - and by this I mean it offers more of a sheen/traditional highlight, rather than glitter - if you lay it on more thickly. But you can't do that unless you're a good deal darker than I am, so you're stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place.

Of course, another issue with coloured highlighters like these is that they're less versatile because you can't necessarily mix then in with your foundation since they'll change the undertone. This peach one in 02 does that for me so I can only wear it under makeup and not mixed in with my base, the latter being what I generally prefer to do.

In other news the product has a light, clean scent that shouldn't bother most people, and it does dry down so you don't need to set it with a powder if you don't want to.

I can't comment on longevity because every time I've used this as a spot highlighter, I've wiped it off because I didn't like how it looked (too peach, too sparkly), but I can say that it's a passable product to mix in with your moisturiser or sunscreen if you want to lay down a glow beneath your makeup. Mind you, I can't use too much of it for this purpose because I do prefer a sheerer coverage - which means that the peach and the sparkles will show through if I'm not careful.

Overall I don't hate this product but it's not for me and I think you can do a lot better. If you're after a liquid highlighter, I reckon you can't go past Becca's offerings (I've reviewed one here) and I wouldn't buy one of these Japonesque versions unless you have a deeper skintone and don't mind a bit of sparkle.

Not for me.

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