Review: Mary-Lou Manizer Highligher by The Balm – Thumbs Up!

Adding another step to your makeup routine seems like a pain but highlighters can make a big difference. Applying subtle shimmer to your cheekbones reflects light and gives you a radiant glow.  Who wouldn’t want that, right?  I have tried at least ten different highlighters. My favorites tend to be champagne colored powders and Mary-Lou Manizer by The Balm Cosmetics wins first prize.  Guess who turned me on to Mary-Lou Manizer?  My favorite YouTube vloggers!  Everyone speaks highly of the product so I bought it and immediately fell in love.

In the past,  I’ve hesitated to buy from The Balm because I haven’t been able to try the products. Occasionally, I’ll see a few items available in stores but I always hear positive feedback.   Usually, you can still return things you buy on-line if it doesn’t work out for you but the hassle of shipping returns has kept me buying products I can test first.  I’m glad I took all the advice out there and took a risk with this cosmetic line.   So far, I’ve tried a few products and I’ve been happy with the items I’ve purchased.

OK, let’s talk about the Mary-Lou Manizer (AKA Luminizer):

This is a velvety champagne highlighting powder. The Mary-Lou Manizer (let’s acknowledge the name cuteness) is highly pigmented so a little goes a long way.  When I say a little, I’m talking a light dusting with a delicate brush.   You should really go light at first as you get used to this product otherwise you will be looking for creative ways to tone it down without redoing your face.  The Balm also makes another highlighter called Cindy-Lou Manizer that has a shimmery peach-pink tone.  I’m sure the Cindy-Lou is gorgeous as well but I don’t hear as much about this product.   I’ve tried several of the MAC highlighters and I think they are all pretty and so are the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders but this product really gives you the glow!   Most of other highlighters I’ve tried, including MAC and Hourglass are very subtle. I’ve also found other products are too glittery.  This product is not subtle or glittery.   If you prefer those characteristics in a highlighter, this would not be the one for you.

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The photo of me below was taken outdoors so you can really see what the product will look like when you are wearing it. I typically contour, apply blush (the blush in the photo below is Milani Pink Dolce) and then I dust the highlighter right on the cheekbone with a fan brush.  If you pat your cheek, you will feel the soft part in the middle of your face and then as you move your fingers up, you will feel a prominent bone. That’s the area to hit with the highlighter.   I’d recommend not coming much farther in toward your nose than the corner of your eye. I’ve applied mine a little heavy in the photo so you can really see it.  I’ve seen different artists use different techniques and offer different advice on how to use highlighters.  I like the demonstration by Wayne Goss in his YouTube video and I use his technique for applying the highlighter.  Notice how he uses the fan brush.  It’s a technique that works really well.  I usually dust the bridge of my nose and just above my cupids bow, but ever so lightly.  Too much of this stuff will make your skin look oily. My fan brush is by Smashbox and I’m looking for a higher quality brush but this one works fine and isn’t expensive.


Packaging is adorable on The Balm Cosmetics and prices are about average.  The Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter is 24.00 and I bought mine on eBay from a reputable seller for 17.00.   The compact includes a mirror and .3 ounces of product.  All The Balm cosmetics are cruelty free and most do not contain talc.  This product is talc-free and I assume that is partly why it’s so rich compared to other powders that use talc fillers.  Less talc means less dust so that’s another plus with this product!   I should also mention there’s Betty-Lou, she’s a bronzer.  The line is very cute!  And thanks to Wayne for solid instructions on how to properly apply highlighters!  Oh, and I should also mention, this product is in his list of top 5 highlighters and  mentioned in more recent videos too.  What can I say?  This is a good one!


7 thoughts on “Review: Mary-Lou Manizer Highligher by The Balm – Thumbs Up!

    1. It’s very pretty and I still use it a lot!! I’m quite impressed with the new Hourglass highlighters. Not sure if you saw my most recent post? I shared some searches. Super pretty!

  1. Perfect for summer. I have to buy this. Thank you for your detail reviews.

  2. Wow what a nice highlighter! My best friend swears by this and I have just now gotten into highlighters and I definitely will give this one a try.

    1. It’s definitely a beautiful one! I do like the Hourglass ambient lighting powders too but the Mary-Lou really shows up but in a good way. It’s also super pretty as an eyeshadow and blends nicely.

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