This highlighter debuted in Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty initial launch & has been making its way around the internet, but perhaps it’s not for the faint of heart…?
For those of you who are new to my Makeup Hype series – welcome! This is a series where I basically provide my own commentary on a recently launched product that I notice has received a lot of “hype” (both good and bad) on the internet with my “research” mostly taken from a bunch of YouTube reviews. In short, I watch a lot of YouTube videos and thought maybe it might be useful to condense them down into one short report of my own consumer opinion!
Ever since it’s launch nearly a month ago on September 8th, Rihanna’s new makeup line, Fenty Beauty, has been creating quite a stir. The first launch featured a range of face products, from contour sticks to powder highlighters and even to 40 shades of foundation as Rihanna’s mission was to create a makeup range “so that women everywhere would be included.”
As always, everybody and their dog seem to have an opinion, and while I could sit here and go on for hours about all the mixed reviews on the foundation itself, today I’m choosing to focus on the Killawat Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife.
This highlighter retails for $34 and is described as a “3D-hyper metallic gold” on Fenty’s website. The details list it as being “weightless, longwear cream-powder hybrid highlighters that range from subtle dayglow to insanely supercharged in solos and expertly paired duos.”
The full description from the website is:
Light up where you want, when you want. Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter was born to reflect your every mood with its lineup of luminizing solos and duos. With a dose of skin-glorifying color, Killawatt ranges from subtle dayglow to insanely supercharged with shades that were designed for all skin tones.
Unlike your everyday highlighter, Killawatt keeps skin lit beyond sundown with its weightless longwear formula — a cream-powder hybrid that instantly melts into skin and blends with almost zero effort. Another win: It’s loaded with superfine shimmer for an ultra-smooth, creamy texture.
For killer radiance, Killawatt’s your go-to for highlighting your face, eyes, lips, collarbone … literally anywhere you crave a touch of light.
What struck me initially about this highlight is that it’s so gold, which seems like a statement so obvious that it’s dumb, but I’ve honestly never seen a highlighter like this before. I’ve seen gold-toned highlighters that lean a bit more champagne, but this one is straight up yellow, which is really interesting. Since I can’t get Fenty Beauty where I am in Italy right now and $34 is a little steep for me anyways, I figured I would turn to YouTube and live vicariously through the reviews posted there.
1.) Tina Yong
The first review I watched was by Tina Yong. In her video, she actually tries out a decent amount of the products, but again, this post is focused on Trophy Wife. She starts actually talking about Trophy Wife at about 9:10 in her video if anybody is interested in watching and wants to skip ahead!
At 9:18 she mentions how she thinks she saw Rihanna use in on Instagram as a cheek highlighter, but admits, “I don’t know if I could pull that off.” She swatches it at 9:23, saying, “this is how gold it looks,” and my first impression of the swatch is that even though she swirled her finger around in the pan a bit, it seems to be a really smooth product.
Because of how gold it is, she says at 9:30, “I personally wouldn’t use this as a cheek highlighter, I would definitely love it more as an eye color” and since I think my skin tone is pretty close to hers, I would have to agree with her for me as well.
She applies it on the center of her lid and I think it looks really pretty. The way that Tina finishes off her eye look by putting the Chili Mango Match Stix on the outer V of her eyelids makes it a really nice warm, summery look that I’m loving.
She actually adds a little bit of Trophy Wife to her lips after applying the Gloss Bomb and I think it looks so cool. This is overall one of my favorite looks Tina has done and she just looks so fresh and glowy!
Her final thoughts at 12:38 are that although she wouldn’t use this on her cheeks, for the eyes it’s “really nice – it’s really pigmented, so as an eyeshadow, I think it works amazing.”
If you’ve read any of my previous Makeup Hype posts before, this YouTuber might be quite familiar to you. RawBeautyKristi has quickly become one of my favorite beauty gurus because she’s really creative, real, and super honest about everything, so of course I needed to check out her opinion on this highlighter!
Like Tina, she tries out a few of the products in Rihanna’s line and swatches Trophy Wife at 13:11, describing it as a “bright yellow gold.” She says that she wants to try using it on her eyes as she’s seen a lot of people doing this and she thinks it’s such a beautiful highlighter and says, “for me it’s gonna work best as an eyeshadow because I have such a fair skin tone.”
She first uses what looks like a slightly dense blending brush to apply it at 13:28, saying it’s very glittery. She seems to get more of a sheer, shimmery coverage using this method of application.
At 13:32, she switches to a Smith 302 brush without any setting spray to see how it applies. The verdict at 13:40 is “not well at all it turns out.” The highlighter still looks pretty sheer here!
She finally tries using a little bit of setting spray at 13:43 and the results are much better. Kristi says, “the setting spray really amps it up a lot.”
At 16:05, Kristi tries a little bit of Trophy Wife layered over a heavier application of Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal, which adds just a tint of gold. She says, “I think it could be used for lighter skin tones – I can see how it adds just a little bit of gold tint to it. I’m not piling it on heavy – in person it’s definitely more gold.” From this, it seems like this is something can be used with a lighter hand at first and then layered up, which makes it more “wearable” for somebody who might shy away from the gold.
Kristi shows a closer look at 18:50 show viewers can get a better look at the foundation, but here I think you can really see how glittery Trophy Wife really is. While I’m a big fan of all things gold, if you know anything about me, you’d know I really dislike glittery highlighters, so I might have to stay away from that kind of application and stick to using it as an eyeshadow if I ever found $34 lying around somewhere.
During her final thoughts at 21:49, she says, “do I love Trophy Wife? Oh you bet your f***ing ass I love Trophy Wife. This color is so beautiful and I will be using this again as an eyeshadow, no questions asked. I actually like it as a highlighter, too – I feel like it doesn’t look weird. The only negative I have with it is it’s too glittery… I do love it as an eyeshadow and I feel like for that purpose (which it’s not made for) the glitter makes a lot more sense and everybody else really loves it as a glittery highlight.” She further points out that you can see specks of glitter from it on her cheeks but she still really likes it.
I think Kristi’s final look (which she actually shows off at the beginning of the video) would make a really good Christmas/New Year’s look – I would personally pair it with a matte cherry red lip!
3.) Nyma Tang
The third video I’ll be talking about is from Nyma Tang. Similar to the last two gurus I spoke about, Nyma tries out a few Fenty product in her video and starts talking about Trophy Wife at 2:25. She says, “this highlighter is yellow, but I’m honestly really excited to see what it looks like on my skin.”
At 2:38, she starts off by saying, “I’m just going to put a little bit on at first to see if it’s something that could be appropriate for like every day wear” and uses more of a tapping motion than a blending motion with her brush initially. The tapping really seems to bring out the glitter in the highlighter.
She says at 2:50, “it’s pretty… it’s a little bit more glittery than I thought it was gonna be.” She then goes on to say, “you guys should have seen this on Alissa in person. It looked so good on her skin!” I’m assuming she meant fellow YouTuber Alissa Ashley – something I really appreciate about this comment is that it’s nice to hear how it actually looks IRL because sometimes things don’t translate 100% on camera!
At 3:06, Nyma says, “as far as I can tell, it’s not terrible for every day wear if you just like that little extra-ness for everyday, but it’s a little more glittery and a little grainier than I thought it was gonna be, so it doesn’t look like a skin glow.” From this comment, I kind of get the vibe that this might not work so well for somebody with textured skin because highlighters that are usually more “grainy” tend to emphasize any kind of texture.
At 3:27, she mentions how Rihanna was wearing her Trophy Wife highlighter in more of a “c-shape,” so she adds more to try out that look. “It’s definitely not something I would probably wear on an every day basis, but it looks gorgeous on Rihanna when she wore it to the launch party.”
In her final thoughts at 5:03, she says, “honestly, I like the way it looks right now. It is a little bit more for special events… I wouldn’t wear this on a daily basis, but I honestly am not mad at how pretty it looks on my skin tone right now. Since I just sprayed the setting spray on there it doesn’t look as chunky as it did earlier, but it is a chunkier highlighter.”
4.) Beauty News
Even though I only usually do 3 videos in these posts, I couldn’t resist throwing this video on here by Beauty News. This channel does a really cool series called “The Makeup Breakup” where the hosts, Hailey & Kat, literally just destroy makeup and it’s really satisfying to watch.
This video isn’t really a review, per-say, but can we just appreciate how this highlighter looks while it’s being destroyed?? I sure wish I looked this way!
The formula (while being destroyed) is described as being “kinda flakey” – usually they try to take a chunk out of product to see how “thick” the product is, but they have a hard time with this one as it just crumbles up.
From a side view, you can see that the depth of the pan isn’t that deep. This, combined with a comment made earlier at 2:04 about how “the pan underneath is actually quite flat, so there’s not that much texture for it to stick to” makes me wonder how easily this product would break if dropped.
At 3:27, the consistency is described as being “like scooping ice cream,” which seems really satisfying and makes me kind of want to eat it.
Part of this series is testing out whether or not products actually have the amount of product promised on the packaging. Trophy Wife claims to have 8.0g (0.28oz) of product on the back, so Hailey & Kat test that out by weighting the full packaging and then weighing the empty packaging later. They actually find out at 4:25 that there are 9.0g in this product, so looks like you’re getting an extra g!
Remember how I was wondering about how easily this would break? Hailey & Kat repress the highlighter (as they do with all the products they destroy) and find that it looks basically the same, maybe even a little bit more pigmented after repressing, so there’s always that option if you somehow accidentally shatter your highlighter!
This highlighter definitely isn’t for everybody – at least as a highlighter. As seen above, there are tons of people who have enjoyed using this as an eyeshadow and it’s beautiful, but this may not be for the faint of heart for actual on-face looks. I think this could be a really pretty eyeshadow for fall and can see it paired with a deep burgundy crease, if anybody is so inclined.
Again, due to the glitter/grit factor, in a theoretical world where I would actually be lucky enough to own this product, I would definitely be keeping it the hell away from my cheekbones and would probably exclusively use it on my eyes. I like how versatile it is and how it can be used as more of a softer shimmer (like how Tina uses it) and that it can be built up using a flatter brush and some setting spray to create an intense look (á la Kristi).
Trophy Wife generally seems to have good reviews on the Sephora website, with most people saying that although it might look “scary” in the pan and it is pretty glittery, it can be applied in a way that makes it a bit more wearable. The texture seems to be pretty smooth and buttery and also seems to be loved by people with a variety of skin tones, which is always awesome to see in a product.
- Tina Yong // Fenty Beauty Makeup By Rihanna – Is It Worth Buying?
- RawBeautyKristi // O.M.G! HIT OR SH*T? | FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA NO BULLSH*T REVIEW + Tutorial
- Nyma Tang // Fenty Beauty: Trophy Wife, Match Stixs, etc. First Impression
- Beauty News // THE MAKEUP BREAKUP – Destroying, weighing & Re-Pressing Fenty Beauty Trophy Wife Highlighter
- Fenty Beauty Killawat Freestyle Highlighter // “Trophy Wife” // $34
- Fenty Beauty PRO FILT’R Soft Matte Longwear Foundation // $34
- Fenty Beauty MATCH STIX Shimmer Skinstick // “Chili Mango” // $25
- Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer // $18
- Fenty Beauty Killawat Freestyle Highlighter // “Lightning Dust/Fire Crystal” // $34
*Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the aforementioned YouTubers/companies in any way, shape, or form! None of the links above are affiliate links and my opinions are purely based on what I watched in the above videos. Content of screenshots and .gifs are not my own and are owned by the credited YouTuber in the linked videos above.
Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.