Friday, May 30, 2014

NARS Illuminator - Copacabana & Orgasm - Review

Summer, summer, summer. Yes, the heat is unbearable, and yes, sometimes the humidity is so thick you could cut it with a knife, but the best part? It's time for all the colors, and the shimmers, and the bronze-y, glow-y look for the skin.

So what's the easiest way to look like Jennifer Lopez? Illuminators are a great way to add that lovely sheen (and no, I don't mean sweat by that!) while looking quite natural. Now, the first ever illuminator I got was MAC's Strobe Cream, and to me that is the gold standard (for several good reasons that will be detailed in a review soon). So, how do these hold up to something I'm close to calling holy grail?

I snagged some sample sizes - they come in little plastic tubes with a black screw-on cap. They resemble the full sized tubes (except the full size ones have a flip-top cap instead of the screw cap). The packaging is nothing special. I'd have preferred a pump, because I find that the opening is pretty wide, and so quite a bit of product is dispensed when you squeeze the tube - more than what's required.

The illuminators have a liquid texture that is quite runny, but just a tad less so than MAC's Strobe Cream. They spread out and blend easily, and dry down to a non-tacky and non-sticky finish. You can use them on their own, under your foundation, or mixed in with your foundation.

The shades I have with me are:
- Copacabana
- Orgasm

Copacabana is a pearly champagne shade with a hint of pink in it. It has noticeable shimmer particles in it when blended out, so it's definitely for a more dramatic look. Because of the pink-ness that it has, it will look more natural on cool tones, but warm toned gals can definitely rock this if they're looking for a more dramatic highlight.

I like this mixed in with foundation, because that dampens the highlighting effect to a more glow-y effect. It does work well as a cheek highlight, but you might want to be a little careful if you have large pores - this tends to emphasize them a little bit thanks to the shimmer particles.

Orgasm is a peachy gold shade with gold shimmer particles. Despite appearing quite pigmented in the tube, it's comparatively sheer when applied to the skin. This is a great shade for warm toned gals, because it will give you the warm, molten honey glow when used under foundation (or mixed in with foundation). It makes for a nice, subtle cheek highlight that's great for everyday use. Cool toned gals can also use this, because it isn't super pigmented - however you might want to use a wee bit because overdoing it might look wonky.

Again, it does emphasize pores a wee bit thanks to the shimmer particles, but who cares, amiright?

As you can see from the swatches above, Copacabana clashes with my skin while Orgasm blends in.

They last a good amount of time when used mixed in with or under foundation (I find they last a little bit more than my foundation does, but not in a bad way. My foundation fades, and some of the shimmer with it, but not in a noticeable, "I'm a disco ball" way, if that makes sense). As a cheek highlight (over foundation) they last a good 6 hours on my skin with some fading seen.

Copacabana is more similar to the Strobe Cream in terms of color, but I find that the NARS Illuminators have bigger shimmer particles than the MAC Strobe Cream. So, it's worth picking up Orgasm because it's quite unique and lovely for warm toned gals, but if you're cool toned, or looking for a great highlight, personally, I'd still go with the Strobe Cream.

BGMM Rating: B


  1. Oo, I want both :o ohno

    1. If you have strobe cream, you can skip copacabana, honestly. Orgasm is nice for daytime, but the shimmer might be too much unless you were really careful!

  2. AnonymousMay 31, 2014

    Hehe, I already glow in the dark (and blind people in direct sunlight) so highlighters kind of ramin relatively unexplored territory for me... I like the colour of Orgasm in the blob/swatch, but Copacabana is probably closer to my skintone, LOL!

    1. Lol, I have the issue with Orgasm - the shade pretty much disappears into my skin! :D

      Also, blob is now my favorite word. Blob blob blob blob.