Brilliant Eye Brightener Highlighting Stick
Thrive Causemetics’ Brilliant Eye Brightener Highlighting Stick doesn’t quite live up to the hype, but its skin-illuminating effect really can make eyes stand out.
The retractable highlighting stick is roughly the width of a pencil eraser and initially has a fine point allowing for precise application. The problem is that the tip flattens quickly and is difficult to whittle back down to a fine point. This flaw makes it cumbersome to precisely highlight areas like the inner and outer corners of eyes, as Thrive recommends.
This wouldn’t be an issue if the attached sharpener worked better with the soft cream-to-powder texture, but as is, it jams up and you end up wasting product in the process. That aside, we do appreciate how smooth the highlight stick goes on, and if you don’t need the fine point because you only use it in less intricate areas (i.e. as an all over shadow or to highlight cheekbones), then no big deal.
The handful of shades offered deliver an eye-catching illuminating effect. Thrive attributes this to their “Ring Light Technology™ to diffuse light and define features,” which is basically marketing speak for a shimmering finish. On light skin tones, the Stella and Aurora shades go on more subtle so you may need to layer them on to achieve a noticeable highlight. On deeper complexions, the luminosity contrasts against skin more brilliantly for an instant glow.
In our experience, Brilliant Eye Brightener held up for a standard workday (expect it to fade more quickly if you have a tendency to rub your eyes or if you apply it in areas that your skin tends to get oily). We put Thrive’s “waterproof” claim to the test by applying it in the waterline, and it held up surprisingly well there, too.
As promised, the fragrance-free formula contains nourishing macadamia and meadowfoam oils. They’re not going to reduce the appearance of fine lines (as Thrive asserts), but they are at least good ingredients for skin.
- Delivers an eye-catching illuminating highlight.
- Holds up pretty well throughout the day.
- Fragrance-free formula contains additional nourishing ingredients.
- The fine point dulls down after initial use, making it less precise for intricate application.
- Won’t reduce the appearance of fine lines as promised.
Powered by Ring Light Technology™ to diffuse light and define features, Brilliant Eye Brightener™ highlights, brightens and opens the eyes, providing an instant eye lift. Infused with macadamia and meadowfoam oil to hydrate and help reduce the appearance of fine lines. Our long-lasting, waterproof formula complements every skin tone and highlights all of your best features.
Thrive Causemetics is the brainchild of Karissa Bodnar, who launched the line in 2013 after working as a makeup artist and product developer under the umbrella of L’Oreal’s luxury cosmetics division.
Giving back is part of Thrive’s core mission. For every product sold, the brand donates “to help a woman thrive” through various causes and organizations such as RAINN, Upward Bound House and Share Cancer Support (a cause near and dear to Bodnar after losing a close to friend to cancer).
Beyond the philanthropic mission, Thrive’s line of makeup products have become famous through social media and the collection has expanded to include skin care products as well. The brand prides itself on being vegan, cruelty free, and “containing proven ingredients without the use of parabens or sulfates.” While not at all sulfates are bad and parabens aren’t something you need to fear, we can respect the Thrive’s choice to not formulate with them to appease their customer base.
So how do the products perform? As with most beauty brands, it varies from product to product. Some of the formulas earn our top rating while others flounder. Lip products are one category that Thrive does exceptionally well, as evidenced by this gloss and lip liner.
See individual reviews for the full scoop on each, and visit thrivecausemetics.com to learn more about the mission behind the brand.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.