Make Up For Ever Velvet Mat+ Foundation: The Rundown

Liquid makeup foundation has always had a tough road to hoe when it comes to my super oily skin.  Most begin to slide off like a Picasso painting within an hour or so and you can forget it if the temperatures and humidity soar like they do in Florida.  There is only one liquid foundation I’ve found holds up quite well with my oily skin regardless of the heat and humidity and that is the Velvet Mat+ foundation by Make Up For Ever.

Make Up For Ever Velvet Mat Plus Foundation in #75 Shade

Make Up For Ever Velvet Mat Plus Foundation in #75 Shade

Available in 16 shades, Make Up For Ever bills this as foundation as a full-coverage, mattifying, water resistant (read: holds up to sweat).   Great for combination to oily skin, this full coverage formula mattifies with a velvety finish.  With a  formula that is very buildable, it is also very good at concealing light blemishes when blended using a brush.  I use shade #75 (Coffee–Deep skin w/ Beige undertones) of this foundation.

MUFE Mat Velvet+ in Shade #75 (set using MUFE Pro Prime Powder foundation in #174 Neutral Saffron)

MUFE Mat Velvet+ in Shade #75 (set using MUFE Pro Prime Powder foundation in #174 Neutral Saffron)

As i am constantly battling shiny skin, this foundation is amazing at giving me that matte look I like. FYI–I am not, nor have I ever been, down with the ‘dewy’ look. It doesn’t take a lot of product to cover the entire face and while the formula does oxidize on the face a bit, the finish is still beautiful.  You can apply it with your fingers but I find using a fluid makeup brush provides a gorgeous ‘airbrushed’ finish with this foundation.  As a bonus, this formula is GREAT for sensitive skins! I’ve never had an allergic reaction to this foundation. There are a few downsides to this foundation but they’ve never been dealbreakers for me.  First, while is is definitely water-resistant, oily skins will need to set this formula with a powder.  Even in high-humidity in Florida, this foundation holds up very well for about four hours.  After that, if you’re an oily girl you will need your powder compact nearby.  Unfortunately there is no sunscreen in this product so if you value your skin as I do, you will need to use some SPF on your face.   My biggest peeve with this formula is that there is NO option for dark skin with red undertones.  Some cosmetic companies need to realize that not all dark-skinned women have yellow to beige undertones.

From left: MUFE Velvet Mat + Foundation in #75, NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in New Guinea

From left: MUFE Velvet Mat + Foundation in #75, NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in New Guinea

While I really do like how Velvet Mat+ performs on my skin, NARS Sheer Matte foundation in New Guinea is a better color match for me. I use both foundations interchangably during the winter months.  This foundation is also used a lot for bridal makeup.  However if you do have super oily-skin as I do, make sure someone’s got a compact of Make Up For Ever Pro Finish powder foundation for a quick touch up. Make Up For Ever Velvet Mat+ Foundation is available exclusively at Sephora stores and Sephora.com and Make Up For Ever boutiques.

Make Up For Ever Velvet Mat Plus Foundation in #75 Shade (Ingredients)

Make Up For Ever Velvet Mat Plus Foundation in #75 Shade (Ingredients)

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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.

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