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.


  1. Polina

    I really like that Milani blush. It is such a pretty peach colour — I have been such a fan for peach colours lately. Gimmeeeeee

  2. Andi Woodworth

    That’s weird that Luminoso does that on your face, because on mine it gives it this nice natural flush. Additionally I never thought Luminoso would be a dupe for Orgasm (which I do not own, so I can not personally compare them). If anything, I’d figure that Rose D’Oro would be closer to Orgasm

  3. hellocampcomfort.com

    Yeah, they are not close at all.

    I am glad Luminoso works for you, though! It will have to go in my giveaway pile…

  4. snowjeweler

    If I’m not mistaken, it’s Milani’s Mineral Blush in Luminous, not the Luminoso (two different products) that is the dupe. I might be mistaken, though. Your blog is awesome!!

  5. hellocampcomfort.com

    Thank you! Both are commonly cited as dupes, and this is the one cited by the Chicago Tribune. I can’t speak to Luminous, but hopefully it’s closer than this one!

  6. Heather Milanese

    Luminous was discontinued, and was a more pinkish color. Much closer to Orgasm.

  7. Olivia Hunt

    Thanks so much for the review! (rubbed your face against an Oompa Loompa LOL) Orgasm looks lovely on you!

  8. graziaplena

    I am really late with this comment, but I have Milani Luminous (discontinued, supposed to be a legit dupe for NARS Orgasm), and while it is the same pink-with-gold-shimmer as Orgasm in the pan, it’s much, much less pigmented on the cheeks. Fine if you’re pale (like I am), but if you’re darker than (I’d say) MAC NW25, it probably isn’t worth the effort to track down since it won’t show up very well on your skin.

  9. greenteancawfee

    Wait, you weren’t kidding bout the Chicago Tribune??

  10. Kristin C

    Milani does make a baked blush that’s almost identical to Orgasm. The shade is called Dolce Pink.