Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee Review, Photos, Swatches

Heat Wave

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee ($45.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a bright, medium gold with warm, yellow undertones and a metallic sheen. It appeared more metallic when I swatched it than when I applied to my cheek bones, though when I applied it more heavily or with a damp brush, it started to take on a more noticeable sheen. I did not feel like it emphasized my skin’s natural texture, though, even when applied heavily.

The formula is described as a “super-luxurious bronzer” with a buildable finish “to a luminous pearl highlight.” It’s more like a gold-hued highlighter than your typical bronzer. The consistency was soft, smooth, and dense without being stiff or difficult to blend out. It was easy to apply and diffuse along the edges, and it layered well with blushes or could be worn on its own, if desired. This shade lasted well for eight hours on me before fading. While this may have been more innovative when it originally launched years ago, the reality is that this type of gold highlighter is rather common these days, so there are a lot more dupes for those who aren’t interested in tracking this product down.


Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, C12-20 Acid PEG-8 Ester, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Squalane, Glycerin, Tocopherol, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dicalcium Phosphate, Tin Oxide, Silica, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Polysorbate 80, Caprylyl Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Isostearyl Alcohol, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Limonene, Eugenol, Benzyl Alcohol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, BHT, [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Iron Oxides (CI 77492), Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Carmine (CI 75470), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140)].

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee

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Product Availability

Estee Lauder Heat Wave $47.00/0.24 OZ.
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Makeup Look

On face:
  • Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Foundation
  • Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder
On eyes:
  • Makeup Geek Illusion Pigment
  • Makeup Geek Hocus Pocus Pigment
  • Makeup Geek Enchanted Pigment
  • Makeup Geek Curfew Eyeshadow
  • Makeup Geek Vanilla Bean Eyeshadow
  • Urban Decay Scorch Eyeliner
On lips:
  • Bite Beauty Gold CrΓ¨me Lip Glossl

About the Reviewer


Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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Wow, three 100% dupes! I love the Gelee formula, but agree that especially now, it’s really not a unique offering. I wish they had re-released one of the other past colors instead. I would be all over Shimmering Sands! Maybe next time…

This “true gold” (at least, to me) is one of the more common shades released in that hybrid formula, which is found at SO many brands now!

Yeah wasn’t suprised when this first came out it was a dupe of MAC Whisper of Gilt because the cross brand polination of products when brands are owned by the same parrent company. I will say that Heave Wave is more pigmented version of MAC Whisper of Gilt. πŸ˜‰

Thanks for posting the dupes on this! I was curious about this, but I already have Whisper of Gilt (incl backup) and a number of the 95% dupes, so money and time saved tracking this one down. I do love the gorgeous sun ray embossing though, very well done

I christine, im glad you reviewed this, many people is going crazy for it as it keeps selling out almost everywere, i have it, i also have the original one and mac oh darling, comparing the 3 together the original is a tad more beige and feels more creamy, and the new heatwave and oh darling are indeed the same, 100 percent identical, so for everyone that is going crazy trying to get it just wait for oh darling, is coming back and will become permanent, im sure will be cheaper than this one too, i will be returning mine since i already have the original which i like more and oh darling which is identical.

I mean, years ago, sure, it was more unique, but now? Soooo similar to so many other gold highlighters out there! And some of them permanent (and cheaper) πŸ˜‰

I gasped when I saw your swatch of it, but then saw the dupe list!

Iv been planning on picking up the MUFE highlighter once I finish one more highlight, (I’m almost done! My second finished highlighter πŸ˜€ ) so I’m good!

Wow, that is something impressive!!

Thanks for sharing this little fact, it boosts me for my little project pan that I have on an highlighter! We can do it!!

It is beautiful. But I have MAC Whisper Of Gilt (MAC needs to make it part of their permanent lineup!) and Estee Edit 14K Glow. Both faves of mine! ?

So glad to see that this is available at The Bay in Canada. I don’t use highlighters all that often and I have at least 2 of the listed dupe (Edit 14K Glow and Becca Opal) but there is something about this and that “gelee” in the name that makes me WAAAANT this. I’m waiting for the cooler side of my brain to take over, though, or maybe pull out the Estee Edit palette and see if I truly like this sort of colour on me.

I just bought Laura Geller Gilded Honey, so, I think I’ll pass on this. I think my next highlighter purchase will be a pale/cool toned formula.

It’s beautiful, rates really well, but is so expensive. You are quite right in your comments Christine – there are lots of cheaper and just as good alternatives now.
Love that gold lip gloss too!

Wow Christine it looks so pretty on you especially with the lipstick your wearing. I am glad it received a good review I just received mine today.

This highlighter appears to be quite popular despite the many dupes. I accidentally own MAC Oh, Darling (a gift arrived broken so Nordstrom let me keep it and refunded me as it had sold out). I don’t often reach for it for no reason except reaching for other gold highlighters.

It swatches and wears beautifully, but the price tag is too much for me. Not to mention I have three of the dupes haha! I’m glad you reviewed it though, it seems popular.

Gorgeous. I love this color on you. After hesitating the first time this made the rounds, I may go for it (if it is available when I start shopping again).

i’ve been hearing bout this hype of heat wave for years…finally get my hands on it and meeeeeeh!!! I have gilded honey and whisper of guilt so the thrill of this unicorn isn’t appealing to me! Although i did catch this leprechaun at nordies…it’s going back so the $45 can go towards another splurge.

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