All About Cream Foundation with Uzo, NARS International Lead Makeup Stylist

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint
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.

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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.

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint
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 Mesopotamia Eye Paint
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! 

TEMPTALIA: How can my readers get the most out of their foundation?
UZO: To get the best out of any foundation product, skin needs to be perfectly prepped. To get this season’s polished and luminous skin we are seeing everywhere from the runways to the red carpet, I recommend moisturizing the skin with a brightening serum. This will not only hydrate and nourish but will also illuminate. Then lightly layer a primer over the serum which will further smooth the surface of the skin and allow for seamless foundation application and hours of enviable wear where skin looks fresh all day long.

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint
NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation — Medium/Dark

TEMPTALIA: What’s the best way to add blush when working with a cream foundation?
UZO: Blush can be used before or after foundation application. I typically prefer to use a blush after RCCF has already been blended onto the skin and then from there play with different blush formulas to achieve different cheek looks. For a natural, healthy-looking flush to the cheeks, I like to apply a pop of color directly to the apples of the cheeks with cream blush after the cream foundation has been applied and before powder is dusted over the skin. When I want cheeks to look more defined and polished, I will sweep a powder blush along the cheekbones after the cream foundation has been set with powder. For that ‘no-make up look’ where the skin looks radiant, apply cream blush sparingly to cheeks. Blend blush to a fresh finish. Cream foundation is then layered over blush.

TEMPTALIA: What’s the biggest way that cream foundation has changed your foundation routine?
UZO: I am now obsessed with RCCF because I can get two distinct complexion finishes from just one foundation formula. When I want to morph skin from healthy and radiant-looking to super-polished and luminous, all I have to do is switch from using a sponge (for a sheer finish) to applying foundation with my fingertips. It’s that easy and versatile -thanks to RCCF’s exclusive technology and luxurious creamy texture.

NARS Mesopotamia Eye Paint
NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation — Dark

TEMPTALIA: What are your favorite products to pair with the new foundation?
UZO: My favorite products to use with RCCF are a brightening serum, primer, concealer and blush. Try NARS Optimal Brightening Concentrate, Radiant Creamy Concealer, Light Optimizing Primer (or an oil-free primer for oilier skin) and cream blush (preferably NARS Multiple).

TEMPTALIA: Any additional insight for readers?
UZO: When using RCCF or any other cream foundation for that matter, ‘less is more’. A little bit goes along way. Dot a small amount of foundation onto face and blend. The foundation’s unique formula is designed to give medium to full coverage in a deceptively lightweight base.

Thanks so much Uzo for taking the time to share your tricks and tips about cream foundation with Temptalia readers!

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Not a surprise from many of my comments that I am a big supporter of NARS in general, but I really dislike this foundation. Gave it a go multiple times over the past week using various bases or no base and I would have to say my money is better spent, and far less expensively I might add, on comparable pro products by Kett or Graftobian. The Kett in particular has a similar look and feel, but does not ball up like this one did when building coverage. Graftobian is denser and heavier, but can be applied quite sheerly as well. Sorry to say this was a big disappointment for me. Could be HG for others I am sure.

Hey Christine: I will still be able to use the product which is great news! Today I tried another method after being inspired by reading this helpful post. This morning I layered the foundation over NARS tinted moisturizer of which you know I am a big big fan. I applied on areas only where I have redness or discoloration–nose, cheeks, chin–I also ditched all my fancy foundation brushes and sponges and used the sponge included with the compact and had much better results. I find this foundation rather finicky and it pulls up very easily. I applied with the sponge using a pouncing motion similar to what you would use with a beauty blender. I did not wet or dampen the sponge. I still wasn’t entirely sold on this finish at this point, but topped with a light brushing of NARS Light Reflecting powder to see what would happen and then let it cook–sit for a bit :)–and the final results are very nice! I’m really glad I found a method that works for me so thanks to your for your post and Uzo’s helpful comment about using this product as a layering foundation over liquid. It made me think of trying this method. p.s. Foundation colour match is excellent. I thought Deauville was a bit almost too peachy for my neutral skin, but it’s blended down well and a really good match. Happy to find a place for this in my arsenal.

You’ve never heard of cooking, Christine?? Its a drag queen makeup tip. You let your makeup sit for 10-20 minutes while your body heat melts it on the skin and then blend it. Works well for highlighting and contouring with cream products. That’s why the contestants on RuPaul’s Drag Race have those giant streaks and triangles of concealer/foundation on their face while they do their eye makeup, hair, etc.

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!