Lovely and illuminating

Unless you’re a lucky gal who lives in a temperate climate all year ’round, most of us here in the States are experiencing the first of the fall and winter blahs.  Grey skies, fading tans, blotchy skin, frosty winds.  This is typically the time of year that I reach for an illuminating product (or luminizing as some products call themselves, but this seems to be a made up word, so we’ll stick with the word “illuminate”) to bring a bit of sparkle back into my face.  Illuminators are shimmery, pearl-like makeup products, in either a cream or a powder, that highlight the areas where you apply them.  See my take on four options below…


NARS Illuminator, Super Orgasm – $30

I got this product last year, having heard a ton about NARS illuminators.  The most popular is actually The Multiple (as in, you know, multiple orgasms) which describes itself as “an all-in-one, cream-to-powder, multipurpose makeup stick.”  But when I went in to try the product at Sephora in person, I decided I preferred the liquid version to the stick version.  So I went with the Illuminator…in Super Orgasm.  Why, why, why must NARS give their products such dumb names?  If you figure it out, let me know.  Anyway,  back to the Illuminator–this is really nice product.  This particular shade features a coral base with gold glitter.  It goes on smoothly and the coral color is not overpowering.  There are actual tiny pieces of glitter in this shade, so if you don’t like that, you may want to try the regular Orgasm, which has a coral base with just shimmer, not glitter.  I apply this shade over foundation, to my cheeks and forehead, usually for evening wear on account of the glitter.


LORAC Oil-Free Luminizer, Pearl – $28

I’m not very familiar with LORAC products, and I actually don’t own this luminizer.  But I went to Sephora and the nice ladies there gave me a small sample to use over several days so that I could report back.  They have two options: the pearl (shown above) and the gold.  I was disappointed with this product.  The pearl shade disappeared into my skin and I couldn’t tell that I had anything on.  I tried adding more, but it just soaked right into my face and looked like I hadn’t applied anything.  I wonder if this product would have shown up better on paler skin (though I am pretty pale), or skin that hadn’t been treated with foundation.  If the latter is the case, it’s still not a product I would try again because it’s rare that I don’t wear foundation, so I need a product that works with it.  My recommendation?  Not worth it–spend the $2 extra to get the NARS.


Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick – $40

This Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick is the only Bobbi Brown product I own, but I love it.   The brick is a solid layering of different colored shimmers.  I wear it over foundation (and sometimes a bit of regular mineral powder), applying all over my face with a large brush.  It gives a pearly shimmer that makes my skin glow.  Also, this brick has lasted forever.  I think I’ve been using it for a year and a half and there’s still a ton left.  Because I got this product awhile ago, this specific color (Platinum Pink) is no longer available.  But BB offers a lot of other comparable colors: bronze, rose, nectar, and pink quartz.  I highly recommend this product–it’s beautiful, long-lasting, and high-quality.


Physicians Formula Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls Blush, Natural Pearl – $9.99

I wanted to give a drugstore option for illuminating products, but I had the darndest time finding any.  I finally found this Physicians Formula, and was drawn in by the “creates a luminous blushing glow” tagline on the bottom.  I bought it, got it home…and realized it was actually a blush…with a luminous blushing glow.  Ah well.  It wasn’t a total bust because this definitely has illuminating properties. I applied it like a blush, and it had a pink top color with undertones of pearl.  The pink was a little intense for my skin color, but it was a really beautiful shade.  Someone with darker, more olive skin would look great in this.  Comes in sort of neat packaging, with a small application brush hidden under the powder.  Too heavy a look for my skin, but if you’re looking for a bargain illuminator, this would be a good risk.


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