Having been “blessed” with very oily, acne-prone skin, I am relatively new to the world of tinted moisturizers/BB creams; normally I opt for powder or liquid foundations that typically offer medium coverage. Unfortunately my skin gets clogged very easily if I am using products that have comedogenic ingredients, or if I am using so-called ‘non-acnegenic’ foundations that offer heavy coverage (e.g. ELDW) but with with daily usage eventually break me out in cystic acne. In my quest to lighten the load on my face, I decided to try my luck with tinted moisturizers – and that is how NARS pure radiant TM came into my life 3 weeks ago.
What I have used before:
I have also tried Laura Mercier oil-free (in Tan, I think), Bobbi Brown oil-free (light-medium), Tarte Smooth Operator (Agent 14) TMs as well as EL’s DayWear BB cream (medium). LM turned me into a shiny grease ball even before I was out the door even with powder on top), Tarte’s was too rich/too shiny and broke me out in 3 days, BB’s application needed too much hocus-pocus with moisturizers/blending techniques because it grabbed onto dry areas on my face (I have these due to my topical anti-acne treatments of BP and salycilic acid), and EL’s BB cream looks too ashy/fake tan-like on me. Thank goodness, NARS TM is another story!
NARS TM shade/coverage:
I use the shade St. Moritz which is a perfect match to my skin tone - I guesstimate to be around NC35-ish as I do not use MAC makeup since Studio Fix gave me a bad breakout. For reference, I am Stromboli in NARS Sheer Matte (my perfect colour match during the winter), apricot (3+) in Sisley Phyto-Teint Eclat, B50 in Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere, and 410 Bisque W in Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra 24h. It is definitely gives a medium-light (but not sheer) coverage, if fact I think it has the most coverage among the TMs I have tried.
Here are the currently avaiable 9 shades from fairest to deepest, with a MAC skin colour/tone guide based on reviews here on MUA/friends’ hauls. Your best bet is to sample in person.
1. Finland (light1) netural pink&yellow NC15, NW15? more neutral, beige
2. Alaska (light2) netural pink&yellow NC20-25, even up to NC30; may also match NW25-30; more yellow-toned than Finland
3. St. Moritz (medium1) neutral yellow NC35-NC37; bit dark for NC30, too light for NC40+
4. Annapurna (medium2) neutral peach NC40
5. Cuba (medium3) neutral (pink&yellow) NC40-NC44
6. Malaga (medium dark1) warm caramel NC42-NC45
7. Seychelles (medium dark2) golden olive NC??
8. Martinique (medium dark3) warm red NW43-45
9. Polynesia (dark) warm chochlate NC/NW45+; may match up to NW50
What I like about NARS TM:
- very nice finish: it truly give a subtle glow (unlike the greasy “glow” of LM’s TM);
- with only one midday touch-up with MAC’s blotting powder, it still looks good by the end of the day even on my very oily skin. I should add that my oiliness is being curbed by applications of a blemish control toner (Paula’s Choice Clear Toner), my HG primer (Hourglass), and Mattify! powder (in T-zone only).
- the “my-skin- but-(much)- better” look it gives all day; I should mention though that it does not cover redness, acne marks well so a concealer is still needed
- allows me to skip moisturizer, and spf; yey, less products on my face!
- applies easily: spreading a pea-sized drop with my fingers if in a hurry, or a dabbing 2 pea-sized drops with a wet sponge (best method to prevent smudging off concealer)
-versatile: I can use it as my principal coverage as per above, or I can use it as a moisturizer under a powder foundation to get a more all-over coverage. I have also used this TM to add a tid-bit of a glow to my day look when using a somewhat flat looking powder foundation: on top of a powder foundaiton, I pat VERY little (1/4 pea-size) of this TM on my forehead, and into the V-shape area of my cheeks marked by the outer corners of the eye and nostrils, but of course I omit the nose; this definitely saves me from the fate of looking like a Twilight vampire in the sunlight, something that I can always count on when I try to use an illuminator during the day.
- is moisturizing enough for me; I am very oily though so it may not be moisturizing enough for drier skin types.
- contains a physical sunblock (titanium dioxide) that is photostable so it offers decent protection from both UVA and UVB rays without having to reapply it every 2hrs or so (and I have yet to meet a person who does that with TMs and foundations out there that contain only chemical sunscreen ingredients)
- gives a softness to my skin that stays even after I take this TM off
What are the cons with this TM:
- the price; $49 CDN is pricey for a TM especially because I will need to purchase at least one darker shade to match my skintone over the course of the summer; however if I consider that I do not need a separate spf and moisturizer, the price is not so bad
- shade range: though I have found a perfect shade (St. Moritz), the shades from one to the next not only jump a lot in depth, they also vary in undertone; I have tried Annapurna, the next shade after St. Moritz, and it looked not only darker, but dinstinctly more orange on me (I am very yellow toned though so this may not be a problem for others)
- the fact that despite stating this TM is non-comedogenic, it contains a moderately comedogenic ingredient (tocopherol, the more comedogenic form of vitamin E) as well as a highly comedogenic, though thankfully minor, ingredient (algae extract). Of course, ingredients are only potential porecloggers until proven so by zits but some of the reviewers here have already complained about acne due to this product....
UPDATE 7/Dec/12: In 8 months of daily use, has not clogged my pores, and no breakouts. Greatly improved the softness of my skin. For summer, I had to buy 2nd shade (Cuba) to mix with St Moritz. Despite the cost, HG!
Love this! For a TM it has excellent coverage, doesn't oxidize or separate, and lasts all day with a touchup maybe near the end of the day just to take a way a bit of excess shine (I have normal-dry skin, a few breakouts here and there). I'm about NC20-25, leaning more towards 25, and I use Light 2 Alaska.
COVERAGE: as stated before, it has good coverage for a TM. I would compare the coverage to be more along the lines of that of a light foundation (think DiorSkin Nude). When I use my fingers to apply this, I get a bit more coverage with less effort than if I were to use my beauty blender (my current favourite way of applying foundations/TMs). I do still need to use a concealer (MUFE Full Cover) to cover my acne scars and a separate concealer for my under eyes, but that is to be expected when using a TM.
FINISH: It has a more "glowy" finish than satin or matte IMO, and since I always set with a finishing powder, I can't attest to how it would look or wear after x many hours. It does look natural, and definitely not like you have a full-face of makeup on.
LASTING POWER: Lasting power is crucial for me when I am choosing a foundation. Although this does not wear like iron unlike my Jane Iredale PurePressed Base, It still looks fine, although slightly faded, near the end of my day (from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM). On a shorter day (6:30 AM to 3:15 PM) it looks the same as if I had just applied it, although with a more natural, healthy "glow." It does not oxidize throughout the day.
PACKAGING: This is packaged in a wide, matte black squeeze tube with a flip top cap. Very basic and I don't have any complaints about this.
First of all for reference I am an NC25-30 with strong yellow undertones and I use Alaska in this TM and it's a perfect match. Never oxidizes on me.
This product is AMAZING! I have been looking for what I like to call THE perfect Tinted Moisturizer since I am not a fan of heavy foundations. Well I struck gold with this one. It's very hard to find something that can suit my skin since I have very sensitive skin and anything can break me out so easy. I decided to give this product a try and now I'm in love and is all I use. It's light not heavy at all. The smell..ehhh not offensive but not to keen about it either, it kind of reminds me of a fruity cereal but it doesn't linger for long so I'm ok with it. It's not full coverage so don't expect for this to cover any major acne or scars, you will still need a concealer which I do have to use but it's not much that I need after the TM is on. I live up north but went to Florida for vacation about a few weeks ago and wanted to test the product in the heat and see how well it does and to my surprise it held wonderful. I recommend this TM to people with dry skin like myself because it will leave you with a nice glow and not looking cakey or blotchy just like it can happen to people like us with dry skin but if you are oily skin I would say stay away cause under the heat you will need continous setting with blotting powder. The price is a high at $42 but a little goes a long way. we all have different skins do all I say is get a sample and test it out to see if you like or makes you break out...within a week you know that. This way you don't waste your money.
I want it to work badly but very disappointed. First, I am using the second color and it is very yellowish. Second, if I layer more product, for sure it looks dull and again, more yellow. Derfinitely want to return this product.
I wanted sooo badly for this to work for me after reading tons of good reviews. It did not really have much coverage, but the color blended ok. It was not moisturizing at all which was fine since I used it over my regular lotion. The deal breaker was that within a few days I started to get cystic acne which is the worst! Once I stopped using it, they luckily went away very quickly. I do have sensitive skin that can break out quite easily with the wrong ingredients, but this left me really disappointed especially for the price.
I used a sample of this for 3 days, and I think it's a very good TM. It has the most coverage of any other tinted moisturizer I've tried -- very impressive -- yet it just looks like a healthy glow. (For the rude poster who left a comment about people who don't know what coverage is, keep in mind that different people have different needs for coverage. If you need heavy coverage, don't look to a tinted moisturizer.)
I think it's a great look, but I'm nervous about all the commenters who broke out from it and the fact that it's full of silicones. (I did not break out from my 3 days of use.) So, I'll have to think about it some more before I buy a full size, but my 4 lippies are because it looked very good, was not drying nor greasy, and gave very good coverage.
Overall rating is a 5! The price is a 5, and the packaging quality is also a 5! This tinted moisturizer is ehhhh...okay!!! It feels like I'm not wearing any makeup at all on my face. I love the smell! It smells like a clean citrus scent. The coverage is extremely light. I have this in Alaska. To be honest, this doesn't make me glow. It just moisturizes my face. You may get a nice dark(ish) colour, but it oxidizes afterwards. I'm okay with that, because I'm not a heavy coverage kind of girl. I recommend this tinted moisturizer to girls who want a light and natural looking coverage. Go out to your local Nars counter and test it out. You'll like it.
I recently purchased this tinted moisturizer in Seychelles (Med Dark 2) and had to return/exchange it for Malaga (Med Dark 1). The Med Dark 2 was too orange for my complexion. I have worn MAC Select Tint Moisturizer in NC45 for several years, but they discontinued it and replaced the line with a more limited tinted moisturizer collection that was way too red/dark for me. I initially tried Laura Mercier but it was too shiny and wet looking for my oily skin. Also, their colors (Tan/Walnut) were too red and dark to look natural on my skin. I found the NARS tinted moisturizer to be a much better match to my skin tone and it has a lovely finish. I still use MAC Prep and Prime Skin Finish under my tinted moisturizer and the MAC translucent finishing powder on top, but when combined with the NARS tinted moisturizer, my skin looks fresh all day long and does not require a midday touch up with powder. Instead of looking "made-up", I look like I have flawless skin. I am sold!! By the way, I also enjoy the fresh lemony scent at application. :) It does not linger, however.
I received a sample that lasted me 3 days. This is probably the best TM I've used. I like tinted moisturizers because they're quick, light, and easy to use. My biggest complaint with tinted moisturizers is they make my face feel really oily. However, I think NARS gives me the least oily feeling. I just use a few dabs on my face, and rub in. I get coverage almost all day, and only do one quick touch up with powder when I'm working. I received the St. Moritz color, which was a tad too dark for me, but I could still make it work.
I got a generous sample of this at Sephora. I chose St. Moritz which is too dark and too yellow, even for someone with yellow undertones like me. I understand it's just a tinted moisturizer, but it has zero, zip, zilch coverage. I'm running out of patience with people who find "good coverage" in everything, even in water. Either they follow the hype in a robotic fashion, or they can't tell (bleep) from shinola. Apart from that, this leaves my face too shiny. No, not "glowy." Shiny. As in greasy, oily. If people are willing to plunk down $42 for a shiny yellow face, well, you know what they say: fools and their money are easily parted. If you need something with more coverage and a more realistic color, look elsewhere.