Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick in Champagne Flash - review and swatches


This product was on my Project Pan list for a while and I kept meaning to review it, it's just that other posts came in first and it also took me a while to get the swatch photos done because the weather has been all over the shop recently.

Plus it took me ages to use this enough to review it because I just don't use cream products. Indeed, it doesn't matter how good cream blushes, highlighters or bronzers are, I don't use them because I prefer powders: they're easier/faster to apply and cream products tend to look very gunky, very quickly once you stick a brush into them - whereas powders look newer for longer.

Anyhoo. This highlighter. I think it's an excellent product and I can see why it's had rave reviews (see eg Mecca's website).

But despite this, I can't make myself reach for it and I had a lot of trouble panning it, so it's only been in the past couple of weeks that I've forced myself to use it every day so that I could firm up my thoughts. After this, I may end up passing it on because I would prefer someone to use it and love it, rather than having it sit on my desk for months gathering dust.

Hourglass claims/product details:

  • Create an instant flash of glow with these cream highlighter sticks in a smooth, weightless texture designed to give you a seamless highlight
  • Long-wearing, innovative formula adjusts to your body temperature to blend effortlessly into the skin
  • Soft-focus technology creates a flash of light for a virtually perfect highlight every time
  • Available in five shades
  • RRP $61 AUD for 6.1g

There's the bullet, indirect sunlight:

Light and heavy swatches, weak sunlight:

Indirect sunlight:


This is a lovely product but it hasn't convinced me that liquid or cream highlighters are something I want to use on my face, for the simple reason that I find powders faster and easier to apply - and I'm always going to go for the easy route. 

It's a cream highlighter with a smooth, silky texture that's on the dry, powdery side, which I like because it doesn't run or diffuse everywhere on application. I like the stick delivery system and it's a good product to use on the go.

It spreads and applies well, and it stays put after application - although I usually prefer setting it to help with longevity (I always set liquids and creams). Note that it's one of the easiest creams I've ever applied: it doesn't take much effort to blend and it's a pleasure to work with (I use my fingers to apply it). It also doesn't lift my foundation, which some cream/liquid products can do, so that's a plus.

I also love how it looks on the skin: it has that wet look that's more transparent than opaque (and therefore more natural-looking) and it also doesn't emphasise texture on the face. Note you can build it for more intensity, though, so I can see it suiting a range of people with different highlighter preferences. 

Note also that there's no glitter in this - hip hip hooray - and instead it just offers a gorgeous, credible sheen to the skin. Indeed, it's exactly the kind of highlighter I normally go for, it's just that I can't make myself become a cream person. Silly me. 

'Champagne Flash' is a pretty, pale gold champagne colour that should suit a variety of skintones because it's neither too pale, too dark, nor too yellow. It certainly works for my light/medium to medium, yellow-based skin.

In other news this does last well and I really enjoy how it looks: it's at one with the skin, and because it doesn't look dry, in some lights it looks as though it's my actual skin, rather than something I've added on top.

Overall I think this is a beautiful highlighter and I absolutely recommend it, so if you're a cream highlighter person, then I would check these out because it's the nicest cream formula I've used so far. And while it's an expensive product, even this little sample is never-ending so I can see the full-size lasting for ages - which makes it better value than you might think.

Gorgeous, but I still prefer powders.

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