Tested on animals:Yes
L'Oreal's True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator is the brand's entry in the liquid highlighter category, and in many ways, it has a lot to offer as we'll explain in just a moment. Unfortunately because of the inclusion of an iffy amount of a single potentially-drying ingredient, this only earns an average rating (without that ingredient, however, it easily would have earned high marks).
True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator comes in a squeeze tube with a twist-off cap. There are three shades offered, and each tube is colored to correspond to the shade inside. The product itself has a liquid-gel texture that's easy to blend into skin. The formula is versatile enough to be worn on its own as a highlighter, or mixed into your favorite foundation or concealer for an all-over glow (the liquid is gel-like enough that it won't change the texture of your foundation as a more fluid formula might).
The three shades we mentioned above are called "Golden," "Rose," and "Ice." Golden is a bronze shade with copper shimmer; Rose is a warm rose-gold shade with slight gold shimmer; and Ice is a pale pink with silver shimmer. Though all the shades do appear to have sparkle, once they're blended into skin the overall effect is a luminous glow instead of obvious glitter. Though L'Oreal says each shade is designed for a specific skin tone, (Golden for warm, Rose for neutral, and Ice for cool), that doesn't limit their wearability; it mainly depends on which color you think looks best on you (and all the colors are attractive)!
True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator wears well throughout the day without fading, and does indeed make skin look lit from within instead of shiny or greasy. Most of the ingredients are standard cosmetic pigments, emollients, and preservatives, and are fine for skin.
The problem, and why this earns its average rating instead of something higher, is that it contains a potentially iffy amount of alcohol denatured. It's the fourth ingredient on the list, and you can even smell a bit of it when you apply this. Though the inclusion of alcohol is why this has a texture that dries so well and doesn't fade, high amounts of alcohol can cause skin damage, especially with daily use. See More Info for additional details.
Were it not for this one misstep, L'Oreal True Match Lumi Liquid Glow Illuminator would have earned our highest rating. But, because the amount of alcohol could dry out skin, it's a product we can't recommend enthusiastically. For better alternatives, see our Best Luminizers & Highlighters section.
- Has a liquid-gel texture that's easy to blend.
- Works well on its own or mixed into other products.
- Makes skin appear luminous instead of shiny, sparkly, or oily.
- Wears well throughout the day without fading.
- Contains an iffy amount of potentially drying alcohol denatured.
Alcohol-Based Makeup Products: Alcohol helps ingredients like retinol and vitamin C penetrate into the skin more effectively, but it does that by breaking down the skin's barrier—destroying the very substances that keep your skin healthy over the long term (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012 and Journal of Hospital Infection, 2003).
A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol actually causes skin cells to self-destruct (Alcohol, 2002).
Research also shows that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer skin was exposed to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Alcohol, 2002). In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
For more on alcohol's (as in, ethanol, denatured alcohol, and ethyl alcohol) effects on skin, see the Paula's Choice Research Team's Expert Advice article on the topic, Alcohol in Skin Care: The Facts.