As Refinery29’s resident CEO of Glow (yes, that's a title I gave to myself), it’s crucial that I find members of my clan of luminescent people. For those who have been told that they have too much highlighter on, I speak for you. But I couldn’t have made it to the top of the Glow Tower (created entirely of bottles of Pixi Glow Tonic) without the works of makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes, who shined and gleamed so I could glow.
I first learned about Hughes from where I still get a lot of my beauty information: The /r/BeautyGuruChatter subreddit sometime in 2018. My life was changed for the better. I still use so many of Hughes’ makeup tips and techniques to this day — from a negative space cat eye to the softest sparkly eyeshadow. Hughes has always done her makeup the way I want to do mine: Glow-forward and accessible, but always with something a little different. If anyone can convince you to put a pearl on your face or wear yellow eyeshadow, it’s KJH herself. I highly doubt she even owns a single matte beauty product. My abundant love for Hughes made me first in line to try out KJH.brand, her new makeup line, which launched on 26th September with its first product: The Hyper Shine High Lite Kit, a customisable illuminator for glow lovers everywhere.
What’s the Hyper Shine High Lite Kit all about?
Per the brand, The Hyper Shine High Lite Kit is a “customizable product that gives you the power to create the perfect luminous glow for your complexion.” The three-piece kit includes the Hyper Shine Lite Pigment in four shades as well as the Hyper Shine Serum and No.1 Brush. It allows the you to create your own perfect and personalised highlighter formula to use anywhere — eyes, cheeks, lips and body.
When I asked Hughes why she launched this product, she came from a purely educational mindset. “The inspiration was truly just feeling like there wasn't enough education across a lot of beauty brands,” she explained. “I wanted to break that mould and teach people how to make the most out of their products.”
How the High Shine High Lite Kit works is to add a drop of Hyper Shine Serum to the No. 1 Brush and mix it into the pot of the Hyper Shine Lite Pigment. You can also use each product alone or together. The serum, which features coconut extract, is intended to be a mixing medium used with the pigments or on its own, creating a more intense result on the face. The pigments, which come in Lite Pink, Lite Gold, Lite Copper, and Lite Bronze, have a creamy base, so they go on smoothly, blend seamlessly into the skin and boast a combination of skin-nourishing emollients to ensure the skin looks radiant. “It was really important to me that the two formulas inside the kit were intense, concentrated textures to give people the opportunity to create every kind of finish you'd want from a highlighter just by using this one kit,” says Hughes.
If you want more of a glass skin look, add more serum; if you’re into more luminescence, the glow can be intensified with more pigment. You can use the kit over or under complexion products, or mix the serum into a cream blush or matte lipstick to alter the finish and make it more opaque. You have zero obligation to be as glowy today as you were yesterday.
So how is the Hyper Shine High Lite Kit, really?
As I said before, I love a good highlighter. In my makeup routine, highlight is easily my favourite step —- I spritz my brush and my face with some setting spray, apply a powder highlighter, spritz again, put a cream highlighter on top (a technique I learned from Patrick Ta), and then spritz to set and help the highlighter meld into my face to give me cheekbones you can see from Mars. All that to say, I’m not resistant to a multi-step highlighter routine like the one needed for the Hyper Shine High Lite Kit.
I had a lot of trust in KJH to give the glow girlies what they wanted, and unsurprisingly, she delivered. My primary issue with many cream highlighters is when they’re too tacky. It's almost like applying lip gloss on your face, rather than feeling creamy like a liquid eyeshadow. I won’t lie: I was concerned about what adding a liquid to a cream would do. Would I spend the entire day getting my hair unstuck to my face? The most pleasant surprise was that eventually, the highlight dries down and gives you a gorgeous, natural glow. If I wanted it to (and I did), it could be really dominant and intense.
I used shade Lite Copper and looked ethereal, like I had been kissed by bronzing angels from above. It reminds me a lot of the TikTok-viral Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlighter Stick, which is my go-to for a no-makeup makeup day. Now, I can’t wait to use the product in different ways: a glossy lid, making my bouncy blushes even bouncier, turning my dark matte lipsticks into dark glossy lips. Once again, Katie Jane Hughes has my imagination running — and I think she’d be most thrilled to hear that.
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