Drugstore Dupes to the Test: Nars Orgasm vs. Milani Luminoso
The internet is an amazing invention. Without it, I would have seen substantially fewer videos of cats chasing laser pointers. Unfortunately, sometimes the internet leads us astray. This is an example of one of those times.
If you ask the almighty internet, Nars Orgasm and Milani Luminoso are dupes of each other. This information is being touted everywhere from beauty blogs to the fucking Chicago Tribune.
|Milani Luminoso vs Nars Orgasm|
Nars Orgasm is a beloved product. Unfortunately, it is also a pricey product. At $29 for 0.16oz, this blush costs $181.25 per ounce. Thus, it’s no surprise that beauty bloggers have been keeping an eye out for a comparable product at a cheaper pricepoint. In that, at least, Milani Luminoso fits the bill. It costs $7.50 for 0.12oz, or $62.50 per ounce. That’s almost a third of the cost of Nars, ounce per ounce.
However, even looking at the two products side by side in the pan, it is clear that there are going to be at least mild differences between the two. Luminoso appears to be more of a peachy color, whereas Orgasm is clearly significantly more pink.
|In the pan|
When you look at swatches, the difference is even more pronounced. It also becomes clear that the finish on the two products is substantially different. Luminoso has significantly more shimmer but no glitter, whereas Orgasm has hunks of glitter in it.
Luminoso is significantly more pigmented than Orgasm. Although in some products (e.g. eyeshadow), more pigment is pretty consistently ‘better’, blush doesn’t work that way. For fair skinned ladies like me, a super pigmented blush is difficult to work work and easily veers into the territory of clown makeup. Darker skinned women may be able to pull off a super pigmented blush like Milani Luminoso, but I recommend that paler women exercise caution. Nars Orgasm, on the other hand, can easily be applied with either a light or a heavy hand, making it much more versatile.
|Swatches: Luminoso on top, Orgasm on bottom|
Still not convinced? I swatched the two products over NYX Milk. To quote my boyfriend, “Well, the top one is orange and the bottom one is pink.” They aren’t even in the same color family! These blushes really have nothing in common. I am baffled that there are people who classify these as “dupes”.
|Swatched over NYX Milk: Luminoso on top, Orgasm on bottom|
As a note, I did do a four-hour swatch test and both products have very good staying power, although Milani Luminoso is a tad bit more smudgy.
This stark differences between these products are also clear when the products are on your face. Nars Orgasm creates a beautiful, natural-looking flush.
|Nars Orgasm on Human Face|
Milani Luminoso, on the other hand, makes it look like I rubbed my cheeks against the chest of an Oompa Loompa.
|Milani Luminoso on Human Face|
I am sorry, Chicago Tribune Senior Correspondent Ellen Warren. I am sorry, assorted beauty bloggers. I understand why you would want these products to be successful dupes. But wishing won’t make it so. I wish you so much luck in your self-assigned task to find dupes of popular makeup products. But you are dead wrong on this one.