theBalm's Mary-Lou Manizer | A Review

Today, I’m bringing you a review you’ve almost definitely heard before: theBalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer. Last year the reviews for this highlighter were coming in thick and fast, all singing it’s praises- but as usual I’m late to the party and instead of buying this a year ago when the hype was almost permeable, I only just got it last week. 

Amazingly, I found this in the Superdurg on Edinburgh’s High Street. I had no idea theBalm and Superdrug had teamed up, as Superdrug tends to steer clear of more high-end brands, but it’s nice to see theBalm finally being stocked in the UK some place that’s not exclusively online. I think the particular store I went into was hyper-concerned about shoplifting so unfortunately there were almost no testers and the products themselves were kept behind the till. Little cardboard boxes with the product designs printed on them were the only things on the shelves of the stall, with the idea being to take them up to the counter and exchange them for the real deal. Since I had it on good assurance from the blogging community that this highlighter was going to be a bit of gem, I didn’t mind not being able to swatch it, but it was a bit of shame I couldn’t test out any of the other products. 

The shade itself is a very neutral, champagne toned highlight with warm undertones. I infinitely prefer warm tones over cool tones- highlights with a lilac or rose gold shimmer just don’t look like natural or skin-like to me. It’s also not pale or white, which is another look I can’t really get behind for the same reasons. 

I debuted this on New Year’s Eve. When I first put it on, I was pleased to see it could be worn reasonably subtly for a more wearable look, but also built up for that NYE #highlightonfleek. That being said, it’s definitely more of a bold kind of glow. In the interests of experimentation, I put a bit of it on a slightly damped brush and patted it onto my eyelid and was impressed to see this packs a punch as an opaque, shimmery eyeshadow. Luckily, shimmery in this case does not equal glittery. If you’re familiar with my posts then you’ll know I’m uber-critical when it comes to chunks of glitter in any product, so you’ll be relieved to know this made the non-glittery cut. This offers a shiny sheen rather than relying on sparkly particles to catch the light. 

Texture-wise this product shuns all chalkiness and feels quite soft and buttery. Despite this, I’ve seen a few people saying this product has the potential to exacerbate pores and cause cakey foundation, as many powder highlights tend to do. This has never been an issue for me personally but it’s something to bear in mind if you’re considering buying this highlighter. For reference, I wear BECCA’s Backlight Priming Filter and Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation and no powder with this highlighter, leaving quite a dewy finish on my skin. For me, the packaging is perfectly functional, but feels a bit kitsch. I would have personally preferred something more sleek and elegant, but thats theBalm for you. Overall I think this is a lovely highlighter that’s worth the price tag, which is comparably smaller than some of the raved-about highlighters floating about at the moment. 


Have you tried the Mary-Lou Manizer or anything else from theBalm? Hope you all had a lovely festive season, and haven’t been swamped by too much work as I unfortunately have been. What did you do for New Year's Eve?