At some point, I shifted away from using MAC Strobe Cream and began exploring alternative products that could replicate its radiant effects. While I’ve always been a fan of MAC’s offerings, I found myself seeking alternatives to their Strobe Cream, especially since their foundation shades didn’t quite match my complexion, and my rosacea became more pronounced.
I used to use MAC Strobe Cream as part of my daily makeup routine. It was incredibly versatile, serving as a base under makeup, a mixer with foundation, and even a highlighter for accentuating my facial features and décolletage. I loved its lightweight formula that provided an authentic, non-glittery glow.
Over time, I delved into a range of products designed to create a luminous, lit-from-within effect when applied beneath makeup. These included primers and sunscreens that could illuminate the skin, as well as products to mix with foundation for a lighter coverage and a radiant finish. Additionally, I explored makeup products designed for application on top of the base to highlight specific areas of the face, such as cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and the cupid’s bow, adding depth and dimension to my makeup looks.
Discovering these alternatives allowed me to expand my makeup routine and achieve different levels of radiance and luminosity, catering to my ever-evolving preferences and skin needs.
The Best MAC Strobe Cream Substitutes at a Glance
- 1 The Best MAC Strobe Cream Substitutes at a Glance
- 2 Strobe Cream Alternative Options
- 3 Selection Criteria
- 4 Benefit High Beam
- 5 NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator
- 6 Sunday Riley C.E.O. Afterglow Brightening Vitamin C Cream
- 7 Rare Beauty Illuminating Primer
- 8 Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight
- 9 Supergoop! Glowscreen
- 10 Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter
- 11 Milani Soft Focus Glow Complexion Enhancer
- 12 L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer
- 13 Cons:
There are several MAC Strobe Cream alternatives on the market, many of them extremely good. Some of the top options include:
- Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight: This product stands out for its color range and versatility. It can be used in various ways to achieve a radiant finish.
- L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer: Known for its versatility and color range, this product is also budget-friendly and widely available in stores.
- Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter: Featuring skincare ingredients and versatility, this highlighter is a standout choice for those seeking a radiant glow.
Strobe Cream Alternative Options
MAC Strobe Cream provides a radiant effect, and you can achieve similar effects through various product types, including:
- Moisturizer: Ideal for those looking for hydration and radiance. It’s a great option if you want a glowing complexion without the need for foundation.
- Primer: If you’re satisfied with your moisturizer and sunscreen but want an all-over glow and improved makeup longevity, a radiant primer can be a suitable choice.
- Illuminator/Highlighting product: Use these to mix with your foundation for a sheer, glowing finish. You can also apply them strategically to highlight specific areas of your face, such as cheekbones, nose, and cupid’s bow.
- Sunscreen: For an all-over glow that benefits your skin, consider using a sunscreen version of a Strobe Cream alternative, especially if you already have a moisturizer you love.
When choosing the best MAC Strobe Cream alternatives, consider the following criteria:
- Function(s) and Versatility: MAC Strobe Cream is known for its multifunctionality, so look for alternatives that can perform similar tasks. Some alternatives may provide sheer coverage, while others offer more intensity. Determine whether you want a product that acts as a moisturizer, highlighter, or both.
- Price: Price considerations can be a factor when seeking alternatives. Some products may offer cost savings compared to the original MAC Strobe Cream.
- Shade Choices: While not all substitutes are available in multiple shades, it’s essential to consider your skin tone and whether the product comes in a shade that suits your complexion.
Finding the right MAC Strobe Cream alternative depends on your specific needs and preferences, so explore various options to discover the one that best suits your desired makeup routine and finish.
Benefit High Beam used to be a staple in my makeup routine, and I found various ways to incorporate it into my looks. While it was once available in multiple shades like Sun Beam and Moon Beam, it seems that the brand has returned to offering only the original shade with a pinkish tint. However, you may still be able to find the other shades if you search carefully.
High Beam, described as rose gold by Benefit, appears to be a versatile choice suitable for various undertones. While it should work for cool, warm, and neutral undertones, it leans slightly cooler in my opinion. My own undertones are neutral with a cool lean, and it complements my complexion well. For an all-over radiant look, you can mix a small amount of High Beam with your foundation or moisturizer. However, I personally prefer using it as a highlighter.
- It can be built up to create an intense highlight.
- A little goes a long way, making it cost-effective.
- Reasonably priced.
- It may not be suitable for wearing all over the face on its own unless you desire a borderline metallic look.
- It might not work as well on medium to dark skin tones due to its less subtle finish compared to Strobe Cream.
NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator
NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator is a versatile alternative to MAC Strobe Cream, and it comes at a budget-friendly price of under $10. This product offers versatility comparable to Strobe Cream but at a significantly lower cost. It is available in four shades, one more than MAC’s three. However, be aware that some colors may be sold out in certain places, so availability can vary.
- Comes in four different shades to cater to various skin tones.
- Offers versatility in application.
- Affordable price.
- Provides moisturizing benefits.
- Availability may vary, and some shades may be harder to find.
- Depending on your preference, it may appear more intense when applied all over the face compared to Strobe Cream, as it is not as sheer.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. Afterglow Brightening Vitamin C Cream
Sunday Riley has gained popularity for its skincare products, and the C.E.O. Vitamin C line is particularly appealing. The C.E.O. Afterglow Brightening Vitamin C Cream offers several benefits, including a subtle brightening effect due to its vitamin C content. It also addresses long-term dullness in the skin.
- Provides a heavier and more moisturizing texture than Strobe Cream, making it suitable for dry skin types.
- Beneficial for addressing signs of aging.
- Designed to add plumpness to the skin.
- Offers long-term benefits from vitamin C and protection against blue light, thanks to the presence of lutein.
- Comes at a higher price point.
- May feel too heavy for some skin types.
- Not as versatile as Strobe Cream, as it may not work well as a highlighter.
Rare Beauty Illuminating Primer
Rare Beauty’s Illuminating Primer is reminiscent of MAC Strobe Cream with its illuminating properties. It provides a subtle luminosity that can be worn alone or under foundation. While it may not offer intense highlighting, it gives a gentle radiance to the skin.
- Available in a 0.5 oz. bottle for $14.00, allowing you to try it without a significant investment. A larger 0.94 oz. bottle is available for $26.00.
- Minimal color appearance; it appears slightly pink but becomes luminous on the skin.
- Convenient pump bottle packaging.
- Can be used alone or under foundation.
- Suitable for all skin types.
- While reasonably priced, more affordable options can be found at the drugstore.
- Not ideal for those seeking intense color or radiance.
Rare Beauty Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight
Rare Beauty’s Positive Light Liquid Luminizer Highlight offers versatility similar to MAC Strobe Cream. It can be mixed with foundation or moisturizer for an all-over glow or applied directly to the high points of the face for a highlighting effect. The product comes in eight shades to cater to various skin tones, with varying levels of intensity.
- Versatile, suitable for use with moisturizer, foundation, or as a highlighter.
- Available in eight shades, accommodating a range of skin tones.
- A little product goes a long way.
- Features a user-friendly doe foot applicator for easy application.
- Priced at $22.00 for 0.5 oz., making it a mid-range option.
- Exclusive to Sephora, Kohl’s with Sephora, or online purchases.
Supergoop! Glowscreen offers a radiant finish along with SPF 40 protection, making it a convenient addition to your skincare routine. It comes in two shades and contains niacinamide, vitamin B5, and hyaluronic acid for hydration and redness reduction. While it may appear slightly golden-bronze on fair skin, it can still work well for most skin tones.
- Provides SPF 40 protection, reducing the need for a separate sunscreen.
- Available in two shades, suitable for most skin tones.
- Offers moisturizing benefits.
- Contains skincare ingredients like niacinamide, vitamin B5, and hyaluronic acid.
- Available in three sizes (2.5 oz, 1.7 oz, and 0.68 oz).
- Priced from $20.00 to $46.00.
- When worn on its own, the glow may be more noticeable than some prefer.
- The shades may not perfectly match all skin tones, with some appearing slightly golden.
Saie Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter
Saie’s Glowy Super Gel Lightweight Dewy Highlighter is a versatile product that can be used in various ways, similar to MAC Strobe Cream. It contains skin-friendly ingredients like rose hip seed oil and vitamin C and comes in two shades: champagne and bronze.
- Hydrating formula.
- Contains anti-inflammatory papaya seed oil.
- Available in two shades.
- Versatile application methods, including mixing with foundation or moisturizer.
- Free from silicones, suitable for sensitive skin.
- The mini size is only available in the lighter shade.
- Priced at $28.00 for 1.0 oz.
- While it can be used after foundation as a highlighter, there may be better options for this purpose on the market.
Milani Soft Focus Glow Complexion Enhancer
Milani Soft Focus Glow Complexion Enhancer is a lightweight product that can be used in multiple ways, including as a foundation. It’s available in two shades, Golden Glow and Bronze Glow, and contains hyaluronic acid for hydration.
- Affordable, priced under $15.00 for 1.59 oz.
- Available in two shades.
- Easily found in drugstores, Target, Ulta, and more.
- Suitable for various uses, including as a standalone product, mixed with makeup or moisturizer, or as a highlighter.
- Contains hyaluronic acid for added hydration.
- May not be suitable for fair skin or cool undertones.
- Availability of the third shade, Nude Glow, may be limited and overpriced.
L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer
L’Oreal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer offers versatility and affordability. It comes in four shades, making it suitable for a range of skin tones, and can be used in various ways, from all-over application to mixing with foundation or moisturizer.
- Affordable, especially during sales or with coupons.
- Easily accessible at drugstores, Walmart, Target, Ulta, and more.
- Available in four shades.
- Versatile application methods, including all-over, mixed with other products, or on top of makeup.