Instant Glow Highlighting Duo
Almay's Instant Glow Highlighting Duo claims to be a convenient multitasker to achieve radiant skin, but some flaws in the formula keeps this from getting a "glowing" recommendation from us.
The hook for this product is that it's double-ended, with a swivel up stick highlighter on one end and a liquid highlighter with a sponge-tipped wand applicator on the other.
While most stick makeup products are emollient, this one is uncharacteristically dry; it's almost chalky, which translates to some drag during application. Once the fragrance-free stick is applied it imparts a subtle silver sheen to skin which looks more like a healthy glow than a glitter bomb.
As for the liquid end, the creamy fluid is much easier to apply and blend and its effect is also subtle yet attractive.
The issue with both ends of this highlighter is that they don't stand the test of time: About halfway through the day, there is noticeable fading, and shortly after that it will be pretty much gone. Another problem: The liquid highlighter contains a couple of citrus extracts that pose a risk of irritating skin, particularly around the eye area where Almay recommends this can be used (see More Info for details on the problems irritating ingredients can cause skin).
Even though the convenience factor and price are attractive, you're better off selecting one of the superior options you'll find on our list of Best Luminizers & Highlighters.
- Both highlighters impart a subtle, attractive glow to skin.
- Liquid highlighter is easy to apply and blend.
- Stick highlighter is fragrance free.
- Stick highlighter drags during application.
- Both highlighters in this two-in-one product fades before the end of the day.
- Liquid highlighter contains irritating citrus extracts.
Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice!
Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.
Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.
A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don't get lulled into thinking that if you don't see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.
Generally, it's best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there's no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.
References for this information:
Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385
Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
Strengths:An excellent assortment of mascaras; several exceptional foundation options to choose from; a phenomenal liquid eyeliner; a selection of good makeup removers.
Weaknesses: Some of the Intense i-color products do the exact opposite of enhancing eye color; mediocre blushes; Smart Shade products dont automatically adapt to skins color as claimed.
Long a standby for those with sensitive skin seeking hypoallergenic products (though that term is unregulated and can be applied to any product, regardless of ingredients), Almay continues to refine its comprehensive makeup line. In early 2006 the company repackaged its old favorites, and also relaunched several new makeup items. Everything now has a sleek new look and color-coded packaging. We admit, the makeover is effective, not just product-wise but visually too.
Shopping this drugstore line is now much easier because of the clearly defined product and color family groupings. Lamentably, testers and trial sizes of the makeup are still scarce regardless of where you shop. Almay has always been a reliable line for foundations, powder, and mascara. Within its current lineup you'll find that remains true. Their foundations are better than ever, and still offer full, broad-spectrum sun protection and a mostly neutral palette. We also found their concealers and mascaras have improved, as have the pencil options. When it comes to shopping for makeup staples with state-of-the-art formulas, Almay has many winners, and some innovative surprises that its competitors would be wise to learn from.
For more information about Almay, owned by Revlon, call (800) 992-5629 or visit www.almay.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.