When I heard theBalm was coming out with the pink hued Cindy-Lou Manizer, there was absolutely no hope in staying true to my ban. I say this because its golden champagne sister, Mary-Lou Manizer, is my one of favorite highlighters in my entire collection. The texture can't be beat and the refined shimmer is something that quite literally makes it shine above the rest.
Another reason I wanted to purchase Cindy was for a rather silly reason: I wanted to complete my collection of all of theBalm's Lou Manizers. It's the makeup collector in me! The packaging is all the same, round plastic compact with mirror intact. It has theBalm's signature kitschy design which I am actually not a fan of. However, it is what's inside that counts so this is a minor detail.
My first impression when I swatched this was it was a much darker pink than I expected. I was worried I wouldn't be able to use it as a highlighter and that I would have to settle for using it as a very shimmery blush. Luckily, I didn't have to settle. Due to the soft, refined texture, sheering out the product was a breeze.
All three of the Lou Manizers have the same buttery, almost creamy feel to them. I don't know how theBalm does it to be honest; they make the softest powders I have tried by far. Every other powder seems rough and abrasive in comparison.
Not frosty yet not sparkly. All have the ability to add glow with its tiny reflective particles that bind onto the skin seamlessly and naturally.
Straight on Cindy looks like your standard peachy-pink hybrid, but at some angles it seems to reflect a bit of a golden luster. If inspected closer still, I detect a subtle lavender shimmer. It is very multidimensional and interesting. It isn't remotely garish or harsh.
Let it be known that this was one of the most frustrating items to try to capture in photographs. How do people capture highlighter on the face!? Wizards. I tried you guys. Above I applied it to the bridge of my nose, cupids bow, tops of the cheeks, and tops of my brow arch. Just trust me when I say the effect is beautiful and natural in person.
Happy to report that Cindy is unique to my stash. I pulled out a few shades that it reminded me of but most were either too pink, had a much bigger shimmer factor, or were more golden.
L TO R: MAC STEREO ROSE, LAURA MERCIER SPELLBOUND, theBALM CINDY-LOU MANIZER, ESTEE LAUDER MODERN MERCURY, MAC REDHEAD
Even in the swatches you can see how soft it is in comparison to the rest. I believe the closest in similarity can be seen with MAC Redhead MSF but Redhead much more shimmery. If you have Redhead you PROBABLY don't need Cindy but if it were up to me you'd need all the glowy things so I don't know if you should take my word for it.
I can't think of a single fault unless you despise highlighter, which in that case you are certified nuts. Creamy texture, refined shimmer, easy to use. Would look good on all skin tones besides very deep ones perhaps. Paler skin could get away with using it as a blush. Consider it, look out for it, try to see it yourself in person. It is love.