I know every time new seasonal collections launch it’s always so hard to believe we are already looking at products meant to be used 2 seasons away. Although, with the recent launch of Estée Lauder’s summer collection, it’s definitely a welcome change from the snowy weather we have had here in Chicago this week.

It’s no surprise that my stand-out pick from the collection is the new illuminating powder gelee in Heat Wave. A cruel irony is that the day Heat Wave arrived on my doorstep we were pummeled with 8 inches of snow…

Nevertheless I was super excited to see Heat Wave in person, and I was not disappointed.

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Gelee

Unlike last summer’s launch, Heat Wave is much lighter and much more wearable. It’s the gilded, less rosey sister of the original gelee, Modern Mercury. In summation: perfect for summer. Bronzed goddess looks will easily be nailed with this in your makeup rotation.

I love the design this time as well. The ray of light effect is perfect and geometrically fun to play with…

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Gelee 2

If you didn’t already know, would you take this for a picture of makeup? I don’t think I would…. 🙂

I thought I’d bring out the other illuminating powder gelee’s that Estée Lauder has released for a quick round up:

Estee Lauder Gelee Powder Comparison Clockwise from bottom: Topaz Chameleon, Shimmering Sands, Heat Wave, Modern Mercury

Modern Mercury is the one that started it all, the quick to sell out and rare to find piece that is one of the most gorgeous highlighters I have ever touched. Topaz Chameleon was released last spring and is an incredibly pigmented bronze shade. Shimmering Sands followed in the summer last year, and turned out to be much darker than I had anticipated and is also the least shimmery of the gelees released thus far. Heat Wave is of course the latest release and fans of the original Modern Mercury should not hesitate to snatch this up. It will surely sell out and be difficult to find soon enough.

Estee Lauder Gelee Swatches

Swatches L-R (sunlight) Topaz Chameleon, Shimmering Sands, Heat Wave, Modern Mercury

You can see the clear difference in all 4 in terms of shade, but also worth noting is that Modern Mercury and Heat Wave are the closest in terms of texture and shimmer. If you found Modern Mercury a bit too intense or dark in color, Heat Wave will probably look better to you.

I also pulled out a few shades of highlighters from other brands that I thought might be similar:

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Dupes Comparisons

Clockwise from bottom: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Moonstone, MAC Whisper of Gilt, Estée Lauder Heat Wave, Jemma Kidd Rose Gold, Benefit Watt’s Up

Estee Lauder Heat Wave Dupes Swatches Sunlight

Swatches L-R (sunlight): Benefit Watt’s Up, Becca Moonstone, Estée Lauder Heat Wave, MAC Whisper of Gilt, Jemma Kidd Rose Gold

In terms of texture, only Heat Wave and Whisper of Gilt are actually powders (albeit hybrids) and they are also the closest in color. Whisper of Gilt is warmer on my skin than Heat Wave, if not peachier. You can see the difference in warmth in the swatches, but your skin tone may play up or play down that slight variation. The texture is somewhat smoother on Heat Wave, but the formula on both feels very similar. Moonstone is much lighter, less shimmer and more glow. Watt’s Up is a distant relative being a full cream product and much less shimmery, but similar in tone. Rose Gold is, well, rosier and is also more toned down in the shimmer department.

As I said above, if you were a fan of the original Modern Mercury or regret missing out on it, don’t wait around to buy Heat Wave. I see it being a quick sell out. Highlighters happen to be quite an addiction for me, so I might be biased here. But don’t say I didn’t warn you… 😉

You can pick up Heat Wave on the Estée Lauder website, and it retails for $40. However, Macy’s is running a gift with purchase right now on any $35 Estée Lauder purchase, so I’d start with them here.


18 responses to “A Welcome Heat Wave from Estée Lauder”

  1. Sunny says:

    Thanks for the review, Danielle! Heat Wave does look so gorgeous and wearable. I am so tempted! I think I swatched some of these in the past, but they seemed too pigmented for me. Heat Wave luckily doesn’t have that problem!

  2. Latoya says:

    Oooohhhh this is trouble, Danielle! I was sad to miss Modern Mercury, so when Shimmering Sands came out I snapped it up – but find that it isn’t what I was hoping for. I might have to see if I can grab one of these, it really looks lovely!

    • Danielle says:

      I know. I was bummed with Shimmering Sands because it looked so much lighter in the pan. It turns almost reddish on me. It really only works when I have a nice tan, otherwise I just look like I’m in pain. Definitely check out the new shade…it’s much more along the lines of Modern Mercury. 🙂

  3. Ria says:

    These are beautiful!

    Ria x

  4. I’m totally pinning that second picture.

  5. AHHHHH BLOOMZ! This looks so PRETTY!! Ugggh. You get all the perfect highlighters girl!

  6. Lumi says:

    Thank you so much for the comparison to Mac’s Whisper of Gilt! I’d been trying to figure out whether Heat Wave was worth given that I own Whisper of Gilt but they seem to be quite similar. Any reason why you think one might need both?

    • Danielle says:

      Hi Lumi,
      You’re welcome! Not unless you have your heart set on collecting the Estee Lauder releases. The formula on Heat Wave is *slightly* more refined but they are very, very similar. If you already love Whisper of Gilt I don’t see any reason why you should rush out and purchase Heat Wave.

  7. Del says:

    I LOVE my modern mercury! And this does look completely different.. so guess what ima be buying soooon =P

  8. Jenn says:

    I think they are all beautiful…I love using an illuminating powder/bronzer on my cheeks and eyes for just a touch of color in the summer..

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