NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer: The Rundown

Dark under eye circles are the bane of my existence. No matter how much sleep I get, how much water I drink, I always wake up in the morning with dark circles like a wino. So when I come across a concealer that not only conceals, but performs under a variety of circumstances, I must sing its praises. That concealer is now known as NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer.

DSCF1203

My ‘holy grail ‘concealer–NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer! Shade shown in Amande

NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer comes in ten (10) shades to match a wide range of skintones.  Packaged in a slim container like their lip glosses, this creamy, buildable concealer has a doe foot applicator to aid in precise application where you need it most.  According to NARS, “Enriched with hydrating, multi-action skincare benefits and light diffusing technology, it creates a softer, smoother complexion while instantly obscuring imperfections and diminishing fine lines and signs of fatigue.” Given how well this product deals with my dark circles I must agree!

DSCF1212

The doe foot applicator that provides such wonderful precision in applying NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer

Because of the red undertones in my ‘cinnamon mocha latte’ skin, I usually pick a lighter color for under my eyes and lip area and a darker tone to cover my acne scars. To test this concealer I chose Amande which is described as “medium dark with olive undertones”.  From the description it seems like it wouldn’t match but indeed it does perfectly for under my eyes (to cover my acne scars I would choose the next darkest shade, Cafe). The color made quick work of banishing my dark circles and did not look overly orange against my skin tone or clash with my NARS Sheer Glow foundation in New Guinea or my Tinted Moisturizer in ‘Martinique’.   The product applies smoothy and I was able to blend it easily with a separate concealer brush. The formula is indeed buildable as NARS claims it to be so whenever I felt I needed more coverage I could easily do so.  NARS does make another concealer in stick form but I feel that formulation is best for covering darker patches of skin.

IMG_4810

Me wearing NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer in Amande under my eyes with NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Martinique and Make Up For Ever ProFinish Powder in #174 (Neutral Saffron).  The little creasing you see is because  I rushed blending with my tinted moisturizer.

DSCF1219

The ‘Amande’ shade of NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer.

As compared to two other concealers/highlighters I own, Make Up For Ever and YSL’s Touche Eclat in #7, NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer in Amande was a much closer skin tone match. MUFE is definitely waterproof but looked ashen compared to NARS. YSL’s Touche Eclat has a wonderful formula but the color is a bit too dark for me to use as an under eye highlighter.

IMG_5243

From left: MUFE Full Cover Concealer in #14 (Fawn), NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Amande, YSL’s Touche Eclat in #7 (Luminous Mocha)

At $29 for .33oz this concealer is more than a bit pricey.  However, given how well it conceals my dark circles, blends perfectly with my skintone and other powders, and holds up in both subzero and 100+ degree weather, and does not give me an allergic reaction, it is more than worth the cost.  This concealer’s thick formula is amazing at banishing those dark circles and keeping them at bay without creasing or melting like a Picasso painting in 100+ heat index Florida weather.  After several hours of running around Disney World last July, this concealer held on very well and with a touch up of a little face powder I was back to looking danged near flawless.  While MUFE’s Aqua concealer is very good under humid Florida conditions, the NARS creamy concealer gave me better coverage and a better color match for my undertones. NARS Creamy Radiant concealer retails for $28 USD is available at fine retailers including NeimanMarcus.com and Sephora.com.

DSCF1205

Ingredient listing for NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer. After over 6 months of using this product my sensitive skin hasn’t broken out.

About these ads

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation: The Rundown

I apologize, dear readers, for my prolonged absence.  But trust me, this review is part of the reason why I’ve been AWOL. Why?  Please do keep reading…

A few months ago when this product first came out I bought it out of sheer curiosity.  It was creamy and definitely a no-no for my super oily skin. But like the good makeup addict that I am I bought it and stashed it away until the winter.  Frankly I had no intentions of seriously using it.

That is, until I caught a case of peorial dermatitis from a MAC concealer  AND had an allergic reaction one of those infernal EOS lip balms.  It is the reason why I haven’t posted any facial shots for the past five months.  And that’s a whole ‘nother blog post for a nother time…

NARS Pure Radiant Cream Foundation in New Guinea (Med/Dark5)

NARS Pure Radiant Cream Foundation in New Guinea (Med/Dark5)

NARS describes this foundation as:

“New NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation brilliantly evens skin with a lightweight, luminous finish. Combining the supple feel of a cream foundation with the sleek ease of a portable compact, the Advanced Emulsion Technology formula may be applied wet or dry for artistic versatility. Blending seamlessly with weightless medium buildable coverage, skin feels soft and comfortable with moisture levels boosted by 80% after 12 hours, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and enhancing skin’s radiance.”

My perfect shade is New Guinea (Med/Dark 5 –Dark with Red Undertone) but as usual, dark foundations for skins with  blazing red undertones are not carried at the likes of Sephora. I bough mine directly from the NARS website but this color is also available at Nordstrom.com and Beauty.com.

20130808-202640.jpg

Face done with NARS Radiant Cream Compact foundation–before allergic reaction

Unlike with NARS pressed powder foundation, for this product you can purchase the foundation + sponge separately from the mirrored compact made for this product.  The compact has a long mirror and vented holes in the bottom of one compartment where the foundation sponge . can sit.  The product applies easily and provides sheer to medium coverage.  If you have dry skin the sponge probably applies the product just fine but if you have oily skin like myself with acne scars, the sponge does okay but it’s obvious how splotchy the finish is. The best way to apply this foundation is to use a kabuki brush (preferably retractable) and buff the product onto the skin.  I found this method much better for covering my acne scars than simply using the sponge (is this sponge latex free?).

Various shades of NARS Radiant Cream Foundation...except my precious New Guinea :(

Various shades of NARS Radiant Cream Foundation at Sephora…except my precious New Guinea :(

Now, back to the allergic reaction.  The case of peorial dermatitis that I caught had my upper lip area from my cupid’s bow to the tip of my nose itchy, irritated with scaling skin.  As the skin healed I could not use my oil-free NARS foundation to cover it at all as it would dry out the skin and make things even worse.  NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer did help a little but what melted into the dry, cracked skin crevices and made it look human for awhile was this foundation.  It did not make my skin itchy and was quite soothing so in the end I am very glad I purchased this to have on hand. I’m much better now but I can honestly say this is a nice foundation to have if you are prone to eczema and eczema-like skin conditions on your face/neck.

I can’t say the sponge is really worth purchasing–especially if you have oily/sensitive skin.  Load up your compact with disposable non-latex cosmetic wedges you can purchase from Target.  Simply use one/two and toss away.  Better control to apply in hard places like the nose bridge and tear duct areas of the face.

If you have very dry to normal skin this foundation is a very good value for the money.   I don’t like how the compact is in the left side and when I hold the compact I tend to pop the foundation out as I’m holding it in my left hand. Wish this was on the right side instead.  For oily/sensitive skin I would only use this in the winter and then only in dry patch areas.  Oiler skins are better off using NARS Sheer Matte (my gold standard for oily/sensitive skin foundation) or NARS Tinted Moisturizer finished with NARS Pressed Powder Foundation.

20130821-190749.jpg

NARS Radiant Cream Foundation in New Guinea–great for eczema-prone or peorial dermatitis-affected skin!

What I wish NARS would really do is make this same compact but with the pressed powder foundation for oily skins.  Now THAT is something this beauty geek would love to have in her stash.  Please, NARS? Pretty Please?

NARS Radiant Cream compact foundation refill retails for $38.00 USD for the refill and the refillable compact retails for $10USD.  Both products are sold separately and available at freestanding Sephora and Sephora.com stores. Again, the New Guinea shade is available at Nordstrom.com, NARSCosmetics.com and Beauty.com

Preview: Marc Jacobs Beauty

Hi folks!

Yes, I know I’ve been gone for a looonnnggg time (and an even longer story) but I’m back and guess what I’ve brought with me? Not just a preview, but some nice picspam of the new Marc Jacobs Beauty collection that premiered at Sephora on August 9th!

Marc Jacobs Beauty coming to Sephora on 9 August 2013!

Marc Jacobs Beauty has come to Sephora as of 9 August 2013!

Sephora addicts, I mean, VIB’s got the chance to purchase from a select few items for 48 hours and the two products I chose were the Magic Marc’er eyeliner and Lust for Lacquer lip vinyl in ‘Stolen Kisses’.

Standard Disclaimer > I own stock in LVMH which is the parent company of Marc Jacobs Beauty.

‘Stolen Kisses’ Lip Vinyl by Marc Jacobs Beauty – $28

Close-up of 'Stolen Kisses' Lip Vinyl from Marc Jacobs Beauty. Does my new digital SLR camera take great pics or what?

Close-up of ‘Stolen Kisses’ Lip Vinyl from Marc Jacobs Beauty. Does my new digital SLR camera take great pics or what?

Me being the lip gloss junkie that I am, I picked up Stolen Kisses–a lovely deep raspberry with shimmer and a sheer finish. Reminds me of a Wet & Wild lipgloss I could barely afford when I was a high school student in the 80′s (yes, dating myself here). Wore a really nice few hours (about three) through Wawa coffee, a glass of water and tea. I reapplied it after a few hours purely because I love the tingly feel. It just feels good to put on!

However, at the $28 price tag I was a bit torn about purchasing another. My gold standard in lipgloss, Illamasqua intense lip gloss, comes in at around $20 and has more staying power and intense color. But in Marc Jacobs’ favor his lip vinyls have a little ‘paddle’ foot applicator (Illamasqua’s has a small brush) which is wonderful for gals like me who have very full lips. Now I did get a chance to see the entire lip vinyl collection in person and was pleased to find out that unlike Stolen Kisses, there are more opaque lip vinyls that literally were packed with color. Truth Or Dare and Boom Boom! are tops on my list for my next haul.

Magic Marc’er in ‘Blacquer’ – $30

20130804-212304.jpg

Picked this calligraphy-style eyeliner pen in Blacquer. Love,love, LOVE how balanced this felt-tipped eyeliner feels in my hand to produce such a precisely lined eye it’s to die for. When I say ‘balanced’, I mean the design makes it easier to concentrate on where you want to exactly line your eyes and it is very easy to use whether you are a novice or an expert. The black is very black. One of my biggest pet peeves about black eyeliner is that most of the ones on the market are ‘off black’. This one is anything but.

If I had to buy just *one* item from the Marc Jacobs Beauty collection it would be this eyeliner. The fact this eyeliner is manufactured in Japan is not to be overlooked. Once you hold in in your hands, and see how easy it is to line your eyes, you’ll wonder what you ever did without this. On a side note, you could tuck this baby in with your folio alongside of another pen and who would know the difference but you?

20130808-202607.jpg

Main Picture One (Magic Marc’er lining eyes, Stolen Kisses Lip Vinyl on lips)

For more Marc Jacobs Beauty items that have caught my eye, and some ‘in the wild’ pics I took of the collection at Sephora, beam on over to my Pinterest board. To purchase, head on over to Sephora.com, MarcJacobs.com or your freestanding Sephora store.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Nail Polishes — Love the bottle design and the colors.

20130816-194333.jpg

Love the photography on this campaign! Also, the Vamp eyeshadow palette (erroneously labeled as The Lolita) is my favorite for Fall. I wish the case wasn’t plastic though.

20130816-194402.jpg

Lip Glosses and Nail Polishes by Marc Jacobs Beauty.

20130816-194414.jpg

More nail polishes, blushes and face powders by Marc Jacobs Beauty

Makeup Intelligence: Pro Finish Foundation from Make Up For Ever

Looks like Make Up For Ever has a brand new foundation out and in a wide range of shades!

20130211-150806.jpg

New for Spring 2013: Pro Finish Foundation from Make Up For Ever. FYI: The brown girl in this photo is wearing Shade #177.

Make Up For Ever’s new Pro Finish foundation looks to be direct competitor to MAC’s ubiquitous Studio Fix foundation. Available in a range of twenty-five (25) shades, it can be applied wet for a sheer finish or dry for a matte and full coverage finish. I’ve never been quite pleased with the existing powder foundation from MUFE so it is very exciting to see this new product and formula.

20130211-110205.jpg

MUFE Pro Finish foundation on display at Sephora. And yeah, the Rouge Artiste lipsticks are great too!

I tried applying this to my bare skin in Sephora using the new tapered foundation kabuki brush. The foundation went on flawlessly and the tapered brush expertly laid the foundation down in those challenging areas of the nose bridge and eye sockets. It was very easy to blend when dry and the resulting finish was nice and matte. I believe a sponge applicator is included with the compact but if you are prone to breakouts as I am, toss the sponge and go with the foundation brush. Even with all of the swatches I’ve shown here, my ideal shade is #175. Why this color was not included in the Deep skintone sample card is beyond me. Interesting how I am #75 in the Velvet Matte formula and #175 in Pro Finish.

20130211-150848.jpg

MUFE Pro Finish Foundation deep shades on sample card (available for free at Sephora)

20130211-150940.jpg

Swatches on NW43 skin of MUFE’s new Pro Finish Powder Foundation (w/o flash)

Definitely check out the foundation Kabuki brush. I am beyond impressed with how well it applies and blends this foundation. The bristles are soft and deliver practically mistake-proof application. This is definitely on the list to be reviewed/Florida Tested when I head to Disney World in July.

Make Up For Ever’s new Pro Finish Powder foundation is now available exclusively at Sephora stores and Sephora.com.

20130211-110914.jpg

NEW! MUFE Pro Finish Foundation. All swatches are on bare MAC NW43/MUFE Velvet Mat+ #75/NARS New Guinea skin.

20130211-150934.jpg

Swatches on NW43 skin of MUFE’s new Pro Finish Powder Foundation (w/ flash)

20130211-150822.jpg

MUFE Pro Finish ingredient list. Why is there NO sunscreen in this? ::sigh::

20130211-150833.jpg

MUFE Pro Finish foundation can be applied either wet (for sheer coverage) or dry (matte full coverage)

20130211-150922.jpg

MUFE’s Pro Finish Foundation for Deep Skin (free card from Sephora, w/ flash)

Preview: Champagne Too Faced Shadow Insurance

If there was ever one eye makeup product my oil-slick eyelids could never go without, it would be Too Faced Shadow Insurance. And when I spotted this new Champagne shade I had to have it!

20130209-210639.jpg

NEW for Spring 2013: Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance in Champange. Bottoms up!

Too Faced Shadow Insurance (TFSI) is a waterproof, sweat proof, Florida Hot-proof eye shadow primer that has always kept my eye makeup flawless all day at the office and all day slugging through the parks at Disney World. It is truly one of those indispensible products I cannot live without. Well, I could but my eye shadow makeup would look a hot mess and I’d be stuck using just eyeliner again.

This awesome eye shadow primer is described by Too Faced as a ‘nude shimmer’ eye shadow primer. As compared to Candlelight TFSI, it is more beige. Lemon Drop TFSI is matte and slightly yellow in contrast to Champagne TFSI. Frankly I believe every oily-eyelid gal should own every incarnation of TFSI, and brown girls *especially* need this new Champagne shade.

I picked mine up from Ulta but it is available at TooFaced.com and should be available shortly at Sephora.com and freestanding stores. Look for a review of this product in conjunction with my review of Urban Decay’s Naked 2 Palette coming later this month.