Review: Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished

Posted on January 30, 2015 under Reviews

I love the concept of highlighter. I love the idea of looking like I glow from within, like an ethereal goddess. I love the idea of drawing attention to the tops of my cheekbones, the arch of my brows, my cupid’s bow.

The reality of highlighter, as a product that exists in real life, is not my favourite, and mainly for a selfish reason: it’s hard to find one that works for me.

Many, many highlighters are gold-toned, when I generally go for cooler-toned cosmetics of all types. And many of them are actually darker than my skin, which surely defeats the point of highlighter. Benefit Watt’s Up, I’m looking at you. (But not just you. I’m just angry with you because you’re a gorgeous product – for other people.)

My previous favourite highlighter was gold-toned but fair enough that it worked for me: the cult classic Mary Lou-Manizer by theBalm. However, I only own that product in a palette, which makes it not super convenient for travel, as the palette isn’t one of my go-tos for eyeshadow. (One of these days I should get around to depotting it, but it’s more fun to buy new things!)

Enter the Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished, a cool-toned, pearlescent cream highlighter with irridescent pink shimmer.


Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished on cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and cupid’s bow.

I know that description sounds a bit nuts, but I love it. It’s a step above natural, but not so weird that it can’t be worn in an everyday setting. Once it’s tapped into the skin (and it positively melts in), you just look a tiny bit ethereal, like you might have a small amount of mermaid DNA. Which, I mean, who doesn’t want that?

The texture of this product is very interesting: it looks like a cream eyeshadow, but it’s not as solid. I would describe it as mousse-like. It reacts very well to body heat and blends easily with fingers. I haven’t used it with a brush because I pretty much always apply cream products with my fingers, since I find creams generally respond best to that bit of warmth.


Close-up of Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished on the cheekbone.

A word also must be said about the packaging. That word is “lovely”. The matte, frosted glass pot is so clean and pretty, and I love the whimsical touches on the Topshop makeup packaging. The little stars and handwritten font are adorable! Plus, it just feels so solid in my hand. The glass – rather than plastic – is a nice touch; it makes it feel more expensive than it is, although it is a bit pricier than your average drugstore product.

This product is very difficult to photograph – pictures just don’t do justice to that irridescent, pearly glow. But trust me – it is seriously gorgeous, and my new go-to highlighter.


On the left, a heavy application so you can see the colour. On the right, the highlighter blended in to my skin.

Topshop Glow Highlighter retails for £9 ($17.27 CAD) and can be purchased in Topshop stores or online. At 0.14oz, the price works out to £64.29, or $123.36, per oz.

VIDEO: Top 14 Products of 2014

Posted on January 14, 2015 under Lists, Video

Long time, no see, huh? Where I last left my captive audience, I was on my way to Canada to spend the holidays with my family and friends, which is going to be my excuse for falling off the face of Blogland. I am now back in Scotland, which means I can back into the blogging game!

When my friend Manda did a list of her top 14 beauty products of 2014, I decided to shamelessly copy her. I love lists and clever gimmicks, so it was right up my alley! I decided to do this in video format, because I want to get more comfortable in front of a camera. As you can see, I’m not quite there yet – but practice makes perfect!

Products mentioned:

Revlon Nearly Naked Makeup (Blog post)
L’Oreal La Touche Magique Highlighting Concealer (Blog post)
Sleek Blush in Flushed
The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder (Blog post)
Illamasqua Cream Pigment in Hollow (Blog post)
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick (Blog post)
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red (Blog post)
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (Blog post)
Tanya Burr Everyday Flutter False Eyelashes (Blog post)
Maybelline Illegal Length Fiber Extensions Mascara
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat (Blog post)
Real Techniques Angled Shadow Brush (Blog post)
Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

My travel makeup look

Posted on December 22, 2014 under FOTD

As this post goes live, my airplane from Reykjavik to Toronto will be taking off. (That is, if all is going according to plan. KNOCK WOOD!) I’ll be spending two weeks with my family for the holidays, and I am very excited.

For a longer trip like this, I tend to pack quite a bit of makeup, mostly lip colours. I mean, it’s impossible for me to say on December 22 that on January 4 I’ll want to wear a specific lip colour, so I bring a lot to cover all my bases. However, for the journey itself (nearly 12 hours on airplanes and in airports – how exhausting), I prefer to keep my makeup nice and simple. Here’s my makeup uniform for air travel:

Brow gel

Normally I have a more involved brow routine, but although I enjoy having perfect eyebrows I am just not that concerned with this when I’m on a plane. This is especially true if I have to wake up early for my flight, which is fairly often. Instead of doing the whole angled-brush-and-pomade routine, I just pop on some of Benefit’s Gimme Brow, which magically fills in my brows super well for being nothing but a tinted gel.

One high-coverage concealer and one undereye concealer

In general, my philosophy is “high coverage concealer for blemishes, sheer foundation for the rest of the face”. This is no different for air travel! I have given my MAC Studio Finish concealer a lot of love – it’s creamy, very pigmented, and can cover anything. My undereye concealer is the most effective weapon I have against looking like a sleepy zombie; I love L’Oreal La Touche Magique.

One powder foundation

Although I love my Revlon Nearly Naked liquid foundation, I cannot fathom slathering ANY liquid all over my face only to bake on an airplane. I want the most lightweight foundation possible! Sometimes when travelling by air I’ll just skip foundation completely, but if I’m feeling slightly less lazy I’ll use my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to apply Pür Minerals 4 in 1 Pressed Mineral Makeup, mostly on my cheeks where I get a bit of redness.

One neutral cream eyeshadow

I apply a light, neutral cream eyeshadow all over my eyelid just to brighten up the area. I love intricate eyeshadow looks, but what the hell is the point when I’m just going to be sitting in a metal tube fearing my death? I always reach for a Maybelline Colour Tattoo for this, generally Inked in Pink or Barely Branded.


A good matte bronzer fulfills three tasks. First, it gives a healthy glow that is so needed when unforgiving airport lights suck the life out of your face. Second, it can be used for contouring – and, yes, I am high-maintenance enough that I will often pop a light contour under my cheekbones even when doing minimal makeup. DEAL WITH IT. Third, it’s perfect to put in the crease to complete my very simple, so-easy-I-could-do-it-in-my-sleep eyeshadow look. Of course, I use The Body Shop’s Honey Bronzer for this.


Um, duh. Aside from undereye concealer, mascara on curled lashes is the most effective method of waking your eyes up. Today I’m using Maybelline Illegal Length, but I don’t have a strong allegiance to any one mascara at the moment.

Here’s how the eyes look, using Barely Branded, the Honey Bronzer, and mascara:

holiday eyes

One hydrating lip colour

I’ve almost gone through my Revlon Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie, and that is probably almost exclusively through travel use. It’s a light berry colour that’s not quite “my lips but better” but still very subtle, which means constant touchups are not necessary. It’s also super hydrating – which is nice because planes are VERY DRYING ATMOSPHERES. Plus, you can put it on without looking in the mirror, which is a bonus when your makeup bag with your compact is stowed in the compartment above your head and you don’t want to be that asshole who gets their bag down halfway through a flight.

And here is the final look – simple, quick, easy, but effective:

holiday travel

One Direction shirt optional.