Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Stick
CoverGirl’s Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Stick, from the brand’s 100% vegan line of products, is a convenient way to glow-on-the-go, but with a drawback that means it’s not the best option in this category.
Packaged in an opaque tube, this swivel-up stick highlighter is smooth and easy to apply. While the initial color appears very opaque, it sheers down considerably when blended in with fingers, a brush, or a sponge, for an effect that makes skin appear glowing, not glittery. Its fairly emollient texture make it best for those with normal to dry skin.
We found this wore well throughout a standard work day with minimal fading, and it worked well both over makeup and on its own, on bare skin. The shade options are limited, but range from an almost-clear option to a shimmering gold.
We should point out that while this does have a cooling effect on skin, it does not contain traditional “cooling” ingredients such as peppermint or menthol (a good thing, because such ingredients irritate skin!).
Unfortunately, this highlighter does have a potent perfume smell that lingers long after you first apply it (you’ll find yourself smelling it even a couple of hours later), due to the inclusion of fragrance and the fragrance ingredient limonene. Both of these put skin at risk for irritation (see More Info below for details) and make this a tougher sell despite its positive traits.
While we like the convenience and finish of this product, the smell means you’ll be better off with an option from our list of best highlighters.
- Highlighter is easy to apply and blend.
- Creates an attractive glowing finish on skin.
- Wears well with minimal fading.
- Comes in a small but good range of shades.
- Has a strong, perfume-like fragrance that lingers.
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Toxicology In Vitro, February 2018, pages 237-245
Toxicological Sciences, January 2018, pages 139-148
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
Get your glow on with COVERGIRL Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Stick. This portable shimmer highlighter instantly cools skin and leaves it looking positively radiant. Toss the glow stick into a pocket or bag and glide it onto cheeks, eyelids, or lips--anywhere you need a little extra glow.
Strengths: Inexpensive and widely available; a hugely improved selection of foundations, several with reliable sunscreen; good concealers; enviable pressed powders; some fantastic Lash Blast mascaras; mostly great eyelining options; a vast selection of lip color options, from the long-wearing Outlast to sheer lip glosses to the wholly impressive Lip Perfection lipstick;several great options in the Queen Collection.
Weaknesses: The older foundations are seriously lacking; the newer Advanced Radiance foundation has great texture but disappointing SPF rating; powder blush and eyeshadows; terrible makeup brushes; all of the "Clean" products contain irritating ingredients.
Since 1961, CoverGirl has been slowly building a portfolio of cosmetics that today is about as all-encompassing as a makeup line can be. Originating from the same "medicated" ingredients found in Noxzema Skin Cream (which was never medicated in the least, but seriously irritating for skin), the debut products are still available, albeit with slight modifications. The good news is that for the past several years CoverGirl has consistently updated their line with some very impressive products, especially their foundations, concealers, and vastly improved pressed powders. They also offer some excellent eye and lip pencils, lipsticks and lip gloss, and one of the all-time best long-wearing lip paints, Outlast.
What's puzzling is that although many of CoverGirl's latest products are progressive, they tend to hang on to the lackluster-to-poor options, including abysmal powder blush and eyeshadows and their long-standing, very irritating Clean Makeup.
CoverGirl's Web site is extremely easy to navigate, and presents a wealth of product information, along with practical (if somewhat cutesy) tips and tricks for successful makeup application and for finding the shades that work best for you. CoverGirl's consumer relations department is consistently helpful if you have any questions or concerns. For example, if one of your favorite items was discontinued, you might want to know what replaced it, and they will let you know. Such service and customer concern is yet another powerful reason to believe CoverGirl really has its (class) act together.
For more information about CoverGirl, owned by Coty, call (800) 426-8374 or visit the Web site at www.covergirl.com.
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.