Finding a highlighter: MAC Pearl vs. Hush

A little while ago, reader Lena sent an email my way and asked me if I could recommend a highlighter “that gives a nice sheen/glow… but nothing too shimmery.” She’s NC20 and Korean, and was thinking of either MAC Pearl or Hush.

Because it’s a question that I get asked quite a lot, I thought I’d address it on theNotice!

Pearl, then Hush. Both are looking a little dark & burnt in this photo for no apparent reason.
But for the record, Pearl does not look like burnt vanilla custard.

In my opinion, Pearl and Hush are both great highlighters for NC20-ish skin. The difference is that Pearl is a yellow-toned off-white, whereas Hush is a peachy-pink. Pearl would be a more universal shade, going with everything (or alone) to create a glow, but Hush will go amazingly with specific shades (or skintones.)

Pearl heavily, then lightly; Hush heavily, then lightly. Indirect morning through-the-clouds sunlight.

Imagine this: you have a scale running from one to ten; ten being gorgeous and one being kind of dowdy. Kind of really dowdy. Now, Pearl runs from a five to an eight 95% of the time, no matter what else you have on your face, how tan you are, etc. Hush, on the other hand? It’s a 1-3 20% of the time, 4-8 50% of the time, and 9-10 30% of the time. (For an NC20, that is — on someone with darker skin, say NC30, these proportions would be more like 0%-50%-50%!)

I know, I know — I’m being confusing and I’m sorry!!

Pearl heavily, then lightly; Hush heavily, then lightly. Indirect sunlight without the clouds.

The bottom line is that they’re both great choices, but if you wear a lot of light pinks or plums (like me!) then Pearl will likely be a better choice. If you wear a lot of peachy shades or bronzers, though, Hush has the potential to be unbelievably amazing.

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