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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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: NARS Spring 2013

My goodies from NARS for Spring 2013 have arrived!

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Clockwise from top: NARS Sangria blush, Persia eye shadow, Cythere lip gloss pencil

As I hinted in my makeup intelligence post on NARS Spring 2013, I picked up the blush in Sangria, matte eye shadow in Persia and the lip gloss in Cythere.  I was most excited about getting Sangria but in the back of my mind I knew I had to get Persia.  And I am so glad that I did!

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Full face look feat. NARS Persia eye shadow (Mekong in crease, Kilimanjaro on browbown), Sangria blush (over Luster and Super Orgasm) and Cythere lip pencil over MUFE #10C lip pencil.

I’m currently testing these products but I can definitely say all three are worth purchasing, especially the Persia eye shadow.  If you are a medium to dark and darker brown girl, you need Persia in your life!  And even if you have strong red undertones as I do, blending this color with NARS Mekong (or any other cool toned dark shadow) will make it work. An added bonus about this color (which is insanely pigmented by the way) is that it makes that Maybelline Color Tattoo cream shadow in ‘Fierce and Tangy’ orange worth using again.  NARS Persia looks stunning on top of Maybelline’s Fierce and Tangy.

NARS Spring 2013 collection is available now at NARSCosmetics.com and coming to Sephora.com and NARS counters in upscale department stores in February.

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Makeup Intelligence: NARS Spring 2013

It’s still cold outside but NARS Spring 2013 has me thinking beautiful, colorful happy thoughts.

Spring 2013 has sprung...the Francois NARS way!

Spring 2013 has sprung…the Francois NARS way!

Per NARS Cosmetics official press release:

The NARS Spring 2013 Collection is all about being fresh and fierce, strong and sexy. The Spring 2013 Color Collection introduces a vibrant, ‘90s-esque palette that sets the tone for a season of audaciously feminine looks. Created by Founder & Creative Director François Nars, the collection heralds spring’s arrival with shades ready to make a graphic statement.

The NARS 2013 Spring collection is made up of the following:

Eyeshadow Duos [$34 USD]

Mad Mad World

NARS Mad Mad Word Eyeshadow Duo -- Cyan and Parakeet Green

NARS Mad Mad World Eyeshadow Duo — Cyan and Parakeet Green  [Spring 2013]

Bouthan

NARS Bhoutan Eyeshadow Duo -- Soft pink tulle and bright pink with gold shimmer

NARS Bhoutan Eyeshadow Duo — Soft pink tulle and bright pink with gold shimmer [Spring 2013]

Single Eyeshadow [$23 USD]

Persia

NARS Persia eye shadow single: Paprika

NARS Persia eye shadow single:  Matte Paprika [Spring 2013]

Soft Touch Shadow Pencil [$24 USD]

Corcovado

Cythere Soft Touch Eye Shadow pencil

NARS Corcovado Soft Touch Eye Shadow pencil – Limited Edition [Spring 2013]

Powder Blush [$28]

Seduction

Powder Blush in 'Seduction'

NARS Powder Blush in ‘Seduction’ — Sangria [Spring 2013]

Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil [$24]

Cythere

Cythere pencil

NARS Cythere lip gloss pencil — Soft metallic rose [Spring 2013]

Lipstick [$24]

Dressed to Kill

Lipstick in Dressed To Kill

NARS Lipstick in Dressed To Kill – Fuchsia rose with gold shimmer [Spring 2013]

Nail Polish [$18]

Disco Inferno

Disco Inferno

NARS Disco Inferno -nail polish — Iridescent Silver Green [Spring 2013]

The Eye Shadow single I believe will look amazing on medium to dark skin when smoked with Mekong (my favorite NARS eye shadow single for brown skin).  And speaking of amazing on dark skin, the new Seduction blush looks an awful lot like the discontinued Crazed.  While I’m a sucker for greens and blues, I have so many that I could successfully dupe the colors in the Mad Mad World duo.  Should you decide to get the Bouthan  eye shadow duo and you are dark-skinned, be sure to prep your lid with a layer of bright white eyeshadow or use NARS eye shadow primer (use Too Faced’s Shadow Insurance if you have oily eyelids).

NARS Spring 2013 collection is scheduled to launch on January 15, 2013 on NARSCosmetics.com and in February at counters in such upscale retailers as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

NARS High Society Eye Shadow Trio: The Rundown

Let’s be honest. After getting burned by the epic fail that was NARS Christmas 2012 eye shadow trio Arabian Nights, I wasn’t going to get this.  But I’m a sucker for purples and the matte green mixed in was so different for fall I had to give it a try.

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High Society eye shadow trio from NARS Fall 2012 collection

NARS eye shadow trip offering for Fall 2012 comes in a sleek, black mirrored compact with three (3) separate eye shadow colors weighing in at 0.17oz of product.  The three colors is a shimmery lavender shade, a matte green just a shade lighter than hunter green, and an amethyst shade.

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Swatches of NARS High Society eye shadow trio (flash)

The lavender shimmer is nice, pigmented well enough but I find it lacks the iridescence of Iceland (purple side) and gold shimmer of Strada.  While I like it as a highlighter shade, NARS makes colors in their core line that do it better.  The matte green is definitely not my favorite but I also am not very fond of NARS matte colors in general. Fuji has a subtle sheen while green side of Blade Runner has more of a frost.  This matte shade serves well to darken and provide interesting contrast between the amethyst and lavender shades but not good for much else. The amethyst shimmer (my favorite color of the bunch), is pigmented nicely and I love this to smoke out my eye along w/ the lavender shimmer shade. It is slightly darker than Knight Rider.

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NARS Fall 2012 look with High Society on eyes, Outlaw on cheeks and Rouge Tribal on lips

When worn over Too Faced Shadow Insurance in Candelight, I got at least 6 hours worth of wear but the color intensity wore off a bit. I couldn’t see the individual colors themselves but they did blend together for an interesting yet subtle look. As I prefer more intensity, I used Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream in #16 and only used the amethyst and lavender shades. This definitely helped to amp up the color and keep it a bit more vibrant and true to pan. The matte shade I found disappeared too quickly for my liking. Had a hard time blending it and even when worn on the lid alone it just looked ‘blah’ on me. Didn’t move me like my beloved Fuji, Blade Runner or Night Flight.

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NARS High Society Eye Shadow Trio–remixed!

While I do like two out of the three shadows in this palette, I don’t believe this is worth picking up if you are still working on your NARS eye shadow collection. I do believe you are better off picking up Strada and Fuji eye shadow singles and layering it over a cream base such as MUFE # (light purple) or Urban Decay’s Morphine shadow pencil. If you have very oily eyelids like me a an eye shadow base such as TFSI or NARS is required.

NARS High Society Eye shadow trio retails for $45 USD and is now available for purchase at NARSCosmetics.com and in Sephora stores and NARS counters at Neiman Marcus and Lord and Taylor.

NARS Rouge Tribal Larger Than Life Lipgloss: The Rundown

NARS Larger Than Life lipglosses I have fallen in love with since my first purchase of the shade Gold Digger. With the introduction of the Fall 2012 collection, the shade Rouge Tribal is so gorgeous, so iconic for fall that I think it to be the centerpiece of the collection.

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NARS Rouge Tribal Larger Than Life Lipgloss for Fall 2012

A deep wine-burgundy with a metallic finish, Rouge Tribal . It is much more deeply pigmented than L/’Oreal Infallible, and slightly not as metallic as Illamasqua’s Hermetic.

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A closer look at me in full NARS Fall 2012 getup. Definitely a different Fall look than I’m used to.

My biggest pet peeve with NARS’ Larger Than Life lipgloss in general is how small the brush is. If you have very thin lips this may not be an issue but if you have full lips like I do, an applicator this small is such a pain to use. I realize this was probably done to emphasize how the gloss can be applied with precision but Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel have an applicator on their lipglosses that do just as precise a job with an applicator wide enough to apply the product quickly and evenly without major frustration.

NARS Rouge Tribal retails for $26 and is available at upscale retailers like Sephora, Nordstrom and as always at NARSCosmetics.com.

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NARS Rouge Tribal Larger Than Life Lipgloss–amazing burgundy wine to make the lips pop this fall!

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Oh NARS Rouge Tribal Lipgloss, in much love I am so…

Preview: NARS Fall 2012

For those new to my blog, I have an almost obsessive-compulsion to do a happy dance when NARS releases a new collection.  For those who have been reading my blog for quite some time, you’re probably wondering what’s taken me so danged long to post about the NARS Fall 2012 collection.  For a quick rundown of all the items, please see my article up on TheStyleAndBeautyDoctor.com (yep, I’m contributing over there as well).

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Clockwise from top: NARS Rouge Tribal Larger Than Life lipgloss, Outlaw blush, High Society Eye Shadow Trio

I purchased the items I was most interested in once when were available after me stalking appearing on the site.  Rouge Tribal Larger Than Life Lipgloss, High Society eye shadow trip and Outlaw blush were purchased by me and are a most welcome addition to my Fall makeup wardrobe.

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NARS Fall 2012 Swatches from bottom: Outlaw Blush, Rouge Tribal, High Society Eye Shadow Trio (w/ flash)

Rouge Tribal Larger Than Life Lipgloss

I was quite disappointed that for Fall 2012 Francois Nars did not include one of the lovely matte lip pencils I’ve become addicted to.  However, the color of this lipgloss is so gorgeous, so flattering to deep skin tones that I couldn’t help but fall in love with Rouge Tribal. With a vampy burgundy tone with metallic shimmer, it shows up very easily on the lips though there will be some settling in lip lines.  Personally I can’t wait to wear this lipgloss with Mekong and Night Star eye shadow singles.

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NARS Rouge Tribal Larger Than Life Lipgloss for Fall 2012

High Society Eye Shadow Trio

Color me so pleased at this cool-toned trio of shades.  NARS’ High Society eye shadow trio consists of three shades: a light frosty lavender, a matte midtone green (a bit lighter than NARS Fuji eye shadow single) and a deep  violet purple shimmer shade. I picked up this trio mainly because as I own the Marie Galante eye shadow duo from the NARS Spring 2012 collection, the two should go together quite well.

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NARS High Society Eye Shadow Trio for Fall 2012

Outlaw Blush

Color me devastated when I tried to find this color last fall and found out it had been discontinued!  Thankfully NARS had pity on blush addicts like me and re-released this gorgeous rose gold shade.  It is lighter than Taos with more of a cool undertone.  Like with all NARS blushes the translucent pigments made the color easily buildable on dark skin and does not turn ashy.

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NARS Outlaw Blush has returned for Fall 2012!

I plan to start testing these items for wear beginning this week and should have a review up within the next few weeks or so.  What I can tell you is that while the eye shadow trio is nice, for me the stars of this release are the Rouge Tribal lipgloss and the Outlaw blush. Budget still crunched? NARS blushes are THE thing to have and considering they also make great eye shadow bases, go for it.

The Fall 2012 collection is now available at NARSCosmetics.com and should be appearing on Sephora.com, Nordstrom.com within the next few weeks.

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NARS Fall 2012 — Are you feeling it?