Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Skin Liquid Lighting in Candlelight - swatches and first impressions


I received this sample liquid highlighter along with a Mecca order a while ago, and I've been playing around with it for almost a week now so it's time to give you my thoughts.

As always I'm calling this a first impressions post because I don't think you can truly 'review' something unless you've played around with more than a 1.5ml sample and have tested the product in different weather conditions/with different bases etc, but I have given it a decent trial run so hopefully my thoughts are still useful.

Below I've done heavy and light swatches in different lights, and I've also got some comparison swatches so you can see how it compares to Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector (Liquid) in Opal (reviewed here).

There's Candlelight in direct sunlight:

And in natural light (outdoors):

Natural light (indoors):

Below I've swatched Becca's Opal on the left and Aucoin's Candlelight on the right.

Direct sunlight:

 Indirect sunlight:

Natural light (indoors):


This is described as a hybrid gel/cream, and it claims to be a weightless fluid that blends seamlessly for minimal effort in application.

I definitely agree with that, and while I've never had any issues with blending out my Becca highlighters before, when I compared these two, I could really see and feel the difference. The Aucoin one blends and vanishes into the skin, almost on its own. It's not that the Becca one is bad - it blends beautifully - it's just that you can tell that the Aucoin one is of slightly better quality when you use them side-by-side.

As a spot highlighter, Candlelight is beautiful. It offers a wet-looking, glossy sheen to the skin. I really like it. It's not an intense highlight so if that's your preference, then I wouldn't go for this. It's one of those subtle highlights that's work appropriate, and it's one of the few highlighters I've used that I would call truly undetectable on the skin - unless you build it, in which case it's more obvious.

The main difference between the Becca and Aucoin highlighters - other than that the Aucoin one melts into the skin while the Becca one requires a touch more effort - is that the Becca one is a little more glowy and pigmented. You can get a stronger sheen with Becca's offering, and for this reason it's more versatile.

What I mean by this is, I can't wear the Aucoin one under makeup: it just doesn't show up. Even with only a thin layer of my sheerest tinted moisturiser, it's like I've applied nothing. The Becca one, on the other hand, peeks through all of my lighter bases.

For this reason I think it's better to mix Candlelight in with your foundation (rather than putting it down first), although you will need to use quite a bit to get any effect. With the Becca one, you can use less - meaning it's better value on a price-per-use basis because you need less each time.

In other news, the Aucoin product has no detectable scent and it does dry down so you don't need to set it. The lasting power is quite good (about eight hours) and it also doesn't emphasise texture, plus it's not sparkly so it should appeal to those who avoid glitter.

Overall I do really enjoy Candlelight, and although I prefer the colour to Becca's Opal - it's a bit richer, warmer and more golden - I think the Becca product is better value and it's also more versatile. Becca's highlighters are cheaper and contain 20ml more product, plus you get more bang for your buck because they're more pigmented.

Lovely, but not something I would buy.

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