Mac Glow Play Blush Review (Heat Index and Groovy Swatches)

I decided to go ahead and publish this review early because Mac Cosmetics just started a great sale.  You can get 30% off of blushes, highlighters, bronzers, and skincare through July 23, 2020, using the promo code “macjuly30” on their website.  Today I’ll be talking about the Glow Play Blushes**, the brand’s newest formula.

Mac claims that this “bouncy-blush” has sheer to medium, buildable coverage and gives a radiant look.  Because of this unique texture, I want to start off by talking about the application method.  The brand recommends applying these with either fingers or a tightly packed synthetic brush.  The recommended brushes are the 159S (duo-fiber short bristles rounded shape), 128S (short dense 50-50 split fibre)**, and 109S (short dense dome shape)**.  The brush I used (Smashbox cream cheek**) is short like the 128S but shaped more like the 109S.  The fact that this blush has a soft texture but isn’t a cream formula makes application a little different for those that aren’t familiar with this texture.

Mac Glow Play Blush heat index and groovy swatches
MAC Glow Play Blush in Heat Index (bottom) and Groovy (top)

Although I wouldn’t say these dry down to a powder finish, they do set.  They do not feel tacky after application.  Groovy doesn’t work as easily as heat index.  It is stiffer in texture so it doesn’t pick up on the brush or blend as easily.

If you take a look at the picture below you can see the difference in how much I had to dig into the shade groovy compared to heat index to use it.  In comparison, the texture of heat index is smooth and softer.

heat index and groovy swatches
Heat Index (left) and Groovy (right)

Again, I use the Smashbox cream cheek brush for application and that worked for both shades, but it works better for heat index.  Because of its drier texture, groovy definitely works better with finger application, but it can be used with the brush, it just takes more effort and building.

The reviews for this blush formula are kind of all over the place.  Some people are raving about them and some people think they are terrible.  If this variation in texture that I experienced is present throughout the entire line, then I can see why there is such a division.

Both shades are sheer but buildable and they both leave a radiant finish on the skin (as the brand claims).  Heat Index** is easy to work with regardless of the application method and I would recommend it.  I can’t say the same for groovy.  Groovy** is hard to work with and it takes more to build the color.  Also, when using groovy with fingers I had to be careful to only use patting motions to avoid disturbing my foundation.

UPDATE March 11 2022: I purchased the shade Rosy Does It over the summer and posted a swatch recently (click here for that post). The formula of Rosy Does It is consistent with the experience I have with Heat Index. So it does seem that (at least for me) the formula of Groovy is the outlier.

Mac describes heat index as a bright pink.**

MAC Glow Play Blush Heat Index Swatch
MAC Glow Play Blush Heat Index

Mac describes groovy as a bright pinky coral.**

MAC Glow Play Blush Groovy Swatch
MAC Glow Play Blush Groovy

Overall this is an interesting formula and I’d be curious to see an expanded range of colors if it is possible to refine the formulation so that it is more consistent across colors. I avoided trying these for a long time because I thought they’d be similar to the bareMinerals Bounce and Blur blushes and the Colourpop Supershock blushes.  I would say they are all in the same formula category of not quite cream and not quite a powder.  I’m glad I tried them out and I will continue to use heat index.

The glow play blush formula comes in 10 shades and retails for $30.00 at**  During the sale that ends on July 23, 2020 (promo code: macjuly30), these blushes are $21.00.

Have you tried any of the glow play blushes?  Have you come across another color in the range that is a winner? Let us know in the comments below.

Other Mac swatches and reviews that may help you shop

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3 thoughts on “Mac Glow Play Blush Review (Heat Index and Groovy Swatches)

  1. These are the two Glow Play shades I’ve been the most curious about (Groovy in particular)! That’s a bit disappointing to hear it’s more difficult to work with, but I’m glad you mentioned that. I’ll be removing it from my MAC wishlist that I have saved for when there’s another sale in the future.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely disappointing. I’m not surprised you were interested in those, based on your Mac review post we have the same taste in blush shades 🙂 Glad I could save you some money though lol


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