So after talking myself off the ledge of a $170 eyeshadow palette that I do not need, I took the plunge during the Sephora VIB sale and ordered the Pat McGrath Sublime Skin Highlighter Trio: three of the most gorgeous highlighters I’d ever seen in Pat McGrath’s extra-as-hell packaging. My justification was rather flimsy. I focused on the size of the discount rather than the cost of the palette, because let’s face it, 20% off sounds a lot better than, “I paid $54 – before tax – for three highlighers, one of which will only work as an eyeshadow.”
I’m going to try avoiding cynicism in this post. Honestly, this was the one part of my VIB order in November that I was genuinely excited for, and I can’t sit here pretending I make fiscally responsible decisions regarding my make-up collection all the time. There’s a reason two of my posts last year were essentially exorcisms for my own bad spending habits.
The Sublime Skin Highlighter Trio includes Iridescent Pink, Fine Gold, and Bronze Nectar, which are all apt names for the shades of the highlighters. Of the three, I was most excited for Iridescent Pink; I was willing to cut my personal losses with Bronze Nectar and simply use it as an eyeshadow, even though a little voice in my head kept reminding me that I own plenty of bronze eyeshadows and I rarely use them.
Upon arrival, I was a little underwhelmed. This was, in part, due to the time of year – the VIB sale took place in November, and I was swamped at work. There was also the little matter of my order getting damaged when the bottle of oil cleanser I ordered popped opened during transit, soaking the box and my living room floor. Thankfully, none of the items were harmed, but I wasn’t exactly in high spirits when I got my order. That I had such little luck with the products inside didn’t help either.
The Highlighter Trio, however, was not something I had little luck with: I am bowled over by the price of this palette, but it is one hell of a product. The finely milled glitter caught the light so magnificently. None of my other palettes have ever worn as gorgeously as Pat McGrath’s formulations. What’s more is that they blended so beautifully with my make-up. Sublime Skin is a perfectly appropriate name for these beauties: they look like highlighters, sure, but there is no telling where my skin ended and the highlighter began, so seamless was the application.
And yet, when all was said and done, the highlighters really didn’t give me anything I didn’t already have. Iridescent Pink was a finer-milled, pinker version of Gumdrop from my Anastacia Sugar Glow Kit; Eclipse and Lyra from the Aurora palette are solid dupes for Fine Gold; and while Bronze Nectar is utterly phenomenal in terms of its formulation (the light just loves that fine-milled glitter), I already have a bunch of bronze shadows that I don’t wear. A better version of something I don’t wear isn’t worth having.
If you don’t currently own a highlighter palette, are currently reaching pan on one of your favourites, or you are looking for the last highlighter palette you ever need to own, Pat McGrath’s Sublime Skin Highlighter Trio is an ideal purchase. The price tag doesn’t seem so high when it’s the only product you need to complete your collection. Unfortunately, given its striking similarity to other highlighters in my collection, I simply could justify keeping it. I was sad to see it go, but I’m sure it’ll still be there once I’ve worked through my other highlighters.