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NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Siberia – Review and Swatches

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me raving about this foundation already, as I can’t stop myself from harping on about how amazing it is. If you haven’t, prepare to read a very positive review.

I saw NARS announce a good few months back, that they were releasing a new compact foundation, which really didn’t appeal to me as it reminded me of being back at school and us girls caking on foundations from our compacts in the toilets – ooh classy. However once it was released, beauty blogs began to review and feature the new NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation and I knew it had to be mine.

Image of the foundation and compact inside the boxes
The NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation comes in two pieces; a medium sized palette which has an hollow well and a slot for a sponge, and then the foundation compact and foundation sponge which you have to buy separately that slots into the well within the palette.
The empty NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation empty compact costs just £6 to buy separately, which you can keep after the foundation has run out and just buy another foundation refill. The refills to slot into the empty compact cost £28 each, and you choose which shade of the compact you need, of which there are 20; my shade is the very lightest – Siberia (Light 1 – Light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones).
NARS Cream Compact Foundation inside the plastic wrappers
NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Siberia - Review and Swatches 1
Both the foundation compact and the compact’s palette come boxed separately. The foundation compact comes with a square sponge, both the sponge and foundation compact are sealed within packets for hygiene reasons. For a makeup sponge, the sponge included with the foundation compact is pretty good quality; it has a moist texture even though it’s not, and feels so spongy and soft – definitely don’t disregard it, it’s a really great inclusion.
Image of the rubberised compact of the foundation palette
Inside of the foundation compact with a sponge, and foundation covered by an inner lid
The compact is a lot bigger than I expected it to be, with it being the length of two NARS blushers, and the width is as long as one NARS blush. The packaging is typical of NARS; Sleek, black, rubberised and good quality. The compact contains a large mirror within the lid which I’m thrilled about, as it’s a really good size for applying makeup.
The rubberised texture of the compact will attract dirt and fingerprints, but it doesn’t bother me enough to stop me buying NARS products, as they’re just amazing quality. I’d much rather have sleek, good quality packaging that’s prone to fingerprints rather than cheap, plastic packaging which doesn’t protect the contents.
The compact is undoubtedly long, as it holds the compact foundation ‘pod’ and a well for the sponge to sit, and not forgetting the huge mirror. Even though the compact is on the large size, it’s very slim and lightweight so it wouldn’t take up much room in a makeup bag for travel, or on-the-go.
NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Siberia - Review and Swatches
The NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation pod clicks into the well easily, with an audible click so you know when it’s in place. The pod has a lid which keeps the foundation airtight and free from bacteria and dirt. The lid simply clicks open to reveal the foundation pan, but you must make sure you close the lid firmly and tightly after application or you could risk your foundation completely drying out as it’s a cream product.
The first time I touched the compact with my fingertip, I was really surprised by how creamy the foundation was. In the compact it looks so solid and condensed, but on instant contact with my finger it appeared to ‘melt’.. the swatch photo below is a really good representation of how creamy the foundation is.
This swatch was me swirling my fingertip on the top of my compact a couple of times and then swiping across the back of my hand in one swipe. The texture is so creamy and wet which I really didn’t expect from a compact foundation, it feel identical in consistency to a liquid foundation.

NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Siberia – Review and Swatches

The Cream Compact Foundation swatched
If you compare these two photo’s I’m sure you can see how amazing the coverage is with that one swipe? It has managed to cover so many of my freckles, without looking at all cakey.. if anything you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’d not applied anything at all! The only thing giving it away, is that the shade is a tiny bit too dark for my pale skintone.
Blended swatches of the Siberia shade of the NARS Foundation
NARS is my favourite higher end beauty brand, with my love affair starting after falling love with the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer back in April. Since then, I’ve bought a whole host of NARS products, each and every one being amazing quality and just generally fantastic products. This NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation has only heightened my love for NARS, as it’s an absolutely amazing foundation.
A little bit goes a long way with this foundation, and the cream consistency allows for so many ways to apply it. My favourite way to apply it has to be with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, as it bounces the foundation all over my face, adding coverage where I need it most without leaving my skin looking cakey and plastered in foundation.
You can even apply the foundation with your fingers as it has such a creamy consistency, so on days when you want to rock a ‘no makeup makeup’ day, you can simply dab on the foundation on the areas you need to cover up, like blemishes or uneven skintone and your skin will just look flawless with no sign of any foundation whatsoever.
The foundation works well with a stippling brush, and even the likes of the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush – infact I’ve not found a makeup brush/tool that hasn’t applied this NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation beautifully.
The most amazing feature for me personally with this foundation is its incredible ability to disguise my dry patches on my cheeks. Until using this foundation, I’d never found a product that would actually make a difference to my dry patches and would either cling to them, or just emphasise them further.
When I use my Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge with the NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation, it manages to press the dry patches down, and keep them down. I’ve never felt so confident with my skin, as I have done since purchasing this foundation. You can apply a thin even layer for a light coverage, but because it’s so buildable, you can add more and more to build up to a really full coverage should you wish to.
I personally prefer a more medium to full coverage with my foundation, which usually leaves my skin either looking cakey or really matte as my skin is quite suffocated with product. However the beauty that is, the NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation manages to impart the most beautiful, natural looking glow to suggest you’re wearing next to no foundation. Oilier skins don’t panic! The glow is very subtle, without looking shiny.. it just makes me look radiant just like the foundation’s name suggests.
My claims might seem a touch biased, but NARS have published these statistics from their testing period of this foundation which say it all;
  • 90% noticed their skin looked brighter and more radiant
  • 95% felt their skin was smoother
  • 93% felt the appearance of dry skin was improved
I seriously cannot recommend this foundation enough.. it’s absolutely brilliant, and has earnt the status of being my highly coveted ‘Holy Grail‘ foundation which is no mean feat, let me tell you. It’s lightweight and easy to carry around thanks to the mirror, it has amazingly buildable coverage, it leaves a gorgeous radiant finish, it disguises my horrible dry patches and gives my skin such a natural glow.
As well as ticking every box I look for in foundation, it’s also long wearing – lasting a good 6 hours before any touch ups are required which is impressive. If you’ve read numerous reviews on my blog, you’ll know I’m very critical over every product I review, so for me to speak so highly and positively of this foundation, I hope you can appreciate how amazing this foundation must be.