The Balm Cindy-Lou Manizer review and comparison with Mary-Lou Manizer and MAC Stereo Rose | KITSCH/SNITCH

The Balm Cindy-Lou Manizer review and comparison with Mary-Lou Manizer and MAC Stereo Rose

September 19, 2014


Some of you might know that these days I am a bit of a highlighter hoarder... do I use them everyday? No. Do I need dozens of highlighters? No. But do I like having them? Yes. Will I keep buying them? Yes.

One of my favourite highlighters (check out my top 5 highlighters here) is The Balm's Mary-Lou Manizer so of course I had to try out The Balms newer release, the Cindy-Lou Manizer. In this review of the Cindy-Lou Manizer I will also be comparing it to the Mary-Lou Manizer and the limited edition MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Stereo Rose (that might sound a little random, but stick with me, there is method to my madness).

These contain 8.5g and retail in Australia for $34.95 (you can buy them at David Jones or at the Bellabox website).


Much like the Mary-Lou Manizer (and the Betty-Lou Manizer, which I don't own), these come in a sturdy sleek plastic compact that has a nice sized mirror and a cute pin up style mugshot design on the label. I like the design, but wish that the labels looked a little more cohesive over the three "manizer" products. They are also designed to be multi-purpose products that can be used on the face or the eyes.


BAM! Look at that colour! It is a very unique shade for a product that is mainly known as being a highlighter. It is a very shimmery peachy pink shade that can work as a beautiful highlighter on tanned or darker skin tones, but as a shimmery blush on fairer skin tones.

Mary-Lou Manizer is a light champagne shade that is clearly designed as a more typical highlighter, Betty-Lou Manizer is a shimmery golden bronze that is probably designed as more of a bronzer, and I guess Cindy-Lou Manizer is the shimmery blush of the trio.

Most people with an in between skin tone would look at this and think "how the fuck do I wear that?" I personally use this as a blush highlighter in one. I generally apply this to the high points of my cheeks when I am wearing a peach/pink blush and want to add a bit of shimmer or I wear this lightly as a subtle shimmery blush. I wouldn't wear this as a highlighter if I wasn't wearing a pink/peach blush because it would look strange just having pink on the high points of your face.

Even though this is very pigmented and you don't need to use much product, it definitely isn't as bold and shimmery as Mary-Lou Manizer so you can apply this more heavily without having a crazy disco ball face.

Now for the swatches and comparisons...

Cindy-Lou, Mary-Lou, Stereo Rose
Cindy-Lou, Mary-Lou, Stereo Rose
Cindy-Lou, Mary-Lou, Stereo Rose

You can see that Cindy-Lou has a soft peachy pink base with a fine pink shimmer. It is chalk and cheese with Mary-Lou which is pretty much like a wall of bold champagne shimmer and I only thought I should compare them so that people who have Mary-Lou can see how different it really is. What I was surprised about was that this is a lot like MACs Stereo Rose, which is a limited edition Mineralised Skin Finish that occasionally gets released in collections and people go nuts over. Stereo Rose is a little more pink, a fraction darker and a bit more shimmery. If you really wanted Stereo Rose but never managed to get your hands on it (or found it too expensive) then The Balm's Cindy-Lou Manizer is a great dupe!

Overall, I do think this is quite a unique product as it is a weird hybrid between a highlighter and a blush, but I think it works quite well! It creates a softer glow than a traditional bright white highlighter, but it's also great as a subtle shimmery blush or as a way to add shimmer to existing blushes. I personally prefer to use a matte blush to add colour and then to go in with a product like this to selectively add shimmer where I want it. Sure, this isn't a must have product.. but it is more wearable than it first appears. 

Aaaaanyway, I'm off too IMATS! Have a great weekend xx


  1. Thanks for the comparison swatches! It does look quite similar to Stereo Rose, though I prefer Cindy-Lou since it's more peachy. I feel like it would make a great warm highlighter on my skintone. I love the formula of Mary-Lou so I'm sure I'll really like this one! :)

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  2. they are so different, its more of an illuminating blush.
    Enjoy your time at IMATS !

  3. Ooh, nice to hear that it's such a great dupe for Stereo Rose! Never picked that up, so I may have to give Cindy-Lou a peek :)


  4. Even after the review and tips and wearing the Cindy-Lou, I still don't know how it could work on my skin tone. Hahaha. I've been keeping up with your videos and I know you love love the Mary-Lou!! Look great on you, with the way you apply it! Super bold.

    Keep up the good work on both blog and video channel Kat. AND, IMATS HAUL ASAP! :P

  5. Wow beautiful all of them. I am bit confused between Mary and Cindy. Wanna get one of them

  6. I am actually tossing between cindy-lou and mary-lou and I think I will go for mary-lou! thanks for this post! :)


Latest Instagrams

© KITSCH/SNITCH. Design by Fearne.