NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter Review & Swatches

01/07

NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter
NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter

Orgasm

NARS Orgasm Liquid Highlighter ($30.00 for 0.5 oz.) is a soft, rosy copper with warm undertones and fine, gold and pink pearl. It was a departure from the brand’s signature Orgasm blush-hue, which is quite pink (almost blue-based pink base!) with strong, gold shimmer. Per NARS, the liquid highlighter can be used alone on the high points of the face, on the face and body, and mixed in with foundation or moisturizer.  The rating reflects an average of performance as a standalone highlighter (on high points), mixed in with foundation/moisturizer, and as a body highlighter.

It worked best as a body highlighter or mixed in with a sheer to medium foundation (full coverage tended to eat it up), and it was hardest to use as a standalone highlighter, especially over base products, as it was very, very watery and fluid. That fluidity made it stellar for applying a few droplets on the collarbones and shoulders for an all-over, luminous glow, and it was noticeable in sheen and subtle reflection but didn’t add color. I tried very hard to apply it to my cheeks/cheekbones, and it I had to place the barest amount, kind of let it sit and dry down, and then tried to soften the edges but still had to apply a bit more–the problem wasn’t so much that it wasn’t pigmented, but there was no way to get one droplet’s worth on my cheeks without it running down my cheeks like sad, sad, peach tears.

Again, that thinner, watery, and very fluid base helps it mix well with liquid foundations and moisturizers, though, and so as an all-over product, it’s workable. The dropper makes it easy to be more precise with just how much one mixes in, too, so I liked that part for this product over some others in the same category. The all-over glow is subtle, and the higher coverage the foundation (or the more powders you put on top), the less noticeable it’ll be–true of all types of liquid highlighters! I always like these types of products to help my foundations diffuse and spread better and prevent them from looking too dry on me. If you already use a dewy foundation, though, it won’t add much, if anything. And similarly, I find if I put a lot of setting powder on, that dewy finish goes away quickly (but is sometimes nice to prevent an over-powdered look).

It is a sheer product, which was by design (“luminous veil of color” and by the fact that one can mix it into foundation/moisturizer). NARS’ website doesn’t indicate what one drop is best for, and Sephora first says “one drop … is enough to create an effortless, dewy, and natural glow” but then under “how to use” says that “one drop dispenses enough product for entire body.” The last part is funny as one drop is far more than necessary for targeted highlighting (on cheek bones and the like), but one drop mixed in with foundation worked fine. One drop for entire body would be hard to stretch out, as fluid as this formula might be, as it was a few drops on shoulders and collarbones did the job.

If you wanted to use this on the high points, I’d skip and look for something better-performing for that purpose, but if you were planning to use it as a body highlighter or mixed in with base/moisturizer type products, then it performed well.  I didn’t see any change in performance when it was mixed in with my base, and it was noticeable after eight hours on my shoulders, though there was a bit of pearl on the neck of my shirt so it wasn’t transfer-proof (I’d say transfer-resistant).  As a standalone highlighter on bare skin, it lasted well for seven and half hours after dry down but was fussy to apply; over foundation, it tended to break it down if I wasn’t very patient and careful with the application.

Ingredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Punica Granatum Extract, Fomes Officinalis (Mushroom) Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Polysorbate 20, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/ VP Copolymer, Silica, Tin Oxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491).

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About the Reviewer

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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6 Comments

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“sad, sad, peach tears” made me laugh, I love your way with words! 😂 Thanks so much for the very detailed review, Christine!

Since I really loved this one as something I would have used as a cheek highlighter, I’m really disappointed that it failed in that category. Or, as you put it (and had me cracking up!) “but there was no way to get one droplet’s worth on my cheeks without it running down my cheeks like sad, sad, peach tears.”

I’m more and more intrigued by products like this, but this won’t be the one I experiment with. Pretty though.

I have this. I actually like this. It applies a lot like Daniel Sandler’s water blush. After looking at videos, it seemed like most artists placed this on the back of their hand and then patted the product in. It gave me just a sheen on my cheeks. Nothing like the liquid blush – but I guess that’s why its a highlight. I patted this in over blush also and it seemed to be fine. I didn’t notice any breakdown in product.

I don’t wear foundation so I’d only be able to use this as a body shimmer. Too bad the product isn’t versatile or the same color as Orgasm blush! I rarely use my liquid highlighters or blushes as much as I do powders. I like really the packaging of this collection.

“Sad, sad, peach tears” you are the best, Christine! Thank you for the thorough review. I wish Sephora wouldn’t get all hyperbolic in their instructions for products. It’s starting to feel like they are editorializing on the part of the brand waaaay too much.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!