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5 Dec 2015

Anastasia Beverly Hills - So Hollywood Illuminator

EDIT: A change from scheduled proceedings – the FAQ post will have to wait until I get home as I want to include a picture from my wedding (as that’s one of the most commonly asked questions) and I don’t have that on my laptop. Sorry about that!

It was not my finest moment. 

There I was in Sephora/Mall of the Emirates, getting close and personal with the Anastasia Beverly Hills illuminators when one of them decided to slip from my hand and land on the floor. It was not a pretty sight and as I crouched down to scoop up the product and place it back in the pan I hoped that nobody could see the devastation caused. Thankfully the Sephora staff adopted their usual attitude to customer service and couldn’t have been less interested, preferring to preen themselves in the mirrors of the brand stands. I got away without a comment and it was perhaps out of guilt that I ended up buying a highlighter.

Say hello to So Hollywood! This is officially pitched as a shimmering bronze hue but in reality translates as a warm yellow gold, suitable for every skin tone on the spectrum.

It comes housed in disappointingly cheap plastic casing – which doesn’t seem to synergize with the rest of her line (a branding pet peeve and one that only makes me think the line is all white labeled) -  but the interior shot is a beautifully embossed product.

It photographs well and imparts a pretty toasted champagne glow in the exact same vein that Estee Lauder’s limited edition Heat Wave does – see this blogpost for an example of just how similar the two are.

What is interesting in Anastasia’s case though is the texture - and this is the feature that makes it stand out and assume a blogworthy status.

It’s absolutely true that any old highlighter can give a glow and shine but it’s equally the case that not all of them can give a metallic finish that glides over pores and flatters. And this is what So Hollywood does. It’s a product with intense shine but once applied on the skin leaves a golden gleam that seems to, somehow, smooth over the pores. I have kept checking my face in a variety of mirrors to see if I am imagining this but no, this seems to be the consistent feature of the Anastasia highlighters. To further prove this I did some research and Temptalia states the same – it does make skin gleam and does so without emphasizing texture.

I whacked it on today – right now all I wear is Eylure 100 (my new favourite!) lashes on the outer corner, a touch of bronzer and highlighter for non-beach related moments on the fact and a bit of this illuminator on the eyes. I love the effect – subtle but adding just enough dimension. You could layer this strongly, but if you use a tapered blush brush as I have to apply it, you get a gentle sweep of product that looks natural enough for daytime.

So overall, it’s a thumbs up for me. I can’t say that it overtakes the Becca Champagne Glow highlighter palette – those shades are more delicate and shimmery in texture and I can't say no to their beauty – but I can say that I have absolutely no regrets about ruining the Sephora display and making up for it with a guilt purchase.

Now I'm thinking about Starlight...

I know I was a bit slow on the uptake when it comes to these products so have you tried these?  


  1. I feel like I would have bought something, too if that had happened to me.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  2. Laura, omgoodness, that is the most ethereal photos I have ever seen. Zanzibar/holidays most definitely suit you!! (p.s. I'm such a cheapie for highlighters and so rarely use them, I just swipe on Virgin from the Naked palette. �� Shhh)


  3. I just purchased two new mac highlighters, that took a significant amount of stalking to catch in stock-so I decided to pass on this. Cannot wait to see your wedding picture!! :)

  4. So many people have been raving about the Anastasia highlighters but I'm yet to add any to my collection. This one looks gorgeous <3 Also, if it makes you feel better I walked into a glass door at Zara a few weeks back. It was quite possibly the most embarrassing thing EVER X


  5. That picture of you is absolutely gorgeous!

  6. Oh god, cringe moment, I would have had to disturb the girl who was preening herself the most & insist she clear up my mess!!!!!! The highlighter looks good on you.
    Hugs Adele xoxo

  7. That looks so gorgeous:))


  8. this is a wonderful picture of you. your eyes are mesmerizing and this lighting really shows it.

  9. this is a wonderful picture of you. your eyes are mesmerizing and this lighting really shows it.

  10. So Hollywood looks absolutely gorgeous! It's sold out on Cult Beauty in the UK so I bought Starlight instead a couple of weeks ago. It gives more of a silver sheen which is unlike any other highlighters I own, and so far I really like it! xx

    Brigitte | brigittehayley.com

  11. I'm a bit late to the party too but I finally caved on Kevin Aucoin's Celestial Powder in Candlelight. Love it. Especially on the inner corner of my eyes. Be gone tired eyes! x

  12. Ooh I haven't tried this but I love the look of it! I love a highlighter - one of the most exciting makeup purchases in my opinion - and this one looks perfect for the whole beachy bronzey kind of look. Gorgeous photo of you too! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

  13. This looks like such a gorgeous product! thanks for sharing!


  14. Learn makeup is necessary, wear a nice Short Cocktail Dresses to date Terrific

  15. I love your makeup recommend, and i love makeup every day

    Lillmor www.missydress.no

  16. Oh I love the look of this illuminator, it also looks great on you. I'll have to go and take a look at this in store.


  17. I think I would have been too embarrassed to even stay any longer, let alone buy something! ;)

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