I have been dying to get my hands on these and review them since I saw the first peeks on Melt’s Instagram a while back so I am SUPER excited to share these with you! As most of you probably know, I’ve always been a big fan and supporter of Melt and I can honestly say that I have loved each and every product they’ve ever made! I’m all for supporting smaller, independent companies and the ladies of Melt always put SO much effort, love, and attention to detail into their products… The Digital Dust Highlights are no exception to this, either. These highlighters are very versatile and all three can be worn by all skin tones and also seem to work well with all skin types, be it dry, oily, sensitive, or anything in between. If you’re a highlighter addict and want to look like a glowing goddess, these are definitely worth checking out!
Warning: This post is going to go very in depth, so if you’re not interested in every single detail, you can scroll down to the photos and individual summaries/reviews.
Digital Dust Highlights are brand new and permanent to Melt’s line of makeup. They can be purchased from www.meltcosmetics.com and as of today, May 2nd, all three are in stock. Each one sells for $39 and contains 8 g / 0.28 oz of product. That’s the exact same amount of product that something like Becca’s Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector contains and these only cost $1 more, so they’re a pretty average price for a high end highlighter. I actually prefer this formula over most others I’ve tried recently, so I feel like they’re a good value for this level of quality. These are all paraben free, vegan, and most importantly cruelty-free! ❤
I’m also going to try to get a look up using these this week, so be sure to follow me on Instagram @lesley_makeup. If you want to stay up to date with new products I’ll be testing and reviewing, or even just chat with me you can also follow me on twitter @lesley_makeup or add me on Snapchat, which is also lesley_makeup. I love love LOVE hearing from my readers, so don’t hesitate to hit me up!
The packaging for these is consistent with Melt’s other products… Each Digital Dust Highlight is contained in a beautiful matte black compact with the Melt logo on the lid in a more satin finish greige sort of color, much like the tops of their eye stacks. On the inside you’ll find a good sized mirror that’s a normal mirror… Not that cheap, flimsy, crackly looking plastic material that see in some compacts and palettes. As usual with Melt’s products, these compacts feel heavy, but not bulky and although I haven’t tested it yet, I’m sure they’ll hold up well in any makeup bag while traveling!
The product itself has “melt” imprinted beautifully in different fonts. The imprinted text matches the inner part of the box that these came in when I purchased them during the special early launch. It’s so pretty that it killed me to even swatch them! They are truly the most stunning highlighters that I have ever seen!
The boxes these come in are absolutely beautiful as well. I’m not even sure how to describe them, they’re so different from any others. The color of each box reflects the shade of highlight that it contains and they’re made of your typical unicarton material, but it’s somewhere between metallic, mirrored and matte and has a beautiful, digitalized, pixelated sort of pattern and texture which is SO fitting since these ARE called Digital Dust Highlights! That’s part of the attention to detail I mentioned earlier that I just love. If you bought these in set during the early launch, you’ll receive them in special packaging that is matte black with “Melt Cosmetics” printed in gold on the lid… When you open the lid, you see “melt cosmetics” printed in textured, glossy text on a matte black background with “Digital Dust Highlights” in matte gold in the center. The three product boxes are tucked into matte black unicarton with the digital, pixelated texture on it… It’s some of the most beautiful packaging I have EVER seen! You’ll also receive a pretty little insert giving you more details about the product itself.
Now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s get to the best part… The formula! Melt seriously killed it with the Digital Dust Highlights! It’s a powder, maybe a gel-powder? (I’m not positive, but I’ll ask. Or if you’re reading this Dana or Lora, holla and let me know!)… Anyway, it feels like a hybrid between a powder, gel, cream, and then once you apply it, it melts onto your skin almost like a liquid. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s what makes this formula usable for anyone, no matter what your skin type may be. Because it’s not dry, it works well on dry skin and looks glowy without being powdery. Also because it’s not creamy, it works on oily skin and won’t slip around and become patchy. Digital Dust Highlights are highly pigmented too, so you don’t have to apply a ton of product to get a gorgeous glow. They’re also easily blendable so even though they have a ton of pigment, you can apply them lightly for a more subtle highlight. This formula is VERY versatile and can be used damp or dry, which I’ll go into more detail about in the application techniques listed below the individual descriptions and summaries. No matter how you wear these, they’ll last all day! Melt claims a 12 hour wear time and damp or dry, I got at least that!
The Digital Dust Highlights are absolutely gleaming, but unlike a lot of highlighters out there, they don’t contain straight up shimmery/glittery particles. I prefer that, personally, because it gives it a softer sort of glow. I have to be in the mood for glitter, especially on my face, so I find these to be usable even for a really basic, day to day look. Like I mentioned, they can also be used wet, so if you want a full blown metallic shine you can achieve that as well!
I know another thing I’ve brought up in the past with other highlighters and glowy/shimmery products is whether or not they irritate my skin since it’s super sensitive and I seem to get a rash every time I try a new highlighter… The good news is that these do NOT make my skin react at all! I’m pretty excited about that since the only other two I can use any more are Becca’s and Jeffree Star’s. Speaking of other highlighters, the formula for these reminds me of MAC’s Extra Dimension Skinfinishes or Laura Geller’s Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminators, but Melt’s Digital Dust Highlights are much smoother and less powdery than both of those. They’re also more pigmented.
Now that I’ve flooded your brain with anything and everything about these babies, I give you Stargazer, Gold Ore, and Nova!
Stargazer: Melt describes Stargazer as a “soft nude champagne starry hue”… It’s a very glowy, but not glittery, light champagne color that can pull more golden or more pink, depending on your skin tone. It also looks different in different lighting. In natural light it looks more pinky like it does on the website, but in indirect sunlight or in studio lighting, it seems to pick up more neutral nude to golden tones. Either way, it’s gorgeous and since it will adapt to different lighting and skin tones, it will be flattering no matter what other products you pair this with! The texture feels extra smooth, going on and blending out with no effort at all. Stargazer makes for the perfect more “natural” highlight on fair to light-medium skin, but can be worn by anyone since it’s buildable so you can get whatever kind of color payoff or coverage that you want. I’ll go over the variations in intensity in the application section below, but for the most part, the color payoff looks just like it does in the pan, while the coverage can be anything from a barely-there glow all the way to true metallic sort of opacity. I got about 14 hours of wear with Stargazer before I noticed any fading.
Dupes: Stargazer is a little darker and more pink (on my skin, anyway) than MAC’s Extra Dimension Highlighter in Double Gleam. Compared to MAC’s Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish, the color is close but Stargazer is much more pigmented and less shimmery/glittery. Stargazer is also more pink than Becca’s Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone, less peachy/more pink than Champagne Pop, and lighter than Opal. It’s also more peachy/nude and very slightly darker than Jeffree Star x Manny MUA’s Skin Frost in Eclipse. The color of Stargazer is similar to Forever Young, found in the Anastasia Beverly Hills x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit, but Forever Young has a lot more micro-shimmer. Moonstone, from the Sun Dipped ABH Glow Kit is close but less nude and lighter. Crushed Pearl, from ABH’s Gleam Glow Kit is also pretty similar, but is lighter and more icy.
Overall Rating: 5 / 5
Color Payoff: 5
Wear Time: 5
Gold Ore: This one is described as a ” pure warm sunlight tone” and is a medium, warm golden shade with an intense amount of gleam. Even though this is pretty warm toned, it will still work for you no matter what your skin’s natural undertone is. I tried this even before I spray tanned this week when I was about a NC15 in MAC terms, and used lightly, it still looked very natural on me. Now that I am spray tanning and am about NC25 to C4, I feel like this is going to become my every day highlight, even on my natural makeup days. I honestly think that anyone from fair to deep can use this for a natural glow without it appearing too light or too pigmented. The texture of Gold Ore felt a little more dry than Stargazer, but it still has the gel-powder feel to it and glides on with ease. Color payoff looks the same on the skin as it does in the pan and you can get anything from sheer to opaque coverage, depending on how it’s applied. Wear time with this highlight was about 13 hours before I had any problems with fading and even then, it didn’t become patchy at all.
Dupes: Of course the first dupe I though of is MAC’s cult classic Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt. Compared to one another, Whisper of Gilt is less pigmented and very, very slightly darker and more peachy-gold. Gold Ore is similar to Becca’s Champagne Pop Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector, but less peachy and more of a true gold. Swatched next to Jeffree Star’s Skin Frost in Siberian Gold, Gold Ore is less glittery and a bit darker. From the Anastasia Beverly Hills Sweets Glow Kit, Butterscotch is similar in texture and finish, but much more yellow based. Summer, from the Sun Dipped Glow Kit, is lighter and more nude. Dripping in Gold, from ABH’s That Glow Glow Kit is lighter and more pinky-peach toned. The closest dupe that I found was the Anastasia Beverly Hills So Hollywood Illuminator, but it’s a little lighter.
Overall Rating: 5 / 5
Color Payoff: 5
Wear Time: 5
Nova: Nova is described as “warmest medium tone which universally compliments any skin tone” and as you’ll see on Melt’s website as well as on the label for Nova, it also doubles as a bronzer! It’s a medium to medium-dark (depending on your own complexion), very warm, golden bronze color with a hint of coppery undertones and a slightly softer sheen than Gold Ore. While at first glance, this color may seem intimidating to you fair skinned beauties but it actually works on everyone! When I got these and was still NC15, I lightly dusted this over my bronzer to add a healthy glow and it looked beautiful! I can also use this layered over bronzer or blush when I’m a tan, MAC C4, and I imagine this would make the perfect highlight for medium dark to deep skin tones. This Digital Dust Highlight feels more buttery than Gold Ore, but still not as smooth as Stargazer. When swatched, Nova seemed on the dry side but it didn’t feel like that at all when applied with a brush. Color payoff is true to pan color, but can be made less intense if applied with a fluffy brush and a light hand. As far as coverage goes, like the other two, you can apply this to be very sheer all the way up to fully opaque and metallic (it looks like a brand new penny when applied damp). I got a full 12 hours of wear time with Nova before any fading occurred.
Dupes: MAC’s Cheeky Bronze Mineralize Skinfinish is deeper and has more pinky-copper tones to it. Jeffree Star’s Skin Frost in King Tut looks a little darker and more cool toned in the pan, but when applied it’s actually lighter! 143 from the Anastasia Beverly Hills x Nicole Guerriero Glow Kit is a little lighter and more peachy. Golden Bronze from the ABH That Glow Glow Kit is much more yellow-bronze based and not as warm toned. Bronzed, from the ABH Sun Dipped Glow Kit is actually very similar but not quite as pigmented. To me, Nova is the most unique out of the three Digital Dust Highlights so I think it’s worth getting, especially if you have a dark to deep skin tone and haven’t found the perfect, warm toned highlighter yet!
Overall Rating: 5 / 5
Color Payoff: 5
Wear Time: 5
If you’ve read my other highlighter reviews, the application section below is pretty much the same as always! If you haven’t seen that yet, it might be worth reading if you’d like to learn a few new tips and tricks!
As with most highlighters, Digital Dust Highlights apply best with a small-ish, preferably tapered, fluffy brush like Anastasia’s A23, Real Techniques Setting Brush (the one with the pink handle), or MAC’s 133 Brush. Morphe also has a ton of highlight brushes too so you’re sure to find one of those that you like! My favorites are the M509, M510, M500, M501, E61, Y14 and R36. Used dry, these will give you anything from a soft, subtle glow up to a much more intense highlight, depending on how much you apply and layer this product (you can even layer any of the three different colors for a more dimensional effect). Another way to get a softer, more natural highlight is to use a dry, fluffy fan brush like a MAC 184 (from MAC Pro or online), one of Morphe’s Fan Brushes like the B8, M310, G23, Y13, M497, R12, or any other soft fan brush (even craft stores sell some good ones in the art department). If you don’t have a fan brush, you can also just apply the Digital Dust Highlights with less product and a lighter hand using one of the fluffier tapered brushes that I mentioned.
If you want that mega glowing, almost metallic effect, you can spray your brush with something like MAC’s Fix + Spray AFTER swiping your brush through the highlighter and picking up a good amount of product… If you spray your brush first, your brush may be too damp and you can end up with that hard, virtually impenetrable buildup on your highlighter that will make it very difficult to use later on. That’s not something unique to Digital Dust Highlights, though… It will happen with any type of powder that you swipe a wet brush over. Anyway, used damp, this will look even more dramatic and glam than it does when applied dry! The versatility with these is one of the qualities I love most, especially as a makeup artist who needs good multitaskers in my kit.
As with any shimmery or glowy product, these are not great for extremely oily areas of the face, but that applies to ANY highlighter! I must say though, I think that because this formula is pretty darn special, these held up well even on my nose, which tends to be one of the shiniest areas of my face. You’ll basically just want to avoid any areas that get slick and shiny quickly if you have a very oily skin type. It will emphasize the bad kind of shine and not wear as well as it does on a less oily part of the face like the tops of the cheekbones. Also, if you have very large pores or serious amounts of texture, highlighters will emphasize that sort of thing. Just be sure to keep it away from those type of areas and you won’t look like you’re melting (really bad pun intended).
Pro Tip & Uses:
You can use the Digital Dust Highlights in so many ways! If you need that perfect inner corner highlight for your peepers, you can apply these with a small brush like a MAC 219, Morphe R41, E36, M574, or a Real Techniques Detailer Brush (gold handle) or Accent Brush (purple handle). If you’re wearing this on your lid, it will apply more highly pigmented and bold if you use your finger to tap it on, which is stunning with a halo eye! Otherwise I like to use a flat shader brush like a MAC 239 or Morphe M124 or E32 for the lid and brow bone areas for a dry application, or a MAC 242 or Morphe E10 for a damp application. As I mentioned, you can layer this product, whether it’s with the other Digital Dust Highlights or any other highlighter, or even over a blush or bronzer if you need a little extra sheen. (I don’t recommend this on the apple of the cheek if you’re very oily or have large pores in that area, though).
Using a fluffier brush like a MAC 224 or Morphe M505 or M510 (they have a million fluffy shadow brushes to choose from) or even one of the larger highlighter brushes I mentioned, you can also swipe this down the bridge of the nose and onto the tip. Because the unique, long-wearing formula, these hold up well even in those areas! A little bit on the cupid’s bow will give you a glowy, look that can make your lips appear fuller.
Now I haven’t verified that these are officially lip-safe, but I will into that for you… If they are, you can also apply this to the very center of the lip, focusing on your bottom lip, after putting on your lipstick/balm/whatever. For this technique, I like to use a small brush (fluffy or dense, depending on the intensity you desire) or my finger so I have a lot of control and don’t apply too much. You can even go for a full metallic lip and just slather these all over.
These are truly a great do-it-all type of highlighter. You can also use these on the body if you want, which is perfect for achieving a stunning glow for summer time! They won’t wear as well all over the body, but they do hold up when applied to the shoulders/chest/boobies (adding a highlight to the upper part of your breasts can make them look fuller).
And with that, my job is done here! I know this was a lengthy review, so if you read the whole thing, you deserve a gold star or a cookie or something. As always, thank you SO much for reading and if you have any tips or thoughts, please leave them below in the comments section!
*** This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this out of pocket and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review ***