NARS Orgasm Illuminator

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 3 - 2010

A.K.A… the one I’ve been waiting for!

This much anticipated release from NARS is another reason I was in London last Thursday.  I attended the presentation with VexintheCity and by the time 5.30 rolled around we were giddy with glee.

Elbowing each other outta the way to get up the stairs, we practically fell through the door looking every bit true Orgasm addicts.  Stop sniggering.

In it’s simple packaging… it looks kinda plain and… well, um… orange.  There I’ve said it.  It looks orange.  If you’re as pale as me, I know you’re gonna understand when I say that I may have physically recoiled from the tube.  Truth be known, my soul felt slightly crushed.  It looked *nothing* like I was expecting.  I mean, I don’t know just WHAT I was expecting… but it sure wasn’t a tube of ORANGE.

Anyway, here’s what Sephora (Oh! Sweet Sephora) has to say about it:

What it is:
A complexion enhancer that makes skin look instantly refreshed, radiant, and glowing.

What it does:
NARS Orgasm Illuminator lights your skin from within! Deceptively sheer and decidedly luminous, it magically transforms lackluster skin into a remember-me, luscious complexion. Flirt with foundation, go it alone, or go neck-and-neck with your décolleté. The effect is, well, orgasmic.

Whatever.  It’s still ORANGE.

And so I applied…

Woahhh Orange…

To be fair, I applied WAY TOO MUCH!  Seriously, this stuff spreads… you need the teeniest amount.

and then I blended…

and I blended some more…

You can see how far a little goes, right?

I haven’t sheered it out too much in the picture above so that you can still see the colour impression… I wouldn’t wear it this pigmented, although you could if you blended out the edges.

That’s more like it!!  Can you see the dewy faintly peach glow?

I want to suggest that the ladies (in my humble opinion) most likely to put Monsieur NARS on their Xmas card list for introducing this, will be darker-skinned.  Check out some swatches over at VexintheCity for an idea of how it looks on dark-skinned sisters.  On fair skin it’s beautiful… but it’s lacking the wow-factor that seems to magically appear on deeper tones.

Having said that, would I repurchase? Yes.

I think some people are expecting this to be the same as the blush, but in liquid form.  It isn’t.  It illuminates the skin with the teeniest hint of colour… and I think it will polarise opinion.  It’s subtlety will either be it’s strength or it’s weakness depending on what you want from it.

I slick a little of this ontop of my blush (not necessarily Orgasm!) for that extra bit of oomph… and it looks great down the centre of my nose.  Don’t laugh, it makes my nose look less um “fat”.  (Do you think it’ll work on my bum?)

It’s also fab for highlighting the cupids bow and although I know there are a 1001 illuminators out there that would do the job adequately, I’m back to stressing just how easy to use this is.

I suppose the nearest ‘dupe’ I have to this would be Illamasqua’s ‘Fondle’ Illuminator which I love, but find to be a little too glowy for daytime and if I don’t blend thoroughly, it leaves a hard edge.

I also own and adore NARS Albatross.  For me, Albatross is the best highlighter on the market.  Bar none.  Truthfully, it’s better than this for my skintone, but I wouldn’t dare try and apply it on the go.  Ladies who own it would agree with me that it needs a *very* light touch and more than a little patience to stop you looking like a disco ball.

NARS Orgasm Illuminator is foolproof.  It dries to a powder finish, leaving no horrible sticky residue and yet it doesn’t dry too quickly.  You can blend until you’ve got it *just* how you want it.  Im a dunce and I could apply this in the dark without screwing it up.  I’m honestly not sure how the formula manages to combine powder-finish with such blendability.

If you want the beautiful Orgasm flush, go for the blush.  If you want a subtle grown-up glow that you can add to your foundation without looking ridiculous, go for the illuminator.  Personally, I want both… he’s not daft that Monsieur. NARS.

NARS Orgasm Illuminator will be available from 18th February as a Space NK exclusive (boo!), before being rolled out across all NARS Counters on the 1st March – priced at £21.

NARS Spring 2010 Collection – Swatches & Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 3 - 2010

Whilst in London last week, I had the opportunity to check out the NARS Spring 2010 Collection and hear a little more about it’s inception and application on the runways at New York Fashion Week last year.

It’s the first time I’ve ever analysed a collection like this… and honestly, I feel a little “hell, what do I know about ‘collections’ and ‘runways’ and excuse me while I kick off my Mum’s stilletos and get back in my sandbox”.

If I shrug off those insecurities, I’m left realising that I was handing over my debit card at the NARS counter in Liberty less than 20 minutes after being given this bag of samples… and really, what other qualifications does one need?

Let’s start with the actual collection.  Swatches, thoughts and all.

I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of the Catherine Deneuve-inspired promo shot for the collection…

…it just doesn’t ‘speak’ to me.  Infact, before being invited to sample the collection, I’d dismissed it based on this promo.  With that in mind, things didn’t get off to a good start.

First up are two new lipglosses. Ophelia (£17) (Strawberry Nectar) and Easy Lover (£17) (Sheer Hot Pink).

In the tube, Easy Lover is WOW!  It’s a true hot pink that makes you want to grab at it and play (and I did!).  On the lips, I’m disappointed.  It is so sheer, and whilst sheer lipglosses have many uses, I just feel cheated after seeing how it looks in the tube.  Worn alone, it adds no pigment at all to my lips.

Ophelia is more pleasing, I’m loving this over the top of a nude lipstick.  Again, it’s fairly sheer… but as it promises less in the tube, it doesn’t disappoint me in the same way Easy Lover does.

Swatches of both…

Next up is the single lipstick in the collection: Cruising (£17)

When I first saw Cruising in the tube, I can’t say I was too excited by it.  Infact, I don’t think it particularly registered until I got home and attempted a FOTD with the collection.  You know, I own over 48 lipsticks… and this has jumped straight into my top five.

Nude lipsticks are difficult to get right.  Choosing the correct one for your skintone is an unenviable task, so I’m not gonna start shouting that everyone needs to own this lipstick.  I really want to tell you to go and TRY it though.  It is *so* completely unassuming in the tube, I would have passed this by time and time again.

On my dry lips, It’s truly moisturising, glideing on with ease but crucially it stays on.  It gives my lips enough colour so as not to look dead but keeps the focus on the rest of my face whilst giving an overall polished finish to my makeup.  And that to me is what a true nude lipstick should do.  I love this, perhaps too much.

Bains Douches Glitter Pencil (£18.50), the eyeliner in the collection named after the legendary Parisien nightclub is a vivid matte blue infused with silver glitter.  Thankfully, the glitter particles are not particularly chunky and don’t irritate my eyes.  I’m not sensitive to eye irritation though, so you may want to give this a miss if you think it could cause problems for you.  Not only that, but I do have to point out… My God it’s expensive!

I adore the colour, but my first thoughts were that it sits oddly with the rest of the collection.  Until I tried it on the lower lashline with the Kuala Lumpur Eyeshadow Duo on my lids.  POP!  I’m very pleased to add this to my collection… it will see me right through ’till Winter and the sparkle is subtle enough to wear during the day.  I’ve surprised myself liking this so much and I’ll attempt an EOTD with this soon.  It applies beautifully, without need for ‘warming up’ and the glitter gives a lovely wide-awake look when applied along my lower lashline.

Camargue (£23) is a cream eyeshadow duo described as a Golden Moss/Sienna pairing.  It’s a slightly muddy looking combination, but I think it would be amazing on warm medium skintones.

As with all NARS Cream Shadows that I’ve tried, this really needs setting with powder if your lids are at all oily or you’ll be picking it out of your crease in a matter of minutes.  The NARS MUA I was talking to in Liberty recommended the golden half of the Alhambra Duo (which I bought) over the top of the Sienna half of Camargue.  He was right – it’s a beautiful pairing.

Camargue swatches, they look particularly warm against my cool skin tone:

Kuala Lumpur Eyeshadow Duo (£23) is one of the more talked about pieces in the collection:

It’s a beautifully pigmented combination of Rose Gold / Boysenberry.  Yeah, I’m not really sure what a Boysenberry is either… Google Images was my friend.

In the pan, I thought it would be a touch too warm for me, but it works.

The only thing I’d be wary of is that the right hand side of the duo contains enough red to give you that “I’ve been crying for 7hrs” look.  If you usually struggle with these shades, I’d steer clear.  Thankfully, I look neither suicidal nor ill wearing this duo and the right hand side is amazing applied wet as a liner.


Purple Rain (£13).  I’ve been hugely excited about this polish ever since I saw nail swatches on Scrangie’s blog.  I tried, but failed miserably at capturing how it truly looks in the bottle… the polish is practically dancing in there.  I can’t wait to do a NOTD with it.

The final item in the collection is D. Gorgeous (£16), a dusty lilac single eyeshadow.  Here’s a stock image:

D. Gorgeous (love the name!) is a matte shadow which got a lot of love at New York Fashion Week, especially applied under the lower lashline.  Uneducated pleb that I am, I keep looking at the images thinking… “Tsk, that makes her look like SO tired”.  I didn’t have this in my goody bag so can’t offer an alternative (more educated) view!

So, that’s my run-down of what NARS has to offer us this Spring.

The single thing that strikes me is that I’m favouring the pieces that on first look, didn’t draw me in.  The slightly brown-looking lipstick, a bright blue eyeliner and an “I’ve been sobbing” eyeshadow duo… whoulda thunk it.  Not me.

If you’re not sure the NARS Spring 2010 collection is for you, go have a play.  It’s left me pleasantly surprised.

I’ll leave you with a FOTD:


~ NARS Kuala Lumpur Eyeshadow Duo on the lidand blended underneath the lashline.
~ NARS Camargue Cream Duo blended up above the crease (washed out in this image sadly)


~ NARS Crazed Blush
~ NARS Orgasm Illuminator (applied over blush, bridge of nose, cupids bow) – review coming later today!


~ NARS Cruising Lipstick
~ NARS Ophelia Lip Gloss

All items from this collection are available at NARS counters nationwide and online.

What say you? Is anything from the NARS Spring 2010 Collection capturing your attention?

NARS Orgasm Vs Milani Luminous – Swatches

Posted by Lipglossiping On January - 14 - 2010

One of the most talked about so-called ‘dupes’ is the infamous $5.99 Milani Luminous blush which many say is a dead ringer for the even more infamous $25 NARS Orgasm.

Here’s my take on that theory…

You can immediately see the similarities between them.  In the pan, Orgasm has a little more sparkle, but the shades are a very close match indeed.

On my skin…

I find Milani’s Luminous to be slightly pinker than NARS Orgasm on my skintone, it also swatches a little heavier which was a surprise to me, as I rank NARS blushes up there as among the most pigmented I’ve used.

The Milani only lasts for a couple of hours before fading compared to Orgasm (a.k.a – shit to a blanket).  Once applied to my cheeks, NARS Orgasm has that “Je Ne Sais Quoi”… a slightly ethereal quality that is lacking from the Milani.

Does that relegate the Milani to the dupe bin?  Not at all, I would happily take Luminous on a fortnight holiday with me.  I love it, it’s a fantastic dupe and I’m pleased to own it.  Would I be happy for it to completely replace Orgasm?

No.  On my skin, NARS Orgasm gives me that famed full on post coital flush that Milani Luminous only hints at.


Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 14 - 2009

…popped my NARS cherry – hoorah!




Angelika is such a beautiful true pink, often described as bubblegum… but it shows up slightly softer on my skin (or perhaps I’m being majorly cautious with the application!)  Either way, I love it – the perfect pink with just the right amount of silver sparkle.

What are your favourite NARS blushes?

Pedestal Products

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 9 - 2009

…Why is it when I finally earn enough Pigsback points to get myself a lovely £10 discount on Nars Orgasm (which I’ve never tried and have been lemming like forever) HQ Hair don’t have it in stock.


One day my pretty…

As you may have noticed, I have an eclectic range of cosmetic tastes.  I couldn’t really be much further from a makeup snob if I tried – mainly because my budget simply wouldn’t allow it.  I’m as happy as a pig in shit to trawl both Space NK and Superdrug looking for new products (although I’m always a little happier at the till in Superdrug!)

I quite like it this way, it means that I have to work that little bit harder to find good quality products at great prices, it also means that I have accumulated more crap than the average beauty junkie, but there’s always a friend or relative nearby who is happy to play with my cast offs and vice versa!!  It really works for me.

I’d love to hear about your tastes – the high street/drugstore brands that work so well for you, you haven’t found better value for the money.  Tell me about those higher end products that you’ve been craving for so long that they’re now firmly ensconced on that pedestal and the thought of purchasing them fills you with fear that they’ll never live up to your now exagerrated expectations.

Anyway, to cheer myself up after being so close yet still so far from my pedestal product, I went and bought a Max Factor 2000 Calorie mascara to keep me going whilst I wait for HQ Hair to pull their fingers out!


You’ll have to do for now!


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