PhotoReady SkinLights Face Illuminator

by Revlon  
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Makeup > Concealers & Highlighters > Highlighter
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For those of you who've been dabbling in makeup for a while (like us), the name of this product from Revlon may sound familiar. The original SkinLights highlighter hit the market more than a decade ago, and became something of a cult hit, even though it was quite shiny and difficult to work with. Revlon discontinued the Skinlights line a few years after it was introduced, but a couple of key products retained their cult status, with people snapping up the discontinued Illuminator on eBay for many times the original retail price!

Flash forward to 2014, and SkinLights is back with a new name as part of Revlon's PhotoReady line. We're glad to say that the years apart have been kind—this latest formula is much better than that of its original incarnation!

SkinLights has a sheer fluid texture that makes it easy to apply on areas of the face you want highlighted. It's also easy to blend this with foundation or moisturizer if you want an all-over-glow effect. Once SkinLights dries down, you're left with an illuminating shimmer instead of a sparkle, which highlights the skin beautifully. Best of all, it doesn't flake or fade, even after several hours of wear!

As with any highlighter, those with oily skin should consider it carefully, as the finish can emphasize oily shine. SkinLights comes in four shades, including a dark shade that can be used like a bronzer. Welcome back, old friend!

Note: This product does contain some citrus extracts, but the amount is very small. We weren't able to detect a citrus scent, which is the hallmark of many products with a high concentration of citrus extracts. This shouldn't be a problem for most people, but it is something to consider for those with very sensitive skin.

  • Sheer fluid texture makes this easy to apply and blend with foundation or moisturizer.
  • Finish imparts an attractive shimmer, not shine, to the skin.
  • Doesn't flake or fade after several hours of wear.
  • Does not have the strong fragrance of the original SkinLights Illuminator.
  • Contains a small amount of citrus extract, which could pose a problem for those with very sensitive skin.

It may surprise some of you to know that Revlon has been around since 1932, when the company launched a unique nail polish that used pigments instead of dyes. Lipsticks followed years later, and then a full line of cosmetics, which is how we know Revlon today. Although the company has had its continual share of ups and downs over the years (largely due to out-of-control debt coupled with aggressive spending), the line has recently made numerous improvements, especially in the realms of foundations, powders, eyeshadows, and mascaras. It is quite a feat that Revlon products earned more Paula's Pick ratings per category than any other drugstore line reviewed. If their goal was to close the competitive gap between themselves and L'Oreal, for the most part they have succeeded. Revlon definitely has the edge for foundations with reliable sunscreens. But despite Revlon's attempt to improve their mascara range, L'Oreal remains the clear winner (as well as L'Oreal-owned Maybelline New York).

Revlon's vast selection of makeup is divided into three main brands: Age Defying for the forty-something and older woman concerned about wrinkles, ColorStay for the teen to mid-thirties woman concerned about keeping oily skin in check and making sure her makeup stays put, and PhotoReady for women of all ages. These brands present some outstanding options and include products for all skin types (although the range of skin tones is not as well-represented here as it is by L'Oreal).

An intriguing fact is that the longevity claims for ColorStay are quite accurate: this collection of products really does offer extraordinary staying power. Conversely, Revlon jumped on the works-like-Botox bandwagon with their Age Defying range, going so far as to name their antiwrinkle complex Botafirm. Is there any confusion about what that term is supposed to relate to? Despite the claims, Botafirm won't reduce expression lines or control the muscles that cause them, though the products themselves do have many impressive qualities.

Note:Revlon is categorized as one that tests on animals because their products are sold in China. Although Revlon may not conduct animal testing for their products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brand’s state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law”. Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Beautypedia Team.

Suffice it to say, Revlon has more commendable products than ever before, and although they rely heavily on celebrity spokespersons, their best products ably speak for themselves.

For more information about Revlon, call (800) 473-8566 or visit

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    3 / 4 Good
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    4 / 4 Best
Page of 1
    Reviewed on Monday, January 12, 2015
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • This is exactly what I was looking for in terms of subtle liquid highlighter. For what I use it for - dabs along the cheek bones, chin and nose, it will take me a long time to use it up, but it's subtle enough that you could mix it with your foundation for a glowing evening look. I use the pinkish-tint one because I have red undertones and I don't like the gold shimmer in the other colors. The pink tint has pearl shimmer. I've had no irritation and it easily washes off. Yay!

  2. K S.
    Reviewed on Monday, April 28, 2014
    • Value
      3 / 4
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    Very good highlighting liquid
    • I have this in the shade Bare Light and it gives me a very subtle shimmer, which is exactly what I want. I use a tiny amount and dab on my cheekbones after I apply foundation and blush. The first time I tried to use this I made a mess! I used too much product and tried to rub it on my face which only smeared my foundation and blush. Next time it's on sale I plan I buying more colors.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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