Why Black Opal’s Illuminating Stick Is the Low-Key Highlighter of My Dreams

Why Black Opal’s Illuminating Stick Is the Low-Key Highlighter of My Dreams

If there is one makeup trend I know I’ll personally never get on board with, it’s strobing. There’s no need for anyone to see my cheekbones from a mile away, and the process to get a high-shine highlight requires way more time than I actually have in the morning. Even if I am running on schedule (a rarity), what I manage to get on my face is sunscreen, foundation, this highly addictive complexion booster, lip balm, and a few swipes of mascara.

I think that’s enough to make it feel like I actually tried without having to expend a ton of effort right after rolling out of bed. But in spite of my penchant for a seriously minimal routine, I want glowy, sun-kissed skin just as much as the next beauty junkie; especially after I’ve gotten a spray tan. And although my job grants me the opportunity to test a revolving door of highlighters, skin boosters, and other “glowy” potions, this month is the first time I’ve discovered something I’ve actually used beyond a few test runs.

Here are the quick deets on the highlighter I feel comfortable wearing outside of special occasions.

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Name: BLK/OPL True Color Illuminating Stick

Price: $8.99 at Black Opal Beauty

The Perks: This year, I made a commitment to just doing more; not only because I want a deeper understanding of the products and techniques I write about, but because experimenting is just fun when there’s no pressure to get it right involved. Reminder: Makeup isn’t supposed to feel like work! For some reason, my last couple of test runs have resulted in my actually adding new things to my beauty routine, such as Charlotte Tilbury’s Flawless Filter and Biossance’s SPF 45. And now I’m using highlighter somewhere between my foundation and setting spray.

Although Black Opal is an originator in the arena of makeup brands for black women, this is my first time really spending time with a product. I’ve tried the liquid foundation and worn the matte lipstick, but because I rarely deviate from a routine, neither has left a big enough impression for me to consider changing what I already do.

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What initially attracted me to the Illuminating Stick is the fact that it’s in a mess-free, easy-to-use stick form. Since I usually end up applying my makeup after getting dressed, liquid highlighters have never worked because I’m scared of spillage. And powders just look too ashy. So I love that this one has a silky, satin finish I can swipe onto the tops of my cheeks and down the bridge of my nose without dirtying my fingers or a brush. The shades are also brown-girl friendly (I use “Sunrise Glow“), but that’s to be expected with a brand that caters to WOC. And lastly, the formula is buildable, depending on how much shimmer I want. When I want to keep it low-key, I’ll do just two swipes, but when I’m feeling fancy, I’ll do two more and maybe mix it with my complexion booster.

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All in all, wearing the Illuminating Stick doesn’t feel like a full-time job. It’s almost impossible to mess up applying, the highlight lasts day-long without touch-ups, and it delivers without looking over the top. If you’re a makeup minimalist like me, this might be your new secret beauty weapon.