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NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette review, swatches, photos (& NYX Pro Fan Brush review)

NYX Strobe of Genius palette review

The products: NYX Cosmetics Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette, NYX Cosmetics Pro Fan Brush

2016, as I’ve said before, is having great spring for illuminators and highlighters. The contouring trend is holding steady with an additional strobing aspect, and the market has been absolutely overpopulated with highlighters.

And hey, I’m no fool. If the beauty industry suddenly gives you 10x the amount of choices for a product category that you love, you snap up that opportunity like nobody’s business.

NYX illuminating palette review

What is strobing? I will say one thing before I get started today: “strobing” is bullshit. It’s not “THE beauty tend that everyone is obsessing about,” and it’s not “fresh” or “new!” (All direct quotes from the NYX website.)

Strobing is highlighting pumped up to the max, plain and simple. Things can be great without being new, oh Great and Powerful Beauty Industry — case in point.

NYX Strobe of Genius illuminating strobing palette review

NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette

NYX Strobe of Genius palette swatches

NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette swatches (no primer; indirect sunlight)

The formula: The NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette features 7 highlighters in two formulas. The lavender, golden pink, bronze, and champagne all feature one formula; the yellow/gold, light pink, and peachy gold all feature a very slightly different one.

In practice, I find that six of the highlighters are all very similar. They’re smooth and blendable but a little bit dry, and are ideal for normal to oily skin. (They emphasize my fine lines slightly.) The exception is the lavender shade; it’s more buttery than the rest, and it has an intense satin-sheen finish rather than a frosty, metallic one.

I totally get that formulas are going to vary based on how their pigments influence them, but man. That lavender highlight is really something else — from a high-end brand, I’d pay $27 CAD (the palette’s SRP) for it alone.

NYX Strobe of Genius palette labels

NYX Strobe of Genius strobing palette review

NYX Strobe of Genius illuminating palette swatches

NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette swatches (no primer; indirect sunlight)

The shades: All seven of the Strobe of Genius shades wear well throughout the day, but most importantly, they’re all visibly different. If I apply more than one shade on my cheek (even if it’s two similar shades!), I can spot where one ends and the other begins from a good foot away.

The sheer, frosty “gold” in the top left corner of the palette is definitely the most unique shade; it’s a pure yellow highlighter, and it’s quite pretty in person! (For everyday use, you could totally use it as a spot highlighter.) The palette also contains a rose gold shade, which you don’t see all the time — I think a lot of warm-toned beauties will really like this one!

The lavender highlighter, however, was by far the best performer. It’s without a doubt the prettiest thing I have ever put on my cheeks, and it made my face G-L-O-W as soon as the brush touched my skin. It’s really high-impact, but it melts right into the skin.

NYX Pro Fan Brush ($17 USD/$17 CAD)

NYX Highlighting brush strobing review

Unlike your prototypical fan brush, NYX’s Pro Fan Brush is dense, velvety, and thick. It is not what you want to use for a light application of powder, which is what fan brushes are usually for. Instead, it makes getting an intense highlight super quick and easy, and it fits perfectly onto the top of my cheekbone to apply the product and blend it in a single stroke (three, at max.)

I can confidently say that there is nothing else in my brush collection that even slightly resembles this synthetic brush, and it’s well worth the $17 it’ll run you!

NYX highlighting fan brush review

The verdict?

I can’t believe how fast I fell for the NYX Strobe of Genius palette or the NYX Pro Fan Brush, but it really was love at first stroke. The second I popped that lavender highlight onto my cheekbone (using the fan brush, which–can I just say–is super luxurious), I was smitten. Later, I found out that the highlighter had held on throughout the entire day, and I had to have a little cry.

(Okay, for real, I didn’t cry. But I did immediately apply all of the other six shades to various parts of my face just so I could get to experience them all at once, and it was a weirdly gratifying experience.)

If you love a good spring/summer glow, then you need this palette. It’s hella expensive for a drugstore product, but seeing as all 7 shades really are different… I think it’s worth it. That’s like, $3.86 per shade, and it’ll take you from spring (lavender) to summer (rose gold) to winter (champagne).*

Availability: $19 USD/$27 CAD at NYX Cosmetics, or at drugstores throughout Canada and the US. (Also available at Ulta and Urban Outfitters.)

The brush is $17 USD/$17 CAD through NYX Cosmetics.

NYX highlighting brush

NYX Pro Fan Brush review

NYX Strobe of Genius review

NYX Strobe of Genius highlighter palette review

NYX Strobe of Genius swatches review

NYX Strobe of Genius palette swatches

The NYX Strobe of Genius Illuminating Palette ingredients:

Lavender, golden pink, bronze, and champagne: Talc, Magnesium Stearate, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Bis-Diglyceryl polyacyladipate-2, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol. +/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Manganese Violet, Ultramarines.

Yellow, light pink, gold: Talc, Magnesium Stearate, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Tin Oxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol. +/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides. 

*Fall, as my fellow Edmontonians will agree, is a fiction made up by the government to taunt us at the end of summer. This fall “season” actually lasts a maximum of four days, at which point the leaves all collectively fall off of their trees and the world is suddenly coated in an inescapable driving hazard.

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  • Oh maaaaaan. I've been avoiding things because I've been convincing myself that it's probably not worth it but it sounds TOTALLY WORTH IT. Especially for that lavender shade.
    My recent post LUSH Don’t Look at Me Fresh Face Mask Review

    • Yes!!! The lavender would look so good on you, Jodi. It's like everything I've ever dreamed of in a cheek product.

  • esharp1978

    I'm not sure I'd use all the shades but it's certainly pretty!
    My recent post April 2016 Favorites

    • Honestly, I'm not getting much use out of anything but the lavender and yellow right now, but I've got a strong suspicion that I'll be using different shades as time goes by! This would be awesome for a beginner makeup artist (you know, so that you'd have the right colour for a whole range of faces), but I think it'll transition nicely throughout the year, too.

  • Erin

    To be honest, unless you have bright lights directed at your face, you're not really going to get any kind of real 'strobing'. You can, ofc, get some really nice highlights on your facial contours. I might pick this up myself in any case. I do like the yellow gold one, and the fact that there's a fair amount of colors in the palette :) I hope the lavender would look nice on me as I'm super fond of going for a Wintery Snow Queen look!

    • Exactly! That shocking kind of strobe effect is more a result of lighting than it is of anything else.

      But, well, this is about as close to strobing as I've gotten in natural light. It's certainly more noticeable (but still very finely-milled) at good angles than other things are!

      I've been wearing a lot of the lavender shade up top of my cheekbone, with just a pop of the yellow above the apples of my cheeks — sort of a highlight within a highlight. I feel silly doing something that finicky for my day-to-day face, but hey, it's fun! And sooo pretty.

  • Kate & Zena

    I do not need a new brush. I do not need a new brush. I do not need a new brush. I do not need a new brush.

    This statement is sounding weaker each time I say it.

    P.S. You fall is like my spring. We have no spring, only Fall, Winter, Fall, three days of Spring, then a month or two of Summer. The Great Lakes aka Winterfell. I hope you like being cold. It's been in the 30s/40s all week (AND RAINY!) except that one day where Mother Nature blessed us with the 80s. I WANT THE 80s BACK!

    • YOU TOTALLY NEED A NEW BRUSH. If that brush is this one, of course. :D

      Mmm, I love spring! I hate the bug part of spring, but I love spring. It was balmy and a little humid today, which was just gorgeous!!

      • Kate & Zena

        Spring? Spring? What spring? It's been in the high 30s/low 40s and raining the past four days. Spring? Did you say spring? Someone find me spring. I'd like to know where it went.

        I think London took my springtime weather. The 60s and 70s are over there. GIVE ME BACK MY WEATHER, LONDON!!! *shakes fist*

  • shireenplatt

    Ugh! I wish I didn't read this post because now I want the palette and the fan, what are you doing to meeee?! Errmagaddd! LOL! The palette is pricey for a drugstore brand but it comes with so much product, I guess it's worth it. Oh boy, my husband gonna kick my butt for buying more makeup. LOL!
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    • Ahhhh I'm sorry!!!! But also YOU NEED. I'm so peeved at how expensive this palette is, but it's soooo good. (There's that L'Oreal eyeshadow palette that's notoriously expensive, too, but I really do think that this one is better bang for your buck.)

      Weirdly, this one has looked to be more expensive in stores than I think it is online, so you might want to look into buying it directly from NYX! (The brushes can be difficult to track down in person as well, unfortunately. But they're soooo soft.)

  • Aaaah I've been looking for reviews on that NYX fan brush! I was surprised that it's so fat and dense, but hearing your review makes me think that it might be the highlighter brush I'm looking for. And those swatches of the palette have me convinced I need to at least swatch the thing! *heart eyes emoji*
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    • It's so good!! I was really surprised by its thickness too (like, what??) but it works really, really well. It's totally not the brush that you'd want for a super-light dusting of glitter, but for a finely-milled highlighter, it's perfect.

      The palette is on sale at Shopper's right now, dude! I think it's $26, marked down from $30? (Which, I mean, eep. But worth it!)

  • Currently testing out the Strobe palette myself and I was convinced there was no way I could use that lavender shade. Now you've given me motivation/inspiration!
    My recent post Marriage? School? New Projects? A Life Update + A Collective Haul (VIB Sale, Birthday Haul, and yes…some Kylie Cosmetics)!

  • I saw this palette but I really didn't think it would be great quality, NYX being hit-or-miss, but I'm impressed! The shades are glowing so beautifully.
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