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Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight Review, Photos, Swatches

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Sin Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglows

Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a cream highlight with pearl powder, weightless formula, and “adds luminescence whenever you need it.” It can be used in the inner corners of your eyes, cheeks, or brow bones. The shade range includes four but all four are sheer enough to work across skin tones. It’s supposed to dry down “instantly” and work on top of makeup. The four shades include: Brown Sugar (warm taupey brown), Moonshine (iridescent shimmer), Sin (shimmering champagne), and Wicked (radiant pinky shimmer).

I received both Brown Sugar (which I’d describe as a gilded bronze) and Sin (which I’d describe as pale golden champagne) to review several months ago (back when they first released), they did not work for me at that time. I decided to hold off on a review and wait awhile before trying them again to see if perhaps it was something to do with the state of my skin or whatever. I tested both shades on and off since these launched (September, I believe), with each shade being trialed at least five times.

For me, these look lovely–initially–but do such a disservice to my skin after two hours of wear. I think these are best for those who have naturally beautiful skin and don’t typically wear makeup. They can work for that truly no makeup look, but once you involve foundation–and, if you dare, powder–the results took a nosedive. I could not get the highlighters to stay on for more than two to three hours before there was migration that made my cheeks look like there were chunks of glitter, rather than a dusting of sheen.

This effect worsened if you set your foundation/makeup with powder, which is something I find necessary as someone who wears liquid foundation. With powder to set, the highlighters stayed on for three to four hours, but they still migrated and bulking up so that wherever there was product, it accentuated my pores (and I never thought I had large ones, but this product made me question if I was simply delusional). They just tend to look cakey after a couple of hours of wear.

My results yielded glowy cheeks for two hours but the final look was rough-looking skin with accentuated pores and chunks of glitter and very little sheen left after two hours passed. I applied with brushes, sponges, and fingertips; over and under foundation; on bare skin alone. It seems to fade better over bare skin and doesn’t give skin such a rough textured look. When I tested it on the inner tearduct and brow bone, I had the same two-hour disappearing act and migration issues I had on the cheeks. They worked best on the brow bone, though, and wore for about four hours before fading.

Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight Review, Photos, Swatches


Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Sin Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Sin Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Brown Sugar Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Brown Sugar Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Sin Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Brown Sugar Urbanglow Cream Highlight


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Comments on this post are closed.
Kelly C. Avatar

Would you say these are significantly different in formula to the UD cheek tints? I know you reviewed these positively. If they are similar, do you think its the color that makes them a horror to wear?

Vvn Avatar

I was initially going to purchase these, but definitely had a worry about them getting chunky and mixing with my foundation etc, as UD face products don’t usually work all too well for me, thanks for the review! Might give these a skip, don’t want to look like a discoball! x

beautyaddict Avatar

Thank you SO much for reviewing this Christine! I trust your call on this and I think I’d have to pass (unless at some future date you announced trying again and finding a solution I guess). Kinda wish you’d posted a pic of the initial look or even just an arm swatch out of curiosity since I’m not going to buy them and wanted to know what they look like. (In case tomorrow I develop flawless skin, right?)

Fortunately the world is always full of highlighters…

Mariella Avatar

I’ll probably take a look at these the next time I’m at Sephora – maybe even ask for a sample – but your opinion is good enough for me. We all know how much UD loves chunky glitter! I’ll stick with my MAC MSFs for highlighters.

annie Avatar

I stop looking for other brands since u introduced Mac Gana & I’m in love w all other skinfinish…but theoptional colours sounded almosted tempted if they were in powder form..u should try the face-sculptured palette from Sephora. Its amazing!

Lara Avatar

No swatches? I was curious to see Brown Sugar against Sin.
Perhaps these would work for days when you wear just concealer without full-on foundation? I have Sin and the effect is beautiful, but I have dry skin which may make a difference. Sometimes I set it with MAC Beauty Powder (Too Chic & Play It Proper, which both came out earlier this year). This is one of those products I really reach for when I have no time to work with, also use it on my eyes as a highlight. But I suppose if you always wear foundation with powder on top, this may be too creamy. I’ve worn it over just bronzer, and it works pretty well for that as well.

Steph Avatar

I do not see any swatches included in this post. And that is too bad they didn’t perform because in the pan they look quite promising.

Nicole Avatar

I wear mine everyday, I use it over top of Eve Pearl’s foundation and really like it a lot.I don’t really have any of the problem’s you’ve been having with the product. However….if makeup worked the same on everyone it would amazing. Thanks for the review.

Hannah Avatar

Christine, thanks for the great, and intensive review. i feel like too often, especially in the youtube world of “hauls” and “first impressions” people get so excited about a new product that they just simply put it on their skin, declare that it looks great, and that’s that. Your readers appreciate that you really tested out the wear of this product!

Alison Avatar

I totally agree with you! I had read a lot of positive reviews for this product, and I love UD to begin with, so I bought one of these with very high hopes. I felt like it just made my face look greasy and made my pores look gigantic! I really, really tried to make it work, but I ended up returning it 🙁

Karen Avatar

I have this in Wicked and I haven’t had any of these problems with it. Of course I use tinted moisturizer, concealer and then the highlight with no powder to set. I do find that it gets too glittery if I use a semi glittery blush and then the highlight.

Elizabeth B Avatar

I have this product in Sin and Moonshine. These are fun to wear and they pack quite a punch for a highlighter (especially vs. powder highlighters). I consider them really glowy and recommend using a fine hand as they will light your face like a lightbulb. I find the texture buttery and blends on the skin smoothly. I do like this product and think they make a great going-out accent. I wore Moonshine yesterday for 8+ hours, and it did fade a little bit but by then it was time to strip off my makeup anyway. As always, thank you for the review Christine!

Maya C Avatar

These actually worked really well on me when I had my makeup done at a UD counter. I didn’t have an issue with fading or glitter getting everywhere.
I wouldn’t say I have perfect skin, and I was wearing foundation. I dunno if they did something special to make it work, but I really liked the effect.

L.M.C. Avatar

I’ve been using Urbanglow in Wicked for months now and I love it to death. I use it on my browbone, cheeks, and down my nose, usually. I’ve used it nearly everyday for more than four month, and still have plenty of product. It usually lasts me through a school day, so it’s everything I want. And I have really oily skin, and this doesn’t feel heavy or greasy or break me out at all.

Laura Avatar

I felt the exact same way about these! I ordered one from Sephora when they first came out, and it was so awful on me I returned it the same day I received it. That was the only time I ever returned makeup! Luckily, the UD cheek tints don’t have that greasy texture, those are amazing (I have 3!).

Michelle Avatar

This is so disappointing 🙁 I’m sorry these didn’t work for you. I tried some from a display sample at Ulta and loved it, but I only wore it for a couple hours, so I’m afraid to purchase it now. Don’t you have normal-to-dry skin? That’s what I have.

Kristen Avatar

Thank you so much for reviewing these! I have one of the Afterglow Cheek Tints and love it. I was thinking about getting one of the cream highlights since I thought it would be a similar formula to the blush, but now I know not to waste the money.

Carrie Ann Avatar

I have Sin and Moonshine and I love them. I have no problem applying them right over my foundation. They glide right on and last all day. I haven’t experienced any migration or big chunks of glitter. I thought if anyone would have a problem w/ them it would be me. My skin tends to be dry and I do have some large pores, but these highlighters don’t accentuate them at all. How strange.

karen Avatar

i bought the one in sin a few months ago, when they first came out, and i love it! it works well for me. i apply my liquid foundation, then i do cream blush and my sin cream highlighter, then i do translucent powder, powder blush, and powder highlight over the area i applied my cream highlight. this way, it stays on all day!

Carrie Avatar

I always appreciate your honesty in your reviews.

To be honest, I think all brands are bound to have a product or two that just doesn’t work out well- it happens – so to only have people always raving about everything makes me suspicious.

Clearly, everyone’s skin is different and everyone will have different reactions, but given your neutrality, I know that if you say something doesn’t work that odds are it won’t work, and I’ll approach with caution.

Christine Avatar

I always hate being that ONE person, though – because you feel like something’s wrong with you that you don’t like it (or that you LOVE it and everyone hates it!). Plus, I wanted to like it, LOL!

But thank you, Carrie! You are so very right that there are always a couple of misses even in the best of brands’ portfolios!

Gina Avatar

Oh nooo! That’s too bad. I’ve seen lots of good reviews for these. However, you’re the first person to post a super close-up, and it looks a bit too glittery for a highlight.

Sabrina Avatar

Oh wow, I’m so sad to hear they didn’t work for you. 🙁 I have Sin and love it (the others were too glittery). It wears well for me, unlike the cheek tints. 🙁 That’s ok though, Becca Beach Tints are my holy grail tints.

Sarah Avatar

Aw, I’m so sad that these didn’t work for you! I have Moonshine and really like it, under or over foundation, and I haven’t found that it emphasizes skin imperfections. I do agree that it could last a little longer, but setting it with some powder blush tends to help me out… I do appreciate the interesting colors these come in, hopefully UD will improve the formula in the future so that it works for more people and is more versatile.

xMissxAndristx Avatar

Personally, I LOOOOOVE this product. I have it in Moonshine and Sin and love them both. I find that it took a bit of practice to get them to look proper when I first applied them. they don’t last particularly long, but i (luckily!) don’t have any issues with the clumping glitter! I haven’t tried this over any foundation tho. So maybe that’s why it seems to work for me.


I have it in “Sin” and love it. Never encountered any of those issues you mentioned, luckily. I apply it over foundation very sparingly

Selenite Avatar

What a pity because the swatches are gorgeous. Good thing highlighters only make my oily skin look terrible so I’ll have to pass.

Thu Avatar

I just bought this in Moonshine (because it seemed to be the only one not “glittery”), and I like it a lot!! Use a light touch when applying. I’m an NC40, and it makes me glow a little pink 🙂 It’s a pretty unique color, and I like it the best out of the four.

Question – is there much of a difference between using the Sin Urbanglow and the Sin Primer Potion (on cheekbones, I mean)?

Valbona Avatar

I love using this product. It does not wear out on me to a bad look and I wear it with a brush by putting just a tad bit, forming a straight line across my cheek bone. I understand it does not work for everyone. Best thing to do for anyone interested to test out the product is to get a sample and see where it leads you. 🙂

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