The NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer launched last year to loads of rave reviews. People still insist it's their favorite concealer. It made several Best of 2017 lists. Many claimed it was the better version of the cult-classic NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. Like many, I was sold. If everyone loved it then this had to be good. I finally got my hands on this at the end of last summer hoping this would become my new favorite concealer. But did it live up to the hype? Not really.
Now, I feel like I'm going to get a lot of hate for this. Mostly because (spoiler alert) I don't really agree with the hype. Don't @ me! Just giving my own opinion!
The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer doesn't get a lot of love in the beauty community anymore. Many former die-hards have abandoned ship. I've watched one too many YouTubers denounce their loyalty. Other concealers like the Urban Decay Naked Skin have nabbed the top spot. What was once a cult-classic is starting to look like a has-been.
The NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer is still my all-time favorite concealer. If anything, its rival, the Soft Matte Complete Concealer, made me realize just how great it is. Now, to be fair, I think there are pros and cons with both concealers. I don't think the Soft Matte Complete Concealer is a massive disappointment. It has its redeeming qualities and still beats a lot of concealers out there. However, it didn't win me over. Below, I share my thoughts on both.
NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer
The Soft Matte Complete Concealer works best for pinpoint concealing to hide any acne or hyperpigmentation. It has super high coverage, perhaps a bit more than the Radiant Creamy Concealer. A little can go a long way! I often struggle with finding concealers that have this much pigmentation to cover up my major skin issues: acne, scars, hyperpigmentation and very dark under eyes. Due to its matte formula, it's long-lasting. That being said, this is still fairly creamy. It melts into your skin when applied with your fingertips. I do find that this is a good concealer to use after the Radiant Creamy Concealer or another liquid concealer just to add a bit more coverage. Again, pinpoint concealing is where this concealer shines!
Unfortunately, this can be drying. It has a tendency to cling to dry patches, even under the eyes. It is also highly prone to creasing and sinking into fine lines. I find that when I put this on to cover up my dark circles, it ends up accentuating the few fine lines I do have, making me look older. This is also a pain to apply since it's in a pot. Only using my fingers can take ages, nearly double the amount of time it takes to blend in my Radiant Creamy Concealer. A brush won't blend this out seamlessly. I found it best to use a damp Beauty Blender instead, but even then it takes a few more minutes to blend out. Part of the problem is that this is slightly thicker than the NARS Radiant. My final quibble with this is that I just don't find this hygienic. Tiny hairs and dust particles easily get stuck in the concealer. It's hard to remove them. I've tried getting them out with my Beauty Blender and fingers to no avail! If you have a technique that'll get rid of those dust particles without wasting the concealer, let me know!
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
Unlike its rival, the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, with its doe foot applicator and liquid formula, is a piece of cake to apply. I can swipe this over larger areas then use a brush, fingers or Beauty Blender to blend it out. Usually, I'll use my Sigma F80 Kabuki brush to blend out the first layer of concealer. After, if needed, I'll dab a bit more concealer onto my under eyes or acne and blend that out with my ring finger to build up the coverage. I find the Radiant Creamy Concealer easier to blend out, too, because it's creamier. Like the Soft Matte, this is also high coverage and long-lasting. It'll cover up my problem areas flawlessly, although I find that it isn't as pigmented as the Soft Matte. Creasing isn't an issue with the Radiant Creamy Concealer. This also isn't as mattifying or as drying as the Soft Matte, though it can sometimes stick to my dry patches. Overall, I think this is much easier to use this when rushed for time. It'll cover up any major skin issues without all the fuss.
Though I pointed out a lot of issues with the NARS Soft Matte Concealer, I honestly think that it's still a perfectly good option. I just prefer to use it as a pinpoint concealer rather than as my main concealer. If you have oilier skin, the Soft Matte might also be a better choice. However, I tend to have much drier skin these days so its mattifying capabilities don't always translate well on my skin. I guess it's really up to your concealer preferences!