Monday, January 5, 2015

Soft and Gentle vs. Blush Gems

Hey internet!  I recently saw a swatch of THE cult classic Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle by MAC on Pinterest.  This wasn't just any swatch, but it was a double swatch comparing it to an e.l.f. alternative known as the Baked Highlighter in Blush GemsThis sparked my interest in conducting further investigation.  So that I did.

I'm an avid Skinfinish collector.  I have ten, nine of which are limited edition shades.  I admit, I have a problem and a weakness for their shimmery gorgeousness. I've been looking into acquiring for a while, but I'm all about cheaper alternatives- if I can find something that looks the same and works just as well or even better, I'll get it and be excited about it.  This is a great example of that, and since I can't contain my excitement anymore, lets get started!

e.l.f. Baked Highlighter in Blush Gems

Blush Gems, Swatched

I started out by getting the Baked Highlighter by e.l.f. in Blush Gems.  I was blown away by how beautiful this was and how great it looked on my skin.  I wore this non-stop for two weeks because I love the look this gives, and it goes with every blush I have.  Aside from the striking similarities between this and Soft and Gentle, it's also very similar to Maybelline's Mater Studio Hi-light Blush in Nude, but is just a little more intense.  I'm sure most of the world has seen it already, but just as a reference, here are a couple shots of Soft and Gentle by MAC:

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle

Soft and Gentle, Swatched

On the M.A.C. website, Soft and Gentle is described as a gilded peach bronze.  I'm not sure where that description came from because I think this would be better described as "a neutral champagne shimmer," but that's just me.  Fun Fact: this isn't mine, my mom was nice enough to let me use her Soft and Gentle for my research purposes.  Yesterday, I wore both of these (one on either cheek) and took pictures throughout the day to compare how they looked on the skin, and how long they lasted throughout the day.

These were taken about 30 minutes after application:

It was a natural kind of day

e.l.f. Blush Gems

M.A.C. Soft and Gentle

These next photos were taken at the end of the day, about 9 hours later:

M.A.C. Soft and Gentle

e.l.f. Blush Gems

And before we go any further, some comparison photos of the products themselves:

L-R: Soft and Gentle, Blush Gems

As you can tell from the above, the swatches are a little bit different, but they look near identical on the skin.  The staying power between the two is even, and great!  Their luster started to fade at about 5.5-6 hours, while they lasted for 9 hours until I took of my makeup.  They both pull brown-y champagne on my skin and the build up really well for increased intensity.  Here are some of the differences I noted between the two:

Soft and Gentle:
  • Softer to the touch, slightly more smooth
  • Slightly lighter color
  • Not as build-able
  • More of an intense satin finish
  • Shows more pigment upon first swipe when swatched with a finger
  • Flatter dome in the pan
Blush Gems
  • Not as smooth/slightly gritty to the touch
  • Slightly more intense color
  • More build-able, can practically be made metallic
  • Definitely an intense shimmer finish if used to full capacity
  • More sheer upon first swipe with finger
  • Very rounded dome in the pan
The final thing I wanted to mention was the price breakdown.  For the Skinfinishes, you get 10 grams of product for $32 (holy crap when did they raise the price?).  For the e.l.f. Baked Highlighters, you get 5 grams of product for $3.  In other words, M.A.C. charges $3.20 per gram while e.l.f. is charging $.60 per gram of product that is just as good as M.A.C. in my opinion.

So, which do I give my vote?  Definitely e.l.f.  Since I have discovered them, the quality of their products has has been significantly raised...just as M.A.C.'s prices...  Like I said, I'm a Skinfinish hoarder.  They are my absolute favorite product to collect, but I would rather invest in a more affordable alternative that is just as good rather than splurging just to add another Skinfinish to the collection.  If you're in the market for a great highlighter and have been considering Soft and Gentle, I would recommend going for Blush Gems by e.l.f.  It's practically the same color, just as good, is more versatile, and is way less expensive.

Well, my rant has ended.  I hope you found this useful/interesting/enjoyable and thank you so much for taking the time to read this.  ~Have a great day~


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