I’ve Taken a Shine to These New NARS Illuminators

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

nars illuminator review

Truth: sometimes I view fruit solely as a vehicle for the delivery of Nutella — a Nutella delivery system, if you will, with the final destination being my belly.


And, in a way, the new multi-purpose NARS Illuminators in Super Orgasm, Copacabana and Laguna ($29 each) are just like that. The liquid (like fruit) serves as the vehicle to deliver the glitter/pearl (the Nutella) to the skin.

Okay, I could have used a better analogy…but I think you know where I’m going with this. The stuff is basically shimmer suspended in a very sheer tinted liquid.

The newly released shades follow up on last year’s shimmery, multi-purpose Orgasm Illuminator, and, like Orgasm, they’re also designed to work as blushes, bronzers and/or highlighters.

nars illuminator super orgasm laguna copacabana
NARS Illuminators from the left: Laguna, Super Orgasm and Copacabana

If the colors sound familiar, congrats! — you’re an official beauty nerd. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yep, NARS drew from their permanent line for inspiration here, basing the new products on some of their most iconic shades. I’ve really been looking forward to giving these a try because, like Michael Corleone, I keep my friends close, and my NARS (Blushes, Bronzers and Multiples) closer.

The first thing I realized using these was just how much shimmer they contain. It’s A LOT. Even a wee dot, like around the diameter of a pea, is enough to noticeably illuminate my cheeks, the bridge of my nose, my temples, chin AND my shoulders and decollete. And the fluid is really easy to blend into the skin, too, taking mere seconds to apply.

Illuminating tips from NARS National Artist Janice Daoud…

How do you use the Illuminators as a blush?
With your fingertips, pat a small amount of Super Orgasmร‚ย onto the cheek bones, and bring it downward for a radiant, healthy glow.
What’s your favorite way to wear them?
I like to mix Laguna Illuminator with my foundation. It adds instant warmth. I follow with Copacabana along the cheek bones and the center of the face for a refreshed look.

In addition to my face, where else can I apply them?
Don’t forget your shoulders, neck and decollate for a sexy, chic look. All of these [colors] look amazing, and they’re universally flattering on all skin shades.

nars illuminator copacabana

nars illuminator super orgasm

nars illuminator laguna

nars illuminator super orgasm laguna copacabana with phone

nars illuminator swatches super orgasm laguna copacabana with
Swatches from left with the flash: Laguna unblended, Laguna blended, Super Orgasm unblended, Super Orgasm blended, Copacabana unblended and Copacabana blended

nars illuminator swatches super orgasm laguna copacabana without
Without the flash

nars illuminator review
NARS Illuminator in Laguna mixed into my foundation, NARS Illuminator in Super Orgasm on my cheeks and NARS Illuminator in Copacabana applied to the center of my face

These are great for giving skin a pearly, shiny, glittery finish, but I would have loved to see a little more pigment, especially from Super Orgasm, which ends up looking like plain ol’ gold glitter on my skin. And when I apply any of these to the dry patches on my nose and cheeks, they cling to even the smallest flakes, drawing unwanted attention to them.

But that’s a minor quibble I’ll gladly overlook. I like these Illuminators, even though I think I prefer the extra pigment in the powder and Multiple versions of these same colors a tad more. Still, these will come in handy when I want a hint of shimmer but don’t have the time or patience to mess with brushes and powders.

PRICE: $29 each
AVAILABILITY: Available now at NARS counters and also online

Single white feline

Watch your back, girl! Those felines are hella shifty (see the video above).


Um, is it bedtime yet? It’s barely 8:30 but I’M POOPED! It’s been raining here for days, and I swear it makes me sleepy earlier than usual…

What are you up to tonight? I think I’m turning in early.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 48 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Vijaya says:

    I like the look of the Super Orgasm illuminator! Last midterm tomorrow. I just wrote a ridiculously long blog post, and now I think I’m going to have to break it into pieces, because it is WAY. TOO. LONG. I think I’m turning in early too. Early for me is 11:45pm, though. xP
    Vijaya recently posted … Kingdom Hearts Inspired Look- Larxene I The MAC Version

  2. Lauren Sutherland says:

    I’m excited to see a review of these. I have to say though, the NARS Laguna Illuminator looks an awful lot like the Hard Candy Glow All The Way in Glamazon Bronze and The Copacabana looks very similiar to Hard Candy Glow All The Way in Doll Face. I’m interested in the Super Orgasm one, but I’m wondering if you prefer the Multiple form or this better, Karen?

  3. kana says:

    copacabana! *drools* i have a litte sample of the orgasm one and i love it!:)

  4. Christy O says:

    I’m really digging how much better my skin looks from the recent milk of magnesia tip, so I can’t fathom adding the shine back. But Copacabana would be nice on the eyebrow arch I’m slowly (glacier speed) shaping.

    Unrelated: I know you would valiantly give your life to save Nutella from a burning building. BUT. I highly recommend you make your own. Hard to fathom but it tastes even better, it’s simple, and then the top ingredient from a homemade batch is hazelnuts, not sugar. Regardless of health issues, the taste is divine.

  5. inaya says:

    what lip color are you wearing Karen? looks great ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Siena says:

    super orgasm looks great!! but I have to say, the one thing I want the most right now is nutella.

  7. Simona says:

    what’s on your lips? It looks amazing!
    that’s exactly the color I’m looking for right now, so pleaase don’t tell me it’s your natural lip color

  8. Aida says:

    I agree, I bought Laguna because I didnร‚ยดt have the powder version and I wanted a bit of bronzer but this product is not a bronzer. It has a lot of shimmer and it is nice but not what I was looking for. I am very pale and it looks like a golden party has started on my cheeks without permission. I will use it for nights out but I need to learn to use it first

  9. gio says:

    I’m loving the look of Copacabana! But I already have something similar in my stash so I think I’ll pass.
    gio recently posted … DIY Beauty- Aspirin Treatment To Soothe Shaved Legs

  10. Advah says:

    I wish they’d sell smaller tubes (for half the price) – looks like these might last for years!

    They’re all so gorgeous, I’m planning on getting the Super Orgasm one. Copacabana is a real beauty too, but I already have the stick.

  11. Kim says:

    Oh, these are sparkle-icious! And I’m totally laughing at the cat video. Way too funny! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Tiffany says:

    I feel the same way about bagels and cream cheese – the bagel is just a vehicle to get the cream cheese into my belly ๐Ÿ™‚

    you look great here – so fresh. what’s on yo lips?

    love the video – too funny!!!

    • Karen says:

      MMM, bagels and cream cheese. I’d kill for some salmon cream cheese right now…

      That color’s one of the new NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. The review will be up in a few!

  13. Nina says:

    they are pretty — and you look great in that picture! ๐Ÿ™‚

    i kinda like using an illuminator (high beam right now, but i think i might get copacabana) is to use it before foundation so that it looks like im glowing from within. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. NeenaJ says:

    Will have to test drive these first. Copacabana looks sooo frosty (not in a good way). How do you like it compared with MAC Strobe Cream?

    Speaking of the “N” word, I just got my special Nutella spreaders in the mail. They are so freaking awesome! They were free with three proofs of purchase (the gold foil you pull off the top of the new Nutella jar). Check it out:

  15. sara says:

    what lipcolor are you wearing here? it is TO DIE!

  16. Sabah says:

    Your lips are looking soo pretty! What lipcolour is that?! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. JJ says:

    NARS just started to promote this on their facebook page as well. Apparently, you can use Copacobana on your legs to add a nice sheen.

  18. Cassie says:

    Nom nom nom! Those colours look so delicious, especially Super Orgasm. I’m actually rather worried that you’d call me an official beauty nerd just because I recognise those colours. I’d rather be a closet junkie ๐Ÿ˜€

    I’m loving the Nars multiples that I got recently, though the price is rather off-putting. There’s so many illuminators out there now, it’s rather tempting to go on a hunt for dupes, but of course this is NARS! Argh, so many dilemas going on – to buy or not to buy?
    Cassie recently posted … Top lip tips a girl should not live without!

  19. Nina says:

    Love the colors! I recently discovered the magic of illuminators so this would be on my list of things to check out!

    I love my multiples and hope i’d fall in love with these too!
    Nina recently posted … VIDEO- Jessie J – Price Tag

  20. Lucie says:

    I picked up the original orgasm illuminator the other day with the intent of mixing it in to my pro longwear foundation (like the coverage, but not the uber-matte finish!) and found that it didn’t really make a difference…it was fine as a SUBTLE illuminator on top of foundation, but just didn’t have the intensity I like. Returned it. ๐Ÿ™ Would you suggest trying super orgasm or copacabana even if the original didn’t work for me? Do either of those shades have more shimmer? I LOVE the texture, just don’t feel like it has enough oomph!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lucie,

      Both Super Orgasm and Copacabana have a LOT of shimmer. Super Orgasm has bigger pieces of golden glitter, while Copacabana is more of a straight up pearl.

  21. Sarah says:

    I’ll pass on these. Don’t really need to add shine. The video was great though.

  22. Joy P. says:

    Hi Karen! I would love to try laguna with my foundation. However I was just wondering whether it emphasizes the pores since it is shimmery/glittery. I’ve learned that most shimmery/glittery cosmetics make my pores 1000x more visible!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Joy,

      The glitter’s pretty fine so you should be ok. I’ve noticed that with liquid shimmers the pore emphasizing thing isn’t nearly as dramatic as it is with powders. When I use some powders my pores HUGE, too. You’re not alone!

  23. Linny says:

    So pretty, you look great and really fesh! ๐Ÿ™‚ Amazing!

  24. irava says:

    I absolutely love the chain your wearing in the first picture. Pretty!

    I want a highlighter which looks natural. No shimmers, no glitter, something that gives me the natural dewy look. And these probably wont look natural? Any reco? Note: I have brown skin. So something with a ting of brown or beige.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge