Dolce & Gabbana

The Illuminator

for $ 51.00
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Brand Overview

The Illuminator is a silky-soft, fragrance-free, pressed-powder highlighter for the cheekbones, eye area, or any other area you want to accentuate. While the name may conjure up visions of shimmer, this is more of a translucent powder, with just a dash of finely milled sparkle and a slightly light-reflective finish.

The Illuminator comes in two shades, one a light, cream-like color and the other, a self-described rose shade with an almost violet cast. Both go on so faintly that the color is nearly invisible, making the difference between the two colors hardly noticeable, but still worth mentioning.

The Illuminator's sheerness and understated luminosity could be considered a pro or a con depending on how much glow you're going for. If you only want super-subtle sparkle, this is a decent option to check out, but those who desire more of a glowing effect with a smidge of color will likely be disappointed. More to the point, in comparison to other top-rated illuminating powders, this one doesn't stand out as a top performer, and at this price point, it really should. Better luck next time!

  • Silky-soft pressed-powder texture blends on a like a breeze.
  • If you want subtle sparkle, this delivers.
  • Fragrance-free formula.
  • Not as impressive as other top-rated illuminators.
  • Pricey.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Strengths: Luxuriously smooth powder textures; excellent bronzer and blush; an impressive foundation and concealer; outstanding cream eyeshadow and eyebrow-shaping pencil; a good volumizing mascara; excellent liquid concealer; most of the face makeup products are fragrance-free.

Weaknesses: Unjustifiably expensive in many cases; several mediocre products, including eyeliner, mascara, and foundation; nearly all of the lip products contain potentially irritating fragrance; a few old-school pencils that require inconvenient manual sharpening.

Italian brand Dolce & Gabbana is renowned for luxuriously crafted fashions, innovative designs, fragrances, and rich fabrics. The fashion brands foray into cosmetics follows suit, with opulent packaging adorned with golden accents and couture-like details. If thats not enough to lure you in, D&Gs stunning celebrity spokeswomen will. With gorgeous muses like Scarlett Johansson and Monica Belluci headlining campaigns for their makeup collections, its hard not to get caught up in the seductive poses and the promise of prestige.

Just like their clothing line, D&Gs makeup products come with a designer price tag. Thats not to say they dont have some great productsthey absolutely dobut most of what youre paying for is the upscale brand name, lavish packaging, and celebrity endorsements.

Most of D&Gs self-proclaimed advanced formulas tend to be quite basic in terms of any added benefit for your skin, though perhaps that will change now that the brand is owned by Shiseido.

Whether you find this brands prices acceptable or deplorable, D&Gs makeup line has its share of high points, texture being one of them. D&Gs powder makeup products offer a luxurious silky feel, velvety-smooth wear, and seamless application. There are several other standout products you may want to consider splurging on, too, including an impressive mascara, blush, foundation, liquid concealer, eyebrow pencil, and cream eyeshadow (see the individual reviews for details).

Of course, as with many brands, there are also instances where the products fall short in terms of performance, ingredients, and design. For those products, the high price point might seem unjustified and, well, it is! Nonetheless, D&G offers enough appealing makeup options to warrant a perusal. Just avoid the disappointments so you can be sure youre spending your beauty dollars wisely.

Although not widely distributed in the United States, D&G makeup has a presence at some department stores in major cities, as well as at select Sephora locations around the world and online at Sephora.com.

For more information about Dolce & Gabbana cosmetics, visit www.dolcegabbana.com/beauty/makeup.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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