Despite the highlighter craze it wasn’t one of my favorite make up products for a long time. I tried a few here and there, but most highlighters tend to be golden toned and I don’t always find that flattering on my fair skin tone. But that’s when I discovered cool toned highlights and how they are perfect if you have pale skin like me. So when Urban Decay launched 3 highlighters in their permanent collection this year and I tried Aura, you can imagine how that was love at first swatch.
Urban Decay Afterglow 8-hour Powder Highlighter Aura
Out of the three, there are also the infamous Sin and Fireball shades, Aura is the lightest and to me it is also the most special one out of the bunch. Each highlighter retails for €30: definitely not a cheap product, so it better be special. What made this particular powder stand out to me is the gorgeous, almost ethereal glow this gives. Rather than an in your face, ka-bam, highlight this is much more subtle and wearable for every day.
The highlighter comes in a shiny, duochrome outer box and a simple plastic compact. A cool detail with the Urban Decay blushes and highlighters is that you can see the shade through the semi-transparent UD initials at the front.
The compact closes with a magnetic closure and has no mirror. The pan size is decent: you receive 6.8 grams of product.
In the pan and at a first glance, Aura looks like a pale pink powder. The flecks of glow aren’t even that noticeable at first, but when you tilt the powder towards the light, or look at it with flash, you can definitely see a bunch of glow. I say glow, because as you can see in the pan, this product contains no glitter whatsoever. I dare to say this looks almost boring just looking at it.
Top: tilted towards the light
Bottom: with flash
See what I mean? When tilting this powder towards the light, there is the most stunning pinky/ purple shift to this product. This is definitely one of the most beautiful highlighters I ever laid eyes on. And then to think that I had the hardest time getting this to show up on camera: in real life the effect is 20x stronger!
With a flash, the color is mostly washes out and what you get is a very icy looking highlight. Atrocious to some, but I find that if you have an incredibly fair skin tone, these type of highlights work best. Not when you want to warm up the face, but it does make for a much more natural effect.
Left: in the shade
Right: with flash
Swatched you can also clearly see the effect this highlight gives off. Again, in real life this looks much more spectacular: my camera just hates highlighters it seems. The pinky/ purple glow is most noticeable in the picture on the left. On the right, with the flash, it looks very white based and almost silvery.
Left: nothing, Right: with Aura
As you can see on these pictures, the effect his highlight gives looks very subtle, but natural on my. My skin has a pink to neutral undertone, which I guess why this color works for me. If your skin is more olive or yellow toned, then I think Fireball or Sin would be much better options for you as those are much warmer.
Bottom: Aura on my cheek
Of course I also have to add a close up. I felt that this highlight is the type of product that shows up differently in different lights. Especially because the base is such a non-exciting pink powder, it simply blends into the skin and then when you switch your head to different angles, letting the light catch the product, you get a different effect with every turn of your head.
I’m not sure about the 8-hour wear promise Urban Decay puts on this product. Sure it lasts a good amount of time, but I find that as my skin breaks up my foundation underneath that this does become quite a bit patchy after a full day of wear. The glow will still be there and be very noticeable, but after a 12 hour work day the glow only shows up in certain areas rather then exactly where I applied it.
This highlight ticks all the boxes for me: the color is right for my skin tone, it lasts well enough and has an interesting twist to it while not being too noticeable. This Urban Decay Afterglow Highlight will work great for those who work in an office environment where very out there make up is not something you can pull off. In short, Aura is a great everyday highlight for all those fair skinned guys and gals out there.
What is the last highlighter you purchased and fell in love with?