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.
- Tom Ford Beauty Fire Lust (LE, $65.00) is less shimmery (90% similar).
- NARS Maldives (P, $38.00) is more shimmery (90% similar).
- NARS Orgasm (P, $28.00) is more shimmery, more pigmented, cooler (90% similar).
- Fenty Beauty Chic Freak (PiP, $36.00) is more shimmery (90% similar).
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Fantasy (LE, $44.00) is more shimmery, darker, cooler (90% similar).
- Becca Beach Nectar (LE, $38.00) is more shimmery (90% similar).
- YSL Rose Or (P, $42.00) is more shimmery (90% similar).
- Colour Pop Aura Voir (P, $7.00) is more shimmery (85% similar).
- Anastasia Taffy (LE, ) is more shimmery, darker, more pigmented (85% similar).
- Flesh Beauty Promise (P, $28.00) is more shimmery, more pigmented (85% similar).
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).