Recently I was going through my makeup collection when I realised that I had 2 very similar liquid highlighters in gold shades – the Josie Maran Argan Englightenment Illuminizer and the Australis Mineral Face Highlighter. Both are 15g but the Josie Maran highlighter retails at $39.00 while the Australis highlight only costs $15.95. So I thought to myself, I wonder if the Australis highlighter would be an affordable dupe for the Josie Maran highlighter… here is how they compare:

Texture

Is the affordable drugstore Australis Mineral Face Highlighter a dupe for the high end Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminator?

Both highlighters pump out on to the skin the same. However the JM highlighter (bottom) definitely has a more rich, creamy feel and appears more opaque when swatched. The JM formula definitely says luxury when compared to the Australis formula (top).

Colour

Is the affordable drugstore Australis Mineral Face Highlighter a dupe for the high end Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminator?

Although it’s hard to tell in photos, whilst both highlighters are definitely gold, the JM highlighter (bottom) appears more rose gold than the Australis highlighter (top). However, when applied on the face, the difference in colour is indistinguishable.

Glow V Glitter

Is the affordable drugstore Australis Mineral Face Highlighter a dupe for the high end Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminator?
Josie Maran highlight

Both highlighters are very similar in the way that they give a glowing highlight instead of a glittery highlight. I have dabbed the highlighters on to the high points of my cheekbones only in these pics (ps I had no idea how hard it would be to get a photo of the highlight in the sun because they are subtle).

Is the affordable drugstore Australis Mineral Face Highlighter a dupe for the high end Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminator?
Australis highlight

Performance

Is the affordable drugstore Australis Mineral Face Highlighter a dupe for the high end Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminator?
JM highlight – a wee bit splotchy for me

The thicker formula of the JM highlighter makes it harder to blend when using it on the cheekbones, and the formula sets quickly, but there is a bit more luminosity. You can see in the close up photo above how there is a distinct line where the highlight stops and the application looks blotchy. The JM highlighter however is fabulous when mixed in with any other cream product like a foundation or bb cream or moisturiser. This is how I use this highlighter almost daily.

Is the affordable drugstore Australis Mineral Face Highlighter a dupe for the high end Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminator?

As you can see by this photo, the thinner formula of the Australis highlighter makes it easier to use on top of makeup as a cheekbone highlight when compared to JM highlighter. However, be careful when applying as it can lift your foundation. Use a beauty blender to dab it onto the skin to avoid lifting.

Quick Points/Tips

Is the affordable drugstore Australis Mineral Face Highlighter a dupe for the high end Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminator?

  • Both highlighters are vegan friendly according to the respective brands and both brands a cruelty free.
  • The Australis highlighter also comes in a gorgeous shade of Pearl for those who are a little more fair. This shade has been compared to Benefit’s Highbeam (which is not cruelty free).
  • Both are packaged in pump bottles, however I believe the Australis pump is actually more user friendly when it comes to controlling how much product you want.
  • Mix the Josie Maran highlighter with your foundation/cream/sunscreen etc for a glowing complexion.
  • Use the Australis highlighter under a powder highlight for an extra popping glow!

Final Verdict

When it boils down, I do consider the Australis highlighter in Gold to be a pretty good dupe for the Josie Maran highlighter, even though they each work best in different ways. I believe that the Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminator is slightly more superior in formula and colour, and I use it often in my moisturiser. However, it’s not enough for me to say that it is worth it over the Australis Mineral Face Highlighter given the price difference. If you are happy to spend the extra cash and splurge on the Josie Maran highlighter, go for it, it is great when applied with another cream product. But if you are looking for a cheek highlight, than pick up the Australis one as it really is a stand out product for a great price!

Is the affordable drugstore Australis Mineral Face Highlighter a dupe for the high end Josie Maran Argan Enlightenment Illuminator?

I would love to hear your comments, questions and feedback! xx