NARS Albatross was such a huge hit a few years back because it's the highlighter Kim K's makeup artist used to add glow to her face. I don't know if she's still using it these days but I know for sure I am! Albatross looks pretty… plain ol' boring off-white in the pan (and not exactly the most fun item to photograph) but let me show you how gorgeous of a highlighter it is once it's on the skin! :)
Albatross is an off-white/cream-colored highlighter with extremely fine gold shimmer. The color is a little stark against the skin on my arm especially when layered, but when applied sheer on the cheeks, it imparts a really nice and soft glow with a light golden pearly sheen. It can be built up for a more dramatic sculpting effect but I like to keep it on the sheer side for everyday wear. With the cool-toned “yellow” tinge to it, I'm not sure if this would look natural on fair skin, but anyone with a medium or tan complexion with yellow undertones, I think Albatross will look gorgeous on you.
The powder is velvety smooth and feels very firm but not hard. It feels very creamy for a powder going on the skin and more often than not, I like to apply it with just my fingers — quick, easy, and goes on exactly where I want — but any smaller brush with loose bristles works well, too. With fingers, I can dab a little bit on multiple parts of my face, such as the inner corner, under the brow bone, above the Cupid's Bow, along the bridge of the nose, and so on and blend in one go without having to switch to a different brush than the one used on the cheeks. Sometimes I'm just lazy like that! :) Albatross is a true multitasker and you can even use it as a shimmery eyeshadow, too!
Though it can definitely be worn alone, I like to pair it with a warm-toned blush such as Orgasm (they both look stunning together), and sometimes I will follow with Laguna for an extra step of contouring. I don't apply bronzer on a daily basis but I'm starting to get into the habit of it now. It really does make a difference to the face especially in photographs (not that I have mastered the technique yet!).
I love the way the gold shimmer reflects the light. It adds that extra oomph of a beautiful golden glow to the cheeks without being glittery. A little frosty, a little shimmery, but never glittery. If you find the shade too obvious, try applying it under the powder to soften the effect. :)
I find it to emphasize pores and fine lines a little, though. So keep that in mind and try to place it where they are less visible. The powder wears well on me throughout the day and I never feel the need to re-apply during normal wear.
Comparison to other highlighters
Here's a little extra comparison swatch of some of the highlighters that I own. Albatross (1) definitely leans heavily on the “pale gold” side while theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer (2) and Tarte Angelic (5) are less gold. MAC Soft and Gentle (3) has a hint of rose gold to it while Dior Amber Diamond (4) is more of a champagne shade.
Do you highlight on a regular basis? Do you prefer subtle or dramatic highlighting? :)