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Liquid - NARS - Sheer Matte

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rated 3.2(290 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.2
  • 48% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 2.9
  • Price: $$$$

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 3/12/2013 9:59:00 AM More reviews by xtinahb

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

This was my wedding foundation on a humid, August sunny afternoon in New York. It is a great formula for my combination dry complexion. Long wearing, truly matte (but not flat), with solid medium to full coverage leaving my skin even and finished and can be built up as needed. It is exactly what I want for the office and for power-wear from day to night. I also own Sheer Glow and much prefer the Matte formula due to better longevity. On my light tan neutral Asian NC30/C4 complexion, I use Stromboli.If you have a similar skin type (combo dry) and are looking for a polished, medium finish with long wear, def try a sample of this stuff!

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rated 1 of 5 on 3/10/2013 2:10:00 PM More reviews by veroespinosa88

Age: 25-29 Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

This is the worse foundation I have ever tried!! I have normal skin but in summer it get a bit oilier. This foundation looked aweful!!!!! It showed my dry patches like nothing else! I mean I dont have that many dry patches in my face and they are rare! It looked cakey on me and it didnt matter if i applied a lit of moisturizer and exfoliated and applied primer it still looked patchy and moved around. Honestly the only way I managed to wear this is to use it on top of the Garnier BB cream which makes me super oily so they sorta balanced each other out. But I didnt pay so much money to have to put so much effort into making it work! The packaging is nice but it needs a pump otherwise it gets really messy.

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rated 2 of 5 on 2/19/2013 2:55:00 PM More reviews by kpxgenie

Age: 25-29 Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

Used a sample of this for 3 days, 8-10 hrs each day, using a different moisturizer each day.

Texture/Consistency: Almost like a gel-liquid type foundation once you pour it out. A little thick, definitely creamy. I have normal-dry skin. Yes, I know...why did I use a matte foundation when I have dry skin? Hey, I wanted to try it out. No matter what type of moisturizer I used underneath, I found this foundation very difficult to blend smoothly. It took a lot of patting with fingers or patting with a foundation brush (both regular and stipple) to get it to blend away the patches of product clinging to my skin. Although I have dry skin, I do NOT flake least I THOUGHT I didnt flake anywhere. However, once I applied this, the foundation stuck to the tip & side of my nose, and suddenly I looked like I was peeling. I had to scrub it away with some water before leaving the house. The non-dry parts of my face (forehead and chin) did not flake, but it was still hard to blend than other foundations. There was no caking after applying up to 2 layers.

Color: I used Ceylan & Deauville (I use Ceylan and/or Fiji in Sheer Glow). For some reason, the shades in the Sheer Matte seem darker than Sheer Glow. Shade works for me. I'm asian, nc25, yellow undertones.

Coverage: Medium. I did not use any concealer with this to test. Initially, 2 layers covered up some old acne spots I have so it was not too noticeable, but did not totally make them disappear.

Staying Power: Lasted all day. I noticed my forehead got a bit oilier than usual after 5 hours, which is unusual for me. This happened all 3 days I used this. I didn't experience any fading of coverage, but I did touch up with my MAC MSFN after 5 hours when I started getting a bit oily.

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rated 4 of 5 on 2/16/2013 2:13:00 PM More reviews by Hermanspottypants

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I have combination skin and I have a really physical indoors job. My biggest facial skin bane in life is shine control for my T zone. (OK I love it when mum reassures me that facial oil protects me from early wrinkles).

This is the only foundation that has made it through 8 hours where I didn't have to apply a shine absorbing product. Thats like a miracle.... BUT I warn you I have made sacrifices in order to keep using this product.

1. this foundation is just snooty. It does not get chummy with all of my day creams- it will ball up with some. So I highly recommend you get a sample and try it over your usual moisturisers, primers and spf products otherwise, like me you may have to change some of those. No-one wants ball clumps hanging off your face or dirtying your sink.

2. the packaging totally sucks. The pump is not sold here in Ireland and the SA said it was because they keep getting blocked. This product is thick like a Mac Donalds Mac Fluffy dessert. When you shake that tiny bottle each morning, you will fear that it will fly out of your mitt and smash the mirror and then boomerang back to hit your own eye ball. Consider it an achievement every time this doesn't happen. And you cannot be sure your shaking has had any effect on the product. It is like a nail varnish without those little rattly balls that let you know your shaking is of use.

3. Even after shaking it is hard to get out of the bottle and you are at serious risk of bruising yourself. So people who bruise easily should stay away from this or use the pump which will block up. I have to get up 5 minutes earlier so I have time to get the foundation out of the bottle.

4. Its unforgiving- if you have any dry patches of scaley skin eg annoying dry skin around nostrils like after a cold. This foundation makes those patches look like lizard scales. so watch out unless you want to look reptilian.

5. It has a smell initially like preserved dead bodies, but this goes away once it dries on your face.

1. OMG shine control!!!!! HG all the way for shine control. Its amazing and the main reason I endure all the CONS.
2. The colour match was perfect for me - so natural looking and slightly radiant wow. I use stromboli.
3. Build up-able- my bright pink cheeks are hidden- no need for concealer so I can wear coral and peach shades. yayy.

I hope this helps!!

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rated 4 of 5 on 2/14/2013 10:44:00 PM More reviews by silvermouse

Age: 25-29 Skin: Oily, Tan, Warm Hair: Black, Straight, Medium Eyes: Black

I really enjoyed this foundation. The Sheer Matte finish is perfect for those with combo/oily skin (or even oily skin) who want a lighter coverage foundation. I have this in Barcelona (I'll go into my colour matches below). The lack of a pump is annoying but I can live with it. I gently pour a bit out onto the back of my hand, dab it in strategic places (focussing on the areas where I have larger pores) then blend it all in with a damp beauty blender for an absolutely flawless (but not to heavy) finish. Fingers also work really well. I find that this lasts all day and I don't have to touch up with powder which is something of a minor miracle for me! Overall, I'd definitely repurchase. I got this on the Sephora website for $45 and had it shipped with a few other products - overall, it was worth it because it costs AU$68 and is only available at a few stores (Mecca Cosmetica, that's pretty much it)

I have tried so many different foundations and here's how this compares, in case anyone has these other formulas/colours
Chanel Vitalumiere aqua B60 - same sheer coverage, a bit dewier, requires touch up during the day. This is a bit ashy for me
Chanel Perfection Lumiere B60 - love this almost as much as the Sheer Matte. Perfect colour match, long wearing, not too carry but a bit heavier coverage than the NARS
Laura Mercier mineral powder SPF in classic beige - lovely light coverage, good colour match, however I get oily after a few hours and require powder
MAC Matchmaster in 5 - great colour match. Medium coverage, a little heavier than the NARS and Perfection Lumiere. Long lasting, get a bit oily on warmer days
MAC Pro-Longwear in NC42 - reasonable colour match. Waaaay to heavy coverage for me. Does last and last though
MAC face and body C4 - too pale, I think I need a shade darker. Dewy, light finish but I get oily quickly and it doesn't last.
Revlon Colourstay for opcombo/oily skin - got this ages ago in one of the darker Tan shades (darkest they had on the Australian market). Quite long lasting but very heavy coverage
Rommel Lasting Finish in 400 Natural Beige - a tiny bit dark but the shade below is a bit pale. Quite nice - medium coverage, long lasting. Maybe need a touch up at the end of the day

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rated 4 of 5 on 1/30/2013 12:56:00 AM More reviews by SnappyLeeLee

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Hazel

Love this foundation. Isn't on the heavy side and didn't wear down (as I expected) throughout the day. It did give me a little shine in the end but was an easy remedy with my E.L.F Shine Erase wipes.
If you are going for heavy coverage I don't recommend. Light to medium for sure. Fingers are best way to apply it as well.

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/27/2013 7:56:00 PM More reviews by RonBurgundy

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. Did you? Yes No

rated 2 of 5 on 1/18/2013 1:33:00 AM More reviews by lksmk

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.

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rated 4 of 5 on 1/14/2013 8:34:00 PM More reviews by beevanilla

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.

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 12/26/2012 2:13:00 AM More reviews by decoydream

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.

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