Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Review Struggle: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturize

It was bound to happen at some point; I have notoriously sensitive skin. 

I break out into hives is someone looks at me sideways.  My skin turns an angry, blotchy red whenever there is the suggestion of sunlight on the horizon.  Why, oh why, did I ever think I could experiment with so many cosmetics without it ending in tragedy?

For well over a year, I have been reading glowing reviews of the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (Get it?  Glowing?  Radiant?) and I finally buckled down and bought myself a tube two weeks ago.  In theory, the product was a good match for me: light, satiny finish, covered my blemishes without concealer, and the shade “Finland” was a good color match for my finicky skin.

Soon after my first application I knew something was wrong.  Within minutes of wear, the product went patchy and I began to see what I believed to be my high redness start to show through my base.  Since I have long loved the brand’s Sheer Glow foundation (I wear Deauville in that product, for reference) for a while, I chalked this patchiness up to a bad skin day.  On my first round with the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer I only managed to wear the product for about three hours before I washed my face. 

Unwilling to give a $45 product the boot after one use I tried it again on two consecutive workdays.  Yet again, I noticed the patchiness and high redness rising through the base within minutes of application.  When you have oily skin like I do, however, you are more willing to chalk a funky look up to your skin’s failings rather than the product’s.  Masochist that I am, I gave the product one last trial on a Wednesday and It.  All.  Went.  Terribly.  Wrong. 

I gave the tinted moisturizer one last trial last Wednesday. If the damn thing continued to look funky, I promised myself, I would return it to Sephora the next day. Needless to say, it didn't take long for the shit to hit the fan. Almost immediately my skin felt itchy and sore.  I tried to persevere though my face felt like it was being consumed by fire ants.  Beauty is meant to be pain, right?

Finally, 2/3 of the way through my work day, I couldn’t stand the itching and the pain any longer.  I looked in my compact mirror and saw that my face was BRIGHT PINK— like horrific, Nicki Minik wig pink.  In a blind panic, I some fragrance free lotion one of my students had on her to remove my face makeup and some bottled water to scrub off whatever traces remained. 

Needless to say, as soon as work ended, I hightailed it to Sephora and returned the thing.  I then had to use my store credit to buy some items to help sort out my painfully enflamed skin.  One week and $65 later my face is almost back to normal. 

What is nagging me, however, isn’t the reaction per se, but what caused the reaction.  I’ve never had a problem with NARS products, even their Sheer Glow Foundation, so I was puzzled as to why I had an anaphylactic meltdown this time.  Though I cannot be certain, I believe the “mineral rich sea water” that is added into the product to refresh the skin may be the culprit.  I’m allergic to sea food so maybe I am allergic to the sea.  Who knows?  In any event, I’ll be sticking to MAC Studio Fix foundation powder and the Laura Mercier Oil-Free tinted moisturizer for the foreseeable future.

What beauty products have given you allergic reactions?  What do you do to treat allergic reactions on your face? 

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