March 29, 2016

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter Review & Swatches

This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter ($26) launched in Aura, Sin, and Fireball with the Urban Decay Summer 2016 recently.

If you’re not a highlighter kind of girl or a guy or you, simply find them difficult to use I think you’ll really enjoy the Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Highlighter formula. I’m one of those people that love highlighters in theory. I’m a little magpie or at least, I was and I had to own all the pretty highlighter powders. But I never used them! I have a fuller face and I feel like applying a shimmery or glow-y highlighter makes my round face look even round. Kind of like putting a spotlight on all my flaws you know?

No one wants that!

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter is one of those highlighters that’s actually quite easy to use and doesn’t create so much glow that you’re looking like a disco ball. These come housed in the same compacts as the Afterglow Blush with a fishnet UD cutout lid and a chic iridescent case with a reflective finish.

The After Glow Highlighter formula is quite delightful. It’s soft, almost creamy in consistency with a finely milled texture that didn’t accentuate drier areas no matter how much applied. It’s a bit dusty and powdery but this doesn’t translate as dry in the least, and it blends very, very easily. The colors sheerer but they are easily noticeable in brighter light or sunlight as they cast a beautiful glow on my skin. Fireball is particularly beautiful with a duochrome finish that color shifts in different types of light.

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter Swatches (Aura, Fireball, and Sin)

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter Swatches (Aura, Fireball, and Sin)

Urban Decay Aura Afterglow Highlighter

Urban Decay Aura Afterglow Highlighter

Urban Decay Fireball Afterglow Highlighter

Urban Decay Fireball Afterglow Highlighter

Urban Decay Sin Afterglow Highlighter

Urban Decay Sin Afterglow Highlighter

I think the thing I loved most about this formula is the fact that I could be as heavy handed as I wanted and I never once felt I was overdoing things. There’s no chunky shimmer, no glitter fall out, the powder left me a beautiful luminous glow sans all the drama most highlighters bring with them!

If you’re looking for glow but not shimmer or glitter in an easy to apply formula you’ll really enjoy Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter!

Available now at, Ulta, Sephora,, and


This was provided to me by a brand for review and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post but all opinions are my own.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • blee

    I use them for a dewy look for my face. Muse even if you have fuller cheeks it makes your skin look dewy n moist . l use different tones to match my skin tone year round. Have you tried them that way? You may be addicted to using them like me:)

    • Isabella Muse

      I tend to blend blend blend on my cheeks to get a softer radiance that way it doesn’t make me look too shiny and sparkly 😀

  • Robin

    How would you compare these to Hourglass Ambient powders? Is Aura very similar to Hourglass’s Mood?

    • Isabella Muse

      They aren’t anything like Hourglass’s formula and Aura isn’t really the same shade as Mood. Hourglass’s formula is smooth, soft, and silky. Urban Decay’s formula is powdery with a creamier, thicker consistency. They don’t produce the same finish on skin as Urban Decay is much more luminous vs Mood which produces more of a brightening effect versus any radiance or luminosity. Mood is a matte pale pink and Aura is a light luminous pink, it’s considerably more shimmery than the matte finish of Mood.

  • Jen

    I think I need fireball…of all the makeup I have, I don’t own a single highlighter!

  • danadoo

    I NEED fireball!! This is a completely new idea for me, as in I’ve never fathomed using a shade like this to highlight and i think this is exactly the thing that ive been searching for!

  • Christina D.

    You have pushed me over the edge of the indecision cliff again. I love the UD Afterglow blushes and have several of them. When I initially saw Aura and Fireball, I was tempted but shied away because I have found highlighters emphasize my pores (i.e. not a look I’m going for). But your review convinced me otherwise.

    I really need a no-buy. No, like I really really need to go on a no-buy until I use up at least one item in my expanding collection!

    • Isabella Muse

      at the least try fireball it’s lovely 😀 ha if you succeed at a no buy please let me in on the secret, I can’t! I break them all the time!

  • Susan

    lol at “You have pushed me over the edge of the indecision cliff again” because, ME TOO. I’ve been debating highlighters and dread getting too glittery or shimmery. At age 55+ I know my skin needs a little color and glow but don’t want to look like I borrowed small children’s glitter paints. Aura is calling my name, thanks!

    • Isabella Muse

      aw my pleasure Susan 🙂 I hope you like! Have you tried the Hourglass Ambient Powders? Those are really quite lovely!

  • Danni

    Do you like the Urban Decay Sin highlighter more than theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer?