There are certain products that I simply know I will buy when first hearing of them.  In the earliest stages of promotion, before information is readily available, I just know I need it.  I then push it to the back of my mind and focus on other items so the anticipation doesn’t kill me.  Weeks later, having completely forgotten a release is happening, I’ll be browsing my local beauty store and BAM!  Gasp! Squeal!  Lo and behold, there it is.


This is exactly the process that happened with the new NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation.  Being that NARS Sheer Matte Foundation and I get along so well, there was no question in my mind I would purchase the Radiant Cream Foundation.  I’ve even been curious about Sheer Glow.  That’s how much I love my Sheer Matte.


One of my favorite things about NARS foundations (and concealers) is the extensive shade range.  I’m a dead ringer for Stromboli.  And while I wish the name was something much more cutesy or exotic, I am thankful that Stromboli is a shade included in the new compact foundation.


I’ve swatched the cream compact above heavily on the left.  It is blended out on the right and nearly invisible.  Only after close scrutiny can the blended swatch be seen. (Look at the freckle on the lower half of my arm for the line where the foundation begins.)


I do find that Stromboli in Sheer Matte (left) has more yellow tones than in Radiant Cream (right).  When blended out they are much more similar.


The foundation itself comes in a small compact with a sponge (that doesn’t fit inside).  This is sufficient for anyone who doesn’t plan to carry this in a purse.


However, there is a refillable compact available with room for the foundation as well as a breathable compartment for the sponge.


The directions are a bit unclear when it comes to housing the refill in the compact.  The lid of the refill has a label indicating that all four corners need to be pressed down to be sure it is closed completely.  The lid is removable, but it fits into the compact with the foundation so I am leaving mine in place to keep the makeup fresh longer.

And while the sponge is of nice quality and works well, I prefer application with a dense brush and reserving the sponge for touch-ups when I’m not at home.  A light tapping into the product and lots of blending creates a flawless base.  The below photos are the results I experience while using the sponge dry.  It can also be used wet for a sheer coverage.  Something tells me Radiant Cream Foundation will be a Beauty Blender lover’s delight.

NARS Radiant Cream Before and After

Before wearing foundation, my skin needs evening out and I like to cover my undereye circles.  NARS Radiant Cream Foundation does a fantastic job of letting my skin look natural.  As with other radiant foundations, any textural issues will be more apparent after the foundation is applied.

NARS Radiant Cream Foundation Profile

The formula offers lightweight coverage so my undereye circles and some redness around my nose need extra help.  The pores on my inner cheek are more visible after foundation than before.  With a setting powder my pores are no longer visible.

On its own Radiant Cream Foundation lasts 4-5 hours before my T-zone gets too shiny and the makeup fades.  Wearing concealer over this foundation causes creasing so I recommend setting powder or not layering the two.  (To test this I used NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer and I can normally wear that without any setting powder.)

I love NARS Radiant Cream Foundation.  The finish is naturally glowing, not dewy, and while not intended to be a long-wear product, creams are my favorite formula to use for touch-ups.


Price: $38.00 (foundation) / $10.00 (compact)

Availability: NARS, Sephora

Summary: NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation is a versatile product that can be applied wet or dry, has sheer-medium coverage, and works very well for touch-ups.  While on the large side, the compact is sturdy and easy to carry in a purse.  There are twenty shades offered and the radiant finish is ideal for normal to dry skin.  When worn on combination skin it is best paired with a setting powder.

10am Beauty Approved?: Yes

Disclosure: This product was purchased with my own money.