I’ve mentioned in a few posts that I tend to make impulse purchases in the early morning hours, especially when something flares up. This time it was TMJ that kept me awake at 5 am when I decided to place this order. I was less than two weeks away from flying to Germany when I came across an Instagram post, the second one I’d seen, showing the absolutely stunning highlighters and bronzers from Hatice’s brand. I admittedly don’t know much about Hatice, as her videos are in German and even with German closed captioning, my translation abilities aren’t good enough to follow very much of what’s being said. She’s the beauty influencer behind the Becca Berlin Girl collab several years ago, but I know very little else about her. Still, her extremely inclusive range caught my attention and I thought to myself, “Why not order and have it there when you arrive? It will be two less items you have to carry with you!”
So I did. Shipping within Germany is free, whereas shipping to the US is $16 (before the PayPal conversion fee). I watched Hatice’s launch video to help decide which shades to pick and I felt confident about my choices until Angelica Nyqvist posted her video five hours after I ordered and I saw how much lighter Medium looked than I thought. I didn’t want to get the Deep shade because the tone of it isn’t my preference in highlighters. It looked similar to the Lucent Jungle shade from Nabla’s Skin Glazing line, which I decluttered this year, so I didn’t want to take that chance and there was no option in between Medium and Deep.
The products arrived in two days and my boyfriend was able to show me what they looked like from his camera. The official website has several beautiful photos of the product on models of varying skin tones, including arm swatches, but it’s still difficult to guess how it would actually appear in person when you’re not used to that brand’s lighting and editing. At the time of my purchase, there were no tan and darker YouTubers showcasing the products.
The highlighter comes in a white durable compact with a mirror inside. The bronzer comes in an identical compact but in black.
I ended up buying the Deep shade of Bronzer as well. This also took two business days to arrive.
The swatches on my arm were swiped twice, but gently each time with a finger. The swatches on the light arm were swiped once with a finger.
I find it fascinating that the Tan bronzer looks so warm on lighter skin tones, but on my skin it’s more of a neutral shade. When I was taking product photos, I could see that without flash, the bronzers looked much cooler toned in their pans than with flash on. I’ve included multiple photos throughout this post which demonstrates the differences I observed.
BRONZER in Tan and Deep
On the website, these are described as being silky, creamy, ultra blendable, and lightweight with a radiant finish. I could see in photos that the sheen on the product did indeed look like a combination of the Kosas The Sun Show Bronzer and the Nabla Skin Bronzing, which are my favorite bronzer finishes, so I had very high hopes. In Morbus Black’s video, she also compared the finish of Hatice’s bronzer to Nabla’s, though she made the point that Nabla’s bronzer is a little smaller for 22 euros versus 34 euros. For us in the US, we can usually get the Nabla Skin Glazing and Skin Bronzing products for 50% off during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty, so it’s an even larger price difference for similar quality.
Besides the price, the main differences between the two brands of bronzers is that the HSL is an even softer powder and is not hard pressed in the pan like Nabla’s, which means it’s much easier to use and layer. HSL’s Tan is a little lighter and not as warm as Nabla’s Profile shade, but Profile is the current darkest in Nabla’s range. HSL goes many steps forward with their shade Deep.
I bought a Korean sunscreen that came with what I thought was a mini version, but the mini did not contain SPF. I didn’t realize this when I took the mini on the trip with me, so I got darker as the trip went on. Tan became too subtle to bronze me enough to show much on camera, so I thought I would give Deep a try, even though it looked like it might be more of a contour for my skin tone. Deep looks like a delicious bar of dark chocolate and is indeed too dark for me to use in a normal application method. In my previous bronzer post, I mentioned that the Beauty Bakerie Brownie Bar contains the darkest bronzer/contour in my collection, but this Deep shade is even richer.
For the time being until my “tan” fades, I can apply a light layer of Deep with a small precise brush and go over it in a larger area with the Tan shade.
In the photos above, I chose to show a heavy application of Tan because it would not be seen on camera otherwise. I chose to use a light application of Deep to show it in the most wearable state on me and how I can make it work despite being too dark for me in a normal amount.
In terms of formula, all the product claims are correct. The powder is super soft, applies smoothly to the skin, has a nice sheen, and is easy to blend. It’s right up there with my top 5 favorite bronzers, though considering I have less expensive options, I can’t say it’s worth getting over the others. This is the second most expensive single bronzer I own, after the Charlotte Tilbury one. At this moment in time, I don’t mind having bought one because I will always associate this product with the memories of my trip. I will eventually declutter the Deep shade, but I’m definitely keeping Tan.
HIGHLIGHTER in Medium
Despite my resolve to no longer purchase highlighters, this one looked like it would give the glass-skin effect, which is my favorite type of highlighter shine. That’s why I lost the will to skip it. It’s described as being long-lasting and able to be worn as subtle or as intensely as someone wants. As quoted from the website, “The special formulation with the luminous finish of a liquid highlighter and the lightness of a powder sculpts, shapes and defines your skin.”
I do love this highlighter. It slightly edges above the Nabla Skin Glazing in Amnesia, which was my holy grail highlighter. I consider them both to be champagne shades, but Medium’s base color is a touch warmer than Amnesia, which makes it better suited to my skin tone. Medium’s shimmer particles are also slightly finer and more reflective. I don’t believe those minimal differences makes the Hatice highlighter hugely better than the one from Nabla, but since I have no other dupes for the Skin Glazing, I’m happy to have it. It was a better purchase than me getting two of the bronzers.
This is a beautiful formula and fans of Hatice Schmidt will likely be very happy with what they have, as well as those who enjoy luxury. The designs in the powder and sleek packaging exude a slightly edgy but high end feel to the products. The only aspect I question is the description as being changeable from subtle to intense. Unless I’m in a spot where the light will hit my face directly, it does not look as variable as that on my skin tone. Whether I use a lot or a little and dry or damp, I find it to be the same middle ground intensity because of the base blending so much in my skin (as if semi-transparent), which is one of the best features of the product. This helps make the highlighter look like a more natural glow, but without a lighter base color, the intensity is dependent on how much it reflects, which means it’s dependent on the lighting someone is in.
The damp brush makes it look a bit stark on my skin, so I prefer keeping it dry and recommend those who want more shine (regardless of the lighting) to layer the highlighter on top of a liquid illuminator. I love the way this highlighter looks on me when I apply a normal amount, so I’m happy with the formula as is and wouldn’t change a thing. On a rare occasion I like to be beaming, but otherwise the way it is now (subtle to nicely highlighted) is perfect for me. The shade looks a tiny bit icier now that I’ve gotten a “tan” but it will match better again when it fades.
The photos in the black shirt were taken during the trip. LED lights were far above with a small amount of outdoor light shining through a window onto my face. I am wearing the Tan bronzer built up heavily and the highlighter on the high points of my forehead, above the brow, in the brow arch, on the center of the eyelid, lightly on the nose, and on the tops of my cheekbones.
HSL has a few other products available, but the ones discussed today are the only products that grabbed my interest. This is a brand I will continue to be curious about, though I may not purchase anything else purely due to the price point. That isn’t to say it’s over-priced as there may be an upcharge due to custom formulas, being made in Italy, the packaging, the embossing in the powder, ingredients, etc. This quality is top notch, but at this point in my journey with makeup, I can always find something similar for a little less. However, I’m glad that I was able to support a company that chose to have an inclusive range.
Thank you for reading!