theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter, Shadow & Shimmer Review & Swatches

Hi Everyone! Let me introduce you to my rebellious friend, Mary! She is a dangerous highlighter who's charged with being “too pretty“!

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer's compact has Mary's mug shot on the cover and is clearly inspired by the 1950's vintage pin-up look. How quirky! I simply adore theBalm for always releasing fun and unexpected design for their product packaging. :) This Mary's compact is made of lightweight, silver-colored hard plastic that feels sturdy. There is a decent-sized mirror inside making it perfect for on the go applications.

It is described by theBalm as a “honey-hue” shade but on my skin it leans more towards pale golden champagne. I've seen online swatches where it looks warm gold on a lot of people but on my NC30 skin tone, it's more of a neutral gold, not as yellow.

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer

Mary-Lou Manizer powder is crazy soft and silky and the texture is very smooth and blends well but the most outstanding thing about it is it's simply not your typical highlighter! It is dangerously pigmented! It may look like your normal everyday kind of highlighter in the pan but once swatched, you will be blown away by its ridiculous pigmentation. It is really easy to overdo and therefore, you only need the tiniest amount, with the lightest touch of the brush to the powder for each application.

I find it is best to apply with either a small stippling/duo fibre brush (think MAC 188), tapered face brush (such as MAC 165) or fan brush. You also need a light hand and precision/controlled application to avoid getting the powder everywhere on your face (which may end up making your skin look oily and accentuating pores). Always tap off the excess from the brush before applying and start small, you can always add more as you go but don't go heavy when you first apply. If you are in a rush, fingers work great too, just make sure you lightly tap on the powder and not rub it or you'll pick up too much product.

Mary-Lou Manizer is a stunning shade, it gives my cheeks a soft pearly sheen effect without obnoxious pieces of shimmer or chunks of glitter. The dewy glow is even more prominent when out in the sunlight. And the best part? It lasts well into the night so the longevity is superb!

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer

Besides highlighting cheekbones, theBalm said you can also use Miss Mary as an all-over shimmer and eyeshadow color. Well, eyeshadow I definitely agree. I like to use it to add a pop of highlight on the center of my lids as well as in the inner corners of my eyes. And you can also use it to highlight brow bones, the bridge of the nose, and Cupid's bow, basically anywhere on the face you want to bring forward, it's truly a multipurpose product. But an all-over shimmer? I don't know… maybe with the lightest application using a large fan brush? I think it will be pretty hard and require a lot of skills to apply this powder all over the face without looking like Vampire Edward. :) Another concern I have is, I'm afraid the color may be a tad too light for people with darker skin tone and may end up looking ashy. I can't say this for sure but I have a feeling it will.

theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer; heavy swatch (L) and lightly blended (R)
theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer; heavy swatch (L) and lightly blended (R)

I typically don't use highlighters too much in Summer but now that it's Winter and my face is starting to look dry (and dull) again, I tend to use them more on a daily basis to add that healthy glow back to my face. Mary-Lou Manizer is currently a part of my makeup rotation and I think it will be for the entire length of Winter since it outperforms a lot of my other highlighters. It is pretty reasonably-priced too and you can often find it at half-price on Hautelook and a few other places. I got mine from T.J.Maxx last year when it was packaged along with a few other theBalm products. I remember the price being ridiculous low to the point that I just couldn't pass up. Turns out it's one of the best makeup purchases I've ever made. :)


US$24 at Beauty.comNordstromBirchboxtheBalm




  • Hello Jaa! Would just like to say that I really love your website :) The format and clean layout really keeps me coming back to check for more reviews daily!

    May I suggest for future reviews, to include the pros/ cons of the product and a rating for it? It would certainly be more helpful!


    • Hi Rachelle!

      Thank you so much for your sweet words! Means a lot to me! :)

      As for your other comment, actually I do have a rating for every post… if you look under the title of each review to the right. They are kinda small but you will see a group of pink little hearts… that’s my rating system, haha.

      Pros and Cons sounds like a good idea – I’ll think about it! :D

  • Hello ka Khun Jaa :)
    I’m a thai people who love your blog! You are soooo good in writing in English. I will never know that you’re thai if your blog cannot switch to Thai language! ;)

    I look forward to reading your new post naka. :)

    • Thank you so much for your kind words ka, Khun Chayanis. :D My English isn’t that great but at least I to write everyday ka, hopefully it will improve over time! :)

  • All over they mean to scrape out some powder (small amount) an mix with moisturizer or foundation an adds a healthy natural glow bc it’s mixed already with the liquids

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