Yesterday I wrote about a highlighting powder that I believe is worth every penny. Today I’m going to tell you about one that isn’t.
For the longest time I’ve heard people rave about Amber Diamond’s finely milled texture and the unbeatable glow it gives to the face. It’s touted as a versatile product; the five colors in the pan can be used all together as a cheek highlighter/bronzer or individually as eyeshadows so it’s not at all surprising that Amber Diamond has quite a following. There are some people though who poo-poo the highlighter, saying that it’s dupable. The Physician Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Bronzer, Blush & Eye Shadow palette in Vegas Strip is often mentioned as a comparable product.
Unlike Shiseido’s High Beam White which I was prepared to hate but ended up loving, I was ready to love Dior’s Amber Diamond but ended up being really disappointed by it. The naysayers had it right. There are subtle shade differences between Vegas Strip and Dior’s Amber Diamond but they’re pretty much identical. Why pay $45 when you can pay a third (or even less) for virtually the same thing?
On my skin (NC15) when swatched heavily, Vegas Strip appears more golden whereas Amber Diamond’s pinker but the finish and levels of shimmer look the same to my eyes. Applied normally in a sheerer layer, the differences are even less noticeable.
Both Amber Diamond and the Shimmer Strips powders can be used as bronzers, highlighters and eyeshadows but, in my opinion, Physicians Formula’s versions are better at multitasking because they’re more pigmented. The color payoff of Amber Diamond isn’t as impressive so while I think it works great dusted on the cheeks, I don’t like it as much as an eyeshadow palette.
Amber Diamond’s a great product but honestly not worth the money and I plan on returning mine to Sephora as soon as possible. If I’m going to pay $45 for a highlighter, I want it to be truly amazing and unlike anything else I’ve ever tried which is obviously not the case if I can get nearly the same thing at a drugstore. Vegas Strip, however, is a keeper.
Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips are available in six shades so there’s probably a pinker shade that’s an even better Amber Diamond dupe among them. The Shimmer Strips cost anywhere from $12 to $15 but Physicians Formula goes on sale all the time at CVS. They’re one of the more expensive drugstore brands so I like to save up my CVS ExtraCare Bucks and wait for one of those sales before buying any of their products. At my local CVS, the Shimmer Strips are usually $14.97 each but this week Physicians Formula products are 40% off, making them about $8.99 each. I bought Vegas Strip on Monday but I got mine for free after using ExtraCare Bucks.