Although I've been a makeup lover for many years, I've always stayed away from foundations and anything other than under-eye concealer, mostly because I haven't found shades and formulations that suit my medium Indian skin tone. Reference: I'm MAC NC40. Everything is either too yellow--in fact, even the NC40 is too yellow--or too pink and will make me look ashy. NARS Pure Radiant TM in St. Moritz and Annapurna have totally taken care of that for me. I love the whopping SPF 30 protection, and by blending these two tones, I can find a lovely shade that exactly suits my skin. More amazingly, it doesn't actually make me look too oily at the end of the day (combo skin with an oily T-zone). I've only worn them twice since I bought them, and if they impact my skin the way they have with a few other reviewers (clogged pores, pimples), I'll be sure to update this. For now, my skin looks smooth and finished. I have increased pigmentation around the mouth and on either side of my chin and nose, as is typical with Indian and darker skin tones, and the combination of these two colours evens those areas out nicely.
- the price. It's $49 in Canada...so yes, I had to get around the fact that I just spent $100 on foundation (since I bought 2 shades). However, I don't wear foundation everyday (just Marcelle mattifying moisturizer and Tarte or MAC undereye concealer), so I think this will last a bit. Also, I'm willing to pay more for products that are worth the investment, and considering the difficulties I've had before, this is totally worth it.
- the packaging: I rated it a 4/5 because it's just a simple squeezy tube and a cap. Generally I'm quite pleased with NARS' packaging but I'm concerned that this may pop open in my luggage if handled roughly when I travel. The cap does seem to click into place quite tightly though.
- the coverage: this seems to be a medium coverage, and it still manages to seem quite light and not at all like I'm wearing a foundation. It blends into the skin well, and doesn't make my skin feel 'tight'.
I got the sample in St. Moritz as I figured since I just developed a tan (yes, during that one week in the Netherlands where it's 15C everyday), better go with a shade darker. I'm usually NC30.
However, even St. Moritz still appears to be a tad too dark on me. Kinda orangey and ashy looking. I will most probably go with Alaska for the full size.
But then again, I want to try it a little bit longer (at least until the sample finishes), since I found 2 acne bumps on my right cheek, which I haven't gotten any since my purging outbreak a year ago! Well, I just finished my pill-pack and expect for my period to come soon, but it was usually only occasional zits. And I have never had any problems at all with my Tarte TM.
On NARS' defense, the finish is very lovely. When just applied it looks very natural, not matte nor dewy. After 30 mins it's definitely gorgeously dewy. The coverage is sheer to medium (higher than Tarte TM), which I like, albeit still appears like your skin.
It lasted from 9am to 5pm easily. I needed to apply a little bit more at that hour before I left for dinner at 7pm on the cheek area, chin, and around the nose to cover some pigmentations that were already showing up. I used it without primer, tho, because it's a moisturizer.
I don't really care about the sun protection or the skincare benefit except for its hydrating/moisturizing properties, since I don't rely on makeup for that. I use sunscreen on my own.
For some reason St. Moritz is really too dark for me. My face definitely look tanner compared to my chest, which is a bit weird. Not too orangey nor ashy, tho. I guess something was wrong with my eyes the other day.
It looks like my best match freshly applied, but after 2 hours it oxidizes, also appears to be a bit patchy.
My perfect color is a mix between Alaska and St. Moritz. Just because of that reason, I'm not purchasing a tube. I hate the fuss.
As for pimple/acne, I haven't gotten any single one after 3 more applications. So I guess it was just my hormone messing up. :)
Sadly this didn't work for me. The shade Alaska oxidizes on my nc25 skin. Also the previous reviewer is correct about the silicones..10 to be exact. I can handle a few but 10 is so over the top. My skin also looks really fake and un natural with this product on:( For $42 I expect better. Perhaps my expectations are too high. Oh well back to my Laura mercier!
This tinted moisturizer is getting a lot of buzz in fashion magazines, so I got a sample in Malaga (I'm NC43-44) from Sephora. I had tried the popular Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer and was totally unimpressed with it. I had taken to mixing my foundation with moisturizer which worked okay but is messy and not travel friendly. I was somewhat skeptical of this but have been pleasantly surprised.
It is thicker than some tinted moisturizers that I have tried but goes on sheer and gives my skin a nice polished but not overly made up appearance. If I want a little extra coverage, I will wear translucent loose powder over it.. I found the color selection was pretty good for my skintone and because it is a little thicker, I don't have to use a lot so I have gotten about 4 applications from one small sample. Many foundations/moisturizers with SPF cause me to break out but so far I not have that problem with this one.
As with all Nars products, it is a little pricey, hence the 4 stars but I believe the fact that you don't have to use too much will make it worth the money. It should last a long time. IMHO this would be great for someone who wants a lightweight formula for summer and/or prefers a more natural look.
Like many ladies out there, when I heard NARS came out with a TM I had to try it. I chose Finland for my NC20-25 skin and the color is perfect, coverage is medium and helps minimize any redness I have around my chin and nose, and if you are like me with minimal under-eye circles, this does the job in help covering them. The finish was smooth, and almost velvety with a slight glow to look like skin, not makeup. I've been using it for about a month now and so far no breakouts, which is huge because my skin is very sensitive and reactive. It lasts a good five hours on my combo-skin, which is pretty good for me because I spend the majority of my day indoors writing. So why the four lippies and not five? Well, I knocked off 1/2 a lippie because this stuff is loaded with silicones! I think I counted about 10, which in my opinion is overkill not to mention I hate silicones. I knocked off another 1/2 a lippie because, at least in Winter, moisturizer is a must - it will show every flake on your face. In the Summer, I think it might be a good choice (although some might find it a touch too heavy). Overall, it is very nice but I don't think I'll buy it again due to the silicones, but if ever in a pinch for a nice TM, NARS is where I know I can turn to. Update: 5.24.2012- Stopped using continually as I noticed blemishes beginning to develop. I think it was the silicones, my skin hates them after awhile.
I got a sample of this from Sephora. To start the shade range for pale girls is limited. Alaska was a bit to dark but I was able to blend it out and Finland was too light (I'm MAC NC20). The finish it beautiful though. I have oily skin and it evened out my redness nicely and left me nice looking skin. It was not glowy at all on me despite the radiant in its name but just looked healthy. However after 3 days with the sample my skin was really clogged and pimples kept developing for days. I do have clog prone skin but it took over a week of not using this for my skin to be back to its normal (but less than perfect) self. No foundation I've tried has been this bad. However if your skin can tolerate it, it does give a beautiful finish so I gave it a 3. I wish i could keep using it :(
The ingredients or higher SPF sensitized my skin. Like a previous reviewer, it gave me painful cysts on top of clogged pores. The coverage is beautiful for half a day, but I would have liked a bit less of it for a tinted moisturizer.
When I heard Nars was coming out with a tinted moisturizer I was initially gonna pass on it, I've used Laura Maurcier TM in the warm spring/summer months since foundation is so heavy and has too much coverage, so while I was in Sephora a few weeks ago and have heard the rave reviews I got curious about this and ended up purchasing the shade St. Mortiz and it is a perfect match for my skin tone. I also think its very good at covering the redness in my face and it doesn't feel heavy at all, it looks like I have no make up on which I really love. Yes it is on the pricey side but all Nars products are, and if there a good product I think its totally worth it, and this is one of those products-worth every penny IMO. I've worn this up to 10 hours a day and by the end of the day yes I'm a little oily but nothing crazy. I am very impressed with this product and I will def re-purchase this once i'm out.
I bought this a week ago since I was looking for a new tinted moisturizer. It's gotten rave reviews, so I overlooked the few ones that said it lead to cystic acne and bought it anyway. Let me just say, it looks amazing on. It evens out your skin tone and definitely gives a glow more than anything else. The issue for me was that I think it's been making me break out. And I just got off of Accutane 3 months ago, so really nothing should be irritating my skin. And nothing has...till now! I must have had a very big clogged pore on my nose that turned zitty and there are 2 noticable bumps on the side of my face. I feel like it might be because of the high SPF/titanium dioxide. It's such a disappointment since I loved how this looked on (though after a few hours it can get shiny). But I think I'm going to have to return and try out the much hyped Laura Mercier instead.
I went to my local Sephora to purchase this in St. Moritz, and the SA told me very apologetically that they were all out (this seems to be a really popular shade for those of us in the NC30~ range). However, he gave me a very generous sample, enough for at least two weeks, and I scampered home a happy, happy girl.
For the first five days or so, I was really pleased with this tinted moisturizer which matched my skintone very nicely. I haven't used the Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier ones, which a lot of reviewers seem to have experience with, but I've faithfully used the one from Tarte. In comparison, I found that NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer had a lot more slip to it -- as other reviewers mentioned, this feels very much like a serum and has an almost silky, gel-like texture. This made it very easy to spread onto my face with my fingers. After application I'd let it sit for a couple of minutes before applying concealer where I needed it. It didn't diminish the redness in my cheeks completely, but my skin looked much more even and dewy. I tend to be combination/oily, and while this didn't have a matte finish, it didn't make me look like an oil slick either. Even my friends commented on how great my skin looked (for reference, my skin is usually fine, a bit of redness in the cheeks and a pimple or two during hormonal times of the month but nothing else). I thought I'd found my HG for the upcoming spring and summer months.
Then, as some others have stated, came the cystic acne. I haven't had something like this happen in years; the last time the culprit was DDF Glycolic Toner and it was so bad I had to go see a dermatologist. This is the only change I've made to my skincare/makeup routine, so I can only deduce that this product is at fault. I now have a huge, throbbing and painful lump on my chin that I need to calm down.
Oh NARS, I'm not sure what it is (maybe it's that you're not silicone-free? Or so I've heard), but I can't buy this product. For those who are enjoying it, I'm super jealous! While $42 seems expensive, I can vouch that a 1.7 oz.-ish tube of tinted moisturizer lasts about 6 months for me with daily use, so it works out to be pretty cheap. And I've got a big face! Lots of area to cover! NARS, why don't you like my big face? :( I guess I'll just have to limit myself to your eyeshadows, blushes and Multiples.
*EDIT ON 03/29/2012* It's definitely this tinted moisturizer that caused the cystic acne. I went back to my Tarte one and the bump has diminished considerably. Nothing else changed in my routine besides that. I'm bummed as I really did like this a lot. continued >>