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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Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Concealer in #5: The Rundown

Concealer is a beauty product I discovered was indispensable for ‘erasing’ my sleep-deprived caused dark circles under my eyes from too many all-nighters as an Engineering student in college. It’s also been a godsend for covering my acne scars and any evidence of late night partying.  So as soon as I got word from The Muse that her highly-recommedned Boi-ing concealer from Benefit Cosmetics was being produced in darker shades, I was on it in picoseconds. Obviously other gals had gotten wind of this because I had to go to two Sephoras and three Ultas before I finally found one to take home with me.

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Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer in Shade #5

Benefit Cosmetics has released three new shades of their Boi-ing Concealer in #3, #4 and #5. #3 is a medium neutral, #4 a medium-deep with yellow undertones and #5 a medium-dark with red undertones. Their pitch wording on the product reads as follows:

“You name it, boi-ing hides it! This industrial-strength concealer camouflages dark circles, shadows and discoloration for a seamless, natural-looking finish without creasing or fading. it’s the concealer that goes the distance.”

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Yeah, this is as dark as it gets for now.

Weighing in at a hefty 3.0 grams (0.1 ounces), it comes in a black screw-top shallow plastic pot encased in a paper ‘peep’ box. The cream is slightly stiff to the initial swipe of a finger, but warms to your body heat and spreads nicely when using your finger. If you use a concealer brush the stiffness takes a bit longer to go away as the product warms to your skin. I noticed no product ‘drag’ as I do with my MAC Studio Finish concealer but it wasn’t as smooth going on as my NARS concealer. Unfortunately this product did crease on me (and perhaps because I have very oily skin) and I had to use a little bit of MUFE HD translucent powder to set it and discourage any further creasing. The pigmentation is very good and I was able to cover my light acne scars as well as I have been with my MAC Studio Finish concealer or my MUFE Full Coverage concealer. It is a shade lighter than my MAC Studio Finish concealer and about two shades lighter than my NARS concealer.

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Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer swatch in #5 (deep) no flash/HDR
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Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer in #5 (deep).

One of my biggest peeves with Benefit is that their concealers did not come in darker shades for beauties of color. It seems they’ve finally listened to this market. I am dissappointed that there wasn’t a deep color with yellow undertones and a darker espresso-like color for deeper undertones. #4 color is best suited for those NC42 and under while #5 for NW 45 and under. My second pet-peeve is this product contains mineral oil (paraffinum liquidium). While not the first ingredient, if you have sensitive skin and want to try this, I highly suggest purchasing from a retail establishment that takes returns like Sephora or Ulta. I have sensitive skin and haven’t had a reaction to this product so far after almost two weeks of use but I took a chance. Overall I am pleased with this concealer but it is only because Benefit made one that fits my skintone. Were I an NW45 – 47 this may work best as a color corrector rather than a concealer.

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There’s Mineral Oil in this?!? Why?!?

An interesting point to note is this product is made in France, not the US. I find French-made cosmetics to be of very high quality so I believe that has a lot to do with the very nice performance of this product. Benefit’s Boi-ing concealer retails for $19 USD and is available at Sephora, Ulta and other upscale retailers.

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Benefit’s Boi-ing Concealer in #5 (deep)
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Clockwise: Benefit’s Boi-ing concealer in #5 (deep), no flash, no flash/HDR