Sunday, June 19, 2011

{Review} Nars Laguna Body Illuminator

A few weeks ago when I hauled a few things from Sephora I made a point to get a sample of the new Nars Illuminator in Laguna. What it is is a buildable bronzing gel that Now, they make two formulas of this, one for the face that is a sheer an another for the body that is larger and is more pigmented. I swatched both at the store and found that the face version was a bit too sheer, even for my very very pale skin. The body one comes in a massive squeeze tube and for your money is the better value (price per oz wise), so I figured I'd try the body one.


(Top to Bottom) Shear Blended Application, Heavy Application

How. Stunning. Is. That!? ^ The color is just a very warm slightly shimmery bronze. Honestly, it doesn't look as shimmery as it does in the tube. Yes, the golden shimmer is noticeable, but not as noticeable as the shimmer in several bronzing powders that I've tried. And after a few hours of wear the shimmer tends to tone down, leaving behind the bronze. When I wear this it gives my skin this really pretty sheen that I absolutely love. In addition, what I love is that you can build this. When I use this on my face, I apply a very sheer layer where I would normally apply my bronzer and then layer a little more on the apples and hollows of my cheeks as well as my temples. Even with the shimmer it looks a lot more natural than a powder bronzer, which I love!

That being said, there are a few things you need to consider before purchasing this product. One, you need a lot of product to cover your body if you want to use this on your arms and legs. A lot. As massive as the squeeze tube is, with weekly use all over the body it will be gone fairly quickly. I only had a sample so I couldn't see exactly how much I would need for my entire body, but I needed about a third of the sample jar to do one arm. One thing you could probably do is mix it with your body lotion to make it last longer, but then it will go on shearer.

In addition, application is tricky. You have to work very very fast because once it sets it sets. If you want to apply multiple layers you need to make sure you use broad sweeping strokes because otherwise it will look patchy. I would recommend exfoliating and moisturizing very well before applying this because it looks a lot more even on smooth skin. And if you have acne on your face be careful because like any bronzer it does tend to stick to problem areas.

Finally, this stuff isn't waterproof. Nars says that it is "transfer proof," but that isn't exactly the same as waterproof, is it? It doesn't really rub off on clothing, but I wouldn't wear white with it just in case. And if you get really sweaty or wet it will start to come off faster.

Like with any fake glow, there are drawbacks. If you have tanned skin to begin with this will probably work better for you to just emphasize your tan and give you a glow. I wouldn't count on this as a full body tanner, though. On the face however, it looks stunning! And the scent, a cross between something coconutty, Brazilian and Hawaiian, is oddly pleasing to me as well, given that I'm not a big fan of coconut.


Price: $45 (for 5.5 oz)

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Isododecane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Ppg-17/Ipdi/Dmpa Copolymer, Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbitol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sorbitan Stearate, Cocos Nucifera [Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil], Steareth-8, Xanthan Gum, Dimethicone, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Parfum (Fragrance), Euterpe Oleracea (Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Oil), Calophyllum Inophyllum (Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil), Ribes Nigrum [Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil], Rubus Idaeus [Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil], Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trisodium Edta, Rubus Chamaemorus (Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Oil), Bisabolol, Boswellia Serrata (Boswellia Serrata Gum), Panthenol, Gardenia Tahitensis (Gardenia Tahitensis Flower Extract), Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxycitronellal, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool [+/- (May Contain): Mica, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride)].


  1. What a great review! I am curious to try this product, but the price makes it difficult for me to give in!! :)

  2. I know, $45 is pretty hard to swallow. But look around at the drugstore because I know that several brands have similar products and for a lot less!