My base preference is dewy, luminous, even plump. The word matte rarely enters my makeup bag. Matte foundations tend to be ageing and unflattering on my skin, matte lipsticks tend to dry out and cling to flaky areas of my lips, and a matte concealer? Well, that would never have crossed my mind. Since departing the decade of my twenties I’ve been reaching more and more for an eye cream each morning. I find that hydrating the skin beneath my eyes is a vital pre-makeup step that ensures my skin looks as youthful and fresh as possible. Applying a concealer onto dry skin doesn’t achieve anything for me except brightening and drawing attention to dry skin. Which is why the thought of a matte, read dry, concealer wasn’t floating my boat.
If you have the same uncertainty as I did, the first thing you need to do is stop thinking of matte and dry as interchangeable. The second is to start trusting Nars, because they rarely fail in producing excellent makeup products.
The Soft Matte Complete Concealer is a potted, cream concealer that goes to town in covering imperfections. It’s high coverage, but somehow isn’t cakey. In fact, it feels lightweight both to touch and on the face. Where their Radiant Creamy Concealer is a thick cream, this is more a satin, smooth glide. Given that I predominately use concealer to cover dark undereye circles, rather than face blemishes, I am perhaps not the target market for this product. This is a great concealer for areas of the face that need a bit of extra coverage, like breakouts, where you don’t want any glow or luminosity highlighting the area of concern. Other more brightening concealers are perhaps better for under the eyes, where you do want more of a lift. I, however, like to go against authority and am more than happy applying this on my dark circles, and find that with my trusty eye cream underneath, it works wonders.
I like to apply the Soft Matte Concealer with my fingers, but a brush also works well, and I simply press it into the skin and blend it with gentle patting motions. You need a surprisingly small amount – this is highly pigmented and a little goes a long way. When in doubt, keep patting, and keep blending so it really melts into your base. To my true surprise, it doesn’t cake or look dry, but has a sort of soft focus effect, and does a really great job of lifting my undereye area. It also blends well down onto the cheeks to cover any unwanted redness. In testament to the effect of this concealer, when someone once caught me applying it, and saw the eye-to-eye difference there was an out-loud ‘woah’ expressed very sincerely, quickly followed by “can I have some of that?”.
As someone with a serious tendency to reach for emollient concealers like RMS and Glossier, the Nars Soft Matte is a real surprise to me, but as long as your skin is nicely prepped and hydrated you should have no problem achieving high performance out of this little pot. It’s my go-to full glam or post-big night out concealer. I just wish they’d take matte out of the name.
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