Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand review and comparisons.

Josie Maran Wand.

Admittedly, I am a highlighter/illuminator junkie.  I have more than enough of these magnificent beauties in my collection to last several lifetimes.  So when a lovely reader inquired about some highlighter recommendations, I inadvertently found myself at Sephora checking-out the new Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand ($28 USD/10.5g).  The rose gold packaging, the convenient stick form, and the moisturizing ingredients was too tempting to resist.  As you can very well predict, I succumbed to this enchanter’s bewitching qualities and can solemnly declare, I’m in love–yet, again. 🙂  I hope you enjoy.

Josie Maran Illuminating Stick

The Pros of Josie Maran Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand:

  1. Gorgeous light-colored warm golden shade.
  2. Initial application is sheer and can be built-up (without any patchiness) for truly illuminating results.
  3. Smooth creamy formula can be applied straight from the tube and blended with fingers or a synthetic brush.
  4. The overall finish is radiant without any shimmer or glitter.
  5. Pale golden tone is universally flattering–darker skins will not experience ashy results.
  6. Pairs beautifully with bronzers for a truly sun-kissed glow.
  7. Layers well over liquid and powder foundations.
  8. Moisturizing ingredients feel soothing on drier and mature skin.
  9. Convenient stick form is ideal for travel and touch-ups.
  10. Results last all day on my dry skin (8-10 hours and longer).
  11. Reasonable price considering the amount offered.
  12. Free of mineral oil, parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, and sulfates.
  13. Made in the USA.

The Cons to Josie Maran Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand:

  1. Due to the sheer texture, medium and darker skins will need to apply 2-3 layers for noticeable results.
  2. On oilier skins, reapplication is a definite possibility.
  3. As with most cream products, this does not fully set–so avoid touching your face throughout the day.
  4. Not completely natural or vegan.

Josie Maran

Josie Maran Illuminizing Wand

Josie Maran Wand

  • As you can see from the above swatches, this illuminator definitely does not contain any large particles of shimmer or glitter.  The results are refined and appear quite reflective in any light and from any angle.
  • Thankfully, this formula does not deposit a heavy layer of pigment on the first swipe.  In fact, this illuminator sheers-out beautifully despite the layers applied.  In the photos, the left swatch is what the formula looks like after three passes/layers.  The right swatch is one pass blended out.

Liquid/Cream Illuminator Comparisons:

Highlighter Comparisons

Highlighter Comparisons:
Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer, Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminzing Wand, Laura Mercier Rosegold Caviar Stick, Kjear Weis Radiance, RMS Living Luminizer, Becca Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector.

Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminzing Wand

  • Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer is quite an intense golden highlighter.  The dense liquid formula contains too much shimmer for my liking.  Additionally, this older packaging dispenses too much product to be used for one application.  The staying power is very good, but the messy application and highly reflective results do not make this illuminator a favorite.  This product has since been repackaged as part of the Enlightenment Collection.
  • Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment  Illuminizing Wand is slightly lighter in color than his liquid cousin, but the finish is so much more wearable and the application is quick and easy.  Who wouldn’t want that?
  • Laura Mercier Rosegold Caviar Stick is a warm rose gold color for the eyes.  However, when applied with fingers, the metallic glow is perfect as a facial highlighter (read more here).
  • Kjaer Weis Radiance is 95% organic and the coolest toned of the lot (reviewed here). The price of this illuminator is quite expensive, but the finish is truly radiant.  The lavender undertones suit lighter complexions beautifully, but may appear ashy on darker skins.
  • RMS Living Luminzer is the sheerest of the bunch.  The finely milled mica particles mixed with coconut oil produces the most natural sheen–oiler skins may not agree.
  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector was made famous by Lisa Eldridge.  I blindly purchased this beauty four years ago without researching the ingredients.  This highlighter contains five parabens, mineral oil and a SPF fragrance.  If these issues do not bother you, then the finish of this illuminator is gorgeous.
Josie Maran Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand

Josie Maran Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand applied on the cheekbones and slightly under the brow.

  • For the above photo, two light layers were applied.  Each layer was seamlessly blended into the skin with my Wayne Goss 01 brush.

Ingredients for Josie Maran Enlightenment Illuminizing Wand:

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil**, Cera Alba (Beeswax)**, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter**, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil*, Narcissus Poeticus (Narcissus) Extract**, Lilium Candidum (Madonna Lily) Bulb Extract**, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract** (and) Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract** (and) Helianthus Anuus (Sunflower) Extract** (and) Tocopherols**, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol. May Contain: Mica (CI 77019)**, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)**, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)**, Carmine (CI 75470)**, Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 (CI 15850), Red 22 Lake (CI 45380), Red 27 (CI 45410), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 30 (CI 73360), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985).


**Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Collection also offers a powder and liquid version of this wand.  They can be found at Sephora and**

THE VERDICT:  If makeup could talk what would it say?

Makeup would tell you Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illumininzing Wand is a definite hit.  The sizable amount, beautiful finish, flattering color and portability are sure to please a lot of people.  Similar to a lovesick teenager, this highlighter is all I can think about using–that is, until a more attractive guy come a’calling .  🙂  Until next time, be well, stay safe and be happy.


Makeup and Jewelry Details and Direct Links:

  1. Laura Mercier Cavair Sticks in Sandglow (lid), Khaki (outer corners) and Rosegold (inner corners) (here).
  2. MAC Uninterrrupted (crease and lower lash line) mixed with MUFE Artist Shadow M-600 (here and here).
  3. Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara (here).
  4. Guerlain Liquid Liner (here).
  5. Giorgio Armani Eye and Brow 2 Wenge Wood (here).
  6. Cover FX drops N-40 (1 drop) mixed with G-60 (2 drops) and NYX Shine Killer Primer (here).
  7. Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush 10 Beige (discontinued).
  8. Too Faced Chocolate Bronzer (here).
  9. Girlactik Allure Matte Lip Paint topped with Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss in Audace (here and here).
  10. Whiteflash Diamond by the Yard Earrings (here).

* is not affiliated with any brands mentioned, all products were purchased by me. *Compensation is not given for any reviews. *This post contains affiliate store links. *Click on each photo to enlarge. *Click on the rose highlighted words to take you to a direct link to each product. *All opinions are my own and based on my experiences. *All photos are property of unless otherwise noted.

About Maria Pia

A blog about beauty (what else), what makes me smile and life with two boys and a dog. This blog is about positivity and inspiration sewn in with a little humor. Makeup is not serious, but how we feel after we apply it, is no joking matter!!! I'm here to share my tips and tricks I have learned on my own for the past %&^$% years :) Enjoy my lovelies.


  1. Tabatha says:

    Maria, thank you for posting. On your recommendation, I have used other Josie Maran’s products before (e.g. Whipped Argan Oil) and have been very happy! Now I cannot wait to try this one!

    • Hello Tabatha,

      I love Josie Maran Body Butter and this highlighter also works beautifully with drier skins. I hope you like this wand as much as I do. Thank you for taking the time to comment.


  2. Hey Maria, thanks for the post! I have read a lot of positive reviews of the brand in general. Glad to hear the stick highlighter is a winner in your book! I tend to stick to powder highlighters because I find liquid ones turning too shiny on my combination skin very easily, but I’ve never tried a stick one!

    • Hello Sunny,

      Thank you Sunny. I adore the consistency of this highlighter–I love how easily it applies and blends out. I am a devoted Josie Maran Body Butter lover and this highlighter is a must have for drier skins.


  3. This looks similar to the Laura Mercier highlighting stick I had way way back or some brand. From your comparisons, I think the KW & RMS look the best; not too obvious but just enough natural looking highlights. You may want to try Face Stockholm highlighter also. Love that one because it makes a killer cream eyeshadow.

    Great review as always and great comparisons!

    • Hello Olivia,

      Let’s face it, I love all of my highlighters. At the present moment, Josie wins out with my tanned complexion. The golden tone of this beauty really gives me that bronzed goddess look. I will definitely look into Face Stockholm–you know how much I love your suggestions.


Questions, Comments, or Concerns?