You may have heard that Elf supposedly has dupes for the Nars Blush/Bronzer trio in Orgasm, Albatross and Laguna. When I tried the Nars products on, it wasn’t just the $55 price tag that made me hesitate – it was also the shimmer, which I thought was a bit too much for daytime. The alleged Elf dupes were just $6 altogether, so I figured why not try them?
Since then, I’ve used them almost daily. I once even went into a Sephora store, and had a salesperson ask me if I was wearing the Nars Blush/Bronzer trio, and nope, it was the Elf Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder (for Orgasm and Laguna) and Elf Studio blush in Gotta Glow.
Yes, the Gotta Glow totally cracked up over time. I know what you’re thinking: “You get what you pay for!” Alas, not necessarily. My Mac Pantina and Mulch both cracked off chunks with drops of a few inches onto a bathroom counter, and I’ve had other high end products completely shatter. If you drop powder products, they break. I’ve ordered a new Gotta Glow – I’ll update this post to let you know if it does the same thing.
Anyway, let’s get to the comparison. You can watch the video and/or read the rest:
Elf v. Nars
I got samples of the Nars products from Sephora (yes, they can make powdered samples, and yes, the way they do it is very hygienic) to compare. Here’s the Nars product on me:
And here’s the Elf:
I really can’t see any significant difference on my face. Now, in a side by side comparison of swatches, you can. I’m not sure why that is. But here are the swatches on my arms:
This is the Elf blush versus the Orgasm. Elf is peachier, and Orgasm is more pink. Orgasm has a lot more gold shimmer, and Elf looks like a more satin finish. And yet, as you can see above, the way they look on the cheek seems a lot more similar.
Here’s the Elf bronzer versus Laguna. The Elf is darker and slightly cooler, but it’s also way more pigmented. There’s just no getting around it. I struggled to get enough Laguna on my finger to swatch it (and ditto on my brush when I apply it on my cheeks), but if you touch your brush to the Elf pan more than once, you can get too much color. Very pigmented stuff.
And there’s Gotta Glow and Albatross, side by side. These are the two that come closest to being identical. The Elf is slightly more sheer – I think the sparkles are less dense, or maybe they’re less finely milled or something. I find it easier to spread out for sheerer coverage than Nars, but whoa can you build it up if you want.
As long as these Elf products are available, I don’t see myself buying the Nars for $49 more. I actually prefer the Elf because it can be applied more sheerly – which is ironic, since the bronzer and blush are both more pigmented. It took me three passes to get the blush color on my cheeks with Orgasm, and only two with Elf. The Elf bronzer is off the hook pigmented. And I like working with Gotta Glow more than Albatross.
I consider these two products a big win for Elf, and really recommend them.