NARS Sheer Matte


304 reviews

47% would repurchase

Package Quality: 2.9

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 2.9

Price: $$$


Water, Phenyl Trimethicone, Triethylhexanoin, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Dipropylene Glycol, Silica, Talc, Dimethicone, PEG-5 Glyceryl Stearate, Isostearic Acid, Bentonite, Stearic Acid, Behenic Acid, Batyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate SE, 1-Methyhydantoin-2-imide, Behenyl Alcohol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Potassium Hydroxide, Cellulose Gum, Ethylparaben, Xanthan Gum, Tocopheryl Acetate, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Serralysin, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Trisodium EDTA, Glucosyl Hesperidin, [may contain: titanium dioxide, iron oxides, iron oxides]

on 1/27/2013 7:56:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Olive, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I am in love with every aspect of this foundation!

I have searched for so long to find my colour in foundations, with most pharmacists just resorting in telling me to get a beige colour in revlon, estee lauder etc. which DOES NOT suit my awkward pale yet olive Spanish skin tone.

Nars Stromboli was the first foundation that suited me completely, it's BEYOND the perfect colour! I was not a big foundation wearer so the flawless natural cover Nars gives was perfect for me. I've found it's buildable coverage after another application.
I apply mine with a Napoleon foundation brush as it sits better on my type of skin, although my friend (make-up artist) uses her fingers to applicate her sheer GLOW & she prefers that more.
I didn't use concealer as it is so natural looking you don't need it, although if you have blemishes, concealer will help.

The packaging is simple & classy like all Nars cosmetics.

Also this foundation last for AGES if you are using one app a day, I've had mine for a little less than 5 months now & it is not even half empty.

Great every day foundation, I get it off strawberrynet as it is SOOO overpriced in New Zealand as there are not many stockists.

I WILL be buying again, from online of course :)

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 1/18/2013 1:33:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Dark, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I got this in Cadiz which was a little ashy on my skin (NC44 for reference) but i knew the next shade up would be too dark. I found that I could even out the coverage as long as I used a layer of mineral makeup on top. It's not terrible, the coverage is actually pretty decent for a sheer foundation, I have alot of dark hyperpigmentation and it covered my spots better than I expected. The problem is the's very watery and slippery so it's hard to spread evenly on the face. I wouldn't purchase again for this reason and also the fact that I would have to mix 2 colors to get the right shade.

on 1/14/2013 8:34:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I am so in love with this foundation and it is my holy grail of all foundations. I love how matte but yet not powdery or cakey it makes my face look. It's so perfect. I have acne prone skin but it doesn't break me out or anything. However, this foundation doesn't really last long, by the end of the day your skin doesn't look as flawless but I don't mind since the difference isn't really all that bad or noticeable, just a little shine on my forehead. I love this foundation because it matches my skin tone perfectly, especially all the yellow undertones. The only thing that really bothers me is the price range. It's really expensive for a college student like me, but again, I'd rather save my money and buy this foundation again than buy a different one. I've also bought a dupe from Revlon but nothing beats this one!


I used to think this was as best as it gets but I was SO wrong! I found a better foundation that suits my skin very well and doesn't sit on my dry spots like this one does! And because it makes my dry spots so prominent it makes my skin look so disgusting! I'm not saying I hate this product, I still love it but I highly doubt I will be re-purchasing it again. The one thing that this foundation has that I can never find anywhere else is probably how soft and silky it feels on your skin after applying it. Most foundation feel sticky or there's just a lingering feel of foundation on your skin but this specific foundation doesn't give you that.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 12/26/2012 2:13:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Relaxed, Medium

Eyes: Black

Oh NARS, how I wish I could love you.

The PROs:
- NARS has a really good colour selection, especially for yellow toned people like me (I'm Asian, just in case you're wondering). Punjab suits me perfectly in the Australian summertime when I get about 2 shades darker than my usual skin tone (probably about NC27 if there is such thing...)
- it does a decent job at glossing over my enlarged pores and doesn't make me look any grosser than usual
-photographs reasonably well in flash
- matte without being mask like and your skin still looked like skin!

The CONs:
- got a little darker towards the end of the day but it was by no means the dreaded Oompa Loompa look.
- very very light coverage. After using Estée lauders max coverage foundation for many months, this was like using a tinted moisterizer. Generally, I prefer medium to full coverage foundation for my acne scarred face. However, for people with reasonably good skin, this would look good on you!
- the price. Although it is a decent foundation, you can get much better for the $70 AUD (or $45 USD I believe, at Sephora). Bourjois healthy mix is actually preferable to this and that's more than half the price!
- a bad look for dry spots. Also, you have to work fast with the foundation so it doesn't set too quick. Just do parts of your face at a time and you should be fine.
- packaging is typically annoying. It should be law that all foundations come with pumps.

Although, I can't really recommend it, it's a solid foundation for people with combination to oily skin that is not terribly problematic. People who are used to tinted moisturisers or are starting out on foundation would suit this.

EDIT! EDIT! 2/1/13: I've changed my mind! I can now confidently give this 4 stars because i've figured out what i've been doing wrong. APPLY WITH FINGERS! It makes an absolute world of difference. The coverage is better and more natural, there's no patchy spots and it stays on for a lot longer. I usually hate the feeling of putting on foundation with my fingers, but it really works with this formulation.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 12/17/2012 5:51:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Black

I have combination skin with occasional dry patches, and I have some acne scars and visible pores that need to be covered. With that being said, I need a foundation that has at least medium coverage, and wouldn't dry out my skin.

NARS sheer matte foundation has very light coverage, it's not for someone who's seeking medium-full coverage. I wore it for 7 hours and when I got home, my skin looked gross. My pores were huge and you can see my face turned orange.

I wouldn't recommend this foundation, it's pricy and it doesn't do anything I want! And if you wear it for more than 5 hours, you'll find your face darker/more orange at the end of the day.

The packaging is not good either, the bottle opening gets really messy after a few use. And the bottle cap is full of finger prints of mine. I'm very disappointed in this foundation, since I've always been a NARS fan.

on 11/17/2012 2:32:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I had been a huge fan of NARS Oil Free foundation and wore it for years. I have sensitive, acne prone skin with rosacea on my nose that can flare up if I use the wrong thing. My t-zone gets oily but I also get surface dryness from skincare products (finacea and differin) that I exfoliate away once or twice a week or when needed. Most of the time my skin looks pretty good.

I thought this would work for me since I have an oily t-zone. I tried several times. Sadly, each time, no matter how much I exfoliated, it accentuated any dry flakes I had, even when none were visible to the naked eye. It's like it wouldn't quite blend in to the skin but was sticking to things on the surface. It was very apparent I had foundation on as a result. I had to return the foundation to Sephora today. I exchanged it for the Sheer Glow and am hoping it will work for me instead. I'll never understand why companies mess with a good thing. Their original formulas were fine. I'll report on the Sheer Glow after I try it. But this one certainly disappointed me. I thought it would be the closest to their old Oil Free. Sadly, it was nothing like it.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 11/16/2012 9:09:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Wavy, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I first tried NARS Oil-free back in circa 2009, and it became my HG. It had a very unique thick and dry consistency that at first that was a bit difficult to use, but once I got the hang of it, it went on beautifully, was easy to build, gave me perfect, flawless complexion and looked so natural. Stayed on all day and night without caking. Unfortunately its been discontinued and replaced with the Sheer Matte. The Sheer Matte is still a great foundation, but it's has a different texture than the old Oil-Free. It goes on thinner and lighter and resembles other liquid foundations in consistency. The coverage is light but buildable, especially with a light dab of powder (I use Makeup Forever powder, they work great together). I find Sheer Matte doesn't spread as evenly though, sometimes it leaves streaks. Still, NARS is the only brand that doesn't get cakey, oily and gross on me by the end of the day, so it's still the best foundation for me. Wish it came with the pump though, I've never gotten around to buying it (it's sold seperately). I have light skin with neutral-to-yellow tones, and Gobi is the best match, though Deauville is very close as well. It lasts forever and a bottle goes a long, long way. But I'd give anything to have my dear old NARS oil-free back. Sigh... this will do for now.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Finally bought this foundation after much indecision. It's nice, gives me the coverage I need, but it isn't waterproof or resistant, so when my eyes water it leaves a streak I have to blend in. Great color match; Siberia matches my skin perfectly. Feels a bit heavy to me though. Gonna use the bottle and then try to find something else.

on 10/29/2012 2:52:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Medium Brown, Cool

Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I was keen to try Sheer Matte, after being a huge fan of the Sheer Glow counterpart but wanting something more oil-absorbing. First thing that struck me about Sheer Matte is that there is a slight colour discrepancy compared to Sheer Glow. I am NC43 in MAC and Syracuse is PERFECT for me in Sheer Glow, however is a shade too pale in Sheer Matte.

I didn't find this foundation long-lasting at all. I prefer low-coverage foundation, and while this provides it, it doesn't look that great when you start to build it up. It's also quite hard to work with and blend in, and has misshapen my favourite foundation brush!

Overall, NARS is still the best in terms of great colour matches for those of us with yellow-toned skin, but if you have oiler skin you might be better off using Sheer Glow with a good primer, or blotting powder.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Age: 44-55

Skin: Other, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

For reference I'm NC40/42 and in this foundation Barcelona is a terrific match for my skin tone. First and foremost, if you're going to buy this foundation and use it on a regular/semi-regular basis, do yourself a favor and purchase the pump that goes with it. For me, that makes all the difference in the world regarding ease of use and package quality. You can either use the cap or the pump but once you insert the pump, you can't use the cap (unless you remove the pump). I have combo-oily skin with a t-zone that likes to grease out. Many years ago I tried NARS Oil Free foundation and it was not a winner for me but NARS Sheer Matte foundation IS :) I get just a tad bit oily mid-day and need to blot but just once and that's better than my usual 1-2x with many other foundations. Yes the name is Sheer but I consider it light coverage that is easily buildable. I would repurchase and highly recommend. Oh, and get the pump!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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