Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I purchased NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30/PA+++ ($42) from Sephora. The only question in my mind was whether the lightest of nine shades, Finland, would match my skin. It's described as light, with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones. That sounded absolutely perfect for me, and I was too lazy to zoom up to Nordstrom to test the shade. It might be more difficult for someone whose skin color is in the middle tones. Those little square color representations look very similar, but the descriptions are surprisingly accurate.
The good news is that Finland is, indeed, perfect in tone for my skin color. While it looks a tad yellow as I start to apply it, the shade is perfect when blended. It evens my skin, takes out the central redness, and has enough pigment to blur the imperfections on my face. Tinted moisturizers have two (three, actually, if you count SPF) major features that contribute to my impression as I consider them: color/coverage and hydration. NARS passed the test on color and coverage (with a slight exception described below).
The bad news is that this NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer isn't much of a moisturizer for my dry skin. The first time I used it, I struggled to blend it, even though I had applied Armani Crema Nera serum a half-hour before. It felt chalky and dry, and that's how it looked. The next time, I applied an extremely emollient moisturizer under it and that worked pretty well. Why, though, would anyone wear a tinted moisturizer that requires a base of another moisturizer? It defeats the purpose. I was caught off guard by the hydration failure. I should have read the marketing description, which follows.
Infused with lush, naturally derived ingredients, this lightweight tinted moisturizer immediately helps thirsty skin feel hydrated. It has been proven to help reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation for a clearer and brighter complexion in just four weeks. Oil-free and luxurious, it obscures the appearance of lines, wrinkles, pores, and other imperfections. SPF 30/ PA+++ adds a translucent veil of protection.
Natural polysaccharides from Moorea island in French Polynesia hydrate, condition, and help encourage natural cell renewal. Mineral-rich seawater uniquely revitalizes and adds key minerals back into the skin. Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30/PA+++ helps improve the skin's overall condition. Soft and smooth to the touch, skin looks natural and glowing. This dermatologist-tested product is free of oil and synthetic fragrances and is non-comedogenic.
There's my tip-off, in both paragraphs. This tinted moisturizer is oil-free, which means it's suitable for those with oily skin, will probably work just fine for those with combination skin, but doesn't provide enough moisture for dry skin. Normally, oil-free products are not the best for me - or anyone whose skin is dry to very dry and blemish-free.
According to NARS, 84% of women who tried it felt their skin was more radiant and luminous. I found that surprising. It leaves a very matte finish on my skin, and I see nothing that could be described as radiance when I'm wearing it.
Whether or not I've prepped my face before I apply Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, I don't like the coverage on my nose, which, on close examination, is uneven because the pigment sinks into the pores. It also requires careful blending around my under-eye area, where it settles into fine lines.
I have no doubt that there's a huge market for NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30/PA+++. It offers UVA and UVB protection (albeit at a relatively low level of SPF 30); it's available in many shades, an acknowledgement of the realities of our varied skin tones; and it's readily available at Sephora, NARS counters, and online at NARS. Women with dry skin might want to look elsewhere. I'll be featuring a few other tinted moisturizers in the next few weeks that are better choices for dry types.
Photo courtesy of Sephora