NARS Cosmetics Radiant Cream Compact Foundation

NARS Cosmetics Radiant Cream Compact Foundation
Radiant Cream Compact Foundation


54 reviews

59% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$$


Dimethicone, Water, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Paraffin, Nylon-12, Peg-400, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax), Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysilicone-2, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Ceramide 3, Palmitic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Tin Oxide, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Spilanthes Acmella (Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract), Ethylhexylglycerin, Barium Sulfate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Algae (Algae Extract), Alumina, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, [+/- (May Contain): Mica,

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Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I always liked this foundation, but NARS never seemed to promote this foundation like Sheer Glow. There are limited shades available on which has lead me to believe that it is discontinued. I hope to find a dupe for it. I would repurchase if it wasn't discontinued.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

on 6/4/2016 6:38:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Overall, I liked this for my approx. N10, dry and often dehydrated skin. It's not HG status, but a decent option for dry skin.

Application and Wear: It's a cream foundation that applies easily and wears nicely on my dry skin. When my skin is particularly dry or flaky, this will show texture, but doesn't seem to overly accentuate the texture. It wears fine, but I wouldn't say it's long-wearing. It doesn't go patchy on me. It sits well on top of sunscreen and works well with both cream and powder products. I apply with a sponge or beauty-blender.

Finish: It's a fairly natural finish on my skin. I sheer foundations out. It does go a bit oily in places, but I like that for my dry skin. It has more slip than many other foundations I've used - which has both pros and cons, since I rarely powder.

Shade: I chose Siberia for my approx. N10 skin. It's described as being "fair to light w/neutral balance of pink & yellow undertones." That's generally accurate. I do wish they offered a lighter shade. At times, this was almost too dark for me. However, blended in, and with all other products, it was a fine match.

Packaging: Nars sells a refill and a separate empty foundation container for the refill. I only purchased the refill and it was fine. It didn't dry out over the course of a year. I wouldn't throw it in my bag alone, however, due to fear of a potential disaster. When I travel, I just use a small ziploc. You don't need to spend the extra money on the container, especially if you change foundations a lot. It is annoying they didn't put a better snap closure on the refill and/or try to get you to purchase an extra item. The refill comes with a small sponge - nothing special.

Price: $38.00 USD for 0.42 oz.

Ingredients: Siberia - Dimethicone, Water, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Paraffin, Nylon-12, Peg-400, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax), Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysilicone-2, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Ceramide 3, Palmitic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Tin Oxide, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Maris Aqua (Sea Water), Spilanthes Acmella (Spilanthes Acmella Flower Extract), Ethylhexylglycerin, Barium Sulfate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Algae (Algae Extract), Alumina, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, [+/- (May Contain): Mica, Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxides), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxides)].

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Green

I decided to try out this foundation because I typically love cream foundations and I saw this on Amazon for $17 (!). I ordered on a whim thinking that if I didn't try it now I would likely not purchase it in the future at its standard MSRP of $38.

I'm not very knowledgable of NARS' shades. The last time I used a NARS foundation was 10 years ago when I worked at Sephora, so I had to Google swatches and make the best guess I could. I decided on Light #6 Ceylan since it appeared to have more of a yellow undertone and appeared closer to my longtime fave, Cover Girl AquaSmooth in Classic Ivory than any of the others. I typically lean toward neutral and yellow undertones because even though I do have some slight pink to my skin tone, pink undertones in foundation make me look orange.

Well, I hit the nail on the head because Ceylan happens to match my skin perfectly! Upon opening it I was surprised to find that it was just the refill pan and sponge, even though the listing said it was the full case WITH the refill pan (I'm going to be contacting the seller about this). Be aware that if you are considering this foundation and you want to make sure you can carry the foundation with you, that you make sure you purchase the full case. The refill does have a flip top, but it doesn't close securely enough to be carried in your purse or makeup bag and there is no storage for the applicator sponge in the refill pan.

This foundation is very creamy and emollient, as another reviewer mentioned. It's a very lightweight cream and has a lot of slip. It glides over the skin effortlessly and melts into the skin like butter. I tried a brush at first, which was too aggressive for the foundation when trying to pull product from the pan onto the brush. The brush left a lot of digs into the pan. I also didn't get an even application with the brush and it looked streaky. I moved on to a damp Beauty Blender, and this was a LOT nicer of an application, but, still not perfect. I felt as though that the dampness of the Beauty Blender fought against the cream. Because this cream is so lightweight and so slick I really feel that application with a dry sponge is the best application method. When I used the dry sponge the foundation came with, I was really impressed by this foundation and how it applied and looked.

This foundation is definitely LIGHT coverage and isn't very buildable. This isn't going to be a foundation for those that prefer medium to full coverage, or for those that have issues they need covered like acne, acne scaring, or hyper pigmentation of any sort. Those with large pores may not like this foundation either as it does have a tendency to be sucked into the pores, making them more noticeable. My pores are not crazy huge, but they're big enough for this to possibly become a problem for me with this foundation. I would equate the coverage to somewhere between a tinted moisturizer and a BB cream. This is a perfect foundation for those that are going for the no-makeup-makeup look as the coverage is so light that it lets your skin really come through.

This foundation leaves my skin with a satin finish that has a slight dewy luminosity to it. Perhaps this is the 'Radiant' aspect? It's hard to tell, but I don't think this foundation has any shimmer in it...if it does it's extremely subtle to the point of being undetectable.

I have combo skin and I did experience a few challenges with this foundation. As I mentioned above I did notice that it started to pool into my pores within a few hours of wear. I think that, in part, this has to do with the fact this foundation doesn't fully set on its own. For experimentation purposes I only set one half of my face with powder, the other side I did not. Setting with powder is going to be absolutely necessary for me. I get quite oily in my T-zone and jawline, but dry around my temples. My dry temples were flaky looking on both the powdered and unpowdered sides, and the dryness was extremely noticeable. Exfoliated, hydrated skin is essential with this foundation. I thought I was both, but apparently I was wrong. So, keep in mind it will cling to dry patches, as well as sink into lines in any dry areas.
My cheeks, forehead, nose (especially around my nostrils) were incredibly shiny and slick after 4 hours on the unpowered side. The powdered side was much more together and not so crazy slick or oily, but I did see some definite shine coming through.

Since the weather is warming up this may not be the best choice for me as a daily foundation. If you're too oily, this foundation likely won't be for you, but if you're too dry it probably won't work either. I know it sounds like too much of a pain to deal with, but I'd really love to find a way for it to work because despite its flaws (or mine) I really DO like how it makes my skin look, and I didn't need concealer even though the coverage is so light. Super weird.

I'm going to play around with it some more, try it with different primers (maybe a drier formula on my oily areas and more moisturizing formula on my dry areas?) and see if there isn't something I can come up with to make this work. As of right now, I can't really tell who this foundation is meant for other than those with perfectly balanced skin who need minimal coverage. If you fit into that category, by all means, try this. If you don't, be aware you might hate it or you might need to play around with it and only be able to wear it during certain times of the year based on how your skin behaves.

4 of 6 people found this helpful.

on 1/29/2016 2:34:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

At first glance, I love this compact foundation. I have normal/dry skin and the finish of this is silky and smooth without being dewy. It's also nicely buildable. Light-medium coverage. I use the sponge to "place" foundation on my skin then blend a little with fingers so I don't lose much product. However, the problem was longevity. At midday, I had no foundation left on my face. For an evening out, this is a lovely product. But for a long workday (during which I do not have time to redo my makeup) this is a fail. Sad face.

on 12/6/2015 11:27:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

Light/medium coverage. Blendable. Liked it and finished it up ... but didn't love it and won't buy again. Didn't have any of the skin issues/reactions others mention in reviews. It's a perfectly fine product if you're seeking light/medium coverage. But just not anything I will buy again (or maybe I will someday)

on 10/18/2015 12:12:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Black

On the hunt for a cream compact foundation. So far I have tried out MAC Mineralize and this one. Here are my thoughts:

Application & Consistency: Very emollient, very creamy, moisturizing, buttery, and high slip. This glides over skin effortlessly, melts into skin and pretty much blends itself in. At home, I use a brush to stipple and buff this in. Fingers work well too as mentioned, this is very bendable. On the go(which is my main reason why I bought this) I use the sponge in the NARS compact.

Coverage & Effects: Light to medium coverage. Will NOT cover acne or severe marks. It will however, even out the skin, give some coverage to under eyes, and cover light to moderate marks with the moderate marks and dark circles may need additional specific concealing, and or powder on top for a complete flawless look. My skin is normal-dry and I live in a cold and dry country. My skin is in good condition and I hardly have any blemishes except for the occasional one or two when I get lazy and don't wash my face so I don't have much to cover up. This cream foundation makes my skin absolutely gorgeous, model worthy, glowing, and yet natural. My skin still shows through this but perfected. True to it's name, this is certainly radiant with a satin to dewy finish. This is not at all cakey or mask like. I like to use foundation with my favorite primer, LauraMercier Radiance Primer, like this isn't already radiant enough and I get an even glowier look, a just came from spa/vacation look.

Longevity & Wear: I get an all day wear with this, BECAUSE I set this with powder. Without setting powder, it's gone in a few hours, and that is being in a cold country. Now, If you live in a humid and or hot country, forget it! Oily skin? Don't even try. This will not last all day and will needed to be touched up, hence the compact. I also wear a primer with this so I think that adds to the wear time. My face doesn't become shiny or oily after wearing it and my skin doesn't become dried out either. Winter is coming, and I need something moisturizing, this is wonderful for that.

Shades: Yellow paradise. I have strong yellow undertones, I am medium-dark/ tan, and it's difficult for me to find appropriate shades. For people who are medium-dark, olive, tan, and even deeper/ebony skintones, NARS is where it's at. I'm a MAC NC40-44(depending on the season) and I currently wear NARS Barcelona(NC40) for the winter and for sunnier days I would wear shade Syracruse(great for NC42-44).

Packaging and Price: Just for the foundation, NOT including the case, it was 61 Swiss Francs. Very Large sized compact which DOES NOT come with the actual foundation product itself! So it is like you HAVE TO shell out the extra cash for the compact. You cant just carry the little pan around, unless you keep it at home.

Comparing to MAC Mineralize: Mineralize has the better packaging since it is included, more compact and it's cheaper. NARS has great shade options(especially for yellow undertones and deeper shades) but MAC still reigns supreme when it comes to a variety of shade choices for ALL. Both NARS and Mineralize have the same coverage yet MAC's is a bit thicker and less slip. Mineralize is not as creamy or moisturizing as NARS. I would choose Mineralize for a wider range of skin types from combo to dry. But for normal to dry and severely dry skin, I would choose NARS.

Overall: I do not recommend this product for oily skinned folks, acne prone, or people who live in hot and or humid places. I do recommend this cream foundation for everyone else who want a light-medium coverage, glowing, my-skin-but-better look. I apply this at home and I like to keep it with me on the go. Such a deathly expensive product, but my skin feels and looks beautiful with this on and I will continue to wear this throughout autumn and winter. Fabulous and amazing cream compact, will repurchase.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

on 8/15/2015 1:00:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I realize now my high hopes were going to be trashed. NARS is one of the very few brands that make their foundations in actually-wearable yellow undertones that aren't orange and cater to all ends of the skintone spectrum.

I've tried NARS Sheer Glow (was my HG until I broke out) and All Day Luminous, but this was probably the worst of the three.

The product itself is cased in a plastic container which is begging to have the top snapped off easily. As far as cream foundations go, it's more oily and malleable than, say, Cover FX's cream foundation (a true disaster compared to this.) It spreads easily, and is easy enough to work with a Beautyblender.

However, you might be led into thinking because of the more "oily" texture that it is friendly towards dry skin--spoiler alert: it is not. I tend to go downwards and with the grain when applying foundations with a Beautyblender, but this emphasized all my peach fuzz and created brand new dry spots of which I was not aware existed, even after using a moisturizing cream and primer.

I did not attempt to apply this with a brush as after two days use, my face exploded into break-outs (I don't necessarily believe it's something that will happen to everyone with sensitive skin; I take a medication that makes my skin fussy.) I also used powder (Hourglass ALP in Diffused Light) on top of it, which significantly boosted longevity of the product. Without it, you'd be lucky to get 3-4 hours before it becomes a greasy mess.

In short, this didn't work for me at all, maybe it will for you, and if it does, great! It's not the worst foundation I've ever tried, but it's certainly far from the best.


- Wide variety of color options
- Not "thick" cream (compared to Cover FX)
- Spreads easily
- Moisturizing (great for drier skins; oily skinned folk may want to beware)
- Does not contain SPF (this is good for flash photography and in general, as most foundations never offer enough SPF in them to give adequate coverage anyways)


- Definitely needs powder to set
- Emphasizes dry patches and vellus hairs
- Caused breakout for me (may not be the case for you)
- Packaging is susceptible to breaking
- Possibly too moisturizing for oily/combo skin types

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

This was make favorite compact product this past winter. I love the idea of a cream in a compact and I strictly use it for touch ups on the go. It has some luminosity and natural coverage. I usually dab it on with my fingers to melt it into the skin - even under the eyes. I've abandoned powder compacts alltogether and hope more companies do cream compacts in the future.

My one complaint is the packaging size. The sponge should be under the compact to reduce the size. I found myself still stuffing it into my mini bags though. I was tempted at times to remove the refill from the case and carry it alone!

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

on 3/26/2015 8:07:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Buildable medium coverage, lightweight cooling (to me feeling).

That's about it. It's ok once I leave the mirror. Once I get back after about 4 hours out it has faded. I also live in hot humid weather.

It's not that long lasting. Sadly, will not buy again.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

This was such a waste of money. The foundation sets into the fine lines and makes my skin flakey and gross. Wouldn't recommend.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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