Highlighter Palette Face Off: LA Colors Vs. ProFusion

Published on February 4, 2018 by   ·   No Comments

It’s no secret that I buy way too much makeup, and whenever I’m traveling it seems to get just a little bit worse.  On a recent trip to Seattle, I stopped in to the downtown Walgreens to look through the deals on their holiday gift sets.  I found an L.A. Colors Strobing palette with 10 shades for only 10 bucks!  I’ve loved most of the L.A. Colors lip products that I’ve reviewed (you can find those reviews HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE!) and I’ve been nothing short of obsessed with highlighters lately, so of course I had to have it.  After that purchase I walked a block down and went to City Target where I saw a display of palettes and products from ProFusion, a brand I wasn’t familiar with.  They had a 9-shade highlight palette that really drew my eye, so I added it to my basket.   It was also only $10, and the brand overall seemed to be doing a good job at providing some good bargain options. It wasn’t until I got back to the hotel that I realized I’d bought pretty much the same product twice, and within 30 minutes of each other!  I know, I know, I have a problem!

But now, my problem can be your entertainment!

Face 08
Are you ready for another beauty product Thunderdome?!

First up: the L.A. Colors Strobing palette

Face 07
Initial thoughts:

The packaging on this is fairly cheap.  Not the worst that I’ve encountered, but it feels sort of flimsy.  It might have a slight advantage over the ProFusion palette in that it has one more shade, but it doesn’t come with a brush.  The design of the packaging is simple and has an elegant simplicity that is missing from some of their other products, which is a nice change.  Some of the shades look really similar to one another, so it will be interesting to see how they swatch.  There aren’t any shades that really just jump out at me, but they look like a pretty decent array of basic shimmery highlights.  None of the shades have names, which is a bummer but obviously that little design detail won’t impact performance.

And the challenger: The ProFusion Strobe & Glow Palette

Face 06Initial thoughts:

These seem to be heavier on the glitter than the other palette; I don’t mind glitter in my highlight, but this could be an issue for some.  The packaging is sturdy plastic, and I just like the design better.  This product didn’t come in a cardboard outer container like the other palette, so I could see and hold the palette as I was looking at it in the store.  Usually I like a cardboard container (that way you don’t have to worry about any sticky residue from the stickers they use to show whether or not anyone has opened it), but in this case I like that I can see the quality of the product up front.  This one does come with a brush, but it’s a pretty low quality synthetic, and it’s not the style of brush I usually use to apply highlight, so I probably won’t keep it.  The shades in this palette are pretty distinct; lots of gold and champagne tones, but they stand out from one another.

The Swatches: L.A. Colors Strobing Palette

Face 04Top Row, without flash (top) and with flash (bottom)

Face 05Bottom Row, without flash (top) and with flash (bottom)

The top row were all duds for me.  This is portrayed as a strobing palette, which suggests to me that all of the shades are going to be shimmery highlights (not “highlight and contour” highlights), and the top row look like they have some shimmer in them in the pan, but when applied, they are pretty much all matte and any glitter that might be in them immediately disappears.  They also apply really yellow; I know that I have a problem with my camera making things appear yellow without flash, but these really are kind of yellow!  I probably wouldn’t use any of these shades.

The bottom row is a little better, with some nice shimmer and a range of colors from bronze to pink champagne to white pearl.  The problem is that they are similar to other highlighters in my collection; while this isn’t a problem in and of itself (I clearly have no problems buying products that are essentially the same over and over and over!), if there are only 5 shades out of 10 that I’m going to get any use out of, the palette is just too big and clunky to really justify being in my collection any longer.  I might try depotting a couple of the shades, but if they are too firmly attached they might just have to say goodbye.

The Swatches: ProFusion Strobe & Glow Palette

Face 03L to R: Fairy Dust, Cotton Candy, Jolly, Obsessed, Heartfelt, 3 Wishes, Sugar Crush, Glazed, Elated
Top, no flash.  Bottom, with flash.

Face 01All 3 rows, no flash

Face 02All 3 rows, with flash

There are some colors in here that are a little basic, but generally I’m pretty impressed.  Cotton Candy is a lovely pink highlight that I can see myself using quite often.  Jolly is a little too dark for highlight on me, but I think it could work in well with some warmer eye looks.  The middle row was a little bit meh with three champagne shades that look kind of similar, and obsessed has almost no presence at all.  It’s the one shade that I think could be removed and replaced with something better.  The bottom row has some fun yellow golds, especially Sugar Crush.

The Final Results:

Sometimes a battle is exciting with twists and turns and no one can guess the endings.  Sometimes a battle is over almost before it begins.  This one is definitely one of the latter.  L.A. Colors never had a chance.  It started with the packaging – cheap plastic, no shades names – and continued into the poor performance of the product.  Maybe they meant for the top row to be contour shades and not shimmer highlights, but then why call the palette “Strobing”?  Makes zero sense to me.  And they swatched so poorly.  There are a few ok shades here, but nothing that you probably don’t already have in your collection or that you can’t easily and cheaply get elsewhere without having to lug around that whole palette.

The ProFusion had a nicer quality presentation, I love that all of the shades had names (it’s the little things!), a though the brush is a throwaway for me it’s a nice thought for those that might be starting out on building up their kit.  The shades have more presence, and though a couple are a bit basic and repetitive, most have some personality and are distinct from one another.  For $10, this is a great addition to your makeup kit.

I hope you enjoyed this “Face Off” highlighter review.  I wish we had two more evenly matched competitors, but thems the breaks!

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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