Benefit Knows Watt’s Up: Their New Highlighter Brightens Brows and Cheeks with an Incandescent Glow

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Okay, so I know that it’s totally Benefit’s style to give their products cheeky names, and I get that the name they gave their new Watt’s Up face highlighter ($30 for a 0.33-oz. tube) plays on the idea of light bulbs illuminating the skin, but I can’t help but think of something else every time I say the name…



benefit watt's up

LOL! I loved that old commercial. πŸ™‚

Team B describes the color of their new highlighter, a solid stick with a cream-to-powder finish, as a luminous, sheer champagne. I turned it on this afternoon, and I really did feel like I was glowing (on me it’s a shimmery, peachy glow).

I’m reminded of a NARS Multiple in how the product looks and feels — smooth, thin and slightly dry to the touch. The concept has been approached before, but here I like Benefit’s execution.

First, I’m glad they chose not to go the liquid route, a la Moonbeam/Highbeam, because it means not having to worry about accidental spills and getting the product all over the place. Second, with the highlighter on one end of the stick and a blending sponge on the other, I don’t need an extra brush. All I do is glide the creamy stick along my cheek and brow bones (it works on bare skin and atop makeup), and smooth out any edges with the sponge.

benefit watt's up

benefit watt's up

benefit watt's up

benefit watts up

benefit watts up

benefit watts up swatches
Watt’s Up unblended (on the left) and blended (on the right)

benefit watts up swatch comparison
Swatch comparisons with a few of Benefit’s highlighters; from the left: Moonbeam, Highbeam, Watt’s Up, High Brow and Gilded

I find that some of Benefit’s products really come into their own on lighter, cooler-toned cuties, and I suspected that Watt’s Up might not get along well with my tan (NC42 skin), but after swatching and wearing it around the house for a few hours today, I see that it packs more than enough peach pigment to show up on darker damsels, too. I also think the shade is neutral enough for gals with cool- or warm-toned skin.

I’m not sure about wear time yet, and I’m concerned that it might struggle to hold its ground on my combination dry/oily cheeks and brows (some cream-to-powder formulas have trouble adhering to my skin). We’ll see how it holds up over the next few days, and I’ll let you know.


Based on first impressions, though, I’m a fan. It might be pricey at $30, but with practical packaging and a pretty color, Benefit clearly knows Watts Up.

PRICE: $30
AVAILABILITY: Brightening up Benefit counters, stores and this October

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. I hope your Wednesday went well. πŸ™‚ What are your plans for the evening? I’ve got a date with a bowl of Kellogg’s Special K Chocolatey Delight and the new episode of Top Chef Just Desserts.


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 46 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. i normally wouldn’t spend that much money on a product i would barely use, but the colour really is lovely and i love that it comes with a sponge. seeing its loveliness up close might just sway me :).

  2. Alexzandra says:

    I like the peachy tone of this. Now I’m intrigued and might have to check it out when it lands on counters.

  3. Gotta look for this, it’s beautiful on you!!

  4. Hyzenthlay says:

    Love Just Desserts! It’s the food of Top Chef (which, unsurprisingly, came off my fingertips as “chem” originally . . .) with the DRAAAAMUHHHHH of Project Runway!

    • Karen says:

      I’ve got about 20 minutes left in the show… man, that one cake with the instruments was a hot mess.

      Re: Project Runway — I’m kind of shocked by all the bad behavior!

  5. Hyzenthlay says:

    Totally agree on both counts! And, fyi, I am having a FANTASTIC year teaching πŸ™‚ Absolutely amazing! Five periods of Chemistry, and I am having so much fun πŸ™‚ Love, love, love teaching again. Thank goodness I stuck it out last year. This year I am the kind of teacher I like to and want to be. So much fun! πŸ˜€

  6. This looks nice, but I’m passing on it. I have a few highlighters that will probably take me years to get through…haha!
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … Nail Art Giveaway on Swatch And Learn!

  7. gio says:

    That looks lovely on you! I need to check it out.
    gio recently posted … Product Review: Essence Pure Skin Anti-Spot Patches

  8. Heidi says:

    I like the application of this product. May have to check it out. Top Chef Desserts is not helping my resolve to cut down on sugar consumption, yet I can not stay away!

  9. Adrienne says:

    Ooooh! I love benefit πŸ™‚ And their packaging always kills…this box is adorable!! I like High Beam, but I hate that when I apply it on my cheeks atop foundation I feel like I’m messing up my foundation/concealer blending it in. Watts Up sounds like the perfect solution! I look forward to borrowing this from the benefit counter while I’m at work πŸ˜›

  10. Jeni says:

    Ooh I love highlighters so I will definitely check this out. I like the look of the little sponge too. I hope this doesn’t have pore clogging ingredients like Benefit Highbeam (which I loved for about 3 days, until it broke me out).
    Jeni recently posted … Makeup Dupes

  11. I still haven’t tried their Moonbeam (but am a huge fan of High beam) but this one looks interesting.

  12. Kelly says:

    I like, I like!! I am pretty fair and have dry skin so I’m really interested in this one! I’m a sucker for high lighters and achieving the perfect glow so I might need to check this one out soon!
    Kelly recently posted … Fitness Diary: My Tips For Slimming Down!

  13. Chris25 says:

    The color is pretty, but I think I’d prefer NARS Multiples.

  14. Nina says:

    what a nifty product! i love highbeam but find the packaging to be cumbersome. this is perfect!

  15. Kim says:

    I really like the finish on the Benefit highlighters and use Highbeam, myself. The only problem I have is that it tends to highlight my massive wrinkles – I mean fine lines – so I have to be careful where I put it on my cheekbones. πŸ™‚ And, maybe it’s just me, but I find that I get a little burning/stinging sensation from it when I first dab it on. Weird. I think Watt’s Up is pretty, but would probably try Moonbeam first. It probably wouldn’t be as flattering on me but I seem to be into the warmer colors this week!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim,

      Oh, I feel you. Highlighters can be great because they perk your face right up, but sometimes they’re like a big ol’ spotlight on pores and wrinkles.

      Have you ever tried the MAC Beauty Powders? The pressed ones are pretty forgiving. I use a brush shaped like the MAC 235 to apply it to the tops of my cheek bones and on the brow bone area. I get a nice subtle glow without emphasizing ye olde trouble spots.

  16. heidi says:

    Oh man I wish I hadn’t seen this! I’m starting to develop a highlighter problem but oooo its so pretty. My only concern is how to keep the sponge clean. It seems a little unsanitary.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heidi,

      Ha! I have a major highlighter dependency, too. πŸ™‚ I think you could probably wash the sponge and then let it air dry — just cover up the highlighting stick end with the cap.

  17. Amanda says:

    OMG I think I want this! I’ve been looking for a better highlighter and I love that it comes with a sponge to blend it with!
    Amanda recently posted … September Julep Maven!

  18. sugarBear says:

    I just started loving highlighters, I have been using NARS Albatross and love it, this new Benefit one looks great on you.

  19. Joyce says:

    It looks lovely on you. it has that gorgeous sheen, which I look for in highlighters (I don’t like gritty or glittery highlighters) =)
    Joyce recently posted … Overview: Brush Collection

  20. Karo says:

    It look so wonderful on you! And your make up is just perfeckt! I love it!
    Karo recently posted … Top 5 in August

  21. Brooke says:

    I have been trying to find a nice highlighter/glowy product and have had my eye on this product when I first saw an ad about it. I’m debating between this, NARS Multiple, or MAC’s Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder. Do you have a fav or recommendation?

  22. PS says:

    I’m a big highlighter fan too. Used to love smashbox, but too messy and have been using Philosophy illuminator lately . Love it because it’s a cream and for me its easier to apply. Also I think it looks more natural too.

    • Kat says:

      Have you tried smashbox skin tints? they are not messy at all they come in a stick and its so convenient that way

      Personally, I would love to own every highlighter known to man I just cant get enough!

  23. kat says:

    is the watts up benefit highlighter very glittery? does it have any glittery at all? I just dont like looking glittery in sunlight, Im not a fairy vampire from the twilight movies, I want a subtle highlighter πŸ˜€

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge