highlighters 101: mac highlight powder vs seventeen instant glow shimmer brick

Almost Couture Manchester Fashion Blog

You guys can breathe a sigh of relief – for once, I’m writing a post not about foundation! Gotta admit, even I was getting bored with those….

I haven’t done a budget dupe for a while, so thought it was about time I upped my game. I’ve also written about my struggle for the perfect highlighter, and after buying both the MAC Highlight Powder and the Seventeen Shimmer Brick on the same day – (yes, I know; sorry, bank account!) – I thought they might work pretty well as a dupe; if not, certainly for a comparison.


MAC by Philip Treacy Highlight Powder in Nude Pink

I bought the MAC Highlight Powder in the Cosmetic Company designer outlet in Swindon, as it’s not a current product sold by MAC. Originally, I was after one of the other powder highlighters sold by MAC which my friend had raved about, but with this one on massive discount, I thought I’d try this first.

The packaging is traditional MAC design, even with the Philip Treacy input, and the pan itself is beautiful; dusty pink feathers with silver tips.

I was so excited for this product, and actually felt a little let down. Once I’d gone home and googled it, I realised there was a reason this was on sale – a large proportion of the reviews are overwhelmingly negative or flat. Loads of bloggers have said it doesn’t highlight very well at all, with others saying it actually gave their skin a matte appearance.

Personally, I was initially inclined to agree. I applied this to my cheeks, down my nose and on my Cupid’s bow, and wasn’t really blown away. I mixed it up with a few different brushes to see if that made a difference, and noticed that a small fluffy brush gave better results than a bigger bristle one, but it still wasn’t the healthy glow I was after.

I wouldn’t say this didn’t highlight at all though – yes, it wasn’t dramatic, but it natural lighting I noticed a subtle shimmer, which was rather lovely. I started applying it above and under my cheekbones which made my contouring pop, and it gave a pretty glow during the day. However, for the nighttime, I’d definitely look for something a little more theatrical – so enter the Seventeen Shimmer Brick…


Seventeen Instant Glow Shimmer Brick

I actually bought this by mistake – I thought it was a cheap bronzer so nabbed it off the shelf in Boots when passing through. However, the sparkle of the powder swayed me, so it stayed in my basket…

Packaging looks quite cheap,  but hey – for under a fiver, I’m not too fussed. The powder comes in stripes like any shimmer or bronzer brick, which always concerns me a bit – what if the combination is too dark for my skin? – but at least you can isolate the colours with a smaller brush.

If the MAC highlighter was a little too subtle, this one was a little too fierce. I swept it onto my cheeks, looked in the mirror and did a double take – I was glowing. And not in an adorable way – in a just-ran-a-marathon, been-sat-in-a-sauna, saw-Ryan-Gosling kind of way. I had to use a tissue to daub some of the shimmer away, and even then, I still sparkled like Edward Cullen for the majority of the day.

A little certainly goes a long way here. I started to use my fingertip to apply tiny dots of shimmer on my cheeks, tip of my nose and lip, to ensure I didn’t get the Sweaty-Betty look. The shimmer stayed in place all night too, which was an added bonus!

Dupe Potential?

I wouldn’t say these two can pass as dupes. MAC is more pink on the skin, whereas Seventeen is just more shimmer.

Bling or Budget?

Usually one product comes out top in a comparison. (I mean, that is how they work.) However, I like and dislike these products equally, so actually, I can’t pick a winner.

Instead, I like to use them together. I apply the MAC powder either side of my bronze and blush, to give a soft glow around my cheekbones, then dab the Seventeen onto my nose, top of my cheeks and Cupid’s bow for dramatic shimmer. The combination of the two works beautifully, and much better than any other highlighter method I’ve tried!

almost couture - manchester fashion blog


3 thoughts on “highlighters 101: mac highlight powder vs seventeen instant glow shimmer brick

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