I am quite torn regarding my feelings for this product. I went on a quest a few months back to find an acceptable replacement for my Studio Fix powder. Basically, the Studio Fix was breaking down and oxidizing partway through the day and causing breakouts to boot (though I didn't realize the breakouts were caused by the SF until I gave it up).
I wanted a product with medium-to-full coverage in powder form, a matte finish that will hold until at least 2 p.m. despite the Phoenix heat and my oily skin, that wouldn't cause breakouts or leave me with Oompa Loompa face. I know that's asking a lot, but hey...this is the 21st century, right? After quite a journey, the NARS powder foundation is the closest thing I can find to true happiness, though it leaves a bit to be desired.
First off, the powder is extremely finely milled, which is both good and bad. I don't like to apply with the accompanying latex sponge, as I'm a brush girl at heart. The problem is, the powder goes EVERYWHERE. I honestly believe that about 40% of it ends up on my face while the other 60% becomes airborne particulate matter. Additionally, I'd say coverage is light-to-medium unless I REALLY pack it on. Which, again, is difficult since so much is lost in the process. I apply the foundation OVER concealer and find that there are still spots I have to go back to. But trust me, after the others I've tried over the past couple of months, I've learned that things could definitely be worse.
Staying power is the cloest to what I want that I've been able to find. I can touch up the necessary parts without getting cakey or looking uneven, and require much fewer touch-ups than with the Givenchy, SF or Laura Mercier. I find I don't need to re-do my entire face each day, and orange-face is minimal to nonexistent. I've not yet been subjected to any sort of breakouts on any part of my face, but I'll update in a couple of weeks just to be sure.
Price isn't super. I pay $45 USD for the makeup and case and refills are $35. Compared to the Laura Mercier at $40 and Givenchy at $42 (for much less product, mind you), I guess that could be worse as well. But I'm still accustomed to paying $24 for Studio Fix that lasts me right at 2 months. I'm doubting the NARS will go that long, especially considering the amount of wasted product. I do work in a professional environment and wear foundation probably 6 days a week, so keep that in mind.
Packaging: Well...again, good and bad. The case is incredibly bulky and half the time I find myself putting it into a pouch in my purse in order to leave room in my makeup bag. This has never been an issue with other compacts. On the other hand, it's got a nice matte-latex feel to it (not quite sure exactly what it's made of), is trendy in appearance and has a nice large mirror (which makes sense, considering the size of the compact itself). I've not yet purchased a refill, so I can't attest to the ease of replacemet.
While coverage is not quite as full as I would like, color match is great (I'm using Barcelona, and have a light, semi-tanned complexion with pinkish undertones) and finished product is very natural in appearance. Additionally, I look better through my husband's HD camera lens than with either the Laura Mercier, Givenchy or SF, none of which filmed well. I cannot attest to photography, however, as our camera work is limited to HD digital filmography.
To sum it up: While not an HG, to-die-for product, holds up better than the others I have either purchased or tried in-store (and trust me, I've run the gamut). Eventually I'm sure I'll get the urge to plunge in and buy something different, but for now, I think I'll stick with the NARS.
I have this in Deauville and it is awesome. I have pretty fair olive skin and I found that the MAC foundations made me look orange. I was using a tinted-moisturiser for a long time before this (or nothing at all), but the texture is fabulous, you skin feels silky soft, almost velvetty, and it doesn't make me break-out or oily (which is why I hate mineral foundations - I look like an oil slick).
It's hideously expensive in Australia, but the colour disappears on my skin and I find that it evens out my skin tone. I am definitely going to give the damp-sponge idea a go for concealing.
Bought this on a whim while on holiday. I spotted a Nars counter while in Bangkok and thought I had to have something from them (I can't get them where I'm from).
Being in the market for a quick foundation fix, namely powder, I tested the colours. The SA tried on Fiji & Barcelona (it must be a common colour there) on me but both felt too dark on my NC25 skin. So we went a shade down to Deauville. It looked better but it wasn't all that perfect. But stubborn me just had to commit a potentially big foundation mistake in a region with no return policies. So I bought Deauville anyway.
Took it back and dabbed it with the odd sponge (which feels cheap but its flexibility lets you get into areas like around your nose). It looked kinda horrible dabbed with the sponge. Chalky, far too pale etc. But the texture, oh my, it was just FAB! I've never felt such a smooth powder in my life. And as another reviewer mentioned, I couldn't stop touching my face.
Determined to make it work, I buffed with a large brush after dabbing it on with the sponge. And it looked great and had a satiny glow! Something I have never gotten out of Studio Fix or anything that had no glitter particles inside.
This also looked great as a touch up for my NC25 Mac stick foundation. I used it for a creamy 'Noir' look and it went well.
Coverage: This is a sheer coverage powder, I guess you can build it, but you might need to experiment with buffing to get an even texture. You must buff this (or any powder foundation) or it will potentially look too matt and cakey.
Packaging: I'm not crazy over the bulky case. While I do like the wonderful mirror inside and the hygienic sponge compartment, I wish they had made it slimmer like a Shu Uemura case.
This is refillable, and that's good because then there's less plastics being thrown out into landfills. I will buy again until I find something better with higher coverage. It's tough trying to be green when you're a beauty junkie. :o)
when the SA tried Santa Fe on my hand, it looked light weight and really evens out my skin tone! So i bought it, but it was dirt expensive!!!
So it's been my favourite foundation since I bought it, I found it to be very useful to cover up my blemishes, mind you, I have acne scars, and they hide perfectly. The only problem I have with this foundation is, it sometimes look too matte, but then it's a foundation, not a shimmery bloc. Also, I found that it looks perfect the minute I put it on but it slightly changes after that initial 5 minutes, I wonder why. Other than that, it offers pretty good coverage for me!
And I've noticed that this comes in a huge box, but it's okay for me. I wish it would be cheaper, it costs me more than $65 USD here in hong kong. Will not repurchase due to my new love for BB Creams
I purchased this in Fiji and at first when I put it on it looked great because it hid the redness around my nose and felt very soft on my skin. Later in the day though I noticed this foundation got stuck in my pores and looked cakey in certain areas. Maybe this is because of my combination skin so I think it would work well for someone with normal skin. I will not repurchase but if you are thinking of buying it, try some on at sephora first and leave it on through the day to see if you have any problems with it. Also the container of this is very big because it has a compartment on the bottom with a makeup sponge but they do sell refills that are cheaper without the compact.
This foundation is yellow based. I am more of a beige yellow than olive yellow, NC 30 in winter. I had to use the pink category in the LM powder fdn #4. and I should choose Deauville (balance of pink & yellow) rather than Fiji, which is too yellow for now, so I will save this for summer when I get a little darker. Nars costs less than LM and has 5 gms more. Unlike Mac, this powder is smooth & no caking, thanks to the nylon. Sorry Laura & Mac.
The only thing I don't like is the material Nars used for the compact container. Its like a large piece of rubber eraser. It's also hard to open.
All aside, definitely will re-purchase.
Ive always wanted to try and purchase this foundation but had absolutely no justification for it, especially since I'm a MAC girl and it's the only brand that matches my skintone.
I happen to be browsing stuff at a Sephora with my sister, who is a tad lighter than me and also shares my weird skintone with its golden/olive/tanned/peachy tones to it. (Thanks mom and dad...we love you...NOT! :P)
So anyway, my sis was in dire need of a new foundation and after testing BE, which I warned her about, and not finding a match, she walked aimlessly thru the entire Sephora. Poor child.
I went over to the NARS section and immediately picked up Sedona to try on her and it was an almost perfect match! It looked flawless on her....I mean gorgeous!!! It did need a tad ooomph, so I added Casino and voila! She didn't want it so I said...well, if it matches you, then hell....I'm gonna get one for me.
I have tested this abot 3 times and I am NOT in love. The match on me is almost as good BUT this foundation is a bit more powdery than my studio fix, thus giving me an ashy look. My match was also Sedona and unfortunately, the next shade up, Jamaica is way too dark.
The coverage is light to medium but again, very powdery. The price is steeeeeeeep! It's about $40.00 and it comes in a bulkier than usual NARS compact. Very annoying.
In all, I much prefer Studio Fix over this one. Studio Fix offers better coverage, better match, not as powdery (at least on me) and looks more natural, and the price is way better for the amount of product. And, I appreciate the packaging of studio fix a lot more, which is easier to carry around.
I will not repurchase.
I have extremely oily skin. Now that I'm 42 yrs old, it is also combination too- I bought this yesterday in Mont Blanc, which is the lightest shade. Seems a little dark for me. My husband says it looks more natural and less ghostlike than the Benefit Get Even in 01 that I've used for years. Lately I thought it looked a little maskey so I decided to try NARS. I think I love it. Love the packaging- maybe next time my compact goes flying, this one won't bust into smitherenes. UPDATE: For the 1st time in years, my face has broken out all over! This is the only thing I've changed, so it's going back to the store. I think I may try Philosophy next.
Coming off a MAC Studiofix 5-yr binge, I wanted to try something else but was reluctant because I know how much of a pain in the a$$ it is to look for a new foundation. As you grow older, and hormonal changes take place, your skin also changes accordingly. I used to have a very oily T-zone as a teenager and would break out often, but as an adult, I have my PMS pimple, and my T-zone matted up a bit. Studiofix was not doing it for me anymore because I would notice the powder/found. caking up in odd places like the middle of my forehead, on my upper lip, etc. at the end of the day.
I must have visited Sephora 20 times in a month trying on different powders like Stila, BECCA, Benefit, Sue Devitt, Smashbox, but I stopped looking when I found Nars in St. Tropez (I was using Studiofix C35/40 - Yellow with Olive undertones).
The best way to look for a new product is to read the back label. I noticed this one had Nylon-12, which is responsible for it's silkiness and elasticity when applied on fine lines and wrinkles--this means it's not going to cake up like Studiofix does and accentuate your pores, wrinkles, etc. It is light/medium buildable coverage and I apply it using a brush or sponge (I haven't noticed a big difference with either methods).
PROS - Very natural, classy looking make up. Natural SPF with Titanium Dioxide at 6.6%. Great shade (for me anyway). Chic looking compact that feels nice to the touch. Sometimes, I apply this alone without a base or primer. I hardly have to touch up or blot my face, maybe not more than once a day if at all.
CONS - A bit too pricey, but then again, it doesn't look like cheap make up. I have to use Nars Concealer in Ginger for dark circles, redness around my nose. It's a bit too bulky to carry inside my cosmetic bag. You have to moisturize your dry skin to avoid flakes (but that's a good thing right?)
I thought the color was a little too dark for me (Sedona) but lo and behold, it seemed to adjust fine to my combo skin to just my color. I liked this foundation Powder because I can refill it, and I wanted to see how well it compared to my Laura Mercier, and it was actually almost the same in coverage when I used my kabuki brush. But all in all, just like Studio Fix, and all the other great coverage powders, this one made me break out after a couple days...back to Nordie's I go...;-(