Chanel Poudre Lumière Perlée Pearl Glow Powder Highlighting Powder ($60) is a soft, sheer, yellow-gold highlighting powder product that has a beautiful luminosity. It comes packed with a large, paddle shaped sponge paddle applicator that would provide heavy coverage.
This product gives a diamond-shimmer in the pan. Some highlighters are simply yellow powder mixed with sparkle. I recently threw one of these away. Chanel’s Pearl Glow is made of a more luminous formula that reflects light without adding a significant amount of opaque color to the skin.
Pearl Glow reminds me of the Ombres Perlees de Chanel (reviewed here) in texture, although they are not identical. Instead, Pearl Glow acts more a bit like a traditional powder than the Ombre Perlees, which seemed to be made of some scientifically advanced magic (it is my dream that Chanel would release a highlighter using the identical formula of the Ombres Perlees–Chanel, are you listening?). But Pearl Glow does have a some of that sheer luminosity that makes the Ombres Perlees so unique.
Although the included sponge applicator is useful, I recommend using a brush for your first try. A brush gives you a sheerer finish, but you can layer the product using several passes. I use a standard powder brush, the smaller the better for more precise placement. Liz and I have also played with Chanel Pearl Glow on the lid and browbone and liked the result.
Comparisons of Chanel Pearl Glow, swatched next to Nars Albatross, Giorgio Armani Gold Rush Platinum Highlighter (reviewed here), and just a little corner of the peach-toned Yves Saint Laurent Metallic Colorama Highlighter (reviewed here).
It is difficult to get any of these highlighters to show on pale skin, which is a good quality in a highlighter. Luminosity is usually transparent–one wants the glow, not just a pasty yellow or peach tone. For these swatches, I used a darker tinted moisturizer over my natural skin so that you could see some of the color differences. One more try:
Of these, Chanel Pearl Glow as the most transparent and natural. It was closest to the Armani Platinum. By comparison, Nars Albatross was much more obviously gold-yellow. YSL Colorama is really pretty, but it leans far more pink-peach than any of the others.
I also compared Chanel Pearl Glow to the limited edition Estee Lauder Pure Color Luminious Powder (reviewed here). I found that the Estee Lauder was more peach-pink, and that the formula of the Estee Lauder was more fragile–it tends to crumble a bit in the pan with pressure. Chanel Pearl Glow is more of a traditional powder, and more robust in the pan.
We experimented on Liz’s upper cheek, ringing below her eye area on the upper cheek, in full sun so you could see some of the effect:
As you can see, the effect is very natural and subtle. This is a few layers, applied a bit heavily with blush brush over blush and foundation.
Bottom line: An excellent high end highlighter. Sheer and finely textured. Unlike drugstore products, Chanel Pearl Glow gives a natural, expensive-looking finish even at close proximity. If you have Armani’s Gold Fever Platinum highlighter, I’d think long and hard before purchasing because these are somewhat close. The Chanel is more sheer than the Armani (and of course, if you missed Armani’s it was limited edition and is no longer available).