Becca Cosmetics has been giving makeup wearin’ folks that lit-from-within glow since it launched in 2001. I was eleven and didn’t highlight back then, but I wish I’d encountered the brand before I started wearing makeup. It would have saved me from all of the embarrassing photos of me wearing makeup that didn't match my skin tone in my 20s.
By the time I tried the brand’s iconic highlighter, I was an intern at Cosmopolitan with my own desk down the hall from the beauty closet. I rubbed elbows with fellow interns who knew way more about beauty than I did. It was a weird time for me, beauty-wise, mostly because I didn’t know how to accentuate my skin tone. I couldn’t even shade match.
I wore one chalky-pale, matte shade from forehead to jawline and a warmer, more accurate shade from the neck down for all of high school. I knew it didn’t look right, but I didn’t know any better. I’d given up on foundation by the time I got to college, but it wasn’t until I discovered highlighters, including those from Becca Cosmetics, that I realized I didn’t have to mask or flatten my skin. Instead, I could make it glow and gleam by brushing on, with a highlighter brush (another discovery.), a product made for folks with my skin tone and my undertones.
Brands like Becca Cosmetics were making highlighters that included women of color in their signature offerings at a time when makeup still felt non-inclusive. For perspective, Queen Latifah’s Covergirl Queen collection didn’t launch until 2006. In many ways, it makes sense that a beauty brand out of Australia would create products that spoke to the skin deeper than your standard "fair" or "ivory." Tanning culture is big there in a way it wasn’t in the states yet.
So, for Becca Cosmetics making highlighters that work on tan and deeper skin tones wasn’t a new idea. But, it was new to me in my early twenties. It was shocking to see liquid highlighter melt into my skin and make it glow instead of sparkle with a sticky pallor.
I still use Becca Cosmetics today, so the recent news that the brand will be shutting down by September has made me sad. It turns out I’m not the only one who’s going to miss the brand. Here’s what my fellow beauty industry insiders have to say about their favorite Becca products, the memories that go along with them, and why they’ll be pouring one out for the iconic brand.
Bee Shapiro, founder of Ellis Brooklyn
"I absolutely loved the Chrissy Teigen x Becca palette when it first came out. The peachy-bronzy tones were so on point and it was one of the first times I saw that kind of undertone—perfect for my Asian American skin—get incorporated into a buzzy palette. I also loved that it was super wearable and wasn't so outlandish or bizarre. It was everyday perfection."
Rhea Cartwright, beauty editor at The Stack
"Becca was the original purveyor of glowing skin that spawned thousands of imitations, and they did it so damn well. Shimmering Skin Perfectors were the O.G. highlighters, long before Champagne Pop even existed. I remember getting my hands on one over a decade ago while working at Space NK and selling them to everyone. Used under, over, or mixed in with foundation, they were the perfect texture with just enough radiance without any shimmer."
Lakeisha Dale, owner of MelaSkin Studio & skincare influencer
"My first Becca Cosmetics product was the highlighter in Champagne Pop. It was the product to buy at the moment when I first tried it, and it was beautiful. I used it on my eyes and my cheeks. It just gave a beautiful glow as long as you didn’t overdo it. Becca also had a few highlighters that just worked beautifully for Black and Brown women. The brand had a way of creating products that gave you that universal lit from within the look."
Whitney Madueke, fashion designer & influencer
"It was an instant love affair when I tried Becca's powder highlighters. Topaz and Chocolate Geode are my absolute favorites. Nothing has topped them. They’re perfect for my dark skin and bring out the best glow in me. It's sad to see one of my favorite brands go. Becca will be deeply missed."
Alle Connell, brand consultant
"Though I loved practically everything Becca made, the product that is forever my #1 has to be the Champagne Glow palette. The three highlighters are everything I need in a pressed product, and then some—shiny without being glittery, incredibly versatile, and easy to travel with (you know, when we were still going anywhere). On my wedding day, I wore a combination of Champagne Pop and Pearl on my cheeks, and not only did I look radiant in every photo, but even in 95-degree heat, my highlight stayed immaculate."
Sabrina Bolai, beauty blogger
"Becca Highlighter in the Topaz shade was the first to give my brown skin a lit from within glow. Before the industry got the wake-up call for shade inclusivity, Becca made me feel seen and gave me tools to highlight my skin’s natural beauty."
Marci Robin, contributing editor at Allure
"For the longest time—like so many beauty editors and shoppers alike—I thought of Becca as a highlighter hero. Like, duh. They ushered in an entire category of makeup culture. But one of my favorite Becca memories is actually a recent one that had nothing to do with reflective cheekbones. The brand’s incredible Ultimate Lipstick Love line added a shade called Sable. Now, normally, a shade with that name would be a sandy one, but it’s actually the kind of brownish-red beloved by me and one of my best friends, fellow beauty editor Sable Yong. It was named for her, so it makes it extra-special."