Product Reviews

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation Review and Swatches

August 18, 2013

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 1/2 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.

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.

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.

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 Cream Compact Foundation Case

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Fiji

Closeup NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Fiji

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Fiji

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation Swatches

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

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

Disclosure: This review includes product that was 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.

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  • Reply susan August 25, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    very pretty phyllis. esp. love that graphic line!

    • Reply Phyllis Li August 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks Susan 🙂 I’m wearing the new Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon (that stuff is AWESOME!)

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