Hopefully, the title won’t offend anyone who likes the super shiny, right-in-your-face highlighters. There’s nothing wrong. It’s just not my thing and I prefer the understated, low-key makeup look in general.
Just so it’s clear, I rarely wear highlighters. I know for sure I do not master the art of highlighting. So for me to get a highlighter, in no less of a liquid formula, that’s like being obnoxious. But when I saw it on Noodles’ Instagram, I knew I can pull this off.
ADDICTION by Ayako Cheek Polish Reflection 08.
Reflection, I believe, is the only highlighter in the whole Cheek Polish range. It, or rather, the whole idea was very compelling from the beginning, so I didn’t need much convincing, especially after seeing Noodle’s post.
It’s still packaged in a frosted glass, nail polish bottle-style with a brush. An easy ruse for anyone who sees this on a vanity. If you happen to apply it on your nails, I won’t blame you but I’d probably chuckle :p
When I received it, I was expecting the shade to be a little more white. Instead, Reflection is a pale ivory shade, which I prefer anyway because if it’s white it could’ve been be too stark for my preference. There are micro shimmers in the liquid and nowhere close to be obnoxious. The shimmers are so, so tiny, dispersed evenly. I almost wanted to say it’s like fairy dust got thrown into the mixture. The more I look at it, the more mesmerized I get. It’s got this particular complexity; telling me this is a classic, signature Japanese way on doing shimmers.
To be honest, I had a hard time taking pictures of the swatch. It refused to show up properly. The best I can do is to show the shimmers when it’s still on the brush. By any means, Reflection is quite a tamed highlighter so it’s not a surprise. But what bummed me is I couldn’t capture the complexity of the shimmers.
Before using it, always, shake the bottle first, always. The product separates and there’s a layer of oil on top; we don’t want that. So shake well. Right after I got Reflection, it hit me and I realized that this is a liquid highlighter. In my makeup routine, I always do liquid and cream bases first before setting it with powder. Never the other way around. Logically speaking, if I use the highlighter underneath the powder, the powder might obstruct the glimmers. Silly me. I’m screwed, or so I thought.
BUT, as it turns out, I can apply it easily over powdered skin without messing up the base underneath. The formula is thin enough and I just use a tapping motion to apply it. It’s quite foolproof and very unlikely to overdo. To make sure I keep the content sanitary, I don’t swipe the brush directly on the skin. I put a small amount on the back of my hand (just like pictured above) then use my ring or middle finger as the application tool. The usual highlight hot spots are on top of cheekbones, cupid’s bow, and just a touch on the bridge of the nose. I don’t apply any on the tip of the nose because my T-zone gets oily throughout the day – I don’t need to highlight it more.
The result is undoubtedly subtle. From any angle I’ve tried to see it, it’s never too much. Actually, it’s quite imperceptible unless I look for it under the light. There’s no shimmer fall-offs or a chunk of glitters here and there. Reflection just goes seamlessly with skin. It’s diffused and offers a believable glow. I can layer it to a certain degree, but 1-2 layers is enough for me. From others’ point of view, it might be pointless to highlight if you can’t see it. Not for me though, I’m all about subtlety and just adding a soft kick of glow.
Another fun way to use it is to mix Reflection with my other Cheek Polishes, especially with Tadzio. If I mix the two together, I’ll get a lighter, softer pink. Very pretty! When mixed with Chic, it creates a subtle hint of color (Chic is a paler shade on its own). Naturally, by adding a highlighter into the mix, it yields a glowy, almost dewy finish on the cheeks (something like this). LOVE!
Now, this could only means, it’s not impossible to mix it with a foundation to get a more illuminated finish #justathought.
Bottom line, ADDICTION Cheek Polish Reflection proves to be more than just your next-door highlighter. It’s a breath of fresh air after continuously seeing the kinds that make the skin look incredibly artificial (and made up) as of late. The fact that I find different ways to use this product, makes it even more worth it.