Natural lighting

We’re bringing back an old “favourite” today, NARS Orgasm. I got this as part of the Sephora Superstars gift set last year and it’s been sitting on my shelf ever since.

When I started getting really interested in makeup in high school NARS was one of the brands I remember everyone touted (as they still do of course). The ‘must-have’ “universally flattering” product recommended to me, both online and by my fairer friends was NARS Orgasm. You can imagine young me’s disappointment when I went into Sephora, swatched it, and saw a mess of sparkly light pink.

It was one of my first realizations that there weren’t enough good recommendations for dark skin.

[product image]

Natural lighting

Now I’ve said I haven’t even looked twice at NARS Orgasm but apparently that didn’t stop me from buying a supposed dupe, Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. I think I was excited to find Milani in Canada and just picked up something I recognized. These are the two we’ll be comparing today!

[arm swatches]

Top: Nars Orgasm Bottom: Milani Luminoso
Top: Nars Orgasm Bottom: Milani Luminoso

As you can tell Luminoso is much lighter, more powdery and significantly more peach than the more salmon coloured Orgasm blush. Let’s see how they look on the face.

[comparison on face]

Nars Orgasm Milani Luminoso NC45
Top: Milani Luminoso Bottom: Nars Orgasm

And now we can see that Luminoso appears much darker on the skin than it did on my arm. It’s far more pink and not at all ashy, as we may have feared. It has a nice ‘luminosity’ to it that prevents the pigment from being overpowering. But the little sparkles don’t bother me, or migrate throughout the day.

There’s gold shimmer throughout the NARS blush that appears across the cheek, a look I don’t find particularly flattering. It also took significantly more swipes of my brush into the NARS blush in order to build up the pigmentation to this level.

Here’s what the two blushes look like from the front.

[full face]

Milani Luminoso and Nars Orgasm on dark skin
From your point of view. Left: Milani Luminoso Right: NARS Orgasm

Overall, the difference in colour seems marginal when viewed from the front of the face. It really depends if you want something more coral (NARS) or something more pink (Milani). I wish I’d had the courage to wear this out all day to see if anyone would have noticed that I’m wearing two different blushes.

[round up] 

For the price, ease of application, and lasting power I personally reach for Milani Luminoso more often. Compared to the other NARS blushes I own Orgasm is probably the most difficult to apply and has the worst colour payoff. I think it looks better when you have a bit of a summer glow, but until then I’ll stick with the Milani.

The one negative I have with the Milani blush is the bulky packaging. It reminds me of play makeup, although the brush isn’t bad for on the go. It’s quite large to throw into a makeup bag for your purse and seems quite flimsy. As though it wouldn’t last travelling on a trip or a fall from a bathroom counter. But the lasting power is good enough that I can apply it once in the morning and not worry about it fading patchily throughout the day.

What do you think of these two blushes? Do you prefer one more than the other?