NARS Orgasm Illuminator review and swatches

Hi girls, here is my review of NARS Orgasm Illuminator and swatches!

Let’s be honest. The reviews on the latest release from the NARS Orgasm family, the Illuminator, are very mixed. It’s almost love it or hate it.
NARS Orgasm Illuminator review swatchI never actually thought I’d own it. I usually stay clear of liquid highlighters as they’ve irritated my skin in the past. I put a bid on ebay, feeling very confident that I would not be the winning bidder. I woke up the next morning and to my surprise, the item was mine. I was actually quite annoyed with myself because I didn’t even really want it!

The first time I used it I as majorly underwhelmed, but it was a 40 degree day and I was all hot and yuck anyway so I should have just not used anything creamy on my face.

I learned my lesson and waited for a day when I had time to apply it properly and the weather was on my side. I love it. I never thought there would be a liquid highlighter that worked for me but I was wrong!

Application- I’ve been using this as a cheek highlighter, I don’t think I’ll be using this one as an all over illuminator (or anything else for that matter. That sounds like serious effort!). I put a small dot of the Illuminator on the back of my hand, swirl it into my MAC 188 brush and then apply along my cheekbones and through my temples. It doesn’t leave any harsh lines but if you need, the edges blend out really easily.

There are heaps of reviews out there so I will list my pros and cons.NARS Illuminator swatch


+ The colour! In a lot of pictures on the internet it looks quite bronzey, but in reality it’s all golden peach. Beautiful.

+ It doesn’t smudge or ruin the makeup that’s already been applied. This was commonplace for liquid highlighters with me in the past so I was happy that my blush stayed in place under the Illuminator.

+ Size. At 30ml I think this is a generous amount compared to others illuminators. Many high end foundations are 30ml so I’m happy with this size.

+ The wear. It doesn’t make my cheeks look greasy. Not even at the end of a long hot day with no air conditioning. I hate summer!

+ No breakouts! A week of wear and no little bumps have crept into my face.

+ It’s not OTT. I’m not feeling the love for my once well worn highlights (hello MAC shimpagne MSF and bobbi brown sandstone shimmerbrick!) that are too metallic or glittery. The texture of the Orgasm Illuminator is really smooth and creamy. It’s a glowy, rather than glittery finish.


– I’m a bit over the whole ‘Orgasm’ thing! Nothing to do with this product but I wish NARS would come out with some new powder blushes.

– I can see this being too subtle for some darker skin tones. I think because I’m so pale it’s ok for me but it probably doesn’t pack enough punch for some people.

– I can’t really think of any more cons? I’m a big fan 😀

Swatches-NARS Orgasm Illuminator swatch
NARS Orgasm Illuminator sparkles

My swatches are fairly terrible so here it is being worn as a highlight:

Look 1 – Subtle

NARS Orgasm Illuminator on skin

Look 2 – Not So Subtle!

NARS Orgasm Illuminator look

Bottom line, I wore this pretty much every day last week. I will probably wear it pretty much every day this week too!

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