January 12, 2017

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder ($7.99) light-catching pearl highlighting powder that gives skin a gorgeous glowing finish. This new highlighting powder launched in five shades with the NYX Spring 2017 Collection and I picked up two of the five shades to review.

Here’s a look!

I don’t really migrate to highlighting powders like this. Typically I have a minor obsession with pretty highlighters from brands like Lancome, Guerlain, and Givenchy. But in recent years, I curbed my highlighting hoarder ways and I don’t have as many in my beauty vault as I once did. Something as basic looking as NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder would typically be passed over by me. These come in a simple (0.21 oz) clear plastic compact with a black backing. I’m all about the pretty but I’m also one who doesn’t really use highlighters all that much due to a lack of application skills and fear that I’ll look like a disco ball. My blog is an hompage of sparkly looks that I’ve done and failed at in the past. So, yeah, I tend to try avoid sparkly highlighters and leave them to the experts.

But recently, while at Ulta the new NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder in Synthetica was too gorgeous a shade to not try out. This stunning and vibrant golden orange looked like it would make a fantastic blush shade.

Trust me, it doesn’t especially if you’re as heavy handed as I am. Word to the wise, it’ll make a great blush as it is pigmented enough to work as such but I couldn’t quite get it down right as it was a little too overkill glow on my face when applied all over.

But the good news is it does create a gorgeous glow on cheeks. For me this is one of the stand out shades in this collection. I’ll apply a matte blush and follow up by buffing in some of Synthetica at the top of my cheek bones and instantly my entire face glows. Truly, the shade is fantastic.

I can’t say I experienced the same glow with the second shade I purchased, Crushed Bloom. But Synthetica was just too beautiful and exactly what I wanted from this formula.

These have a smooth, hybrid texture that mimic the Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow and Blush range. It’s a pressed gel-powder with a slightly dense texture that’s easy to pick up with a brush. Remember what I said earlier about being heavy handed? User beware as they do pack pigment and a lighter touch is needed during application. I also have to buff very well for the smoothest finish as the color tends to accentuate drier areas on my face and will likely accentuate uneven skin texture or pores. Just be sure to prep well prior and be prepared to blend, blend, blend for the smoothest, most even finish.

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder Swatches Crushed Bloom and Synthetica

NYX Synthetica Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder Before Synthetica

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder After Synthetica

NYX Crushed Bloom Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder Before Crushed Bloom

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder After Crushed Bloom

If you can get the application down just right, you’ll be very happy with the results. I only tried two shades but Synthetica was the shade that had the most impact and glow on my face. I went a litte lighter with Crushed Bloom in my photos above but it packs punch too when applied a little heavier.

All in all, the NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder are a fantastic addition to the brand’s permanent collection. I would say Synthetica is not to be missed if you like shades like glowing shades of coral, orange, or peach. It’s a stunner!

Highlighter fans will adore this, no doubt.

NYX Duo Chromatic Illuminating Powder are available now at Ulta.com and on sale with a Buy 1, Get 1 50% off as well as a coupon code for $3.50 off $15 purchases (promo code 400469).


I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Robin

    You’re killing me! I’ve been looking at NYX and Wet n Wild products on their sites. The high;igthers were not on my list, but they are now. Lol

    Have you seen Lancome’s new rose highlighter? It’s shaped like a rose and you run your brush over it, pretty, but wasn’t wowed by the demo on Lancomes site.

  • Carol G

    I bought all of these because I am a highlighter hoarder. And yes, when I first saw Synthetica I was like, That must be mine! I figured it would be a pretty blush just like you said. I really like these since they are all duo chromes. I’ve just been using a fan brush to gently apply these because you are correct in saying you cannot be heavy handed with these. I had to order them online because they were completely wiped out in the store. They seem to be very popular.

  • Linda

    I’m like you, Muse – I’m not very much into highlighters. But they are everywhere and I started worrying my makeup looks dated without that glow. I’m learning how careful I need to be on application or I look ridiculous – like a shiny orange human. My favorites so far are becca and IT cosmetics, but this NYX one looks good too. Can’t beat the price.

    • Isabella Muse

      Yeah, I feel kind of intimidated when it comes to highlighters! I’m finding a good brush is key to getting them to look good 😀

  • Trecee

    I picked up Crushed Bloom and really enjoy it for a subtle pink glow, but Synthetica is gorgeous! I need to track that one down ASAP!

    Great review

  • Krista

    I just got lavender steel and snow rose. OMG!!! Both are gorgeous highlighters on my pale skin. Looooove!!!