When I was in middle school, I was obsessed with Bath & Body Works. Since the retailer always sold delicious-smelling products for less, I frequently visited my local flagship store with my mom (who was equally besotted with all things BBW). There is where I first came across C.O. Bigelow's Rose Salve, which quickly became my go-to for the next few years of my life, what with its irresistible rose scent (my favorite) and multi-use nature. I mostly used it as a lip balm, but as new products came and went, my beauty maven self abandoned Bigelow's Rose Salve to try out trendier products for my parched pout.
This past winter, however, I came across an old tin of Rose Salve while cleaning out my childhood drawers of old beauty products. Feeling nostalgic, I took it back to my apartment on campus, and paired it with a rose-scented lip scrub to create my winter beauty routine for chapped lips.
But as the days grew warmer, and as the highlighter trend really took the world (and my own makeup collection) by storm, I discovered that Rose Salve was a perfect alternative for the many highlighter sticks I had begun to employ on a daily basis. Honestly, it compared to Milk Makeup's Face Gloss in my eyes, except more budget-friendly and lighter-weight. Here are some reasons you should consider substituting Rose Salve for your classic highlighter.
1. It Makes You Glow
Because of the product's glossy quality and rose-colored pigment, it makes for a perfectly sun-kissed glow when applied to the apples of your cheeks. And you only need to use a very small dab to get this rosy luminescent look nailed down (too much will create an oilier aesthetic from the heaviness of the salve itself).
2. It's Lightweight
Since wearing heavy or thick makeup during the summertime is never super comfortable, highlighter (especially highlighter sticks) might leave you feeling like your face is just about ready to melt off. Rose Salve, however, is so lightweight that you'll forget there's anything on your cheeks. For folks who love to glow up but have oily skin, this is a perfect alternative.
3. It's Subtle & Natural-Looking
Rose Salve is perfect for when you're looking for just a touch of highlight rather than full-on "alien queen goes to the club" look. And because it's so natural-looking, there's really no blending required during application.
4. It Smells Amazing
This alternative highlighter doubles as a great scent, too. The product will leave your cheeks smelling like roses — basically, any rose-lover's dream come true.
5. It's Moisturizing
The product's jojoba and rose extract ingredients will help keep your face moisturized while achieving that perfect touch of glow, unlike other highlighters that might be less kind and more clogging to your skin's precious pores.
6. It's Super Cheap
C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve, $5, Bath and Body Works
While I love my Pat McGrath's Skin Fetish and Milk Makeup's Holographic Stick, these highlighters are pretty pricey ($72 and $28, respectively). But you can get Bigelow's Rose Salve at Bath & Body Works for just $5.50. And since the product pretty much lasts forever (or, like, a year or two), it's really a no-brainer from an economic standpoint.
7. It's For All Skin Tones
Besides the very subtle touch of a rosy hue, Rose Salve has no pigment. So it's perfect for highlighter-obsessed folks of all skin tones. With beauty companies sometimes being limited in options regarding color, this is a huge relief.
8. It's Easy To Apply
For anyone who embraces a no-fuss philosophy regarding their makeup routine, Rose Salve is perfect. With the absence of pigment, you can apply it quickly and easily without a mirror or the worry that you didn't blend it properly.
9. It's Better For Folks With Sensitive Skin
As someone with a plethora of skin conditions, I can confidently say that Rose Salve is my best bet for the hottest days or for when my acne or eczema are flared up. While the other highlighters I own pretty regularly irritate my visage, Rose Salve never does.
10. It's Buildable
With this product, you can either go for a touch of highlight on your cheeks, or for a full-on glossy look on the lids á la Milk Makeup's Eye Vinyl in Nude. It really just depends on your preference and how much you scoop onto your finger (it never gets sticky or too thick).
11. It's Easier To Layer With Other Products
If you're anything like me, you probably tend to use highlighter sticks and fun-colored highlighting powders together. But they don't always blend so easily. The Rose Salve creates a neutral highlighting sheen that can be easily dabbed atop your favorite lavender powder without any problem whatsoever.
So if summer's got your highlighter melting off or you're strapped for cash, try smudging some Rose Salve on your cheeks. And since it's multipurpose, it might just be your next favorite lip balm or brow tamer if you find the product's natural highlighting abilities too subtle for your beauty maven tastes.
Images: Bath & Body Works; Getty Images (5); Instagram