Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Makeup Review: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Review: I've had my makeup done at Sephora around 6 times, and I'm always underwhelmed. The last time I tried one of those "VIB mini makeover" specials, the fresh-from-Aveda girl who did my face slathered way too much moisturizer on me and didn't allow it to absorb, so when she attempted to apply foundation, it balled up in gross chunks the more she tried to blend it in. Instead of taking it off and starting over, she added some extra eyeshadow and told me I was good to go. I looked in the mirror and was like, "WTF. No. It looks like my skin is falling off!" so I made her re-do it. I mean, come on. Don't call yourself a pro and pull that shit. No thanks, I'll apply my own makeup. 

Fast forward to last Sunday. I went to the Mall of America for some much needed "me" time and decided to play with all the things in Sephora. As I've talked about before, I have rosacea and a little keratosis pilaris on my face, which makes me super red. I hate it, and I do a lot to try to hide the red blotchiness. Since it's more noticeable when I'm paler, I've been Frankensteining my foundations and CC/BB creams together every morning to get enough coverage with a redness-canceling color that isn't too yellow. I originally planned to buy the Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation but they'd stopped carrying it instore, so I then decided that the Tarte Amazonion Clay 12 Hour Foundation was the way to go, based on the coverage and lower price point. I have a darker color in the Tarte foundation for summer use that I like, so I decided to get a lighter winter/spring shade and a worthwhile concealer for the extra red areas. 

Just as I was about to swatch products all over my jawline, I was wrangled into letting their lead makeup person do the matching for me. At first, I was unenthused, but when she grabbed the perfect concealer shades for me just by eyeballing my face, I changed my tune. Her application technique was solid, and the entire time she was applying concealer, she oohed and aaahed over how smooth and pretty my skin was, even though I see it as the opposite. But it was nice to hear, and she seemed to know what she was talking about when it came to normal makeup talk. When I mentioned I wanted a color match for a Tarte foundation, she was all like, "And cover up all this pretty skin? NOOOO! The horror!" 

She talked me into letting her apply NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer on me instead, since I mentioned how much I loved the magical wondrousness of the Guerlain Lingerie de Peau. Totally didn't think it would work, but when she let me look in the mirror, I was shocked at how beautiful my skin looked. All my redness and blotchiness was disguised, but you could still see my freckles. She did a tiny bit of contour, highlight, and blush, and left my previously applied light eye makeup alone. I immediately bought the NARS moisturizer, and have been wearing it ever since. And thus concludes my story of how I actually got great makeup from a Sephora worker.

This product is an amazing foundation alternative. It's soooo moisturizing and perfect for my dry winter face. I use a pea-sized amount of the color Groenland and the Real Techniques Buffing Brush to gently stipple and press it into my skin (and yes, I know the buffing brush is supposed to be for mineral foundation. My normal stippling brush was dirty, so I tried the buffing brush since it was clean, and it works as good or better, so I'm sticking with it). Boom! No more redness, and my skin looks even, luminous, and naturally beautiful. After setting it with a little powder, it stays perfect all day long without primer. 

On the technical side of things, it's very creamy and super pigmented without a noticeable smell. It applies smoothly and dries to a dewy satin finish. It seems to minimize pores, and it is incredible for color correction while still letting your skin show through. Coverage is buildable, probably up to medium. It also has SPF 30, of which I am a fan. Whenever I can cut out steps from my morning routine, I'm happy. To give you an idea of how well it works, here is a pic of what my skin looks like on a normal day:

Before - Ugh, so red and so sad. Taken approximately 3 weeks ago, so those zits have cleared up. 

This is what it looks like lightly made up with NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer:

nars pure radiant tinted moisturizer review
After - no more redness! Not too shiny!

Sorry for the totally different lighting in both pics, but you can still see how not red and even my skin looks in the after, with a slight hint of freckles. It's like night and day. Both are 100% unedited.

Due to how hydrating it is and the dewy finish, I don't think it would be as compatible with oily skin types, but is a great option for those with dry skin who are looking for light coverage and a foundation that doesn't feel like foundation. I haven't had any breakouts from it and am completely in love with how natural it looks.

Rated Beauty Grade: A

Price: $43 at Sephora, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales,, NARS Cosmetics

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