NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana Review

NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana Review

Product Purchased by IMBB

Hey guys,

Summer is almost here, and my vanity is getting a total overhaul. Matte lipsticks are making way for glosses, black eyeliner for bright, metallic ones, blushes for bronzers and a new addition is liquid luminizers. Today, I will be reviewing a liquid “illuminator” by NARS that I received as a gift from IMBB. I am super excited to share my thoughts about it, so let’s get started!

NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana

Product Background and Description:

NARS liquid illuminators are described as “a multifunctional face product that gives skin a refreshed luminosity.” The “light-reflecting liquid glides on to refresh and enhance the complexion, creating a shimmering incandescence.” You can “wear it alone, or pair it with makeup to transform your skin from ordinary to extraordinary.”  The shade Copacabana is described as “glistening pearl.”


$30 for 1.1 oz

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NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana

My Experience with NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana:

A long, long time ago, when I was just a makeup rookie, I got the following advice from a popular makeup store SA about illuminators – “they should make your skin look like it’s glowing from the inside.” The purpose of the illuminators, in her opinion, was to hide all the external damage that’s done to our skin and make it look naturally luminous. Let me just go out and say this – this illuminator will not give you this kind of glow. Okay, maybe if you’re lighter skinned and have pink undertones, it will. But if you are not, this will certainly make you look like you’re wearing something on your skin. In other words, it won’t give you a Lisa Haydon au naturale glow, but it will give you the Kim Kardashian’s not-so-natural look. However, it’s still a pretty glow and it still calls attention to the areas you apply it on (in a good way!).

NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana

So, this product still ranks pretty high in my opinion. Even for someone with a tan, warm toned skin shade (NC 40, for reference). Yes, it can look a little unnatural on me at times; but with several different ways to wear this, some that work better than the others, I quite like this product.

NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana

Although the shade is described as a “glistening pearl,” it’s really a pearl-pink shimmer. When thick, it looks more frosty and when spread out, it looks pearly. The shimmer is very fine, and when blended properly, makes the skin look luminous without the disco-ball effect. It’s a little hard to blend if it starts drying, you have to work quickly.  Once it starts drying, it really doesn’t budge easily and that makes it really hard to blend the product. The upside to this is that the product doesn’t budge once I put it on. It lasts all day on my combination skin, which is oily in some places, dry in others. Sometimes highlighters and luminizers can also make you look oily; this doesn’t make my skin look greasy or oily at all.

NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana

I have tried wearing this a couple of different ways – the first is mixed into my foundation. I definitely won’t be doing this again. The illuminator blends in well with the foundation, but it makes my foundation much lighter and makes me look a little ghost-faced.  It will definitely work well with lighter and cooler toned foundations. I do like wearing this on my cheeks, since the pearl-pink acts like the perfect highlighter for my blushes. It also works great on the cupids bow and under eyebrows as a highlighter.

NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana

I tried using in on my nose and forehead and, frankly, it looked very unnatural. I think I’ll stick to using this on my cheeks, brow bone and cupids bow from now on. I probably will not repurchase this particular shade, but I’ll definitely give more illuminators from NARS a shot in the future!

NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana

Pros of NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana:

  • Fine shimmer.
  • Lasts all day.
  • Multi-purpose.
  • Doesn’t make you look oily or shiny (a la Gauri Khan).
  • Nice sleek packaging; sturdy cap that stays in place.

NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana

NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana

Cons of NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana:

  • Hard to blend once it starts drying.
  • Won’t look natural on deeper and warmer toned gals.

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7 thoughts on “NARS Liquid Illuminator in Copacabana Review

  1. Good review Devie! I so wanna try NARS Illuminators – its high on my wish list. I can see how this may not work with the foundation. It most likely would change the shade of the foundation too…

  2. It’s so cool-toned! This was a helpful review for me, Devie. I wanted to get this, but no longer because I think it’ll be too obvious on my warm-toned skin. So, money saved! *pompom*

  3. It looks great for evening events and partie *woot* s…i have never used an illuminator before..probably coz m still a student and like the minimum makeup.. *hihi* nice review 🙂

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