NARS Packed Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF30/PA+++ With Pigment to Spare

Published in: Face, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

nars pure radiant tinted moisturizer

I have a thing for tinted moisturizes, in particular ones that let me easily dial up or down my level of coverage.


Because really, who wants a totally inflexible tinted moisturizer? That would be like having to eat the same bland gruel for breakfast every single day, bluh. I guess that’s why I like NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF30/PA+++ ($42).

All nine oil-free shades in the line, which launched a few months back, contain copious amounts of pigment, and that spells flexibility. 🙂

Mixing equal parts of St. Moritz (a medium with neutral yellow undertones) and Cuba (a medium with a balance of neutral pink and yellow undertones) has been working pretty well for me since I got back from Kauai with a bit of a tan, but I think St. Moritz by itself is a pretty close match for my natural skin tone.

nars pure radiant tinted moisturizer

nars pure radiant tinted moisturizer

nars pure radiant tinted moisturizer swatches
Swatches of St. Moritz (blended and unblended) on the left and Cuba on the right

Tired of heavy tinted moisturizers that feel like cotton comforters on your face? On days when I just want a little help evening out my skin, a dime-sized dollop is enough for my cheeks, nose, chin and the area around my mouth. It evens things out without clogging my pores and imparts a subtle luminosity, like I just stepped out of the shower.

And on days when I need more coverage than that, I just add a second layer, blending it in, and then patting a little extra product on my trouble spots.

Either way, one layer or two, with NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, I never feel like I’m wearing a heavy makeup mask.

NARS says the botanicals and mineral-rich seawater in the formula are able to reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation and dark spots in about four weeks. My freckles aren’t totally convinced, but to be fair, I switch up my makeup routine often. To have an effect, maybe it needs more time and consistency than that.

If you’re skin’s been super dry lately, you might want to take this on a test flight first. Pure Radiant tends to cling to any flakes on my cheeks when they’re dry, so I probably won’t be using it in winter. I think it’s better for my oilier spring and summer skin.


NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF30/PA+++

  • Available in nine shades
  • Oil-free, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic
  • Made without parabens and sulfates
  • Finish isn’t completely matte; it has a subtle dewiness that gives it lots of life
  • Doesn’t feel like it slips off halfway through the day, and continues to look even better as the day wears on
  • Great for oily skin and/or humid climates; might be kinda dicey if your skin is very dry/flaky

PRICE: $42
AVAILABILITY: Available now at NARS counters and

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,




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So far, 46 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Christine says:

    Hi Karen! I’ve been using this in St. Moritz for about a month now and I love it! I actually have combination skin so I still need a small amount of my regular moisturizer beforehand.

    I did find that it made my nose shiny so I apply a tiny amount of GoodSkin Labs Z-Pore (found at Kohls) after applying the tinted moisturizer and that’s helped a lot.

    While I’m definitely in love with this right now, I’d still like to invest in a couple of BB Creams since I haven’t tried one yet. Do you know anything about Missha BB Creams?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christine,

      I haven’t tried the Missha BB Creams. I’ve have worn the MAC BB Cream and liked it, but I usually forget to put it on …

      If anyone else is out there has tried it, I’d love to hear your take!

      Oh, and if you’re not sure what a BB cream is and you’re reading this comment:

      Anywho, so glad it’s finally Friday! What are your plans for the weekend?

      • Christine says:

        Big Filipino Mother’s Day Extravaganza on Sunday! And of course I’m excited to see what my two boys have created this year 🙂

        • Karen says:

          Oh, how fun! We’re gonna have one for my mom in the morning. Well, assuming my little brother actually makes it out to my parent’s house on time, LOL!

          How old are your two boys? 🙂

  2. I’ve been wanting to try this forever! I thought St. Moritz sounds like my shade, but if it works well for your normal skin tone I might have to get one shade lighter (normally NC 30)? I’ll probably wait till I go back to Taiwan this summer to test the shades out before making a decision. NARS is only available online here, and it’d suck big time if I pick something that doesn’t work for my skin tone!

    And yes, God, Friday. Finally!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sunny,

      Yeah, St. Moritz would probably be something you could wear after you get tan. I’m betting the shade Alaska will work.

      What are your plans for the weekend?

    • Sunshine says:

      Sunny, I agree with Karen. I am NC30 with yellow undertones and Alaska is perfect match for me. Got a generous sample from sephora and I am getting the tube once I run out of my sample.

  3. Tracy says:

    I love this stuff. I think it’s my fave TM at the moment. I love how it looks better as the day goes on. Amazes me! Looks lovely on you!
    Tracy recently posted … Bright Colours Without Breaking The Bank: Darling Girl Cosmetics Kiss You Off Color Rich Lip Balms

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tracy,

      I remember reader that review on your site. Your skin is gorgeous! 🙂

      Question for ya — do you set your NARS with a powder, or do you leave it as is? I do both.

  4. Anna says:

    Interesting! I’m currently using Laura Mercier’s oil-free TM and I don’t feel like it really covers too well and feels oily by the end of the day… (I thought it was oil free?) Now I’m stuck between trying this TM and LM’s oil-free supreme foundation.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Anna,

      I wore Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free for years, and I know what you mean about how it feels by the end of the day. Maybe try a sample of both the NARS and Laura’s at a place where they offer jar samples. I know Sephora does! That way you can try them both before deciding.

      Are you using any of Laura’s face products? I really like her loose powder, and I know some people swear by her concealers.

  5. Rads says:

    I bought Annapurna…and I think mixing it with Cuba works best for me, but I really didn’t want to buy 2 shades of a TM!

  6. Appu says:

    I’ve been wanting to try this but, I’m not sure if I can find a color match. And I really don’t want to get 2 shades since it is quite expensive. Hmmm…maybe I’ll try a sample from a NARS counter first 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Appu,

      That sounds like a good idea. Maybe visit a counter where they offer samples? That way you could live with it for a few days to see if your skin likes it.

      Happy Friday, btw! What are you up to this weekend?

      • Appu says:

        No big plans for the weekend! Maybe a movie and a visit to the local farmers market 😀 You have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

        • Karen says:

          That sounds like fun. I could spend hours at the farmer’s market taking pics of the produce alone!

          If you’re looking for a movie rec Avengers was pretty good!

  7. Shannon says:

    Ooh, looks lovely!
    Do you have any recommendations for a tinted moisturizer that packs more of the moisture component? I’m loving the ease of tinted moisturizers (I’m using Aveeno’s version at the moment) but I’d really like something a little more hydrating. I notice my combination/oily skin tend to behave better when I give it more moisture. I’d mix something with what I’m using, but I don’t want to thin out the coverage even more…. could you blend something like the MAC Care Blends into a tinted moisturizer, do you think?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shannon,

      The most moisturizing TM I ever tried was Dior HydrAction, which is sadly discontinued. Dior replaced it with Hydra Life Pro-Youth, which I still have yet to try.

      Another option to consider is Tarte’s:

      Very, very hydrating, but the coverage is sheer.

      As for mixing the Care Blends into a tinted moisturizer, I’ve never tried that, but I bet it could really work. I’ve heard of gals mixing it in with their foundation and LOVING it. You might want to do a spot check first on a small area of your face, though, just to make sure that it doesn’t break you out.

  8. janey says:

    LOVE this. I needed a darker TM for the summer months, as I’m already sporting a tan, thanks to an unusually warm winter here in the F-L-A. Cuba is perfect for me — it’s got good staying power but gives me that my-skin-but-better look. I wear my daytime moisturizer underneath as I still have a bit of dry skin even in the summer. This is great, great stuff.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Janey,

      YES! This is one of the best TM’s currently out on shelves!

      What are you using to set yours? Or do you just skip powder altogether?

      • janey says:

        I use a little of my MAC power to set — but not all the time. Sometimes it’s just a pat-on-and-go sort of thing. Plus I just discovered that I need new power, as it is too light for me right now…

  9. shellie says:

    i am loving this tm too! i got a generous sample in st. moritz and alaska and i’m still using it. i love the way it goes on. very natural and i don’t powder to set or anything.

    i also have the LM one and i think it’s a bit heavier. the nars one is perfect for summer and it’s on my list to buy after the sample is used it.

    currently my favorite TM!! love it!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shellie,

      Yay for samples! I’m a big fan of shopping at stores that let you try before you buy. 🙂

      Glad to hear you’re liking this one!

  10. KPrice says:

    This looks great on you. I tried Alaska and while it was the perfect shade, it made me look too oily. I loved the coverage and the feel of it, but it was not for my oily skin unfortunately.

  11. Trina J says:

    Looks like this will be great for the summer temps that are on the way because it’s oil free. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  12. Betsy says:

    Hi Karen.
    Have you tried Smashbox BB Cream Camera Ready yet? What do you think of that?

  13. Joyce says:

    I tried this and LOVED the way it looked right after I applied it. It gave me a dewy finish and my skin looked so fresh and glowing. I did set it with my powder, but unfortunately because I have combination skin and an oily t-zone, the NARS tinted moisturizer looked greasy on me within 3 hours. =(
    Joyce recently posted … Shu Uemura Coupon Code 2012: 2 Free Travel Size Cleansing Oils + Free Shipping

  14. Vijaya says:

    I like the sound of this. Do you think Cuba would be a good match for someone around (slightly lighter than) NC50?
    Vijaya recently posted … Final Fantasy Inspired: Beatrix

  15. Belle says:

    I got this in Cuba and really really love it! I still use a dab of La Roche Posay Cicaplast underneath it. I find it absolutely perfect for the Philippines’ humid weather. Happy weekend!

  16. indoorkitty says:

    I have a story about this one!!! When it first came out, I wanted to do a wear test. I was heading off on holiday shortly however, so I was tight on time. When I was having lunch with my younger brother the day before flying out, I begged to stop by a department store to pick the stuff up. He grumpily acquiesced, and told me not to take too long as he plopped on a chair by the counter.

    So as the SA is putting on the TM, my bro’s eyes get majorly wide. When the SA walked over to grab something, he was like, “holy cow! It’s like she used an eraser on the bad parts of your face!!!” I answered, “it’s that good?” He side eye-d and whispered, “Can I borrow some before my next a hot date?”

    Now my bro is a manly construction type so I was super shocked to hear this. I asked, “But what if the same shade doesn’t work on us?” He looked crestfallen for a second, then the SA reappeared and asked what’s wrong. We told her the situation and she called over their wonderful male SA, who briefed my bro on how to strategically conceal with this TM. My bro was over the moon (and really only needed to touch up around his upper T-zone). And dun dun dun he was the same shade as me.

    To further test the TM before picking it up, the counter staff gave me a bunch of samples. On the way home, my bro “borrowed” all of them.

    I loved how good the coverage/texture of the TM felt that day and ended up buying it once I came back from my trip. My brother will never admit this story ever happened. The end.

    ps we were both St. Moritz on the nose. It looked like it might be a bit light on us but it spreads out to the right color.

    pps it makes your skin texture look so good, doesn’t it?

  17. Tekoa says:

    I’m the lightest shade, Finland. Its my European genetics. My mom took a National Geographic testing kit and we’re from Haplogroup H. Its one of the most common European mitochondrial DNA groups.

  18. Nicole says:

    Here in Australia they had to remove the SPF 30 altogether, because it doesn’t meet the standards for proper sun protection. So, we only have “tinted moisturizer.” It’s still the same formula, but we just get charged more for it.

  19. Stephanie C says:

    hmm. this sounds promising for the summer and the days where i don’t want to bust out the full coverage stuff. i’ll have to go get matched!

  20. Chelsea says:

    Hmm, I need a new tinted moisturizer, I might have to check out the colors. I’ve been using Stila’s, but I’ve also used Laura Mercier’s Oil-Free one. And sometimes I just mix my foundation with my sunscreen.

  21. Tamara says:

    I might just have to try this. I’ve never had luck with TM because I find they make any areas of hyper pigmentation look grey. >_>

    Recently gave Too Faced BB cream a spin and it was a no go, so might just end up exchanging for this.. do they stock the TM at Sephora?
    Tamara recently posted … Mini-May Giveaway: MAC

  22. Elle says:

    I’ve been using this for about 3 weeks now, and honestly, it’s kind of a miracle. This one dark spot I had on my chin (thanks to a lovely zit) has faded a bit, and my skin has cleared up a bit also. I wear St. Moritz as well but I’ll need something darker in a few months. I love it, and I’m not much of a NARS girl 🙂

  23. m says:

    This is my favorite TM so far! I have it in Alaska and it really does a nice job.

  24. Annick says:

    Hi Karen,
    I’ve been looking for a tinted moisturizer lately and this one looks promising. Are there any others that you would recommend over this one? I have fair, dryish combination skin that’s usually pretty clear.

  25. Nina says:

    This is my next purchase … once I use up the 8 bottles/tubes of foundation/tinted moisturizer and bb cream I have in my refrigerator. 😀

  26. Jessica says:

    For dry skin on your face check out Apothederm
    They have an amazing moisturizing cleanser and moisturizing cream. They work better than anything else I’ve tried.

  27. Ru says:

    Nice tip about mixing the two colors. I’m currently trying it out in Cuba but the color match is too dark. I will be going back for a shade lighter sample and then truly decide.

    BTW: “Tired of heavy tinted moisturizers that feel like cotton comforters on your face?” LOL- so true, what is UP with that? It’s the whole point for it to be light?! I have had my Nars sample on today for 6 hours and it feels pretty comfortable.

  28. Ro says:

    Do you use a powder over this? If so, which one? I don’t love powders because they change the finish of foundation or they make me look dry. I only need it in center of face and chin. Which would you suggest with Nars TM? I really love this stuff. thanx girl.

  29. Anna says:

    Would you say St. Moritz is NC35 in mac coloring?

  30. Carlina says:

    Hi I want to try the Nars TM I went to sephora and got a sample, they matched me with Cuba but when I went home it was really dark for me, for reference I wear Mac Matchmaster Foundation in 7.0, what shade you think will work for me? Thanks

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