Browsing Tag



NARS Illuminators Copacabana, Laguna & the Original O

February 28, 2011

The new illuminators in Copacabana, Laguna and Super Orgasm arrived online at last week and I decided to order Copacabana and Laguna to compare them to the original release of Orgasm from last February (see my post The Neverending NARS “O” Series). I was also anxious to see how these compared to the other NARS products with similar names, mainly the Copacabana Multiple & Laguna Bronzing Powder.

I have not tried the newly packaged Orgasm to compare to the new one, but I can provide some initial thoughts on the original O versus the two new shades I bought in Laguna and Copacabana. Both the old and new versions are similar in product amount and texture. Both retail for $29 USD. What are the differences? First I’ll compare the difference in packaging:

  • Original packaging is skinnier, taller and has slightly less product inside
  • New packaging is shorter, wider and comes with a flip open lid

Another difference I noticed is that the first version of Orgasm Illuminator is sheerer in finish compared to the new Copacabana and Laguna. Here is Copacabana swatched close up on the skin. The left is heavily swatched, the right is sheered out. Perhaps it’s just contrasted with my skintone because Copacabana is more white, while Orgasm is more peach.

NARS Laguna Illuminator is a warmer almost orangey bronze with gold micro glitter. It also shows up more visible on my face in a warm golden bronze shade.

NARS Illuminators old and new in Orgasm, Copacabana & Laguna all swatched together:

Heavily swatched and sheered out:

Comparisons: Edward Bess Sunlight, NARS Copacabana Multiple, NARS Copacabana Illuminator

NARS Laguna Bronzer, NARS South Beach Multiple, NARS Laguna Illuminator

The comparisons swatched plus some thoughts. The Copacabana Illuminator is whiter and brighter than the Multiple version. The Illuminator is more contrasted with my skin in color but less sparkly and more glowy. I think Edward Bess’s Sunlight Cream Highlighter works better for a natural glow on my skin.

The NARS Laguna Illuminator is warmer and almost orangey next to the original Laguna Bronzing Powder but blends out beautifully on the skin. I swatched it next to South Beach Multiple for your reference.

I haven’t had time to experiment with the new Illuminators much, but so far I’ve used Laguna Illuminator on the cheeks by itself and then also layered under a bright pink blush. It works just like a regular liquid highlighter but dries quickly so I recommend blending quickly. I tested Copacabana Illuminator on the eyes near the browbone to highlight and it gave a lovely glow without the greasy feeling that Multiples can sometimes have when applied on the eyes. So far after a few uses, no irritations or break outs. I find them to be relatively long lasting, but natural in finish.

I assume you can mix these with foundation for a glow but haven’t tried it with Laguna or Copacabana. Overall thumbs up – I wasn’t too keen on the gold glitter in Laguna at first but when blended with a foundation brush the result is subtle enough.

A special thanks to Karlasugar who posted an awesome online discount code for us last week!


NARS Multiples, Multiple Tints & Multiple Bronzers

February 1, 2011

I have mixed feelings about NARS Multiples. They have consistently received glowing rave reviews year after year by beauty editors as the ultimate multi-tasker. I like the idea of a multi-use product but find these too emollient to wear on the eyes. I find these need a bit of work layering either over or under powder to extend the lasting power. I know it seems odd that one would apply a cream product over powder, but the creamy consistency allows easy blending to create a highlight glow.

My first NARS multiples were Malibu (a dusty brown pink) & Copacabana (a pale white frost). I loved combining them using the pink brown on the apples of my cheeks and the pale white dabbed on top blended up towards the temples for a dewy glow. Today there are 3 variations of the Multiple Stick: the regular Multiple, the Multiple Bronzer and Multiple Tint.

Discontinued shades include Waikiki (dark bronze), Ibiza (yellow), Sumatra (dark purple), Mauritius (deep brick red), Cannes (gorgeous plum mauve frost) and Antibes (shimmery pale lilac).

Shades that I have include: Antibes, Cannes, Malibu, Maui, Portofino, Riviera, Maldives, South Beach, Orgasm, St. Barts, Tuomota (Bronzer), Mustique, Copacabana, Luxor, Turks & Caicos Tint, Cadaques Tint & Beverly Hills Tint. I wear all on the cheeks or temples. I have used Luxor and Copacabana on the eyes before as a subtle highlight but prefer regular cream shadows.

The Regular Multiples: These are hit or miss with the creamy texture. I find Maui/Riviera/Orgasm to be drier in texture making them a bit harder to see the color. I have recently replaced a few shades that were near use-up (yes, it is possible to use one up) and it seems that the scent is slightly different but I cannot confirm if the formula has changed. My top 5 favorites are Antibes, Cannes, Mustique, South Beach and Portofino. The colors are visibly shimmery. I wouldn’t recommend them for oily skins.

The Multiple Bronzers: Being a huge fan of Laguna bronzer, I was excited to try the Bronzer Multiples. These however were a disappointment. The flat color makes my skin look ashy and fake.

The Multiple Tints: LOVE these! I reviewed each shade previously before and still love using them. My past reviews are linked here Beverly Hills and Cadaques and Turks & Caicos. I believe these were Limited Edition – I’m not sure if you can still find these instore?

Here are the shades I own plus swatches:

Overall like, but the lasting power is not always the best for the regular formulas need work with layering/combining of powders to make them not disappear by lunchtime. Believe it or not I’ve used up an entire Malibu and South Beach =)

What are your thoughts on the multiples?


NARS Turks & Caicos Multiple Tint

June 21, 2010
NARS Turks & Caicos completes my trio of the new Multiple Tints ($38 each). I previously reviewed Beverly Hills and Cadaqués here and am equally thrilled with Turks & Caicos a bright orange shade that reminds me of an orange popsicle. Those who avoid orange (like me) should still try this one out. My first reaction was “orange?!” but having experienced the genius of NARS products, I knew I had to try it out. NARS has a way of making odd or bright colors look amazing. I don’t know how they do it! Turks & Caicos has a sheer transparent-like tint that goes on a sweet peachy apricot with a hint of pink. For some reason, each multiple tint pulls a bit of pink on my skin. The color definitely shows up, but I will say that one swipe might leave you disappointed. Swipe it 2 to 3 times and then you will see the color better. On the plus side is that blending doesn’t make the color disappear.

Swatched on the back of my hand (do note that this is washed out a bit due to the flash and for some reason my camera flash doesn’t do so well with neon colored products hence the almost electric-orange glow on the multiple):

At this time I’m not sure if these are limited edition. I was told by my sales associate that they were (I found mine at Nordstrom instore), but I’m never really sure the sales associates know for sure until the product is sold out and not restocked. For more details on how they compare to the regular multiples, refer to my previous post on Beverly Hills & Cadaques.

Weekend Look of the Day: J.Crew White Ruffled Tank & Skirt

June 14, 2010
How was everyone’s weekend? The weather here in Southern California has been a bit odd the past few days – at least by the beach. Sunny bits here and there and then mostly cloudy. This was Sunday’s outfit/look.

Top: J.Crew ruffle tank
Skirt: J.Crew white denim mini
Belt: J.Crew patent burgandy skinny belt
Shoes: Prada flats
Purse: Chanel

I didn’t plan to have mostly J.Crew on – but it seems to happen more often these days, although I do have to say it’s with their older pieces from past seasons. I love how comfortable the ruffle top is, but unfortunately, if it’s not tucked in or tied with a belt over, then it looks like a huge tent.

NARS Beverly Hills + South Beach Multiples mixed on cheeks
MAC Getaway Bronze Blush on top

Clinique Seashell Cream Shadow as a base
NARS India Song Duo
MAC Orpheus Eyeliner

NARS Beverly Hills + South Beach mixed/dabbed on lips
MAC Love Nectar Lustreglass + Beach Lounger Lipglass mixed

I’m really loving those Multiple Tints from NARS (see my review of 2 of them here NARS Beverly Hills & Cadaques Multiple Tints = Pure Genius). Beverly Hills pulls more bright pink than red on my skin for some reason, but I still like it. Works well dabbed on lips for a slight tint. I liked it mixed a little with South Beach. I mixed the two on the back of my hand first and then applied on the lips. For cheeks, I swiped Beverly Hills on each cheek then South Beach on top and blended quickly with the fingers.

Also wanted your opinions: for the Chanel – is this something I can still pull off or is it totally OUT of style? It’s an older one, I don’t think Chanel makes the line anymore – at least definitely not the brown-on-brown. It’s just been sitting in my closet for ages. I keep forgetting to bring it out. Input would be greatly appreciated 🙂


NARS Beverly Hills & Cadaqués Multiple Tints = Pure Genius

May 23, 2010
The new limited edition Multiple Tints from NARS finally arrived at my local Nordstrom and much like Amy from Café Makeup and Karla from Karlasugar – I too fell in love, but with all three!

My Nordstrom is having their Trend Show in a couple weeks with an amazing GWP (will post details on this next month) – but I had the need-to-have-this-now itch, so I brought home two of the colors on Friday, Beverly Hills and Cadaqués, and left Turks & Caicos for my pre-sale among other things for the GWP, so I will review that color later in June. Also new from NARS were 2 primers for the face and eyes, but I decided to wait until the June to test those products out.

Everything about these is incredible from the colored lettering on the package and the multiple tube to the finish, texture, and color of the actual product. It’s PURE LOVE. I used Cadaqués for my commencement ceremony this morning on the cheeks and it blended out like a dream and gave my cheeks a nice cool pinkish tint. Here are my thoughts below . . .

Colors: Beverly Hills is a coral reddish color on me. Cadaqués is a lovely cool pink. Turks & Caicos (which I will review in the next couple weeks) is a lovely sheer orange. All look frightening in the tube but go on natural enough and are extremely flattering on the skin. Those who love color will love these. Those who are a bit wary of color on the cheeks will still like these because you can blend them out to give a nice healthy tint.

A few close ups . . .

Texture & Finish: These are an almost gel-like cream blush stick that has the perfect texture. Not too sticky or tacky (so it doesn’t pull the skin) but not too creamy (so it doesn’t feel greasy or oily). Super easy to blend. I did 2 swipes on each side of my face and blended out with my finger. I love how they blend out smoothly and flawlessly. The finish on the skin is natural and glowy. They truly are goof-proof.

Pigment: These Multiple Tints are truely incredible in that you can control the color by how much you layer. As much as I love the regular Multiples, sometimes I find they color disappears after blending. Not so with these new Tints. My SA who has the most gorgeous tanned complexion (about NC40-45ish) showed me these swatched on her hand and I could definitely see the color show up. She had one on her cheeks (can’t remember which one), but it gave her a natural glow with a pop of color ala Eva Mendes. Karlasugar’s review does an excellent job at showing how you can control the pigment.

Lasting Power: It lasted all day from 6:30 am past 5:00 pm (although I did layer a bit of Edward Bess Soft Orchid Blush on top, so I’m not sure how much the powder + cream combo contributed to the lasting power). Still, given my experience in layering powder blushes over regular NARS Multiples, the Multiple Tints + Powder Blush lasted a quite a bit longer.

Miscellaneous Thoughts: I didn’t notice any scent. There was no clogging or streaking or uneveness. Finish is not sticky at all and you can barely feel anything on the skin after you blend it which is a plus for a cream product. No irritation after the entire day (I usually react immediately to anything I am allergic to). I haven’t tried these on my lips yet. Are these worth the $38 price tag? In my opinion, definitely yes.

Here are some swatches compared to a few other cream products from Armani, MAC, Becca and Stila (swatched on a bare arm).

If you’ve bought these, I’d love to hear how you’re using these and what lips/eyes you are pairing with the colors you picked out.

For commencement, I used Cadaques with Soft Orchid Blush, Chanel Island + Le Bronze Eyeshadows, Trish McEvoy Baby Pink Chubby Stick + Pretty Pink Lipgloss (will review soon).


The Neverending NARS “O” Series . . .

February 4, 2010

I’ve been a huge NARS Orgasm Blush fan ever since it came out (I believe in either 1999 or early 2000). Clearly many others love it too – this blush alone currently has 3,344 reviews on with a 4 out of 5 stars average and ranks #3 as the product with the third most reviews.

Who would have thought that a single blush would be the beginnings of a series of “O” colors and products? I think sometimes I am just easily impressed and amused. I find it hilarious how many puns are done on the Super Blush version and the Multiple Stick version. One of my favorite NARS artists refuses to say the entire name for the multiple because she cannot handle the reaction customers have to that phrase. I myself am hesitant to say the word outloud when I’m at the counter.

The new Illuminator finally hit Sephora stores a few days ago, I tried it out on my hand and it seemed really sheer. I couldn’t tell if it was just the bad lighting or if it really did disappear so I managed to get a small sample from the store and played around with it today.

I tried the Illuminator 2 ways today. Clearly I should have focused on other more productive things today, but here goes.

Method 1: On 1/2 my face I mixed the Illuminator with foundation since the description said it’s good for an all over glow. Since it was pretty sheer, I didn’t see much of a difference in my foundation. Perhaps if I use a greater proportion of Illuminator to foundation I will be able to see a more glowy effect.

Method 2: On the other 1/2 of my face, apply foundation and powder, then apply the Nars Illuminator with a brush on the cheeks. The result is a very subtle but pretty glow. The glow is definitely noticeable. It doesn’t go on as bronzey or dark as it looks in the tube. I took a picture of my cheeks but unfortunately the camera cannot capture the effect. I think I may have to go back to Sephora and actually purchase the full tube.

Conclusion: I do believe it really does give you that glow-from-within effect. You will have to play around with it to see how it work for you. It’s more subtle than the Orgasm Multiple (the multiple is frostier and more sparkley). I find Multiples can feel greasy or get shiny mid-day if you don’t use powder underneath and over them. The Illuminator is neither greasy or oily. I can’t say that it dries to a powder, but it stays put and doesn’t feel like you have anything on after it dries.

If you don’t like subtle – you won’t like this.

In honor of the newest extension to the “O” series, the Orgasm Illuminator, I thought I’d try to swatch all the items in the line. Yes, I have caved and purchased most of the items, my thoughts on each after the photos.

The top blush is the regular Orgasm Blush. The one at the bottom is Super Orgasm.


The nail polish swatch:

The nail polish next to the blush version:

Thoughts on each item:

* The Regular “O” Blush – I love this, but I have to apply this with a light hand. Sometimes the gold shimmer is overpowering if I apply this too heavily. I like layering this over other light peaches so this adds a nice glow.

* Super “O” – Would really love if they took away the glitter. I find that tapping the brush before I put it on my face gets rid of most of the glitter. I like that it’s more pink and less gold.

* Multiple – A bit frosty for my taste, I actually preferred the Mustique that they discontinued once the Orgasm version was released.

* Lip Gloss – I like this the most out of the series. Such a pretty soft peachy pinky gold.

* The Nail Polish – I hate this. Maybe I’m just not used to orangey colors on my finger. If you are more tan, perhaps it would look less orange/gold. I just don’t like it with my skintone. I don’t know why I’m still holding onto it. I don’t think it’s flattering on me. It was good in theory, but in real life, just not my thing.

So what’s everyone’s guess as to the next product in the “O” Series? My guess is a lipstick version. Or do you think the series is going to stop here?