Looking for a new highlighter? My absolute favorite is The Balm Mary Lou Manizer.
First, I love the adorable packaging and theme. All of The Balm products have cute names and packaging. The Lou Manizer series show cute girls in their mug shots with crimes like highlighting and looking too cute.
Mary Lou is the palest and is a pure highlighter. It has a soft golden color and is pure shimmer. It is the first powder highlighter I've found that has high shimmer but no glitter. I don't know why, but Laura Mercier shimmer block and Bobbi Brown's shimmer brick and brightening brick are all glitter, glitter, glitter on me and just don't look flattering on me. You only need a tiny bit with Mary Lou, so I use a fan brush to pick up a tiny bit of product and brush it very lightly across the top of my cheek bones where I want a highlight. This gives me that Hollywood highlight/contour look I want without looking glittery and out of place in my everyday life. Mary Lou is perfect for pale girls because the golden color really adds no color and just adds the shimmer highlight. It's perfect.
Now the one I'm disappointed in. Cindy Lou Manizer is new, and I was very excited about it. It's supposed to be a peachy highlighter that isn't quite as shimmery as Mary Lou. I was hoping it would be good for a more general highlighter I could use in more places without looking like a light bulb. Bad news, pale girls--it looks like a blush on me. It's a pretty dark peach and would make a good shimmery blush, but it definitely would not work as a highlighter. I also did not find it any less shimmery than Mary Lou.
Finally there is a Betty Lou Manizer that I do not have for pictures but did purchase for my mother. It's a very warm, dark, shimmery bronzer. I do not think this would work at all for us pale girls. It's for darker skin tones that want a warm, glowing look and would not work for contouring. Still, the packaging is adorable and I think it's a great product for darker skin tones.
Here's the pictures of Mary Lou Manizer (on the left) and Cindy Lou Manizer (in the middle). To try to give an idea of the color and darkness of Cindy Lou, I tried putting it next to some products you might be familiar with. I've included The Balm Frat Boy blush, Benefit Rockateur Blush, and a Pixi bronzer.
And here they are swatched on my arm:
1. Mary Lou Manizer, 2 Benefit Rockateur Blush, 3. Cindy Lou Manizer, 4. Frat Boy Blush, 5 Pixi Bronzer
You'll notice that my Cindy Lou swatch looks nothing at all like the swatch on the Balm site. I adore the Balm products, but I have found their swatches somewhat inaccurate. They must be taken with a very bright flash.
Disclaimer: I bought all of the products discussed in this review.
Mary Lou Manizer: A+, one of my favorite products, great for pale girls!
Cindy Lou Manizer: C, can only be used as a blush on paler girls
Mary Lou Manizer, available at the Balm.com and select Kohl's stores, $24
Cindy Lou Manizer, available at the Balm.com and select Kohl's stores, $24