REVIEW: NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation (refill) – “Mont Blanc”

NARS newly released the Radiant Cream Compact Foundation and I’m a bit unsure about it. At first, I was excited to see it because I’m such a fan of the Sheer Glow Foundation. Designed to be a “cream compact foundation with a lightweight, luminous finish,” I expected a bit more in performance. However, this particular foundation was a bust for me for many reasons.


I purchased only the refill to test out because you need to get the compact separately. Normally, I wouldn’t complain about this since brands like Shiseido and Cle de Peau do this as well. But the refill itself is $38 USD and the compact is $10 USD. For nearly $50, I’d go for Chanel or Dior foundation if I had to choose. The NARS’ cream foundation claims to be made from an “advanced emulsion formula” that blends seamlessly to “create a weightless, buildable, medium coverage.” They say that the skin will “feel soft and comfortable,” and will also “enhance moisture levels [to] reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”

For me, this foundation was much too drying — even though NARS claims the product is supposed to be hydrating. The dry formula was difficult to work with with a dry sponge or brush, so that’s a bit high maintenance. You can spray your brush with a light mist or use a dampened beauty blender to get the job done. Also, this foundation sets extremely fast so you have to work quickly if you don’t want it too look streaky.


I chose the shade “Mont Blanc” since that’s what I use in Sheer Glow. I’d say that the shades correspond nicely and I have no complaints there. The colors all look darker in the pan, but once you start using it, it doesn’t look as dark anymore. This is also NOTHING like Sheer Glow — but I suppose that would make sense since this is entirely a different product. As a cream foundation, the coverage is fuller. It was drying on my skin and dry patches were more obvious when I used this product.

Also, this felt heavier on my skin no matter how sheer I applied it. After a few days of trying to make it work with different ways of applying it, it just made me too oily during the day and started to cake around my mouth and nose. I returned this product because I’ve got other base makeup that does a way better job without the hassle. I’m not a fan, but depending on your skin type, this may work for someone else.


Personally, I can’t recommend this because I have skin that’s fairly easy to work with — and, this product was just too difficult. For me, this might have been worth it had the final results looked beautiful — but, because it didn’t, I’d rather rely on the other foundations and BB creams I have in my arsenal. As a regular user of NARS products, I’d recommend the Sheer Glow Foundation in a heart beat.

Retails (refill) for $38.00 USD.
Compact retails for $10.00 USD.
Made in USA.


2 thoughts on “REVIEW: NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation (refill) – “Mont Blanc”

  1. I know everyone’s opinion is different, but this review if so off base I don’t even know what product you’re talking about. I have dry skin and this product is incredibly creamy and easy to work with. It’s like a cream to liquid. It’s lightweight with a nice light-medium coverage if you use your fingers or a brush. It does set, but after a couple minutes, certainly not instantaneously and much longer than Sheer Glow or Matte. I’m so confused by your review. I’ve used many Chanel and Dior foundations, that are not as suitable to sensitive skin by the way, and this foundation is above what either brand currently offers. Since in my opinion Chanel discontinued some of their best foundations and has replaced them with inferior formulas.

    • Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so I think you make some valid points. However, just because this didn’t work for me doesn’t mean I’m wrong. If this product works for you, then that’s fine — keep using it and use what works for you. In any case, stating that my review is “off base” and that you “don’t even know what product [I’m] talking about” is off-putting since I’m clearly referring to my own personal experience. These reviews aren’t designed to be an end all be all; if what I’ve said confuses you, then disregard it and continue using products that you find works for you. I purchase, use, and review a variety of products and will have a variety of opinions. I’ve read plenty of reviews out there that I don’t agree with but I don’t call their reviews “off base” for not aligning exactly with my personal beliefs/experiences. To each their own, regardless.

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