Laura Mercier Spellbound Face Illuminator Review, Photos, Swatches, Comparisons

New and limited edition for Fall 2013, the Spellbound Face Illuminator has a soft rose-gold shimmer that is ideal for highlighting. According to Nordstrom, "the unique formula based on high pearl level provides buildable long-wearing color." I have already fallen in love with how well this wears on my yellow-toned skin. Spellbound is one of the most flattering colored highlighters I own. See all swatches and comparisons after the jump!

Spellbound, $42 USD, is not the most affordable highlighter on the market but there is quite a bit of product here. There are 10 grams as opposed to Rose Rendezvous' 6 grams. I love the meringue inspired embossment, though I believe the literature refers to it as a ribbon design. The base of Spellbound adds a hint of warmth to my skin and the overall look is very natural because of the buildable translucency. It layers well with bronzer and adheres to the skin much better than I had anticipated it would. There is, however, very apparent individual rose gold microshimmers. I only mention this because the shimmer content could be a deal breaker for some.

I like to apply a sheer wash of Spellbound with a small highlighting brush across the tops of my cheekbones and pack it on my eyelids with a small shader brush or my fingertips.

Rose Rendezvous is from Laura Mercier's Holiday 2011 collection and it sold out quickly, so I recommend purchasing Spellbound before it is also no longer available. As much as I love the metallic finish and richness of the pigmentation, I rarely reach for Rose Rendezvous. It is far more reflective, which I find suits an evening look more. I am a big fan of Chanel highlighters, and my favorite two are the Poudre Signee and the Lumiere Sculptee. I have only featured the more recent Poudre Signee here in the comparisons because it has a pale rosy tint with gold microshimmers that is reminiscent of Spellbound in the pan. Poudre Signee has more of brightening effect than Spellbound does, but I think Spellbound will look more and more natural as I tan up this summer. It appears to be most similar to gold Chanel Mouche de Beauté highlighter according to The Beauty Look Book's swatches, so I am so glad to have redeemed my loss with Spellbound.

Guerlain's Cruel Gardenia is pale pink and more metallic than Spellbound or even Rose Rendezvous. See more swatches in my review HERE. Dior's Amber Diamond is noticeably more tan in tone, but the shimmer content/visibility is similar. Benefit's Watts Up is the champagne version of Spellbound but with very little shimmer and in cream form.

Spellbound should appeal to men and women of all skin tones. Some found Rose Rendezvous too pigmented and too frosty, and I find it looks more natural on those with pink or neutral undertones. Both of these face illuminators are touted for their creamy powder feel and application, but the texture of Spellbound is not quite as fine. Nonetheless, both are lovely and work just as well as eyeshadows. If I had to choose between the two, my pick would be Spellbound due to my coloring. And because I am a sucker for anything rose gold!

Finally, here are the complete comparison swatches below. I chose to swatch them heavily to draw attention to the differences in color. The first two photos were taken indoors in cool fluorescent light to accentuate the shimmer particles and metallic finishes of the highlighters. The second swatch set was snapped outdoors in natural light to demonstrate their base shades to the best of my abilities. The reflective nature of illuminators makes it more difficult to swatch them true to color, but these are as accurate as I could achieve. 

As evidenced from the swatches above, Spellbound pulls warmer on my skintone. This makes it easier for me to wear. I found mine in store at Nordstrom. You can also purchase Spellbound at Neiman Marcus or lauramercier.com

Bottom line: Rose gold lovers need this.
Follow the RAEviewer RAEview Twitter RAEview YouTube RAEview Facebook Page


  1. The swatch comparisons have actually sold me on Dior Amber Diamond! Dammit.

  2. How do you think this would look on very pale (say nw10) cool toned skin? I think it looks absolutely beautiful on you but I worry it just wouldn't work for me. Loving your detailed reviews as always x

  3. I saw this on Nordies website about week and a half ago and instantly bought it. I bought Rose Rendezvous on a whim for the pattern not knowing it would sell out that fast, so I bought spellbound without hesitation. Now that all my fave gurus are reviewing it I'm happy it receives thumbs up =)

  4. It's beautiful! I wonder how it would look swatched less heavily.

  5. Great post Rae! Just ordered mine - can't wait to get it!

  6. Thank you so much for doing this comparison! :D


Please do not leave blog or advertising links in the comments section, as they are considered spam and will not be published. Thank you for stopping by!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...