NARS Hot Sand Illuminator Review, Photos, Swatches

NARS Hot Sand Illuminator
NARS Hot Sand Illuminator

NARS Hot Sand Illuminator ($30.00 for 1.10 fl. oz.) is described as a “peach champagne.” It’s a light-medium, champagne-shimmered peach with a frosted sheen. MAC Sparkling Rose (LE) is lighter, powder. Urban Decay Glint (LE) is similar but is a powder. Laura Mercier Spellbound (LE, $42.00) is warmer, a bit darker. Tom Ford Beauty Blush Guilt (LE, $58.00) is a smidgen darker. NARS Miss Liberty (P, $29.00) is less shimmery, warmer, powder. bareMinerals The Love Affair (LE, $26.00) is powder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It’s very similar in consistency and finish to 413 BLKR, just in a different color (413 BLKR is much, much lighter). The texture is fairly thin, but a little goes a long way, so you won’t need much. I expect a tube will last you quite awhile! Whether you are more inclined to mix with your foundation or pat it along the high planes of the face, you don’t need much to get a glowing, luminous finish. If mixed with foundation, it just breathes life back into the skin if you tend to favor a satin or matte foundation. Applied to the high planes of the face (like cheek bones, down the length of the nose, cupid’s bow, etc.), it has a very high-shine finish that doesn’t emphasize pores but is a noticeable highlighter. This could be nice patted over a warmer blush or bronzer, but I would recommend applying the highlighter first, then the blush/bronzer to avoid displacing the blush/bronzer as the Illuminator tended to push away the powder. It didn’t impact the wear–neither lengthening nor shortening–of my foundation when mixed in with it, and it lasted seven and a half hours on its own before getting somewhat patchy.

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NARS Hot Sand Illuminator
NARS Hot Sand Illuminator

NARS Hot Sand Illuminator
NARS Hot Sand Illuminator

NARS Hot Sand Illuminator
NARS Hot Sand Illuminator

NARS Hot Sand Illuminator
NARS Hot Sand Illuminator

NARS Hot Sand Illuminator
NARS Hot Sand Illuminator

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

59 Comments

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The illuminators I’ve used so far (Benefit High Beam and Girl Meets Pearl) are both very cool toned and tend to make my face look a lot whiter than the rest of my body when I mix them with my foundation. I love the warmish tones for this, it’s gorgeous! And it looks so good on you. =)

I really like this. I hope it reads peachy on my NC42 skin. I think it would be the perfect topping to the right blush. Think I can pull it off?

I thought the 413 Blkr was pretty but this is gorgeous!! I love the color and the glow is just beautiful. This is so going on my list!

I’m really liking this color. Even though i like a matte finish i will like to experiment with this, i think this will look nice on all skin tones as well as on my NW48 skin because it’s not too light. Thanks for the in depth review this product looks gorgeous on you.

Christine, this color is perfect. What is your favorite wat to apply highlighters separately (not mixed with foundation)?

Thank you! 🙂 Christine, could you please show a comparison? High beam is cool and light but Watt’s Up is deceptive in the package and turns out to be a warm peach golden champagne… Then there’s Becca Opal which is not at all like Watt’s Up.. Perhaps more like this.. I fully trust you yet I’d love a comparison. It’s so beautiful! 😀 Enjoy brunch! <3

Oh and what about the color comparison to Hourglass Ambient powders in Radiant Light, Dim light, and Luminous Light? Please? I have a peach/champagne obsession. 😀

To me, comparing Ambient Lighting Powders to NARS’ Illuminator is mostly apples to oranges, because Hot Sand is very pigmented, frosted, and more shimmery, whereas all of the Ambient Lighting Powders are more translucent/sheer. Only if you mixed Hot Sand into a moisturizer/foundation would you something similar to the Ambient Lighting Powders, but in that case, they’re all going to be about the same – varying degrees of shimmer/warmth but nothing significant (much like the Ambient Lighting Powders look similar with minor differences). Ambient Lighting Powders are finishing powders, whereas Hot Sand is a highlighter.

Radiant Light: http://www.temptalia.com/submit-dupe?sbs=1&pid=97539&dupe=162639
Dim Light: http://www.temptalia.com/submit-dupe?sbs=1&pid=97535&dupe=162639
Luminous Light: http://www.temptalia.com/submit-dupe?sbs=1&pid=97537&dupe=162639

You can always pull up any two swatches to compare here: http://www.temptalia.com/swatch-gallery

Hope that helps!

Thanks 🙂 The Ambient lighting powders are stated to not just be finishing powders but highlighters. Accents, blush, contour, eyeshadow, wherever a shade of light is needed and depending on how it is applied, the more shimmery ones create an amazing highlight.. I have an arm of swatches that show these compared to fluids and it’s all the same. I appreciate your opinion as well and I’ve tried to post dupes for watt’s up and becca opal. On the arm.. It’s looking so much like Nars hot sand. Thank you so much for your help and response! 😀

I’ve been using the Orgasm Illuminator for years – it’s HG for me, but this looks like a good contender to take its place. I’m also going to check out the 413BLKR shade. They DO last forever because I just use it as a cheek highlighter and like you said, you just need a teeny bit to do the job. NARS is killing my wallet with this collection!

I think this might have a rather odd effect on my cool-toned vampire skin, but it does look very golden and pretty on yoU!

Hi! I’m super pale too. 🙂 champagne/peach highlighters are surprisingly gorgeous on! They light up the face bringing out any gold, pink, peach and neutral undertone! It’s lovely to try and a welcome pick me up for us vampires 🙂 (I’ve not tried this Nars one but I’m so racking generally about the beige/champagne/peach colors) <3 Happy Sunday! 🙂

You look stunning here, Christine! <3

Overall, do you find powder highlighters easier to apply or cream? Is this as frosted as MAC's Extra Dimensions? Is this anywhere close to MAC's lustre drops (I was surprisingly not as crazy about Rihanna's latest, but I wanted it to work SO bad!).

Of course I'm bombarding you with questions right.. lol! I know you won't mind. <3 I miss being here more often! 🙂

If you want to apply it just on cheeks, I prefer powder – I do think it’s easier to work with, and you don’t have to worry about it ever disturbing the base. It is similar to Lustre Drops, so if you didn’t like that formula, you might not like this one. This is almost thicker when it dries… more concentrated? maybe.

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