Australis High Life Illuminating Strobe Powder in Glimmer - swatches and first impressions


At the end of June I need to tally up my products for my next makeup inventory, so before I do that, I want to go through all my stuff and work out what I'm going to declutter. 

So at the beginning of June I started photographing some of the items I've received as GWPs or from sub boxes, and I've been using them over the last week to work out which ones I'll keep and which ones I'll send packing.

This Australis highlighter is one of the items I plan to declutter. Initially I wasn't going to open it at all so then I could give it away new, but I checked online for swatches and review posts first because the product is pink and I don't have anything like it.

What I discovered is that there aren't many swatches or reviews of this product in cyberspace, so I thought it might be useful to do a first impressions post in case it helps anyone work out whether they want to buy or keep it (it came in a recent Priceline goodies bag, so I imagine I'm not the only one looking for swatches to help decide what to do with it).

This product retails for $14.95 AUD and you get 8.5g of product. If you're interested in it, I would definitely wait for specials because you could grab it for half that amount in one of Priceline's sales. 

From what I can see, it's available in two shades: Glimmer (this one, which is pink) and Ignite (which is gold). It's also online with two different names and I've seen it called both an 'Illuminating Strobe Powder' and a 'Highlighting Powder'. Presumably it was renamed at some point, although I'm not sure what the newer title is.

There's the pan in natural light (outdoors):

And indirect sunlight:

Direct sunlight:

Natural light (indoors):

Now for swatches.

In all the shots below, I've given you a heavier swatch on the left and a blended one on the right.

Direct sunlight:

Direct sunlight again, but I've left this slightly out of focus so you can see that it does contain very fine glitter particles (they're by no means chunky):

Natural light (outdoors):

Natural light (indoors)


Let me be clear that this is a first impressions post, since I've only worn this on my face twice. But that's enough for me to know that I don't want to keep it - not just because I already have enough highlighters, but also because I don't love it and I'm sure you could do better, even on a budget.

It's pale pink in colour and the shade as it looks in the pan isn't unlike Kevyn Aucoin's The Celestial Powder in Starlight (which I own but haven't reviewed yet), although unfortunately it doesn't translate that way on the skin and that's definitely wear the similarities end.

The first thing I noticed about this was that it has visible glitter flecks in the pan, which I was suspicious about because I don't like chunky glitter in my highlighters. Fortunately, though, they're not hugely noticeable on the skin so I wouldn't discount it for that reason alone.

The second thing I noticed was that this is probably the driest powder I've ever touched. Honestly, it's dry AF. While that doesn't of course mean that it performs badly, it does mean that I don't enjoy using it because not only does it feel dry and powdery to the touch, it also looks that way on the skin. Mind you, my skin is dry so it's less forgiving: if you have oily skin, you mightn't notice this aspect.

Also, my pan feels inconsistent: in some areas it's smooth enough to the touch, but in others it feels downright gritty.

As for how it looks - it's frosty. This is probably the main reason why I won't be keeping it. It's meant to be pink but on my light/medium to medium skin, it just looks frosty and white and wrong. Perhaps it would look better on those with paler skin.

The good news about this product is that you can apply more for a strong highlight or less for a natural one. The product gains points on that front because it will appeal to a wider audience if it's able to do both, depending on how you use it.

Note, though, that if you apply more, it emphasises texture something chronic. This is less of an issue when you apply a little (you could probably say that of all highlighters), but that's another reason why I won't be keeping it: I don't want my pores and fine lines to look any more visible than they already are.

So in sum, this product isn't for me and it's already been added to the declutter pile. Sure it's cheap, but I reckon you could try something from Physicians Formula, Maybelline or NYX and have better luck. 

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