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Essence Kissed by the Light illuminating powders

If there is one thing sister brands Essence and Catrice know how to do is cheek colours. Whenever either brand announces a new blusher, bronzer or highlighter, it gets instantly wishlisted. I always enjoy their powders regardless of where they’re made, as you really can’t get any better in terms of quality, quantity and price all combined. A recent Spring/Summer drop is the Kissed by the Light illuminating powders, which we’ll be looking at below.

Featuring a rising or setting sun design and combining three different colours, the duo is available in the Neapolitan ice cream-inspired ’01. Star Kissed’, and in the more monochromatic ’02. Sun Kissed’. Both pans contain 10g of product, housed in a clear packaging that is now classic for the brand, and are made in the PRC. Like all new releases, they’re vegan, but seeing as they come from the PRC they cannot entirely receive the label of cruelty-free. They are available at Notino and Maquillalia for a similar price, just shy of €5. I bought them in a BOGO-inspired sale.

Essence‘s description for the products acknowledges the fusion of highlighter, blusher and bronzer tones in a single design, ready to grab for a quick glow all-over the face or focused highlights. I pay little heed to product roles and labels regarding cheeks and thus wondered whether these would act multipurpose. On my complexion, at least, I do see both shades working as illuminating face powders for the Summer, but afterwards ’02. Sun Kissed’ should work only as a cheek topper along with bronze and terracotta blushers, while ’01. Star Kissed’ remains a nice pink highlighter on the high points of the face all year round.

Kissed by the Light duo swatches.

Looking around the edges of the design, and swatching the powders for this post, I noticed that two out of three shades do not run all the way down, but are an overspray that should disappear quickly enough, meaning the lightest shade available in each pan is the truer colour of the product as a whole. Even in my swatch photograph, you can see the patch where the pink is missing, behind my wrist. You ought to keep this in mind if this is a product you see yourself wearing until it’s panned.

While this realisation was a tad disappointing, I swatched the Kiss by the Light duo next to other highlighters by Essence and Catrice and was satisfied to find no exact dupes! Indeed, even the texture and overall finish of these powders are unlike what has been previously released — they’re more impactful than Essence’s ‘The Highlighter’ (not to be confused with ‘The Highlighter Luminous Glow‘, which it would seem has replaced it), but not as blinding as Catrice’s ‘More Than Glow‘ highlighters.

Kissed by the Light duo (right) compared to the Essence ‘The Highlighter’ (centre) and Catrice’s ‘More Than Glow’ highlighters (left).

The Kissed by the Light powders sit on the face as a subtle glow. I am very light-handed with my makeup and had to repeat the application in order to achieve a visible result all over. Once focused on the cheek, and in spite of the noticeable change in texture as captured in the image above, they appear to have the same impact as Essence’s (more) permanent highlighters.

Overall, I am pleased with my purchase and would recommend either powder or both for the summer months, according to your preference. Who doesn’t like a sunny radiance?


  • vegan
  • inexpensive
  • cute for the summer
  • 2 out of 3 shades are an overspray

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