Anyone who knows me is aware that I consider the best highlighter to be my go-to Desert Island makeup product. It's not exactly practical, but it sure would have me dazzling as a shipwrecked castaway. I am always in pursuit of a radiant glow, and firmly believe cream highlighters, rather than powder or even liquid, are the way to go. And most specifically Mac Stobe Cream.
Cream highlighters offer that extra layer of hydration and a glossy finish that I firmly believe lasts longer than other textures. It also looks the most natural on skin, almost like glass-like skincare. And while I have many favourites, I do tend to return to the Mac Strobe Cream whenever I need a dependable classic. I find myself reaching for it more during the colder, duller months, particularly around the festive season when I'm elevating my party make-up, as it acts as the best skin brightener to revive a tired complexion.
Here's my glowing review (pardon the pun) of Mac Strobe Cream, as well as my advice on how to use it.
How to use Mac Strobe Cream
What's so brilliant about this bestselling Mac product is how versatile it is. It can be used in so many different ways and due to its generous size, you really do get the absolute most for your money on this one.
First, you can of course use it as a traditional highlighter. This means dotting it high above the cheekbones, under the brow and on the cupid's bow. Applying directly like this packs a real punch and when built up, makes for an unbeatable party make-up look.
Next, you can use it on your whole face by mixing with foundation or moisturiser. Be warned: this product does boast a very noticeable sheen, so if you're going to use it in this way, be sure to only mix in a tiny bit – you can always add more.
Finally, there's the option to use Strobe Cream on your body to highlight limbs, the décolletage and the shoulders. If you're off on a night out, this can really up the ante.
How many shades are there?
Mac Strobe Cream started out in one shade: the original "Pinklite". This has a delicate pink sheen and is still around today. However, Mac has since extended its shade range to suit a wider range of skin tones.
There are now four currently available on Mac's website: Pinklite (the original), Silverlite, Goldlite and Peachlite. As well as suiting more skin tones, this range expansion also caters to different occasions: gold and silver are excellent for nights out and festivals or parties, whereas the pink and peach hues are slightly more subtle for daywear.
That said, anything goes. I recommend swatching them all to see which suits you personally.
A beauty editor's review of Strobe Cream
As mentioned, Strobe Cream is one of my all-time favourite go-to highlighters for a number of reasons. It really brightens up the face and looks great at any time of year. As well as for party season, it works beautifully during the summer months to promote a healthy glow (see my pic above from this summer) that adds natural luminosity.
I find it super easy to apply and use my fingers, although a brush or sponge would also work well. I dot a tiny amount at the high points of my face, and sometimes when I really feel tired or like I am struggling with dullness, mix it with my moisturiser before adding my SPF and foundation.
I have combination-oily skin and while I find some highlighters to be a little oily or greasy, this never feels over the top, instead stopping at hydrating and nourishing. It would therefore be great for those with normal-dry skin types, too.
It really is a brilliant all-rounder and once you buy a tube, you'll have it for absolutely ages, so is a top investment.
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Rebecca is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor to Marie Claire. She has written for titles including Refinery29, The Independent, Grazia, Coveteur, Dazed, Stylist, and Glamour. She is also a brand consultant and has worked with the likes of The Inkey List on campaign messaging and branded copy. She’s obsessed with skincare, nail art and fragrance, and outside of beauty, Rebecca likes to travel, watch true crime docs, pet sausage dogs and drink coffee. Rebecca is also passionate about American politics and mental health awareness.
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