MAC e.l.f. highlighter

Soft & Gentle, as the man at the MAC counter told me, is the OG highlighter. Before highlighting was even really a thing, MAC had their mineralized skin finishes and was all over the soon to be trend. Naturally, dupes for such a cult classic were bound to come along; one of which is made by e.l.f. cosmetics. Blush Gems might even be mistaken as a travel size version of Soft & Gentle, it looks so similar. Do the similarities go beyond just the appearance, though? I put the two head to head to see which one is better and if MAC is still the go to for highlighters!

Soft & Gentle is a baked, peach highlight packed Vitamin E and lots of micro glitter! MAC claims it features a 77 mineral complex, is dermatologist tested, non-acnegenic, and ophthalmologist tested. While the online description of this product says it can be used all over the face for an all over glow, I would advise against doing so. Soft & Gentle is a true highlighter that packs a punch; using it like a setting powder would result in some serious shine. However, when it’s placed on the highpoints of the face it is absolutely stunning. The product itself is soft, velvety and easy to apply to the skin.

Blush Gems from e.l.f. cosmetics is also a baked highlighter that is similar in color to Soft & Gentle. It’s also packed with Vitamin E, but it also include Jojoba, sunflower, apricot, and grape. All of these are meant to work together to hydrate the skin, however I don’t ever notice my skin feeling hydrated from a baked, dry product. One flaw this product has is that the top layer needs to be scraped away before the highlight can actually be picked up by a brush and applied to the skin. This tends to be misleading and cause people to believe that this is not a good product, which is not the truth at all! You just need to put in a little work before you get to the good stuff.

MAC e.l.f. highlighter

To put these two to the test I wore Soft & Gentle on the right side of my face and Blush Gems on the left side. I set my makeup with the NYX dewy setting spray and then wore my makeup for a full 12 hours. So, how did these two do when compared side by side? Both are easy to apply and can be applied wet or dry. Soft & Gentle feels a bit softer to the touch than Blush Gems but that doesn’t make a difference once they’re applied to the skin. There wasn’t any fall out from either of the highlighters throughout the day which is always a big plus. Really the only difference in application was that by the end of the day Soft & Gentle was a bit more noticeable on my skin than Blush Gems. When I say a bit, I truly mean a bit; I was shocked to see that both sides looked almost the same by the end of the day.

Mac elf highlighter
Blush Gems on the left and Soft & Gentle on the right

Now, the real difference between these two products is the price. Soft & Gentle retails for $33 for .35 oz. of product and Blush Gems retails for $4 for .17 oz. At the end of the day, I think this one is up to you, the buyer, and what you prefer. Are high end products important to you or something you enjoy having in your collection? If so, then choose Soft & Gentle. If you’re on a budget but still want a high end look, go with Blush Gems. Both of these highlighters performed beautifully and I don’t think anyone would be disappointed with either.


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Thanks for reading!

Audrey Knizek



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One comment


These both are really lovely♥ I would probably go for the Elf one though because I like to save my money 🙂

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