NARS – Illuminators


Want to give your skin a luminous glow without looking like an alien from Star Trek? For a subtle summer shimmer, NARS have added three new shades to their Illuminator range, of which the very first shade Orgasm created stampedes at the beauty counters when it first launched. Now lovers of the product can try Cobacabana – a light pink pearlescent shade, Laguna for a hint of bronzed shimmer, and Super Orgasm, a lighter version of the original. We put the original Orgasm shade to the test.


The Illuminators can be used directly on bare skin, dabbed onto cheekbones or combined with a makeup base to lighten the skin from within. Contains silky shimmering highlighters for a pretty glow, and its translucent weightless formula absorbs easily – illuminating the skin without feeling gloopy or clogging the pores. Its key ingredients are Polar Berries (Cloudberry, Raspberry, Black Currant) which act as great antioxidants, as well as Bisabolol, an extract from the Chamomile plant to help prevent flare ups, in addition to Indian Frankincense to soothe irritated skin types.


The peachy gold lotion absorbed easily into the skin, and when applied just to the cheekbones, provided a light subtle shimmer, allowing you gradually build up depending on the colour intensity you require, which was a nice change to regular blushers which if you’re not careful can sometimes result in clownish splodges followed by lots of frantic scrubbing afterwards!

I then mixed this in with my tinted moisturiser for an all-over glow – it certainly did a great job. The tiny gold particles provided a pretty sparkle but were subtle enough not to look like I’d gotten carried away with an arts and crafts set! It looked a lot stronger when I applied it ‘straight up’ to bare skin – perfect for parties, but for work I’d suggest toning it down and mixing with a base!

However you apply it, it lasts for a good few hours, but it’s worth popping a tube in your bag for in the evening.

Packaging and Price

The Illuminator comes in NARS’ sleek minimalist packaging, with each shade clearly visible through the tube. It’s available at Liberty and other NARS counters and costs £21.50 which is pretty standard for a luxury brand.


Texture 10/10
Colour 10/10
Applicator 8/10
Longevity 7/10
Packaging 9/10
Quality 9/10
Price 8/10

Overall score: 9/10


A fab ‘all-rounder’ which works as a blusher, highlighter and illuminating base in one (thus saving precious handbag space!) And with its easily absorbed texture, beautifully subtle shimmer and the fact that a little goes a very long way – I’d say it was a great summer beauty investment!

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