MAC's New In The Spotlight Collection Is My Iridescent High Beam Highlight Dream

The Year of the Highlight isn't over.
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Publish date:
November 3, 2016
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mac, highlighter

I'm not usually one to say "I told you so," but...

*ahem*

Remember around this time last year when I told you that 2016 was going to be the year of the highlight? WELL, WELL, WELL. Everyone was still knee-deep in their contour powder and throwing around the word "stobing" like it was some sort of novel idea, but look at us now.

I, for one, have always been heavy on the highlight. I used to party all the time, so used a ton of highlighter to cover up my skin's sallowness from all the booze and lack of sleep. That's the only bit of personalhonesty you're getting from me until 2017 so revel.

These days, I'm still highlighting like I've got something to prove, and everyone is finally on board with me. Even on no-makeup days, I'll still fill in my brows and highlight everything I possibly can. A guy's gotta have some consistency! It's become as much of a part of my routine as brushing my teeth.

Now that we're smack in the middle of Q4 and right on the brink of the holiday season, MAC has debuted what is one of the most interesting and exciting collections of the year: In The Spotlight.

They've taken their hit Strobe Cream and blasted it out into five different shades for a customizable glow on all skin tones. And, OMG, the new Extra Dimension Skinfinish: four new highlighting powders with a duochrome finish that shift light for a soft metallic highlight on the skin, sparking a different color when the light hits it just right.

Sound awesome? They are. What's even better? The collection is permanent. One of the new Skinfinish shades is one of my favorites of the entire year, and I don't have to worry about running out of it.

For starters, let's talk about the Strobe Cream. The original shade, now part of the permanent collection under the name Pinklike (!) has become a cult favorite for many, no matter what their beauty routine looks like. It's a moisturizer with light reflecting, iridescent pearls to brighten and enhance skin. And it does. Worn alone, it's gorgeous. My skin looks luminescent and healthy, without ever looking slick. Under makeup, it pulls off a very authentic "lit from within" glow (I hate that phrase so I wouldn't use it unless it was true.)

On bare skin, it doesn't look like you just bathed yourself in a liquid highlight. It's subtle but gorgeous. Under your foundation, it really does change the look of your whole face.

It looks great on my fair skin, but you may be wondering how it would look on a person with a deeper skin tone than me. This review by Aleena Lee proves it's awesome even on people with very dark skin.

Even when I set my face with a lot of translucent powder, the Strobe Cream still glows through my base.

Let me show you.

You can find amazing reviews for the original shade, Pinklight, all over the internet by now, so I wanted to talk about the new shit. I pulled two looks, one a more subtle, glowy, every day look, and one that was more full-throttle Tynan. Enjoy!

Here I am, bare skinned, wearing (literally) nothing but Redlight, so you can see how it looks on its own.

What's up, cheekbones? What's up, NOSE. Redlight has red light reflecting pearls in it, which make the moisturizer look a little more noticeably pink than the subtle pink of Pinklight. If you look closely, it reflects a little pink, which I love. I didn't think I'd touch this one, but the minute I saw the high-voltage beam of pink running through the moisturizer, it was over.

I wanted to see how this did under a foundation, before I shellacked myself down with the Extra Dimension Skinfinish. I opted for my Armani Maestro Glow Foundation, since it's a medium coverage foundation with an almost serum-like formula, ideal to cover what you want but let your color (or Strobe Cream) shine through.

I mean...look at how good that looks. The Strobe Cream is really making my skin pop through the foundation, and glowing up my face without making it glossy.

Hmmm... HMMM... You'll rarely catch me talking about getting a "barefaced" look when wearing makeup because what even is the point of that? What are we really saying? BUT. Sometimes I do like to just sport brows and a little foundation and be like "what makeup?" What I'm saying is that I'll definitely be using this Strobe Cream on those "I just rolled out of bed!" days, where I roll out of bed and then spend 30 minutes in front of the mirror.

Then I grabbed the Extra Dimension Skinfinish in ~Beaming Blush~ a pink highlight with a flash of gold.


Here's the thing about pink highlights. Sometimes, they can read as a true pink, a look I love, obviously. Give me frosty pink cheekbones any day. But, sometimes, the pink can hit my skin and read more of a fleshy rose color, especially if they have a gold or champagne flex, or a warm undertone of any sort. Highlights like these are hard to find but they are so, so pretty. The rose hue with the gold flex is a juiced version of a natural highlight, sitting nicely against the skin until the light hits and then bam. You're glowing.



I'm not typically about any warm tones on my faces, highlights especially, but the pink gold flex has got me reconsidering.

I'm a believer.

But there's this other highlighter, Soft Focus. It's frosty, silvery white highlighter with a flash of...lavender.

I was excited to try the Silverlight Strobe Cream, and it seemed like pairing it with this highlighter was a bit of a no brainer.

Here I am wearing Silverlight and a shirt.



That skin! It's looking fresh, squeaky clean, and almost criminally glowy.

I used another one of my favorite light to medium foundations, Charlotte Tilbury's Light Wonder Foundation, which is so good, by the way. A little thicker than the Armani Maestro Glow but has a similar, medium finish that covers imperfections while letting your skin do its thing. I've never formally reviewed it and I apologize.

But look.

I mean.

So, Silverlight looks a little frosty on its own, and under makeup, it's incredible. I want my face to look like this all the time.

And now for the main event.

Soft Frost.


Soft Frost is a silvery white highlighter with a flex of lavender that has me absolutely on the ground. Iridescent highlighters aren't easy to come across, but this one nails it completely.

If you're afraid of a lavender highlight, you shouldn't be. I'm wearing a ton of it in these photos, obviously, but a light dusting over your high points leaves a bright but soft highlight with just a touch of color.

I've said it before, iridescent highlighters, like the blues in the Moonchild Palette, used with a soft hand can trick the eye into making your skin look bright and clean without actually registering as blue. This shade is even more wearable because the lavender only pops when the light hits it a certain way.

I'm basically wearing an entire pan of it in these photos, but pulled back a bit, it's versatile and wearable.

Also here's the a rare appearance of the right side of my face.

My makeup kit will never be without a Soft Frost, and yours shouldn't be either.

The In The Spotlight collection is as good as I hoped it would be. I can definitely see why the Strobe Cream has been such an obsession with so many people, and pairing it with the Extra Dimension Skin Finish is the perfect way to take your face from natural to ethereal with just a couple of products.