Base Makeup NARS

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer

February 17, 2017

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

NARS launched a new concealer called the Soft Matte Complete Concealer ($30 for 0.21 oz) and being the fan that I am of their bases I knew I had to try it. To date the Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30 for 0.22 oz) has been one of my favorites for under the eye and around the nose to help with redness and create a more brighter more awake look. Since I tan easily and also because I use a different shade under the eyes versus spot concealing, I rotate between three shades. I used to mix Custard and Ginger together for my best match. Then NARS added another color in between which is Macadamia with slight peachy tones. This one is perfect for me as I actually prefer something with the tiniest bit of peach for under eyes. The warmth helps brighten the eye are for me. For the Soft Matte Complete Concealer, I ordered the same three shades. The colors are pretty close between formulas for the ones I bought, not identical but pretty close.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

The Soft Matte Complete Concealer offers full-coverage finish with a soft matte look. It’s oil free, light weight yet ultra pigmented so a little goes a long way. It feels creamy and soft to the touch, almost like it has just the slightest bit of bounce. I tried it under the eyes and on a few spots using the finger to dab and blend. Under the eyes it was like an instant eye lift with a blurring effect. It didn’t cake or darken and lasted all day (I did set with powder). For spots it didn’t cover them 100%, but I would say that it still did a really good job at covering them to about 85% of the way. For the corners around the nose it works well to reduce redness.

Color-wise these look a bit dark in the pot. Also side by side I thought they all looked the same in the container. Even when swatched on the back of my hand and arm I thought they were all going to be too dark but they actually work better than I expected on the face. I love that it blends effortlessly on the skin and even though the coverage is near full it still manages to look natural on the skin. I will say that I have normal combo skin – since it’s matte and opaque I do think if you have dry under eyes it could emphasize dry patches. In this case I would just make sure you have a good primer to hydrate the eye area (I like the Marc Jacobs Coconut Primer for dry skin days).

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

3 shades of the matte formula swatched on the face, under eye area and along jawline, on the lips is Kat Von D Beauty Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Ludwig:

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Custard was too light for me, but I put Macadamia on one side and Ginger on the other, both look like they’re a good match, right now I have a slight preference for Macdamia:

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

The Radiant Creamy Concealer has been a long-time go-to for me. I tend to prefer something with a tiny bit of radiance because I find it blends better on my skin type and also looks more natural. Matte often looks too opaque, too matte and therefore a bit fake on the skin. For years the Radiant Creamy Concealer was one of the few I could use under the eyes no matter what condition my skin was in regardless of season and weather. I still love it.

If I had to pick one, I would say Radiant Creamy wins because of the packaging and also because I like something a bit more creamy. I’m not the biggest fan of pots because they tend to get messy. I also really don’t like matte finishes because I find they don’t work the best with my skin – they tend to emphasize pores, imperfections and look cakey. However for a matte formula the new Soft Matte Complete Concealer is seriously impressive and I do think it’s worth owning even if you have the other formulas. I found it easy to blend, but that being said if you need something with a bit more slip to blend easier, go with (or stick with) the Radiant Creamy Concealer formula.

I didn’t swatch the Radiant Creamy one on the face as it blends out slightly sheerer so it’s a bit more forgiving color-wise. When I use any of the shades, Custard, Macadamia or Ginger, it blends to match the skin really well – it looks so natural you can barely tell there’s anything on the face. I do have side by sides of the corresponding shades in both formulas. You can see the difference in finish. Colors are pretty close but I feel the Radiant Creamy formula has slightly more yellow undertones.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer vs Radiant Creamy Concealer | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line a solid win. Macadamia is the best match for me, but if I need a bit of brightening I can mix in some of the Custard to lighten or brighten certain areas. Since I tan easily I suspect Ginger will be a match within the next few months and as I’m often in between shades I don’t mind owning multiple colors so I can mix them as I transition between colors. I don’t know how I feel about the pot style. I’ve avoided this type of packaging for years and a quick look at my concealer stash shows that they are literally all either wands or twist/click up pens. I also don’t like that NARS does that matte almost velvety finish packaging on their face products because it gets dirty so easily. If you get any bit of concealer or cream product on it, it’s pretty much stuck there forever (I’ve tried getting it off, but it’s near impossible). It’s not a deal breaker though and that’s just me being picky.

You can find both the Soft Matte Complete Concealer and Radiant Creamy Concealer at all counters now. I bought the new Soft Matte Complete Concealer from Sephora. It’s also available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and all other NARS counters.

Have you tried this one yet? What did you think? If not, what are your current go-to concealers?

P.S. I’m also testing out concealer formulas from Too Faced, Tarte and will compare them to Kat Von D in the next couple of weeks.



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  • Nikoleta February 17, 2017 at 3:58 am

    I do love all the products from NARS, especially their concealers, but I haven’t tried these ones! Great review, thanks for sharing!

    N, xoxo. | The Glitter Chic |

  • Christina February 17, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I echo your thoughts, Sabrina. I do like this new matte one, but I like it more for the face than the undereye area. I didn’t really have any problems, but the creamier texture of the radiant cream concealer makes it a little more natural looking under the eyes while still offering great coverage. I use the shade Chantilly in both formulas, but it is a tad light and going up to the next shades are too peachy. I’ll probably end up buying custard as well to mix in just a bit, though that shade is significantly too dark for me.

    On another note, and something not related to this post at all, I love how plush and full your lips are. I’m so envious! πŸ™‚

  • steff @ February 17, 2017 at 9:58 am

    I haven’t tried the soft matte formula yet, but I think I still would prefer the radiant formula. I’ve been switching between the famous Tarte Shape Tape for under the eyes and (because of your blog πŸ™‚ ), the Cle de Peau Beaute concealer on any other blemishes or discolorations. Both have such great coverage and blend beautifully into the skin, lasting all day!

  • Elena February 17, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Hi Sabrina, thanks so much for the great review. Actually, you and I use similar shades in the Cars concealers. I tan easily too, so I used to use Custard or Ginger or mix the two up for my perfect shade. So, in the Soft Matte Complete Concealer, I purchased Macadamia and I love the colour and coverage. I actually found that it covered my spots but not a great one for under eyes (even with primer). I’ve actually written a review on my blog too (, if you’d like to read what my experience with this concealer was like. I’m now testing the Guerlain one. Look forward to your thoughts on Tarte – this one is really hyped!

  • Jodie February 17, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Thank you SO much for this review. I thought the Radiant Creamy Concealer was way too dry, (go figure) and am currently loving the Glossier stretch concealer for a more dewy look under the eye, but I’d love to try the new NARS matte concealer for blemishes. It’s the only brand that I’ve found gives me a perfect color match. I’m pretty yellow, fair and olive. Super weird combo, haha

  • GoFashiondeals February 17, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    great review!! love their concelers!! need to try the soft matte now

  • Swingtime February 17, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Another outstanding post! Thank you so much for the side-by-side comparisons (the face shot is very helpful, too). I need a good face concealer–I think I’ll be looking at this one (the matte version). Thanks, Sabrina!

  • UmmBaby February 17, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful comparison review. I agree…it looks a lot darker in the pot than it actually is. Ironically I found Radiant Creamy too drying for my under eyes but I find the Soft Mattes a little more comfortable with a matte finish. If I end up falling in love with the formula I may have to get the shade Macadamia because Ginger is a better match for my face. xxx
    Sal | UmmBabyBeauty

  • Tam February 17, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you for this thorough review! I’ve been on the lookout for a review such as yours. Ever since my beloved MAC Studio Sculpt concealer was discontinued, I’ve been on the hunt, unsuccessfully, for a creamy, matte concealer in a pot without SPF to conceal my spots without photo flashback.

    I will RUN to purchase this if you respond that this one does not have SPF which causes the dreaded flashback and look white in photos.

  • makeupsessions February 18, 2017 at 6:22 am

    I really like the new formula, in fact even more than the Radiant Creamy Concealer. The Soft Matte Complete Concealer looks more natural on my skin since I only use a tiny bit to achieve full coverage and because I have normal to dry skin I don’t even have to use powder to set it. I used up one Radiant Creamy Concealer but the formula was too drying for my under eyes so I just used it for spot concealing.

  • Kelly February 18, 2017 at 8:19 am

    I wanted to try this out, but I couldn’t find a good shade that would cover spots for me.

    Perfect Shade of Mauve

  • Ashley Laughlin February 18, 2017 at 8:38 am

    This always jump out to me! I’ve been wondering if they are like the Glossier concealers.

  • Jasmine Talks Beauty February 18, 2017 at 9:34 am

    I really need to get my hands on the new Soft Matte formula πŸ™‚ now I’m reassured that Ginger is more or less the same colour, I definitely want to pick it up as the formula sounds just my sort of thing!

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  • FirmaBeauty February 18, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    OK – so Nars concealers are the best! – Really addicted and I use both a matte and a radiant one to show or highlight different areas.


  • Gabbi Parker February 19, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Definitely want to try this formula! I’m currently using the Tarte Shape Tape which is one of the best concealers I have ever tried but I still keep my NARS Radiant Creamy concealer at hand x

    Gabbi | Bloglovin |

  • Rachael O'Neill February 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Sounds like a great concealer! thanks for sharing your thoughts on it! xx

  • lisainsf February 20, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    I’m always so happy to see your beautiful swatches, because we have a similar skin tone. Even when I test products in the store (as I did with these just the day before you posted this), I cannot figure out which color to get. Now I am confident in ordering Macadamia and Ginger. Thank you!

  • Ela March 5, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I saw Jackie Aina’s video on this and it made me want the soft matte one, I’m super oily and this may just be right up my alley.
    Ela |