NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation Review, Swatches and Photos

When it comes to foundations, I have always been a fan of liquids. So when I came across the new NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation, which claims to combine the finish of a liquid foundation with the ease of a compact, I was super excited to see what it could do!

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation review
NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

The Radiant Cream Compact Foundation touts an Advanced Emulsion Technology formula that can be applied wet or dry for a lightweight, luminous finish. It is sold as a refill that comes in a compact with a lid but fits in the NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation Empty Compact, which is sold separately. The empty compact itself measures a portable 5 inches by 2.5 inches, and comes with a huge mirror on one side and two wells on the other, one to fit the foundation refill and another to hold the sponge.

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation Case


NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Fiji


There are a total of 20 shades available, covering the lightest to the darkest skintones and in both warm, cool and neutral undertones. I use different shades for different NARS foundations – Fiji for Sheer Glow Foundation and Firming Foundation and Sante Fe for the discontinued Oil-Free Foundation. For the RCC, Light 5 Fiji and Light 6 Ceylan were the closest match for my NC30 skin but below is a comparison with a few other shades:

Light 3 Gobi is described as a light color with yellow undertones. It is similar to MAC NC20.
Light 4 Deauville is a light color with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones. It is similar to Gobi, just a tinge pinker.
Light 5 Fiji is a light color with golden peachy undertones. It is darker than Gobi and slightly peachier as well. Out of all the colors, this seemed to be the perfect match for my NC30 skin.
Light 6 Ceylan is a darker version of Gobi. It is a light to medium color with yellow undertones.
Medium 1 Punjab is a medium color with golden peachy undertone. It is darker than Fiji with stronger yellow undertones.
Medium 2 Sante Fe is a medium shade with peachy undertone that is exactly one shade darker than Fiji.

Closeup NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Fiji
NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Fiji

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation Swatches


The texture was AMAAAAAZING! Most cream foundations tend to feel heavy on me but this felt creamy, hydrating yet insanely lightweight, like nothing at all. It blended seamlessly into the skin without highlighting flakes or fine lines, and left behind a gorgeous dewy, radiant finish that looked and felt like skin.

The coverage was medium and very buildable. While you can use the sponge to apply, I like to dab my Crown Deluxe Double Sided Blender directly into the foundation to pick up some product then pat directly over the skin to blend.

Below, I am wearing RCC in Fiji under the eyes, around the nose and a little on the forehead and chin. I kept my cheeks as bare as possible to let my freckles show through.

Wearing NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Fiji


Although I had read elsewhere that this did not sit well on oilier skin, I found it to work pretty darn well on my dehydrated combo skin. With just a layer of NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder, my makeup was able to stay intact with zero oxidization all day, even after a day of roller coaster-riding at Six Flags in the hot Chicago summer. What more can I say?

NARS Radiant Creamy Compact Foundation is available at Sephora, NARS flagship boutiques and www.narscosmetics.com for $38. It lands on NARS counters at department and specialty stores on September 1.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for consideration only. It may also contain an affiliate link, which gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. Please see our Disclosure for more information on our posting policy.

Review overview
Color Selection
Texture
Coverage
Wear
Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE, Glamour.com, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is the beauty editor for Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.

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