TheBalm Mary-lou Manizer

Right around the time I was scouting for a Nars blush, I tested a dupe from The Balm and also spotted their collection of highlighters and bronzers. I didn’t give it much attention back then as I wasn’t so big on highlighting and strobing, but now I’ve heard the buzz on The Balm Mary-lou Manizer (PHP 945 at The Beauty Bar) and I just had to experience it for myself.

The Balm Mary-lou Manizer

Quick Specs: 8.5 g / 0.3 oz ; made in the USA



  • I’m so happy to see a regular-sized compact with full-sized mirror. Definitely fluffy brush-friendly. It’s as big as your average face powder, so there’s plenty of highlighter to go around. While this compact does not leave room for an inclusive mini brush, you don’t really need touch-ups. Leave it at home.
  • This finely-milled, champagne-gold powder will attract fans of the shimmery stuff. It’s an instant, soft-focus glow that works with the skin’s natural color, especially if you are on the beige- or yellow-toned side of the spectrum.
  • Application has been a breeze. I’ve tried it over both dewy and matte bases set with a light finishing powder and have gotten the same result: Fine, soft-focus shimmer that’s easy to sheer out. The dewy base didn’t cause the shimmer to cake on and make me look like the gold-painted Jill Masterson from that old James Bond movie.
  • I like the level of longevity I’m getting. Even when exposed to the elements, going outdoors in the heat and sweating away, it still soldiers on. Any fading disappears into the natural re-greasing of skin, so it’s a smooth transition. (Erm, does ‘dewiness’ sound better?)
  • According to the box, it functions as shimmer, shadow, and highlighter. I haven’t used it for anything other than highlighting, but it’s good to know that there’s a possibility of maximizing its usage.

Swatches, From Left to Right: Almost imperceptible Benefit Dandelion Box o’ Powder (four swipes) is reddish brown with individual gold shimmer pigments; Benefit Watt’s Up (two swipes) is a fine, soft-focus champagne beige; Canmake Highlighter in Baby Beige (two swipes) is a fine white shimmer; Laura Mercier (two swipes) is a light rose gold; and The Balm Mary-lou Manizer’s champagne gold (two swipes)

On a Personal Note:

  • When comparing highlighter colors, I still think that champagne beige offers the subtlest glow as it replicates the color of the skin so closely. White or pink is a bit more stand-offish. Champage gold or rose gold is somewhere in the middle. Then again, the fineness of the powder is another thing to consider. As long as the pigments aren’t too big, sheering takes care of everything. Therefore, fineness is something I value as much as–if not more than–color.

Hinge Issues?


  • The compact is a generic silver that has a sticker depicting what’s on the front of the box. While I value formula way more than packaging, those who are sticklers for gorgeously-presented products will find the Mary-lou Manizer a little underwhelming. More so, when you compare the highlighter’s packaging to their cute shadows and blushes.
  • Despite the practical packaging, the sturdiness of the compact is in question. I can tell that the hinges on their highlighters/bronzers aren’t the most secure, so one drop could prove fatal. Even the tester in-store had a cracked lid that was completely detached from the body. My friend, themigraineparty, apparently suffered that exact fate. She accidentally dropped her compact right after paying for it at the counter. The brand new powder broke. Ouch.

Applied on the temples, on top of cheeks, and undereye

Creates a soft glow

Verdict: I was lusting over another champagne-colored highlighter that had a much higher price tag. Thankfully, I found this one. The Balm’s Mary-lou Manizer has got me subtly glowing through any weather, even on my sick days. I’ve been using it non-stop, since I purchased it.


13 thoughts on “TheBalm Mary-lou Manizer

  1. […] Face: Etude House Berry Delicious Precious Mineral Any Cushion SPF50+ in Natural Beige K-Palette Zero Kuma Type 2 Concealer Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder Happy Skin Get Cheeky With Me Blush in The Morning After Bobbi Brown Blush in Berry The Balm Mary Lou-manizer […]

  2. […] TheBalm Marly-lou Manizer – I love this highlighter to the moon and back but, golly gee damn, it does not travel well. At all. The Manizer sisters of highlighters/blushes are notorious for breaking with the slightest provocation. Admittedly, I dropped mine once from a short height and the powder broke as a single mass away from the sides of the pan. I tried correcting it by spraying rubbing alcohol and pressing the powder back, but it was only a temporary fix. That powder is so finely milled that it breaks up again if you walk around with it in your purse. I love it so much that I just have to keep using it, even though tiny bits of powder that escape the compact keep dirtying up my makeup bags. […]

  3. I have the Cindy Lou Manizer. I really like these highlights from The Balm, but I so agree about the quality of the compact! Would’ve been better if they put this in a cardboard compact, like the rest of their blush/shadow products.

  4. I have the Betty Lou Manizer which is the bronzer and while I loved it a lot before, I don’t use it as often now. Medyo nagbawas ako ng mga ginagawa since I want to sleep longer, lol. But I wanted this too! Pero nung lumabas yung Cindy Lou Manizer, I kind of wanted that more because it’s pink and that means it can work as both a highlighter and a blush 🙂

  5. YES. And it was still in the box. And the box was inside a paper bag. 😐 still love it though. I’m considering getting Mary Lou to go with my Cindy Lou because I have a hoarding problem

    • *gasp* I already dropped mine just this weekend! Thank goodness the table wasn’t that high. I dreaded opening the compact, but saw the edges separate from the pan. At least, it came off whole. Would’ve squashed it back into the pan with alcohol, had it broken into small bits. Too precious to waste!

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