Friday, August 19, 2011

Reader Request: Nars Orgasm v Milani Luminous

NARS is a brand that beauty afficinados are drawn to for their beautiful formulas, silky smooth textures and amazingly rich pigmenations as well as a bold range of shades.

The most famous of NARS products has got to be their best selling blushes and the most renown is the headline grabbing Orgasm - a peachy pink shade with a golden sheen that gives you a glow as if you have achieved the big "O".

Many have tried to locate a duplicate for Organism as is often the case with great products, the price puts it out of reach for anyone who is on a tight budget but still want to look their best. You will read in many forums and blogs that many claim Milani's Luminous blush is a very close dupe for Orgasm.

In my mind, to be is considered a dupe - it has to be 95-100% the same in shade, texture and finish. Otherwise it is just a close match so when I was asked by a reader to swatch these two, it was a great opportunity to see if it would meet my criteria of a dupe.

Both shades are classed as peachy pinks mixed and has the same finely milled golden shimmer that produces that glowing effect on skin.

Orgasm is more a vibrant peach than Luminous. In the pan, Lumionous is a lighter pink base so goes on lighter on skin and there is just slightly more gold shimmer in Orgasm than Luminous. Both colours work universally well on all complexions but I think Luminous is just slightly more flattering on cooler skintones.

In natural light
Luminous feels more powdery than Orgasm in comparison (you can see this in the swatches) but this is not a criticism as it stands well on its own.

lasting power wise - both performed quite similar and I still had a slight pink in my cheeks and the glow was still every much evident at the end of the day.
side-by-side comparison (natural light)
Both are very pretty shades of the same peach family but in no way would I call them dupes. They are at best a 70% match so those who are still seeking for an O-ternative will have to keep looking but I would say nothing beats the original O.

What have you tried that you think are dupes of higher-end shades and products?

NARS blushes A$49 is available in Mecca and Mecca Maxima stores.
Milani blushes US$6.49 is available online at Cherry Culture.


  1. Lilpil - great post as I must have heard this a million times - they clearly are not dupes so much as cousins. :)

  2. I know, I had Luminous before I got Orgasm thinking I could get away with a dupe, but as the photos and my experience shows, Orgasm gives a more sophisticated shimmer and gives the face more life but isn't OTT shimmer-ville.


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