Essence Soo Glow Cream To Powder Highlighter: Review & Comparison with MAC CCB in Pearl!

essence soo glow cream to powder highlighter

Essence Soo Glow is a 4.5 g cream to powder highlighter available in two shades, one with a yellow undertone (10) and one with a pink undertone (20). I have shade 10, Look On The Bright Side. Today I’ll be reviewing this highlighter and comparing it with my HG, MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl. claims:

glamour glow! the new highlighter conjures a beautiful shimmer. its creamy texture turns into a velvety, powdery formula upon application. easy to apply with your fingers, it sets gorgeous accents on your cheekbones, underneath the brows or in the inner corners of your eyes. the highlighter is available in two different colors – one light rosé and a pretty champagne tone – so it’s ideal for every complexion.

available in 10 look on the bright side and 20 bright up your life.

essence soo glow

soo glow look on the bright side

soo glow close up

The Good

For a drugstore highlighter, this is beautiful. It is creamy, easy to apply, and looks lovely. It isn’t very pigmented; you don’t get a heavily highlighted effect with this. This is more of a radiant, subtle glow. It shows up as a barely-there, natural, dewy sheen.

The yellow undertone will likely suit all skin tones.

In hot, humid weather, this lasted for four hours on me before wearing off. There still remained some subtle shimmer; a bit of a sheen, I suppose.

4.5 g is a lot of product for the price paid, more than the 3.2 g MAC Pearl offers for its price.

The packaging is cute IMO. It is sturdy, and opens and closes without defects.

I bought this as a dupe for my MAC CCB in Pearl (I am paranoid that I will run out of it one day) and I think the two are very similar. Let’s get to that in a while.

The Bad

You have to apply this quickly, with a steady and swift hand, otherwise you risk ending up with a shimmery streak on your face.

Also, there is slight visible shimmer in this, similar to MAC Pearl. But it isn’t over-the-top, at least not to me. It is visible in direct sunlight and harsh indoor lighting.

I apply this with my fingers so there is the issue of hygiene.

No mirror in the compact. Boo.


I use my ring or middle finger to swiftly and lightly dab this into my cheekbones. The trick here is to avoid rubbing; if you rub you end up with streaky shimmer, not a soft highlight. The cream sets very quickly to a soft, velvety powder form.

I wear this on top of liquid foundation/bb cream and set it with translucent loose powder.

As you can see from the swatch below, it goes on strong but blends into a soft glow.



Do I recommend this?

On its own, without comparing it to other similar products, yes. If you want a good, affordable cream to powder highlighter, this is a great option I think. I personally really like this and will probably repurchase this if I need a good budget cream highlighter.

I believe this is a good dupe for MAC CCB in Pearl, which you can read about below.


I bought mine for Rs.550 from Al Fatah, Lahore. It is available on Amazon for US residents and on Wilko for UK residents. US residents can also look for further details on the Essence US website. This is likely to be available at Essence kiosks globally, as it is not a part of any collection.


soo glow vs mac pearl
soo glow vs mac pearl

pearl above soo glow below

mac left essence right unblended (2)
MAC Pearl vs. Essence Soo Glow – 1

As you can see in the picture above, there is a very minute difference between the two. MAC Pearl swatches as a stronger highlight compared to Essence Soo Glow, IMO. Also, there is a tiny bit of deep golden shimmer in the Essence product, while the MAC one has more of a white-gold shimmer to it. I don’t know if it is visible to you, but the deep golden shimmer specks can be seen around the outer area of the Soo Glow swatch. In the picture below, I’ve tried to capture them more clearly.

mac vs essence
MAC Pearl vs. Essence Soo Glow – 2

When the two are blended out, MAC Pearl still gives off a stronger highlight, while essence Soo Glow blends out to a dewy sheen. The sheen is a bit powdery as this is a cream to powder formula, after all.

essence above mac below
Essence Soo Glow and MAC Pearl, blended out

So there you have it. I don’t know about you but I think the two are very similar. Granted, MAC Pearl lasts about an hour or so longer on me and gives off a relatively stronger highlight than Essence Soo Glow shade #10. But if you’re on a budget and you need something that resembles Pearl, I think Essence Soo Glow is a good option.

P.S. Apologies for the slight difference in lighting; all pictures were taken in natural light.


22 thoughts on “Essence Soo Glow Cream To Powder Highlighter: Review & Comparison with MAC CCB in Pearl!

  1. great review!! super helpful 🙂 i’m obsessed with highlighters too – my current favorite is laura mercier 🙂
    instagram: the_ch1ara

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I too am obsessed with highlighters; I collect them like a woman possessed lol. Which one by Laura Mercier? The powder highlight?


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