Gorgeous Cosmetics Prism Powder Highlighter in Summer - review and swatches


This product has been next up on my list of items to review for weeks now, it's just that I've kept opting to write other posts so it's fallen to the wayside. But I've had the product for over eight months now and I'm more than ready to give you my thoughts.

I bought it late last year when one of the online retailers was running a GWP promotion for Gorgeous Cosmetics (from memory you had to spend around $90 on GC products to receive a pack that contained a GC bronzer, lip pencil and lipstick), and since I'd had my eye on the two Prism Highlighters anyway, I bit the bullet.

I'm glad I did because they're exactly the kinds of highlighters I'm after - subtle, work-appropriate and hard to overdo - but more on all that below. This review is for the Summer version, and I hope to review the Prism version shortly.

Each highlighter comes in a decent black box with a nice-enough matte rubber compact that displays the Gorgeous Cosmetics logo and contains a mirror. 

It's not my favourite packaging because there's something uninteresting about it and it gets grubby easily (like the Nars packaging does), but it's not terrible either and it's sturdy enough.

Gorgeous Cosmetics claims/product details:
  • Prism's multi-dimensional reflective properties give you a sophisticated shimmer
  • This transparent and pearlised, luminous powder gives skin a gorgeous subtle sheen
  • Prism's soft particles are so finely milled that they reflect and diffuse the light, reducing the appearance of imperfections
  • To use: use as a highlighter on your cheekbones and brows for a subtle highlight; lightly dust over the face 
  • $49.00 for 12g

There's the compact in sunlight below:

And there it is in natural light:

Now, you can see in the above photos that my compact has developed a crust (top centre), some of which I've removed and some of which I've left behind so you can see it.

Please note that all three Gorgeous Cosmetics powders I've used to date developed a crust like this from the first few weeks I started using them, which tells me that something's not quite right with the formula.

Crusts on cosmetics usually form when some oil from eg a dirty brush has gotten into the compact and mixed with the top layer, making a hard surface that must be removed if you want to keep using the product, but I've only ever had this happen once before with a cheap blush I owned, and none of the other powders I'm using at the moment have had this issue. So what is it about this formula that encourages a crust to form? I've no idea, but it's worth mentioning - and it's certainly not my brushes because I keep those pretty clean.

Anyhoo. Moving on to the swatches! There we are in natural light below. I've done a heavy swatch and then a lighter one of all the shades mixed together (see the two swatches on the far left), and then I've swatched each shade in turn, starting with the lightest.

And in direct sunlight:

Indirect sunlight:

And indoors:

There I am below wearing the highlighter (indoors) on my cheekbones and eyes. I've focused my brush on the three lighter shades, otherwise it's too dark for my medium skin:

And in natural light (click on any image to enlarge it):

And outdoors:


First, the good stuff. I absolutely love the effect that this highlighter gives to the skin: it offers a wearable, subtle highlight without a speck of glitter in sight. Instead you have a nice, golden sheen that doesn't emphasise pores or look overdone. That's how I prefer my highlighters!

With some of my powder highlighters (I'm looking at you, Becca), you have to be super careful if you want to avoid your glow being visible from the moon. I don't find that with the two Gorgeous Cosmetics highlighters I own and for this reason I'm much more likely to reach for them because they require less effort to apply.

So while my Becca highlighters feel better quality in terms of formula, these look better and 'gentler' on the skin - which means I use them more often.

I also love that this Prism Summer highlighter gives you options in terms of which colours you want to use, so it should be suitable for a variety of skintones: those with light to medium colouring like mine can use the top section; those with medium/tan skin can go for the middle; and darker lasses can head straight for the bottom.

This makes the product super versatile, although I wouldn't buy it blindly if you're fair because even the two palest shades may be too dark and yellow for you (so it's worth testing it first if you've got your eye on it).

It's also a versatile palette because you can use each of the shades as eyeshadows, meaning it's a great pick to travel with because you've got a highlighter and eyeshadow palette in one. Indeed, I'm considering depotting mine and adding it to my Z-palette because it's so useful to have on hand.

You also have to love that Gorgeous Cosmetics is an Australian brand: I do love buying homegrown products and suspect I'm not the only one.

As for the bad stuff, I have to mention the crust again. Why have all three of my Gorgeous Cosmetics powders developed one - is there something wrong with the formula? You have to wonder, and I'll mention here that these powders don't feel quite as high quality as the $50 price tag suggests. I got my Becca highlighters for $35 each and they feel much better quality than these do.

What I'm talking about is the texture of the powders: while they're finely milled and apply well, they just don't feel as soft and luxurious as the other high-end highlighters I own. Eg my Becca and Hourglass powders cost about the same at full price, and while those feel like they're worth every penny in look and feel, the formula of these isn't quite as good and I think they're priced above their weight.

For this reason I mightn't buy them again: if I'm going to drop $50 on a powder, I want to feel like it's a $50 powder whenever I use it! And I certainly don't want it developing a crust shortly after I've opened it.

On that, the first listed ingredient for this product is talc. Now talc is a cheap filler and I personally don't think we should be seeing it as the largest ingredient in something that retails for this price, but maybe that's just me.

Otherwise I love this highlighter once it's on the face. It's become my go-to highlight for days when I don't have time to think about which highlighter I want to use and how careful I'll need to be when applying it. The product offers a beautiful, dirty golden glow that mightn't be everyone's cup of tea, but I do love the colour and it's a product I reach for often.

Ticks from me. Here's to natural, glitter-free highlights that don't make your pores look like craters! But I do recommend seeing and feeling the product in person before buying it, if like me you want your expensive products to look and feel like expensive ones.

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