I've always been skeptical as to whether highlighters and illuminators can work on your skin, and whether they can look subtle instead of it looking like you've rubbed a pot of glitter all over your face. I've tried a few liquid highlighters before and they have sat in a box for the majority of the year since sometimes they can be "too liquidy" and don't leave the desired effect. I decided a few months ago to buy the Nars Hot Sand Illuminator from Asos (£23) to test before I go on holiday in August to give my skin a bit of oomph.
It does take a bit of getting used to, but I adore this product. It definitely doesn't look too cakey or like a fairy with chunky glitter all over my cheeks. It may look orange but for me it applies more of a subtle pink-orange colour with very fine bits of sparkle. It lasts all day which is most definitely what I expect from a high end product and it looks quite pretty on with makeup.
I've not yet mixed it in with my foundation as I'm a bit scared to. I have oily-combination skin and stray far away from dewy foundations and take my mattifying powder everywhere with me so the thought of adding a highlighter into my foundation makes me question whether it would be a smart idea or a bad mistake.
I don't think I'll be jumping into purchasing anymore high end highlighters in the near future - £23 is a fair amount and I'm glad I liked it for the price I paid! It is Nars after all (this product made me loose my Nars virginity) but my bank balance needs to remain in the positive for my holiday spends, and by that I mean Duty Free and Sephora...