Saturday, September 22, 2018

REVIEW: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer

Few things make you feel better about your spending habits and your "makeup rehab" progress than buying just two items and spending under $60 at a Sephora sale. While very few products tickled my fancy, I was definitely looking forward to testing out the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. Admittedly, I haven't had much luck with NARS formulas, but I've heard nothing but raves for this sheer foundation.

The NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer will run you $45 for 1.9oz. Yes, that's bigger than the standard 1oz tube, but you'll want to use almost 1/4 teaspoon of this product to get the listed SPF30 and some coverage, so you'll go through it faster. I've always been a fan of NARS's simple, sleek packaging, and this black squeeze tube is no different.

Natural light on top, flash on the bottom. From left to right: Buxom Show Some Skin Foundation in Tickle the Ivory, NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Finland, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, Sephora Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer in 03 Fondant.

I went for the lightest shade in the range, Finland, which is listed as the palest shade with yellow undertones. I think the undertones look a bit peachy, and it's closer to NC15 than my usual base product choices, but it was workable for me. I'm more disappointed by the darker end of the range: there are only a couple of deep shades, and the gaps between them are pretty big. Given the shade ranges on their more recent launches, I know NARS can do better.

This is a tinted moisturizer, so I didn't expect much coverage. However, this product definitely gave me a more even, healthy-looking complexion, and he also concealed the pink post-inflammatory pigmentation I had on my cheeks. It generally looked smooth and natural on my skin, but it clung a little to the dryer parts of my face, especially my chin and the lower half of my cheeks.

The NARS tinted moisturizer also has a strong perfume-y scent that I could smell as I applied it. I didn't notice it throughout the day, but it was potent enough to make me go "ugh" while I rubbed it in.

Despite the strong fragrance and the bit of clinging, I really liked how this tinted moisturizer made my skin look shortly after application. It photographs beautifully, especially on a cell phone, and it looks incredibly natural. I definitely noticed the shine appearing on my nose around the 3 hour mark, but it still looked good. Then we get to the 8 hour photo, and wow, when is the last time you ever saw my face look that shiny?! (There's a secret part of me that wants to love the shine, since my skin is so dry that it only looks that shiny after I've applied moisturizer, but the logical side of me knows it's not a good look.) Besides the shine, you can also see that the tinted moisturizer has worn off of my nose completely.

I may have kept this tinted moisturizer for work days and just used a powder or a primer on my nose, but there's another problem: this irritated my skin. Every time I put it on, I would develop a new pimple or an angry hive within an hour. The ingredients list looks relatively benign, so if I had to blame anything for this, I'd blame the fragrance.

So I guess I can amend the introduction to this post: I'll be returning this tinted moisturizer and will therefore have purchased just one item from the recent Sephora sale. Hey, you gotta take your wins where you can get 'em.

RATING: 3 out of 5
I buy my NARS products from Sephora.


  1. Wait, isn't Terra Nueve the lightest shade? That's the one I have. When I first used it, I did get hives too but I realized my skin barrier was compromised. Since then I've had no issues with it. I also find for sun protection I seem to get burned less when I use that than other light bases even with higher spf, chemical or mineral. I'm glad it works for me, I find it perfect for most activities where I need to look a little more
    pulled together than Dr. Jart Cicapair gives me.

    1. Terra Nueve is the lightest pink shade; Finland is the lightest yellow shade.

  2. Also, the best NARS foundation ever was the Skin Tint from the Charlotte Gainsburg collection, I'm beating myself for not getting more. Honestly, that stuff is made out of angles tears or something.