MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid
MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid

MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid ($31.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is described as a “golden shimmer.” It’s a warm-toned, bronze and gold-shimmered tan brown. I don’t know of any specific dupes, as I’m not as familiar with the liquid illuminator category, so I haven’t reviewed many products previously. NARS Maldives is somewhat similar, but it is more pigmented and in stick-form, but NARS does have a liquid illuminator range, so my guess would be that this would be somewhat similar to Laguna. The thing with illuminators like this, though, is that they are very subtle once applied so while Tom Ford Fire Lust doesn’t look similar when swatched, when applied, they seemed to both offer the same effect.

The formula is described as a thin liquid that “produces a soft, radiant light on the skin … by providing a natural-looking glow.” It’s supposed to spread smoothly and absorb quickly. MAC has Strobe Liquid (the original) available year-round, while this is a bronzy take on the formula. This type of product can be applied in many ways (and as with any beauty product, apply however you wish! the possibilities are endless!), but the common ways are mixed with moisturizer, foundation, and patted along the high planes of the face. The consistency is thin, almost water-like, and it seemed sheerer and thinner than even original Strobe Liquid (but it’s been a long time since I’ve used it, so I might be remembering incorrectly).

Golden Elixir seemed to add a smidgen of warmth to my skin while giving it a radiant finish, which some might find too dewy that it looks oily, and I think on camera, it can look too reflective, but in person, it’s quite lovely and natural-looking. A light dusting of setting powder will bring it down and make it photo-ready, though. I didn’t have any trouble with it interfering with the wear of my foundation when I wore it mixed with it (I used Guerlain’s Lingerie de Peau as my base). When I wore it as a spot highlighter, it lasted six hours well and then seemed to slide around a bit.

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MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid
MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid

MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid
MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid

MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid
MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid

MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid
MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


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Me too. I’ve only recently discovered the whole highlighters/shimmer powder thing (largely due to Temptalia!), and I’m finding powder types usually work better for me. Most of the cream or liquid ones end up looking too intense, and too shiny/oily on me after not very long.

How does this compare, in shade and consistency, to Sun Rush Luster Drops? That full face picture of you is absolutely STUNNING btw!

Loving that ETK palette on your eyes!

I’ve never tried strobe liquid. Strobe cream was not a favourite product, but perhaps the liquid is less greasy. Pretty!

I LOVE the idea of these types of highlighters/illuminators. But I find that after a couple hours, my face creates it’s own glow πŸ™‚ Might be ok for the middle of winter when my cheeks get a little too dry.

It’s probably just that way because I don’t style it very often with heat/tools (I also don’t dye my hair)! The past few weeks, I’ve used primarily Head & Shoulders for shampoo/conditioner, and once a week or every week and a half, I use Aussie’s 3-Minute Miracle deep conditioner instead of regular conditioner!

Squee! Excited for this one πŸ™‚ I love the original Strobe Liquid – it’s one of those products I use all the time… constantly and forever. I have a TON of liquid illuminators but I always reach for Strobe Liquid by default cause I know it wears well and looks good on everyone. Products like this are great for mineral makeup or powder foundation wearers who don’t want to look so “dry” (as often powders will do). This with Studio Fix powder by MAC and you’re set! Super simple and really nice looking πŸ™‚

Off the soap box. Wee! πŸ˜› LOL

You always look beautiful in your reviews but this picture in particular was like “Bam!” You look stunning!

Great review as always!

Christine, thank you for your reviews- they are so helpfull!
To be honest I still spend too much money on make up, but at least since I read your reviews it doesn’t happens to me to be disappoined with product that I bought just because it looked nice ..
We already have Temperature Rising collection in Israel, and when I tried Golden Elixir Strobe fluid I had to buy it because it’s really amazing product! I’m nw20 and this doesn’t look too brown or orange, but just gives the skin beautiful glow. It’s really thin and as you said water-like. However I have combination skin and on the nose it did look a little bit too shiny/ oily, but with powder it’s OK.

Thank you! πŸ™‚

I’m happy to hear it’s working well on your NW20 skin! I had to powder a bit for a few other photos, because it is a little much on camera, lol!

I noticed that illuminator tones do actually affect my make-up overall. I’m neutral/yellow (BECCA Noisette/ MUFE HD 123/UD 5.0) & if I wear MAC Strobe or BECCA Opal mixed with my foundation, it give my face a noticeable pink cast in comparison to my chest & neck. When using them for spot highlighting (cheekbones, bridge of the nose, brow bones, & Cupid’s bow) the color doesn’t seem to matter. I do notice that BECCA Moonstone & MAC Whisper of Gilt flatter my skin a touch better than the aforementioned & I don’t run into a problem with my face not matching the rest of me when I use them.

Christine, you are the most wonderful kind of beautiful: the kind that makes other people feel warm and fuzzy to look at. It’s not a remote, intimidating, trying-to-impress beauty. Yours is really joyful and accessible. I think it’s because you’re clearly not wrestling with any ego issues around how you look–I love that you cheerfully test green lipstick with as much panache as a red one! It’s such a lovely quality in a person, and it’s ace to be in your company.

I’ll stop being creepy now, I swear.

Aww, thank you Chanterais πŸ™‚ (That is such a pretty name!)

And you could never be creepy! It is always nice to hear that I’m coming off as accessible, because that’s definitely something I want to be! πŸ™‚

I share the same sentiments. I love and appreciate the way you interact with us, and that you really take time in answering our questions, Christine. You’re just genuinely nice. πŸ™‚

This photo of yours is really eye-catching, Christine! But, we all know you look beautiful with and without make-up. πŸ™‚ I’ve been dying to read this review, I wanted to know your thoughts on this particular product before I add it to my list. I’m really glad it turned out well. Whew!

I soo wish I could get the hang of these types of illuminizers, but I feel like my skin is too oily naturally to wear them. Either that or I’m just so paranoid of shine that I blot it all away. It would be great on legs and decolletage, though!

Hey πŸ™‚ Is this similar to mac lustre drops in sunrush? I have the drops, so Im debating if I should get the strobe cream or not

Did you notice a scent with yours? Mine has no scent. I love the Strobe Cream scent I was hoping this would have it too, I know that is silly but I just lovehow it smells.Haha

Hi, can you compare this to MAC’s lustre drops? I am currently searching a face liquid highlighter for a dewy look, but nothing with bit shimmer particles. And I have a medium complexion, a shade darker than yours, if it helps, can you guide me if MAc’s lustre drops in Sun Rush will be better for my complexion or this exilir? Any help will be appreciated πŸ™‚

And one more thing, should someone with a medium, wheatish complexion with yellow undertones go for a goldeny highlighter or will they be able to pull of something like MAC’s lustre drops in Pink Rebel as well? :S

Thanks for any assistance!

Lustre Drops are thicker and more shimmery, so you’d use it as more of a spot application or mixed in with moisturizer/foundation.

You can definitely wear either with warm undertones!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!