Benefit Watt’s Up Highlighter Review and Swatch


Hi lovelies! Today I want to talk about my favorite highlighter so far (and mostly used product these hot summer days) – The Benefit Watt’s up cream highlighter.

Following the highlighting hype – the glowing, dewy, healthy looking skin and the magical effect of highlighters, I’ve become obsessed with these products and been swatching and buying both drugstore and high – end highlighters. I’ve had this one for a while now but just recently started using it every single day! Slowly but surely, it’s becoming a part of my holy grail makeup stash. That being said, it absolutely deserves a review on my blog.

The packaging

So practical, pretty and cleverly designed. As soon as I saw it, my nerd self immediately thought of the “watt” as a unit of power and the meaning of watts – the amount of energy a light bulb uses. Now that’s witty! At that moment (as the light bulb blinked over my head!) I was so amazed and once again, in love with a packaging from Benefit Cosmetics. Sure, I do admit that I’m always drawn to things with pretty designs and often get cosmetics I don’t even need because I just can’t resist them. Happens to everyone, right?


So aside the awesome name and illustration, the product comes in a little cardboard box with a description and how – to written on it.

Now for the practical part: this highlighter has a little protective lid right under the main lid, and it rolls up to a huge amount of product (more precisely, 9.4 g Net wt. or 0.33 oz.). I rolled it all the way up and was stunned by the amount, hoping I’ll be able to use it all up before it expires. On the other end of the stick, there’s this little built in sponge that’s supposed to blend out the cream product.

In Benefit’s words:

Turn-on “watt” ya got!

Our delicate champagne sheer highlighter smoothes on a sweet glow that’s gorgeous. With a cream – to – powder finish… it’s a switch – on “wow” for all complexions. Flattery operated, you’ll adore the smooth applicator & luminous sheen.

To use: Glide on cheek & brow bones… then sculpt with its soft glow blender for YOUR perfect gleam. Can be applied solo or over existing makeup.


The shade

It has a natural, sheer champagne color. Not glittery, not shimmery, but just as Benefit claim – luminous. I swatched it on bare skin so you can notice the champagne hue. When I apply it over my foundation the shade blends out leaving a beautiful, soft glow. I’m quite pale and I like how it sets on my skin, but think it would look even better on darker skin tones. The shade is really soft and super natural but you can build it up to blinding and shine bright!

Unedited swatch, one swipe:


Build up:


Isn’t that blinding?!

I usually apply it on my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose, sometimes even under my foundation as a base for that glow from within look. It’s summertime right now, so normally I’m revealing some more skin – what I like to do is blend a bit on my collarbones, neck and shoulders. It enhances my features and makes my skin look so amazing! This highlighter looks really good on flash photography, so don’t be afraid to use it on your body too. It’ll give your skin a natural, radiant glow, almost like a shimmery body lotion.


The formula

This is what I actually love the most. I was so hesitant to buy a cream highlighter, considering my skin is combination and tends to get oily. This one actually works for all skin types. It did not enhance my pores like some powder highlighters do and it didn’t make my skin look sweaty.

The formula has this thin, light texture and it immediately sets into the skin. It’s soft and creamy, blends in really nicely, doesn’t move around my makeup (I mostly use drugstore foundations) and it stays on throughout the whole day. Gotta love long lasting makeup!

It has a powder like finish yet it’s not chalky, sticky, or heavy looking. I feel like this highlighter just wins everything other cream highlighters have failed in.


How to use

The instructions from Benefit are to simply glide on the stick on your cheek and brow bones, then blend out with the little sponge applicator on the other end of the stick. Quick and easy, especially for those who are always on the go. This way of application didn’t really work for me because I don’t like gliding on the same product over my makeup every day. It just feels unsanitary. I usually rub some on my (clean) ring finger, dab gently on my skin and blend out with a beauty blender. Sometimes I use a blending brush to pick up some product then blend out. Either way works better than the one instructed on the packaging.


You can use it with or without makeup, on top or under…or both! I sometimes apply it under my foundation, then dab a little more on top for some extra glow. I always try to find more ways to make a product work, especially when it costs me so much!

So here are my other ways of use:

  • over my eyeshadow for a shiny finish, dabbing a bit right at the middle of my eyelid
  • on top of my lipstick for a metallic finish
  • on my neck, collar bones and shoulders for radiant looking skin

Now let’s get to the pros and cons…


  • Natural, soft glow
  • Builds up to a more intense glow, just add layers
  • Enhances features
  • You can use it anywhere on the body
  • Looks great on photos
  • Blends out nicely
  • Long lasting
  • Works for both warm and cool skin tones
  • You can use it as a base
  • A little goes a long way
  • Good for every day wear
  • Practical packaging


  • Expensive

The only thing I don’t like about this highlighter is its price. It’s not very affordable, at least not for me (I bought it as a high-end treat for my birthday). On the other hand – I think that the high quality and huge amount of product in the tube makes it worth it.

If you’d love to try it out, you can get a travel sized packaging for half the price (this one doesn’t include the blending sponge), or get the full size here.

Possible dupe

I’ve been seeing this product over and over again on Pinterest and You Tube. Apparently, the Maybelline Strobing Stick is a dupe for the Watts Up. I did try it out earlier this year, and aside from being a cream stick highlighter, I didn’t notice many other similarities. The formula is different and moved around my makeup, it didn’t last as long, but on the other hand the shades are pretty close and it does give a nice glow. Overall, considering the price, I think it’s a good deal.

Want to see more of Benefit Cosmetics? Check out my reviews on their Ka-Brow! eyebrow gel and Porefessional primer.


What is your favorite highlighter? Do you prefer cream, liquid or powder? Do you have any recommendations?

Let me know in the comments below!




*This post isn’t sponsored, I bought the product myself. However it contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small compensation for every purchase through my links, which won’t cost you anything extra.

39 thoughts on “Benefit Watt’s Up Highlighter Review and Swatch

  1. thats such a pretty highliter! i have been wanting to try some benefit highliters. right now my favourite is the champagne pop by becca. i dont know it a cream highliter should be good for my skin type im too oily 🙁 so i sue powder

    1. Hey there Nallely! My skin tends to get oily and I used to stick to powder highlighters too. Some worked but most of them just enhanced my pores :/ . This one was a hit! So, don’t be afraid of trying out new products, exploring is the only way to find out what works for you and what doesn’t 🙂 .

  2. I really like this product! I generally like their high beam and moon beam liquid line as well, all depending on what my skin is doing!

  3. Ooh, I love how shimmery this highlighter is! Definitely need to look for that one when I run out of the one I have!

    1. Thank you Nicole! I feel like it’s worth it and as I mentioned in the post – the travel sized packaging is a good, affordable option 🙂

  4. I never really knew what highlighters were for or how to use them, so I’m glad I read this post! Thanks for the great info! Now I feel like if I wanted to go out and buy some I actually might know what to do with it 🙂

    1. Oh thank you Nicole! I didn’t think much of highlighters until I tried one. Now I can’t finish my makeup look without adding some glow! 🙂

  5. I love me a good highlighter! I’m not too fond of the frosty in-your-face ones but I love the ones that give you a neutral glow! The shimmer from this highlight is beautiful.

  6. Love the super in depth review!!! You touched base on so many areas most beauty bloggers forget like the formula for your skin type. Love Benefit products (their brow products are ama-ZING!) so will give this one a try <3

    1. Thank you Stephanie! It really means a lot <3.
      Benefit brow products are so good, I've used the Ka-Brow gel and the Goof Proof pencil and love both. Thanks for stopping by <3

  7. It’s a shame it’s so expensive as it’s got a really lovely shimmer to it and it sounds wonderful in all other areas (as you don’t have to use the attached sponge for blending). It’s good you will use it a lot and get your money’s worth at least 🙂

  8. I have this highlighter too (but in their palette form as a sample). It looks amazing and makes my entire face glow but the retail price is definitely up there. I’m not sure what to do when my sample runs out! Haha 🙂

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