So, I got to thinking, and I realized that a lot of my issues with finding the shine where because I kept getting freaked out by areas of high contrast --> and by that I mean areas where the color changed reallly fast.
That in mind, I decided to try a different tactic.
First, instead of painting the whole circle with a base color, and then adding light accordingly, I made a stripe of the base color across what I wanted the darkest part of the sphere to be and smudged outwards.
Around here ^ is where I started using a very large brush (with a radius above 1/2 of the sphere) on a very low rate (under 10%) to smudge. It gave it a smoother blur effect and evened out a few bumps.
More low rate smooth.
And then tada!
So far, I think it's the best I've been able to do.
It's not quite at the goal:
But it's closer than before.
I also did a darker version to see if the effect carried on.
Not sure to be honest. I think it might have something to do with the reflection light near the bottom.
Anywho. Will do more, and hopefully I can move on from spheres!