Last year a friend of mine who's a huge lover of Benefit products, convinced me to buy their products and together we made a joint order. She was really keen on the Kit Builder and was in love with their foundation but couldn't be bothered to contour. On the other hand I'm obsessed with contouring and I fell straight for Benefit's Watt's Up Highlighter!
Watt's Up ($30) is a champagne cream stick highlighter. The first thing that struck me is the packaging which I find an unusual mix of luxe metallic hardware snuggled between a cheap looking corrogated cardboard fitting, kind of like the atmosphere of a derelict urban jungle! On one side of the product with an architectural lid houses the cream product that can be twisted up and it has an extra little cap to seal the product (it's the same as my MAC Blushette Stick). On the other side is a rounded sponge applicator capped by a transparent lid.
I've had great success with using this over liquid foundations such as Holika Holika Petit Clearing BB Cream and it applies smoothly. There is a beautiful natural glow about it, it highlights cheekbones without looking too painted on. I would be careful using this to highlight other areas of the face. Subtlety is the key for applying to the nose bridge, forehead and chin otherwise it can appear to shimmery and unnatural. The colour is fairly neutral and can lean cool if you over apply but this also means that darker skintones may find this looks too chalky or ashy.
When I applied Givenchy Prisme Foundation set with ELF Makeup Mist & Set, Watt's Up didn't seem to be compatible and the application was patchy and uneven, maybe because this may not work with powders. It also can highlight the skin texture and raised blemishes. I decided to do a side by side comparison of Watt's Up and Physician's Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent Pearl. I find that PF's Pearls works with most foundation finishes and while the glow is slightly less dramatic than Watt's Up it makes up for it by being user friendly and far more universal.
The sponge is unique to the full size version only but you'll find it really isn't necessary and I prefer how it looks applied with fingertips. On foundation the sponge doesn't seem that good at spreading the cream easily, leaves a less refined texture and dilutes the effect of the cream. On the other hand if you do want a subtle effect using the sponge or applying sparingly would work. If you are willing to skip the sponge buy the deluxe sample ($8 and you'll have to use the search bar to find it on Benefit's website) instead which costs pretty much the same per gram.
Overall I'm totally loving Watt's Up! Aside from it's witty name it really does light up your face naturally but also to dramatic effect. Watt's Up is a great start that leads me enthusiastic to try more!
More to come: Highbeam, Girl Meets Pearl, and Sunbeam.
Have you tried Watt's Up before?