In my original review post and video review of the Victoria Beckham makeup collection for Estee Lauder I mentioned that my top pick, if you were going to buy one item, would probably be the Modern Mercury Highlighter. Sort of risky to recommend it, really, as it was virtually the only product in the line that I hadn’t managed to try, but I felt safe in the knowledge that if it was a faithful reproduction of the original Illuminating Gelée, released in 2011, it would be a definite crowd-pleaser. A proper piece of makeup treasure.
And – thank goodness – it’s every bit as lovely as the first edition. More so, in fact, with its luxurious ribbed leather compact and sleek looks. I wish that I still had my original Illuminating Powder Gelée so that I could compare old and new; the 2011 release seemed to have much more of a shiny finish in the pan than the VB version, so I do wonder whether the formulas are identical, but the tone, from what I can tell, looks the same. A soft, minky sort of shade that is a little bit darker and warmer than the traditional “whack it on the cheekbones” sort of highlighter. I think that it’s ever so slightly easier to work with if you have a deeper skintone than an extremely fair one – it needs a very light touch on fair skin, I feel. It’s almost the shade of a very pale-dusky blusher, though obviously far shinier.
Saying that: I’m quite fair myself at the moment and have been whacking this highlighter on left right and centre! So don’t be frightened by it if you’re used to those pale, cool-toned illuminating powders – I’d say that Modern Mercury is universally flattering, you just need to adjust your application to suit. I use a smallish brush to get an accurate application on the cheekbones (you don’t want it all over your face, unless you want to pass as a robot) or I dab with fingertips onto the bridge of my nose, cupid’s bow, under the eyebrows to give them a lift…
If you missed the Modern Mercury collection the first time around (you can watch my review video here) and love that high-polish sort of skin glow, then you might want to snap up this Victoria Beckham version. At £48, it’s about fifty-eight-thousand times more expensive than the original, which is an irritation – but (as I said in my VB round-up) you’re paying for the luxury element and the branding. Whether Beckham is your cup of tea is another matter!
You can find a few highlighters left at Harrods online here – they seem to be out of stock at Estée Lauder, though it’s always worth checking.