Sample Sunday: NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer (vs. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer)

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Source: Sephora

When NARS first announced their Soft Matte Complete Concealer, I was initially only half excited: Excited for the “complete coverage” part, but not so jazzed about the “matte” part. My skin tends to lean on the drier side, so matte products usually make those pesky dry patches emerge out of their hiding place.

But, because I’m a sucker for NARS products, i decided to give this one a try anyway and headed to get some samples.

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Much to my surprise, the counter at my local Nordstrom had prepackaged samples ready, with four different shades to boot! Wouldn’t it be great if all samples were like this and you could try out the entire spectrum of colors in the comfort of your own home?

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The line comes in 16 shades that correspond more or less with their popular Radiant Creamy Concealer. From what I can tell, the color matching is pretty close.

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Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard; Samples in Custard (left) and Vanilla (right)

I tried the Vanilla and Custard samples (and gave the other two to my darker-skinned roommate–she has also been loving the product) and was very pleased with the results! It was matte, to be sure, but did its job in concealing and lasting for the entire rest of the day. I didn’t even use that much product, and only needed one layer.

While writing about my personal experience is all and well, I thought that it would be infinitely more useful to beauty enthusiasts of the internet if I did a comparison study with everyone’s beloved concealer, the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer.

The Method:

I decided to do this as a mole conceal test to really test its central function: How well do each of these products conceal? Skin moles tend to be more pigmented than any blemish you’d be using concealer for, so if a concealer covers it up, it would definitely cover up the odd zit. I used an easily accessible mole on my left arm.

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Showing the approximate amount of product I used for each layer (pre-blending)

For each of the three products (Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard, Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Custard, and Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Vanilla), I applied 3 successive layers, blending with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush between each layer.

The Results:

[None of these photos were retouched but the lighting differed somewhat between shots due to my phone camera being finicky]

0. Bare Skin

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1. Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard (Click on pics to zoom in):

2. Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Custard:

3. Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Vanilla:

 

The Verdict:

The new Soft Matte Complete Concealer works like a dream for concealing blemishes. It provides complete coverage for very little product, but also buildable for a customized look. I like that it comes in a jar instead of a tube because it’s much easier to get all the product out for use.

However, this product does have its limitations. It does provide a matte finish which can look unnatural over certain parts of the face. The undereye area in particular would probably fare better with the Radiant Creamy Concealer. The soft matte also doesn’t come with a built in applicator, so it isn’t quite as portable for throwing in your purse for midday touch-ups.

At $30, the Soft Matte is equal in price and size to the Radiant Creamy concealer (0.21oz vs 0.22oz). However, you will probably get more bang for your buck with the Soft Matte for the reasons above. For those looking for a concealer that does, well, just that, I highly recommend giving Soft Matte a try–but I wouldn’t ditch the Radiant Creamy quite just yet 🙂

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