June 8, 2018

NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder Review & Swatches

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.
2 stars out of 5

NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder Review and Swatches

NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder ($28) is a new loose powder highlighter that launched with the NARS Orgasm Summer 2018 Collection earlier last month which is supposed to be the same golden peach shade as the original Orgasm Blush.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was about the prospect of owning a loose powder version of Orgasm in a highlighter formula. Yes, I was a little bit concerned that being a loose medium it would be messy to apply but I just kept thinking peachy pink golden glow on my cheeks and that pretty much calmed all my worries. I was also really, really hopeful it would be pigment enough to act as a blush as well. I just was really turned on to the idea of owning a loose powder blush of Orgasm.

Orgasm is one of those shades people either really, really love (like me!) or really, really hate. I happen to love it and although I’m not a huge highlighter person I really thought that NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder would be wonderful on top of Orgasm or all its own on my cheeks.

I was pretty disappointed with the new NARS Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm so I was pinning my hopes on Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder being the product that redeemed my disappointment in the lip balm formula.

NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder arrives in a rose gold metallic box which is quite pretty. The actually highlighter comes housed in a 0.09 oz pot with sifter. I wish they the lid was the same rose gold metallic as the outer box as not only would it be a very pretty way to present this but also it would match the packaging of the lip balm not to mention it would stay a heck of a lot cleaner. Unfortunately, the lid is a black rubber lid which will become crazy dirty after a single use due to the nature of the loose powder and just the general magnet that NARS packaging is for makeup and grime. My lid is completely covered in a glittery mess after ever use and I have to spend time wiping it down before putting it away each night.

I was shocked. I was shocked. Allow myself to repeat myself one more time. I was shocked when I opened the lid to discover a bronze peach shade inside the pot. Some people have described it as a rose gold but to me it’s a bronze peach. Can I tell you how crushingly disappointing this is? Why are they marketing it as Orgasm in color!? This looks nothing like Orgasm.

After my initial disappointment it was time to try it. Who knows? Maybe it would magically transform into Orgasm once it hits my cheeks. It didn’t. It actually applies with very little color on my cheeks. Allow me to explain that a little better. If you applied a dusting of this on your cheeks you can probably see some of the bronze peach on your face. Believe me, I tried this method and I was able to see a good deal of color. However, you do not want to apply a dusting of it. It’s loaded with very refined shimmer and this really adds an intense glow and a good deal of frostiness if too much is applied. You need a little bit and a very light touch for the best results and in using so little you get the glow but not really the color.

As I said above the texture is finely milled, soft, silky, and very well formulated. However, I found it very challenging to blend and get the right amount down. I’m quite heavy handed and I really lack a delicate touch with makeup of any kind so each time I applied it you could see my glow from the Moon. A while back ago I wrote a post about Glamour doing a video about applying highlighter and how many layers you’d actually need to look like some of the Instagrammers you see. According to them a hundred layers was needed to get that intense glow. Needless to say you don’t need 100 layers of NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder. A little goes a long, long way since it is loaded with very fine particles of shimmer which really give a disco ball glow if you aren’t careful.

Now what you see in my photograph in this review is very, very deceiving and took me a while to perfect. I look like I’m wearing Orgasm since the shade on my cheeks is a peachy glow. But in reality I had to mix my blush with the highlighter to achieve this glow. You can’t get the look I created using this powder alone. You have to fine a good blush shade and pair it up with the highlighter to get that pretty peachy glow. I WISH the formula looked like this but in reality if I wore alone it alone it actually looks muddy and frosty on me with lots of shimmery that adheres to every single dry spot on my face. Oh yes, this will essential every single pore and flaw on your face. It’s just that kind of formula. To avoid this you can apply it and mist with setting spray and it’ll refine and smooth the finish a bit.

For me the best application was dipping into my blush and swirling a bit of the powder onto my brush right after that and dabbing onto the apples of my cheeks. Done. This isn’t a traditional highlighting method by any means but the effect works for my round face. If you’re curious about the blush I used it was the darkest shade, third shade in the Milani Blush Trio Palette.

Overall, I admit I was disappointed with NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder. It’s messy to use, it lacks pigment, and it’s not freaking Orgasm. I’m still semi-glad I own it though as on a good day when I get just the right blush to combine it with it does look pretty. But man, it takes a lot of work to get the look down right. I do wish NARS kept the shade as it was. Glorious golden peachy pink! Why such a warm bronze peach!?

Oh well!

What was your experience with NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder?

Do share!

Where to buy


NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder is a loose powder highlighter that’s 0.09 oz in size and $28. In my experience with the product it does lack pigmentation and works best with blush but not as a blush itself if that was your plans of use. Although finely milled the formula does contain a good deal of shimmer which makes the blending process a little difficult as the finish comes across very frosty and does accentuate every little imperfection on your face.


  • Anyone who loves an intense glow.
  • Expert highlighter users.


  • Anyone expecting a golden pink peach shade.
  • Anyone who struggles with highlighter application or loose powder highlighters.
  • Not a great pick for heavy handed makeup users.
  • Anyone who hates shimmer.
  • Anyone who doesn’t like NARS Orgasm because it contains too much shimmer (this tops the original Orgasm Blush in regards to shimmer! It has A LOT more!)


NARS Orgasm Illuminating Loose Powder will disappoint anyone who expects it look like Orgasm. Sadly, it doesn’t. But I think anyone who’s an expert highlighter applicator will get a good deal of millage out of this one. Especially if you love your highlighter intense and glow-y.

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Carol G

    What a hot mess! Not jumping through hoops and adding another product to something just to make it work is ridiculous. Especially from Nars.

    • Isabella Muse

      It was very messy! I’m still learning how to apply it best. A lot of people really raved it but I think they might be better way more better with application than I am!

  • Janessa

    SAME! I returned it and the lip balm. It’s not at all what I was hoping for, and too dark on me to wear as a highlighter. The color is nothing like my beloved blush. I couldn’t justify keeping it just to use on my shoulders in the summer, either. What a bust.

    • Isabella Muse

      the lip balm was horrible. Too sheer. And the highlighter, what a disappointment. Was so so so wanting an Orgasm highlighter! sigh! I kept it as it seems to be ok if I miss it with a peachy blush but all in all a very disappointing product!

  • Lauren

    What a bummer. Your lips look amazing in that photo though. What are you wearing?

    • Isabella Muse

      One of the new L’Oreal Colour Riche Shine Lipstick in coral with clear gloss ;-D thanks!

  • Bethanne

    I totally agree with you, Muse. SO disappointed! I bought this and it looks nothing like the usual Orgasm shade. I’m too lazy to take it back “” Sephora is far away from me.

    • Isabella Muse

      aw πŸ™ I just kept it! I think with the right blush I can sorta make it work for me!

  • Mel

    I love it! It reads peach on me and so far I found using a small fan brush the best application for me. I left the little sticker on the jar so I could maybe minimize the mess- totally agree they need better packaging for this. The lip balm was disappointing but I kept it anyway.

    • Isabella Muse

      I WISH it did on me! I have to mix it with other blush to get it peachy! On me it’s very warm bronzey peach!