We often talk about desert island beauty—the products you'd prioritise above all the rest, if you were to find yourself stranded on, you guessed it, a desert island. And I can say, without hesitation, that mine would be concealer.
As someone who wakes up with dark circles on the regular, and whose light skin tone can often look uneven and patchy, concealer is the one product I find myself continuously reaching for, whether I’m working from home or mask-clad on my weekly shop. With the power to blur, highlight, and, of course, conceal, its undoubtedly the hardest-working item in my makeup bag and, as such, the product I need to top-up most regularly.
My job as an editor has afforded me the chance to try just about every concealer going before committing to it. Still, no formula has been able to waver my faithfulness from Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer.
My daily makeup look consists of Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Vanilla (£24), Nars Matte Bronzing Powder in Vallarta (£31), which I also use as eye shadow, Nars Single Eye Shadow in Bali (£16), Benefit Gimme Brow+ Volumising Brow Gel in 03 (£23), Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara (£25), and Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in Very Victoria (£25).
I first started using Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in 2013—the year it launched. I was working on the InStyle digital desk at the time, and when samples of the concealer landed on our desks, mass hysteria broke out. Smears were applied to the backs of hands, then delicately patted under eyes with fingertips. "It's like a soft veil," one colleague exclaimed. She was right. Unlike the cakey concealers that were commonplace, Nars's Radiant Creamy Concealer was smooth and easy to apply, without forgoing on coverage. Even in natural light, my dark circles appeared to melt away under its protection.
Fast-forward seven years and I'm still hooked. Even though my skin is less firm and fine lines have started to appear around my peepers, Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer gives me the same jolt of confidence as it did when I was 24. If anything, I find the formula to be even more amiable with my developing complexion. While I always knew it was special, it wasn't until recently that I realised just how iconic Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer has become.
A few weeks ago, I reached out to some of my industry friends to find out which makeup they use most regularly, and there was one product that kept coming up. Influencers Amira Khan, Chloe Plumstead, and Karina Marriott each professed their love for Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. However, it seems we're not alone in our adoration. An average of eight concealers are sold every 60 seconds in the U.S., and, in August this year, the concealer reached position #2 with the UK NPD rankings.
Aside from brilliant coverage and a feather-light formula, another selling point of this concealer is its shade range. At present, there are 30 gorgeous tones to choose from. Indeed, diversity was integral to Nars's founder, makeup artist and photographer François Nars's vision when he launched the brand in 1994.
"I started the brand because I was frustrated with not being able to find the best makeup or the best colours," recalls Nars. "I believe the brand has stayed true to its roots because of that. When creating shades, I follow my instincts and use everything I've learned over the years. I feel that makeup is universal and should apply to everybody. I didn't want to create a makeup line for one ethnic group—it had to be multiethnic."
Additionally, when Nars's 2019 brand ambassador, Naomi Campbell, was asked "What is it like to work with François?" she said, "He is a true artist, not just a makeup artist. He paints and transforms you. When I first started out, it was hard to find colours that truly matched my skin tone. He created those colours."
It seems this high-performing concealer has a high-profile fan base, too; one, in my opinion, it thoroughly deserves.
Keep scrolling to see the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer shades Amira, Chloe, and Karina wear, then browse some of the brand's other hero buys.
MORE BEST-SELLING NARS BEAUTY PRODUCTS
It's not just Nars's Radiant Creamy Concealer that's commanded a cult following—these products also prove to be some of the brand's top performers.
THE OTHER NARS BEAUTY PRODUCTS I PERSONALLY CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT
On the days where my concealer and CC cream combination won't suffice, I reach for my Radiant Longwear Foundation in Mont Blanc. Impossibly smooth, the finish is velvety and flawless; people always compliment me on my complexion when I wear it, which I don't consider to be a coincidence.
My eyes are naturally quite sunken, which means I'm prone to shadow creasing. To avoid this makeup faux pas, I apply this formula directly to my lids, and the result is a seamless shadow finish that lasts longer than I previously thought possible.
I've always avoided shimmery bronzers, so it wasn't long before I found myself gravitating towards Nars's matte collection. After years of using Seaside, a shade which has since been retired, I've moved onto the new shade Vallarta, which is undoubtedly the perfect bronzer match for my alabaster skin tone.
Okay, I have to admit that I originally treated myself to this oil because it looked so downright pretty, but it has since become a non-negotiable step in my self-care routine. The non-shimmering complement to the best-selling Monoï Body Glow (£45), I use it on my arms, legs, chest, and collarbone to bestow a natural glow and provide essential hydration to my skin.