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!!
I had a love hate relationship with this foundation for about a month, but now it is just HATE. I regret ever wearing this foundation. It was like a makeup disaster for me. For reference i have VERY oily & very acne prone skin (almost always have an active breakout). This foundation has zero staying power with my oily skin. It seems to separate and make patches of my face look dry and crusty. Part of that may be the combo of my moisturizer and this foundation because i use an oil based moisturizer and this is water based. Water and oil do not mix. My shade was also much too light for my skin tone, oh using this was a month of makeup malfunctions. Please just do yourself a favor and dont waste your money on this.
I'm loving this foundation. A friend recommended it to me, and I was hesitant to try it because of the not so great reviews here on MUA. But I went to the Nars counter and the ladies were so kind to give me a few sample bottles of some shades to try. I've been wearing the samples for the past two months, to try and find my shade (they'e lasted me quite a while), and I've fallen in love with how Santa Fe looks on my skin.
I have combination skin, and usually by the end of a day of wearing foundation, all you see is shine and my foundation turning a strange colour as my facial oils penetrate through it. But this foundation has amazing staying power. I apply it once in the morning at 8am, and by 8pm my skin is still looking fresh and oil free. It has the perfect amount of coverage to cover my many skin imperfections, without looking too heavy or caked on. I wear it daily, and people have commented that it looks as though I'm not wearing any makeup at all.
I have tried many foundations, but nothing gives my skin the glow that this foundation does. I think this may be partially due to having found a shade that actually matches my skin tone. This foundation comes in so many shades, that I can't imagine anyone not finding their perfect match. Overall, I definitely recommend trying this foundation.
***UPDATE: After wearing for a month, Ive noticed that this foundation makes my skin break out. I didn't want to believe it at first because I really loved the way this foundation looked. But now after over a month of use, I can't chalk it up to my moisturizer or hormones anymore. After wearing for a few hours it makes my skin feel a bit irritated, and I tend to breakout shortly thereafter.
..the search continues.
i am very surprised by the low reviews! i purchased sheer matte in barcelona and i am SO happy with it! i have been wearing chanel perfection lumiere in shade 40 (was a tad too light for my NC42 skin but the 50 was way too dark). i love my CPL but this Nars really keeps the oilies at bay much longer! i am southeast asian, yellow undertones, VERY oily and this really gave me fantastic light/medium coverage (i just like to even out my skin tone) and kept the oilies away much longer than chanel PL. this actually gives just a smidge more coverage than chanel. i am switching over. good stuff and i wish i had tried it sooner. i kept putting it off due to low reviews. if you have DRY skin, this is not for you! so its unfair to give a review saying this dried your skin out-of course it would. its a matte formula! my skin is so oily, i dont think there is any foundation out there that will completely keep the oilies away 100%, but this has come pretty darn close. im giving 5 stars because its the best foundation i have used thus far and i am 37, so there's been a lot :)
Here it goes. The first time I bought this I wasnt loving it because it was streaky and didnt have lasting power. But that was when I haven't discovered face primers & I used very little and used Sonia Kashuk's Multipurpose Flat Top which was small and tended to streak my makeup.
The second time around I am actually loving it. I use one complete pump to cover my face using a F80 brush. Its has a matte powdery finish with sheer medium coverage. Staying power is average. It a bit harder to blend compared to other foundations. You have to purchase a pump separately & it doesn't come with a cover for the pump but at least you are able to lock it by twisting the pump. I find that the first thing that comes out every time I pump foundation is the extra foundation in the nozzle left from yesterday that has dried up.
Ive tried other foundations afterwards like MAC's Face & Body, and Clinique's Matte Foundation but shine peeks through late afternoon but I keep coming back to Nars. NARS Sheer Matte is matte on me all day and this is my HG foundation.
I was kind of hesitant to try this foundation because I had read many reviews and watched lots of videos with less-than-positive comments. The claims, however, sounded exactly what I was looking for in a foundation: soft matte finish, oil control, light-medium coverage, and a great range of yellow undertones.
I fell in love with the sample I got at Sephora and bought a full-sized bottle. I've had this for 6 months. I'm still in love with this foundation! I think that it might be important to address the common issues of this foundation and how I worked around them. Firstly, I've heard how it's hard to get out of the bottle without a pump. I would DEFINITELY prefer one, especially for the price I'm paying ... but I've never had much of a problem getting the foundation out. I just shake the bottle a few times and it seems to take little effort to come out afterwards. I also heard how cakey it can look. I really think that this IS meant to be a light to light-medium coverage foundation. I don't find it very buildable, at least not as much as the Sheer Glow foundation (which I will review sometime later). So, it's best to use as little as possible. My main skin issues are moderate acne and mild hyperpigmentation, and I think this foundation covers them well. I will agree with others when they say that this can be tricky to blend. I've tried using a flat top brush, stippling brush, Beauty Blender, standard paddle foundation brush, and my fingers. I like the results best when I use a paddle brush: pure perfection for me!
I'm still trying to figure out how to get this to last longer for me, but I do get about 6 hours with the combination of products I'm using. I'm quite oily, so I moisturize with some Clean & Clear Advantage moisturizer (grey bottle). Then, I prime my skin with Rimmel's Fix & Perfect PRO primer. I think the texture of this primer helps the foundation blend more easily. Lastly, I set the foundation with ELF HD powder. I plan on getting one of the NARS powders to see if those would do a better job of mattifying. Once I try that out, I'll update this part of the review.
In my opinion, NARS has an amazing range of shades especially with women with yellow undertones. I like that they just don't cater to one type of yellow undertone. Not every yellow-toned person is olive, peach, golden, soft yellow, warm yellow, etc. As for me, I'm very warm toned and I have primarily yellow undertones. I'm NC27ish (I probably veer into one of the C shades; I'm not sure anymore) and Fiji is absolutely perfect for me. I have also tried a few other shades in this line. Deauville is the most neutral shade that I tried, but it still leans slightly yellow and is probably a good match for NC20s. Ceylan(NC20-25) is primarily yellow, but not as warm as Fiji. I would call it a cooler yellow shade. Punjab (NC30ish) is a shade that I could get away with if I blended it down into my neck, but it leaned slightly pinkish-orange at times. My cousin, whom I estimate to be NC37ish, wears this in Stromboli (a very yellow shade that leans slightly green). All in all, I don't see any "unrealistic" shades in NARS foundations ... so a huge thumbs up for me!
This foundation, along with Sheer Glow, are my new favorites. I am still trying to test the claims of its skincare benefits. I'm usually skeptical, but this has definitely not made my skin any worse. An A+ for NARS, for sure!
I decided to try this foundation after viewing multiple reviews on YouTube. I have combination skin and it sounded good for covering up blemishes but also providing a matte finish for my sometimes oily skin. I really love the foundation. It does a great job covering up imperfections, although I do use a concealer sometimes when serious coverage is needed. I've also never had any issues with the foundation clogging my pores. The bottle seems to last forever and I get a lot of compliments on my skin. I will definitely repurchase.
First of all, i've got super sensitive skin and i occasionally break out too. I am prone to cosmetic allergies as well, ugh. I have blemishes and blackheads and i must say this foundation has suited with my skin perfectly. I've tried laura mercier, no7, benefit, hourglass.. and none of them compare to this. The coverage is light/medium however it is buildable. I have quite oily skin and although i do get a shiny nose/chin after a few hours, its nothing a little blotting can't help! I use this foundation in shade Syracuse, and although it is a tiny bit darker than my skin colour, it still looks good. I apply this using my fingers as i find that it blends better, followed by MAC select moisturiser to conceal dark circles etc.
The only thing about this is that it doesn't come with a pump (which personally is ridiculous) and once applied to the face, it dries quickly, and you end up wasting quite a bit! I will still be buying this foundation but i will be on the look out for another foundation that is a better match to my colour.
Compared to other cheap makeup foundation this foundation blows everyone else out the water. I tried Avon, Mark, Mary K, True Match, Revelon and Cover girl. This Foundation is Awesome!! I have combination skin and I love the matte look. This is beautiful smooth foundation. I wear this foundation in Cadiz. I have had so many compliments with this makeup. This is my first time buying NARS and I am in love. Finally I got the color matched up perfectly at Sophora. I don't like that it doesn't come with a pump. So I scoop it up with the smallest face brush I have. Then I use my stencil brush and apply the make up. Then I take one more scoop and apply it with my fingers. I bought Laura Mercier Loose Translucent powder to set with my powder face brush. Then I use Laguna Bronzer for my chicks and nose. I have never liked bronzer before. So this was my first. I really like it. People say I glow, it is so pretty. I also use Elf face primer and that seems to work pretty well too. I don't care that it cost a lot, I don't break out and my skin has improved since I have been wearing it for a month now.
Im super surprised that this foundation didn't get a higher rating. I have big pores, oily skin (but it gets dry when I overdo the retin A argh), and little blemishes, red spots, an occasional mandatory pimple every month (ugh). I didn't like NARS old formulation of the matte foundation but this one is great. I REALLY like it. This is what I like about it:
-Light, but really does cover and mattify!
-Color (punjab) matches me perfectly
-Actually covers blemishes really well and I am even using it under my eyes instead of my concealer because its actually better :o
-Doesn't make me oilier (yay). I use this over Pores no more and it works like magic.
-Really brightens up my face. Goes really well as a canvas for blushes, highlighters etc.
-Smoothes pores out really well (once again over pores no more)
-I actually like the bottle (which is not a pump) because I feel like I have more control over how much comes out. I can shake it a little or a lot and then just take the dab of foundation on top out (I can even do this with a small spatula so I dont use my fingers).
What may be a turnoff for some:
-price? at 42 dollars in the US, it is a little expensive but I feel like most foundations are in this price range nowadays (sigh). All the "tinted moisturizers" and "BB creams" are taking the old foundation price range (20-30 dollars). Personally I dont mind paying for the quality and I'm so glad I found this its perfect for summer months (and I live in humid north carolina). Also its not bad compared to some others (GA, Cle de peau etc)
-availability? I can only find it at Nordstrom and Sephora, its not at Macys or Belk.
Overall I LOVE this foundation. New staple. Will wait a few more weeks before I call it HG :). Yay!