Beauty | Makeup

This Is the Only NARS Foundation Review You’ll Need

You’re not a beauty girly if you’ve never tried NARS before! And if you’re looking into their foundation, you’re definitely going to want to check out this NARS foundation review. If you’re unfamiliar, NARS Cosmetics has been around since the dawn of time (founded in 1994). It is one of the leading makeup brands on the market today. The brand is best known for its high-performance products that are housed in super sleek, sexy packaging. It’s used by both professional makeup artists and your everyday makeup nerd. 

The NARS foundations are one of their best-selling products because they offer a range of coverage, finishes, and shades, too. Like most foundation products on the market, there aren’t a ton of options for folks with darker skin tones. Obviously, that is a big problem and a big bummer. That being said, I feel like NARS does a little bit of a better job in offering shades for darker skin tones than some other big beauty brands out there. 

Below, I am sharing my own NARS foundation review. I’ve featured a slew of their best-selling foundations in different finishes and varied coverage, too. Read on for my insights. 

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My Nars Foundation Review

I think what sets the NARS foundations apart from other brands is the foundation formulas. Each formula blends into the skin seamlessly and beautifully, and sits on the skin perfectly, too. They come in a variety of finishes, whether you like a matte finish, a sheer finish, a glowy finish, or a radiant finish. The prices are a little bit on the steeper side, for sure, but they certainly aren’t the most expensive foundations at, say, Sephora.  

Read on for my review of every NARS foundation that I currently own! 

The Best Nars Foundations From the Brand

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NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30

This pick surprised the heck out of me—I really, really love it. I just began using it recently, and it’s the exact type of foundation that I like. It’s very sheer but still covers what I need it to cover. The formula is relatively buildable if you want a bit more coverage. It’s thicker than the other formulas in this NARS foundation review. And I love that it has SPF 30 in it. I don’t need to worry too much about sunscreen application. 

This formula has a natural finish, and doesn’t look too matte or too shiny. I really love the way it makes my skin look. It’s the perfect base for under bronzer, blush, and highlighter. My shade is Finland (Light 1) and I think it matches my skin tone pretty well. 

I probably wouldn’t use this in place of my regular moisturizer during the winter. I would apply my moisturizer first, and then this tinted moisturizer on top. But I definitely can see myself using this as both my moisturizer and foundation during the hot, humid months.

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Me wearing NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in Finland Light 1

Another thing I love about this formula is that it doesn’t irritate my skin. I never feel itchy or breakout when I’m using this pick, which is a super important factor to me when choosing my foundations. 

An important thing to note, though, is that this formula includes a ton of different types of dimethicone. I have been playing around with different dimethicone formulas over the last year or so. I notice that the ingredient doesn’t irritate my skin at all. A good example is the Shani Darden Skin Care Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer. I use this moisturizer a lot, and the fourth ingredient is dimethicone. I never have any irritation or clogged pores from it. 

If you know you are sensitive to dimethicone, and your skin doesn’t like that ingredient, you’re probably going to hate the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30. I have a really sensitive, acne-prone skin type and I don’t have an issue with this pick, though.  

I’d say this formula is my favorite within my NARS foundation review.  

Available at Sephora ($46) | Also available at Nordstrom

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NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation

This is probably my second favorite foundation from the NARS foundation lineup. I love it because it’s so lightweight and so sheer. I don’t really like heavy foundations, so this formula is truly perfect for my needs. It feels pretty weightless on the skin and provides light to medium coverage. You can add a few layers to really build up to a more full coverage if you want. It’s a little bit on the shinier side, so you might want to set it with a setting powder after application. 

While this is a foundation, it does contain some skincare benefits, too. It contains biomimetic oat, which works to reduce redness in the skin. It also has Japanese lilyturf to build up your skin barrier, too. Plus, you’ll find milk thistle and cacao peptides to help protect your skin against environmental stressors, like blue light. 

Another thing I love about this foundation is that it matches my skin tone perfectly. It’s not too pink and not too yellow, and has the perfect neutral undertones for me. I wear Mont Blanc (L2). This formula comes in 36 shades (a pretty nice shade range), so you should be able to find a shade that matches pretty closely to your natural skin tone. 

According to Sofie Pavitt’s Ingredients Checker for acne-safe skincare and makeup products, this foundation is safe for acne-prone skin. However, I feel like this formula gave me a pimple on my chin the first time I tried it. I could be wrong, and I need to test it out a bit more to see if it causes breakouts. But that is something to be aware of. Another thing to note is that people with oily skin might not like this formula because it does leave a bit of a shine. 

Available at Sephora ($50) | Also available at Ulta

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NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

If you’re in need of a foundation that lasts a long time (like for your wedding or a special event), reach for the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. I wore this to a wig birthday party recently and it stayed put on my face for many hours. Even when I was sweating from dancing and belting karaoke tunes. 

This foundation is not what I would typically reach for. It’s a little bit on the thin and watery side, and it feels very lightweight on my skin. I noticed that I really didn’t notice it at all throughout the night. It has a natural finish, and definitely doesn’t give me the “glowiness” that some other foundations or tinted moisturizers would offer. It’s not matte either, but if I were to reach for a foundation that is semi-matte/not shiny/not glowy, I would reach for this one. 

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Me attending a wig birthday party and wearing the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation in Mont Blanc

I noticed that this didn’t cake into my acne, and it just did a really good job of staying put all night (similar to the Magic Minerals Airbrush Foundation). Blends pretty easily into my skin, but I do notice that it doesn’t sink into my skin quite as well as some of the other NARS foundations. 

Available at Sephora ($50) | Also available at Nordstrom ($50) 

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation

Okay, so I don’t currently have this foundation on me at the moment, but I used to use it every so often. So I can speak to it a bit. The NARS Sheer Glow Foundation is the OG foundation that I think NARS is really known for. I think the title of this product is a little bit misleading because it’s definitely not sheer, and I don’t know if it’s as “glowy” as it promotes. 

This foundation provides medium coverage and has a natural-looking finish to it. It definitely isn’t matte, so I would say that it does have a bit of a glow to it, but nothing too crazy. I remember that I didn’t really love this foundation because the amount of coverage it gave was a little bit more than I normally prefer. I also don’t remember this foundation lasting super long on my skin. Finally, I remember thinking that I looked really weird in pictures after using this foundation every so often.

Available at Sephora ($47) | Also available at Nordstrom ($47)

Is Nars Foundation Good

Yes, I think the NARS foundation is a great option and I highly recommend it. The brand has a different formula for every finish, including radiant, natural, matte, sheer, and full-coverage. I like that the foundations come in a glass bottle—it definitely makes them feel luxe and high-end. 

One thing to note is that I didn’t review the NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation. This is because I despise matte foundations and didn’t want to waste my money testing that one out! 

I’d say my favorite of the bunch was the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30. I guess this shouldn’t be that surprising, considering I love a sheer foundation. I was so impressed by the formula and love how natural it looks on my skin. If you like a foundation with a bit more coverage, I would probably go for the NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation. If you like a foundation that is a bit more on the matte/less shiny side, I would opt for the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. 

I have found that very few of the products I tested for this NARS foundation review irritated my sensitive face. However, you should know that this brand isn’t necessarily considered super “clean.” The brand uses synthetic ingredients in its products (similar to the super-popular brand, Laura Geller makeup). This does not bother me, but some folks might not like it. 

Where To Buy Nars Foundation

There are many places you can purchase NARS foundations. You can find this brand at: 

Nars Foundation Swatches

The NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 in Shade Finland – Light 1

NARS Light Reflecting Foundation in Shade Mont Blanc
(admittedly, this could have been blended in a bit better when I was taking this shot!)

NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation in Shade Mont Blanc

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