NARS Adelaide Illuminator Review, Photos, Swatches

NARS Adelaide Illuminator
NARS Adelaide Illuminator

NARS Adelaide Illuminator ($30.00 for 1.10 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering lavender pink.” It’s a lightly cool-toned, light-medium pink with pink and white shimmer/sheen, plus silver glitter. Giorgio Armani No. 08 (P, $59.00) is similar in type (also a liquid) but is a smidgen lighter and has no glitter. NARS New Order (P, $29.00) is a powder and appears lighter swatched, but the effect is similar on. Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose (LE, $42.00) is also a powder and is a darker, more noticeable rose with a stronger metallic sheen. See comparison swatches.

If you’re unfamiliar with NARS’ Illuminators, they’re supposed to “light the skin from within.” They’re “deceptively sheer, decidedly luminous.” The formula can be applied all-over the face, used as traditional highlighter, and can be worn mixed with, over, or under foundation. With the amount of glitter (plus, the size), I didn’t like it mixed with foundation, because the bits of glitter all over the face looked more like random dirt particles at a glance–unless you stood in the sunlight, and then you twinkled here and there. In order to keep the color from adding a pink tint, you use just a very, very little amount. I had the best results when patted over cheeks with my fingertip and blended, as it gave a very light pink flush, luminous sheen, and then glittery sparkles. There was some emphasis of pores. If you don’t like glitter in your blush or highlighter, then I would skip this shade, because it is a noticeable amount. On cheeks, it remained apparent for six hours and then started to disappear.

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NARS Adelaide Illuminator
NARS Adelaide Illuminator

NARS Adelaide Illuminator
NARS Adelaide Illuminator

NARS Adelaide Illuminator
NARS Adelaide Illuminator

NARS Adelaide Illuminator
NARS Adelaide Illuminator

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About the Reviewer


Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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I kind of just love this for how pretty it looks in the tube, and heavily swatched – I’m not sure if I’d really use it, though! 😀

I like the color/finish except for the glitter! On one hand, it’s too much, and on the other, it’s not enough if you’re just going to GO for a glittery highlighter.

I so so wish that it had no glitter, I like the way it looks on your skin, but the thought of glitter just puts me off. Love the packaging and the color. Will check the New Attitude blush only. Thanks for the review dear!!

Quick question, Christine…is the illuminator just on your cheeks (as you described in your review) or all over your face in the photo? I’m guessing it is the former but I’d be interested in seeing how this looks applied all over, as a base or an all-over brightener.

Just on the cheeks! IMO, it doesn’t work well all-over. Definitely doesn’t brighten, though – visibly, I saw mostly glitter on the skin but unfortunately, unless the light is hitting it, they look like black specks of dirt, but it didn’t seem brighter or more luminous.

I love that this is similar to New Order, I’ve never gotten that one because it looks way too shimmery/glittery. I just got Copacabana and love it, but this is something to think about!

If you don’t like the glitter in New Order, you probably won’t like this – it is even more glittery because it’s a liquid, so a lot of the glitter actually sticks to the skin!

In general; I do like “illuminators” I can wear under foundation, but if this has glitter, I don’t see this particular one working for that. I do want to take another look at Copacabana, though, as I don’t recall that one having glitter. I don’t have a Nordstrom counter conveniently near me (I’m in the LAX-area, and I’d have to venture out toward Santa Monica), but I’d also love to try the Armani Fluid Sheers… I’m looking for something that would provide a “dewy” glow, but haven’t had much luck.

I’m not a fan of pinky highlighters because they usually look ashy on me but this is just beautiful! It is very glittery but I like it. I really need to check this out in person!

Christine, would you say the shimmer/glitter level is closer to the NARS Orgasm Illuminator (more shimmery) or NARS Super Orgasm Illuminator (kind of bigger glitter particles)? I’d prefer shimmer over outright glitter, but I use my Illuminators as “bases” for powder blushes and this pink seems sort of hard to pass up 🙂

Sorry, I don’t think I have any of NARS’ Illuminators except this one (I’ve never reviewed them at least, and I don’t remember trying them before). It’s glitter, though, not shimmer – Adelaide contains silver glitter!

It does look retry but I’m not a fan of glitter. I’ll pass on this but I did order the new Nars blush Sex Fantasy fron Nordstrom and am eagerly awaiting its arrival!

From the review I was expecting a lot of glitter! But in the picture it looks nice on you Christine! It looks slightly rosy and natural in the picture!

I wouldn’t personally, as I do not know if it is eye safe – since it is pink-based and has larger glitter, it’s not something I’d risk myself (just not comfortable with it).

Super Orgasm or original Orgasm? If it’s the latter, then definitely stay away! Glitter in this is more comparable to Super Orgasm!

I hopped on here to see the earrings 😀 😀 They are awesome..I was expecting something completely different, smaller, and I was wondering how it would look on you. These seem perfect for you 🙂

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