Friday, February 19, 2010

NARS Orgasm Illuminator (Review & Swatches)

When the NARS Orgasm Illuminator (retails $29) first appeared on the Sephora site, I was super excited. I couldn't wait to get it. I went to the product page for days just drooling over it before I finally took the plunge and placed an order for it along with LORAC's new Multiplex 3D gloss (will do review soon), Kat Von D Liquild Liners, and a Tarte set (I got some really cool free items with my order.) Sephora describes this illuminator as "A Complexion enhancer that makes skin look instanty refreshed, radiant, and glowing." They also state that this illuminator "Lights your skin from within! Deceptively sheer and decidely luminous, it magically transforms lackluster skin into a remember-me, luscious complextion. Flirt with foundation, go it alone, or go neck-and-neck with your décolleté. The effect is, well, orgasmic."
The packaging is just the basic NARS black matte box. The actual product packaging is a clear squeeze tube with a wide black cap. I'm not a fan of the squeeze tube -at least for this product. The reason for this is because the product is so runny. The minute I twist off the cap, a whole lot of product spills out. This may not be a big deal for others but I hate to waste makeup -especically if I'm shelling out 29 bucks for this and so much will just go to waste. Also, when I try to squeeze out just a little bit, way too much of it comes out! I like looking "nice and shimmery" but if I piled on this much, I'd look like a disco ball! I would've really preferred a pump bottle instead so that I could control the amount that I want to use.

So how do I like the NARS Orgasm Illuminator? Hmm, I'm honestly so "inbetween" about it right now. I neither love it or hate it at this point. I've seen lots of reviews on the Sephora product page for this NARS illuminator and most of the comments are negative. I'll give you my thoughts though. Let's start with the price. At first, I thought $29 (for 1.1 ounces) was a really hefty price tag for this tube but I realized that you do get a lot of product (for the price) and that you don't really need a lot at all for each application. However, if you end up squeezing out too much or it just spills out of the bottle (even though you're not squeezing it), it would be a waste. Every time I've applied this, too much product has come out and I end up having to throw out about 2/3 of what I squeeze out/what comes out on its own. I swear, the stuff is so liquidy that it just spills out and I really don't like that. Again, I really would've really preferred a pump bottle. That would definitely be worth $29. I would've loved a non-glass pump bottle. Also, I feel like if I travelled with this and it got "squeezed" between my other products while in my suitcase, it would get all over the (inside) cap when I opened it. I just feel like it would get really messy.

The color is pretty much the same peachy pink bronzy color of NARS' famous Orgasm blush. When I apply it to my skin, that "reddish-orangey-peachy" color disapears and becomes a very light bronzy color with lots of shimmer. When I apply it to my face, it makes my cheekbones more apparent, without having to apply blush or anything, and I do like that effect. This is not something that will add tons of color or make you look super made up. Of course you can go over it and add blush, contour your cheekbones, and add a highlight for a more "made up" look. The product pretty much sinks into your skin, leaving beind a trail of shimmer. I feel like it does make me look a little tanner and bronzier though. It seems to make my face look "plump" and it gives me a nice sheen. However, I noticed that in pictures, it made me look oily. I have extremely dry skin and therefore will rarely ever get oily so I was surprised that I looked so, so oily in pictures. I don't think anyone wants to look oily either. So maybe this is something that you should just add to your cheeks? Because when I applied it to my entire face (alone and mixed with foundation), I noticed that the area around my forehead and eyebrows looked so, so oily (and I didn't put on much at all!) It does however make my cheeks look nice and dewy.

I have another illuminator that I bought from Target about a year ago called "High Lights" Illuminating Lotion from the Boots line. I paid only around $10 for this illuminator and it contains the same amount of product as the NARS Orgasm illuminator. The color of this is way lighter -a pale light pink with shimmer. I prefer the Boots illuminator because for $20 less, you get basically that same "dewy" finish and does not make me look oily (when applied to the entire face.) Also, the Boots Illuminator comes in a pump bottle (but it's glass.)However, I like the color of the Orgasm Illuminator more because I feel that the Boots Illuminator is sometimes too pale on me. I always have to add come bronzer or other darker blush when wearing it. I think the NARS Orgasm Illuminator looks nicer though -except for when looking "oily" on some areas of my face. As much as I love NARS though, I probably wouldn't buy this again because of the squeeze tube factor (I'll waste a lot of products) and the fact that it can make me look oily. It is a decent value though -if you don't waste any during each application (that will be hard to do!) When it comes to my cheeks though, I think I prefer powder highlighters/illuminators since they are quicker to apply (in my case) and can give that same dewy finish.
Above is a "non-flash" picture.
Here is a "flash" picture.
Above is what it looks like when I first just put a little dab of the illuminator on my hand.
Here is another picture of it being spread out onto my skin (before it's fully spread out and blended.)

Here is what it looks like in the end -after being fully spread out. (I did not mix it with foundation or anything else. This is what the illuminator looks like by itself.)
So above is a picture of the first day I tried it. I applied it to my entire face (with no other makeup underneath or on top of it.) This is a non-flash picture.
Above is a picture from the same day -but with flash. I do like the sheen on my cheeks. Why does it look whiter in the middle of my cheeks?? I just noticed that. Anyways, notice above my eyebrow and kind of on my forehead looks a bit oily? I don't like that.
Here's another day when I used this (I was having a HORRIBLE face day!) This is a non-flash picture with natural light. I mixed the NARS Orgasm Illuminator with my MAKE UP FOR EVER Face & Body foundation. I also used some blush and Smashbox Soft Lights in "Tint" as well (this is a highlighter.) I think it looks alright -you can't even really see the illuminator but I do see a small "hint" of oiliness above my eyebrows -like I mentioned before. I just can't stand that.
Here's another picture on that same day but using flash. I notice in this picture that my skin looks plump and I like the effect it gives on my cheeks but again, near the eyebrows, forehead, and around the nose area by my cheeks, I look oily. I just really don't like that. I'm thinking if I just apply it to my cheeks, it would look better.

All done now! Sorry for some not too good pictures of my face! I hope this helps anyone who is interested in the NARS Orgasm Illuminator. I can't wait for more products from NARS to come out. This one was kind of just so-so for me and I thought I was going to love it. Maybe others will love it and I hope they do. Have you tried the NARS Orgasm Illuminator? Do you like it?

P.S. I'm so bummed because I was going to post a promo code for 22% off but I guess it JUST expired. It was working just 2 or 3 days ago!! I'll post a code the next time ones comes up. I know NARS can be pricey and I love getting promo codes or coupons when I'm buying NARS. I just bought 2 eyeshadow duos in "Underworld" and Jolie Poupée" so I'm so excited to get those. (Underworld was featured in the "Everlasting Love" 15th Anniversary palette. I have a review for that palette but need to post it!!)

Currently on my NARS Wishlist?
1. Eyeshadow Duo in "Brousse"
2. Blush in "Sin"
3. Nail Polish in "Tokaido Express"
4. Nail Polish in "Purple Rain"
5. Doucers De Paris Palette (or Pleasures of Paris Palette) ..They're out of stock on this!! Hopefully it returns to stock soon -if ever. I emailed customer service but they don't know if they're getting anymore.

If you could have any NARS product, what would you wish for?

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