Spotlight On: MAC Gleam

Finish: Lustre / Barely pinked gold

Gleam is best described as a pale pinky-gold eyeshadow with a heavy glitter formula. Many don’t like it for its lack of pigmentation, but what isn’t understood, or perhaps overlooked, is that Gleam is not meant to be a highly pigmented shade. This is like Star Violet in the way it’s to be treated and is comparable to more of MAC’s lighter shades, like Shroom for instance in what you can expect. You won’t get a huge amount of color with this one, but a nice pink-champagne color. What turned me off about Gleam is its chunky formula and all that GLITTER! Eeegads, MAC! Not one of my favorite formulas, but I do like the color and how this appears in certain combos, especially on the middle of the lid with darker neutrals. Applied wet it is a LOT more intense and I personally don’t like it applied dry because it is so light.

Look #1

MAC eyeshadows used:

  • Coppering (on lid, below crease)
  • Gleam (middle of lid)
  • Kid (crease)
  • Cork (blend Coppering into Kid)
  • Blanc Type (blend)


25 thoughts on “Spotlight On: MAC Gleam

  1. if they could somehow turn this into a veluxe pearl finish it would be an AWESOME color! πŸ™‚ it’s so beautiful and i find that using a synthetic brush helps make this worth the extra effort. i’m a sucker for these pinky peach champagne colors. 1, 3, 5, and 6 are my favorites πŸ™‚ especially 1 and 3!!

      1. I’m wondering if there are similar colours to Gleam (MAC or other brands) that apply better. I have “issues” with almost all the Lustre shadows I have and tend to avoid purchasing anything labelled “Lustre” now. I’d heard that MAC was going to discontinue that finish and if it’s true, all I can say is that I’m not surprised. They tend to look especially gorgeous in the pan and they’re all a “booger” (LOL) to apply.

      2. Same here, Mariella. I’m usually not a Lustre fan either, could be just how light this one is that makes it even more difficult to show. It reminds me a lot of Expensive Pink, only lighter. It also reminds me of Jest.

  2. Wow, Gleam looks so pretty in all of these looks! I like all of them but I especially like Look #2. I’ve always heard that Gleam can be a little bit hard to apply but it looks well worth it :o) . Do you have any tips for the best way to apply this shade? Do you really have to build it up or do you apply it with a particular type of brush?

    1. Yes, I did find that I had to build the color – I used Too Faced as the base and applied about three layers with the MAC #239 brush. That seemed to do the trick. I also tried applying this over NYX’s Jumbo Pencil in ‘Milk’ but it didn’t make that big of a difference compared to using Too Faced. πŸ™‚

  3. Have you every tried Gleam with Rubenesque paint pot? It really intensifies the color, looks more like Expensive Pink. I only use these two together, otherwise Gleam is too light! Your site is awesome by the way!

  4. I am 100% with you on the glitter. It is a FANTASTIC color, one of my favorites, perfectly pinky-peach… looks perfect with blue eyes and goes really nice with bronze too… (I’m loving the one you did with saddle!) but the sparkles get everywhere! I look pure silly by the end of the day if I wear it to work cause it winds up on my cheeks.

  5. Thanks for showcasing Gleam! I bought it and wore it for the first time yesterday and am in love. As a fellow redhead this looks great on and there are a lot of combinations that will work with it. Thank you

  6. I have never seen Gleam in person, but the way you describe it, that “it isn’t understood” and that it “is not meant to be a highly pigmented shade” totally reminds me of the shimmer shades in the Smashbox Full Exposure palette. A lot of people really dislike it, for the reasons you describe are the negatives about Gleam, but I happen to love it for precisely those very same reasons. Whenever I want just a wash of shimmer – or should I say glitter – that’s what I grab. It’s light, not overdone, and really creates a simple, yet glamorous “natural” look. The way those shades sparkle on the lid when light hits it is in stark contrast to the frosty/metallic look of more pigmented and opaque shades that, quite frankly, can really age you by emphasizing any crepe-iness in the skin. I wish the Full Exposure palette got more love than it does. I might have to pick up Gleam or other Lustre shades to see if they have a similar effect!

    1. AH! I have not tried that Smashbox palette, but great observation on your part! I might have to add the Full Exposure palette to the site; I got a sample card of it a while back and the quality was excellent, just on the sample card alone!

      1. If you do add it, keep in mind that pictures probably won’t do the shimmer shades justice. It’s all about angles and reflection of light off the microglitter. But the quality of the mattes are incredible!

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