NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation — Light
NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation looks to make cream foundation modern by using the latest and greatest technology to create a cream foundation that has a lightweight, luminous finish that can be applied wet or dry with buildable coverage. It’s a formula that is designed to blend seamlessly (which is the aspect that encouraged me to write-up a how-to on contouring and highlighting with cream foundation) while enhancing the skin’s natural radiance.
If it’s been on your radar or wishlist, check out the NARS + Temptalia Foundation Matrix to find your shade match!
It’s been awhile since I’ve reached for a cream foundation, because they’ve often felt too heavy and provided too much coverage in the past, and cream foundation has come a long way over the years–so I was incredibly curious to learn more about NARS’ take on it. What better way to learn more about it and how best to incorporate cream foundation into your beauty routine than getting the scoop from NARS’ International Lead Makeup Stylist Uzo! She began as a resident makeup artist and has since worked with such high profile clients as Drew Barrymore, Naomi Campbell, Olivia Munn, and Molly Sims and creates looks for designers, like Marc Jacobs, at New York Fashion Week.
Uzo, NARS International Lead Makeup Stylist
TEMPTALIA: First things first, what’s your favorite way to apply Radiant Cream Compact Foundation (RCCF)? What are your go-to tools?
UZO: I really like to use my fingers to apply RCCF. Nothing beats using the fingertips to blend this luxurious cream seamlessly into the skin to give the complexion that natural, radiant finish. RCCF is packaged with a sponge that can be used wet or dry, and is great for both application and blending. The sponge really helps for a quick and smooth application, but I always go back and use my fingertips to diffuse product to perfection. I use a concealer brush to blend product around the eye area with more precision. I may also use a foundation brush when I want to sweep on deeper shades of the foundation on the cheeks and jaw line for contouring.
NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation — Medium
TEMPTALIA: Have you found an unusual but incredible way to use the new formula?
UZO: Although, RCCF was designed to make skin look its absolute best when used alone, I will play with different formulas when I want to make skin look super-glamorous and red carpet-ready. I use a liquid foundation, first, to create a smooth, even and radiant canvas and then blend a little amount of RCCF on to the cheeks and forehead to give skin more coverage. Skin looks luxe and super-polished and never cakey or heavily made up.
Check out the rest of the interview!
Before Contouring / After Contouring with NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation
Contouring with cream foundation is an easy way to achieve seamless, blended contours and highlights because you’re using products designed to work together in order to create a canvas that transitions from shadow to skin to highlight beautifully. Highlighting and contouring bring back definition and shape to the face, especially after you’ve created a beautiful, flawless blank canvas with your foundation. Because foundations are one color, and depending on the coverage, they can leave the face looking flat and shapeless.
More of us are familiar with highlighters–shimmering powders and creams patted along the high planes of the face to reflect light–but contouring can be a more difficult and daunting task. The best part about makeup, though, is freedom of choice; you can go as defined as you’d like, so you don’t have to go for a dramatic contour and highlight but something subtle that just defines and helps lift the face. I’ve tried to show a more dramatic contour (but you could go further and make it even more dramatic) so that you can clearly see the differences before and after.
Don’t be afraid if you’re new to contouring! Uzo, NARS International Lead Stylist, recommends beginners to use cream foundations for contouring “because they are easier to blend” as “powders in an unskilled hand can make contouring look harsh and un-blended while liquids don’t give enough definition. It is not about having a stripe of darker, un-diffused color along the sides of the face but subtly blended dimension that defines the cheekbones (and jaw line).”
With the full range of NARS Radiant Cream Compact at my disposal, I matched my skin tone match to Santa Fe, which is described as a “medium with peachy undertone,” and it is categorized as “Medium 2.” This is the product I used to create the blank canvas (as my regular foundation) to even out my skin color and cover any blemishes and imperfections.
Find your shade match using our NARS + Temptalia Foundation Matrix–just enter your current foundation and out pops your new shade match!
To highlight, I chose Siberia. Generally, your highlight shade should be two to four shades lighter than your actual skin color. To contour, I used Cadiz along with Benares. I opted for two, because I wanted a subtler contour on areas like my nose and eyes, but I wanted a deeper, more dramatic contour for slimming and defining my cheekbones and jawline. Generally, you will want to select a shade that is two to four shades darker than your natural complexion and opt for a shade that has similar undertones to your skin tone or one that is more neutral.