Nars Sheer Glow Foundation Review


To see the foundation in action, check out my sunset inspired eyes makeup tutorial below.


I have never been an avid user of foundation because I didn’t think I needed it. For me, foundation was for those who had troublesome skin and wanted to cover up flaws and imperfections (so uneducated, i know). Also, whenever I did see anyone with foundation on, they always seem to have the look of literally having shovelled it on with a spade like layering cement between the brick work. That definately was not a look I aspired to.

However, whenever I had previously tried on any foundation, it seem to cling to certain areas and not in a good way either, making big of something that wasn’t that bad without make up on top at all (obviously the WRONG foundation for me). Now, I can’t exactly remember when I did try on the right foundation or even what foundation it was, but I realised that my make up actually looked better and lasted so much longer without getting patchy or blotchy (particularly with bronzers and blusher). It was then when I realised what foundation can do (and pretty much is the definition of the word…it should act as a “base to support” the make up on top).

Fast forward to now and I have been trialing a few foundations. Luckily for me (historically) I have had quite good skin (not being big-headed, just honest) although as I have gotten older, within the last 1-2 years say, I have noticed my what you would call “normal” skin, become more of a “combination” type. Typically with combination skin, I have an oily T-Zone and normal elsewhere. When the weather starts to get a little bit warmer, my skin becomes a force not to be reckoned with. The normally manageable oily T-Zone becomes an oil-slick. It’s like having a disastrous oil spillage in the Atlantic Ocean on my face, with manifesting spots and pimples multiplying at an abnormal rate. It is totally out of control (and i thought i had left those puberty years behind)!

Anyway, enough moaning about my hormonal skin. In terms of foundation, I prefer one with a sheer to light coverage and veer more towards the dewy side as opposed to a matte finish. I feel a dewy finish makes your skin look more natural, youthful and really healthy hence why I was drawn to Nars Sheer Glow. The name sold it for me. Also the fact that it’s one of Tanya Burr’s favourite foundation and her skin always look so perfectly flawless whenever she uses it. The brand markets it as:

“A glowing, natural radiant finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage that immaculately evens skin tone.” They also state that it comes “with skincare benefits and the NARS Complexion Brightening Formula, it leaves skin hydrated, more luminous, softer and smoother”. If used daily, it apparently “improves the skin’s brightness and texture”. Wow thats a big claim. Not only does it make your skin LOOK good, but it actually IMPROVES the condition of your skin. NOW I’m curious!

I was matched up at the Nars counter in Selfridges (I had to be matched up twice as the first time I went I was still sporting a tan from when I was away on holiday and I was matched with the shade Syracuse (equivalent to around NC40-42). Two weeks later when my skin had faded considerably, (I found the foundation way too dark when it had previously melted perfectly into my tanned skin) I was matched with the shade Barcelona. The shade is a perfect fit for my slightly tanned skin (around an NC30-35). I apply it using a stippling brush (Real Techniques of course), buffing it into my skin in circular motions (it is actually recommended to use your fingers to apply the foundation but I have yet to try this).

The coverage is light but definitely buildable to achieve a much fuller coverage (see the foundation in action in the video on this page). I like the fact that I can just still see my freckles after application but I can imagine that they could be less so visible if I was building it up to a more fuller coverage. I wouldn’t say it’s sheer as the name suggests, like Mac’s Face and Body foundation, but it can be fairly light depending on how much you use. As for the finish, I also wouldn’t say that it was a glow (as in illuminating…that’s how I would define glow) but more of a flawless, radiant, skin-like finish. Yes it still looks like my skin, just a more evened-out and all round better version of it. You could say it’s satin like. It has staying power also, as it pretty much lasts me the whole working day from application around 8.30am to when I get home around 6pm. I do set it with powder though just in the T-Zone area (God forbid any oil-slick incidents).

The brand markets the foundation towards those with normal to dry skin. However, I have heard contradictory stories from YouTube bloggers. Mine is a prime example. My skin, although “normal”, is currently more on the “oily” side rather than the “dry” side but I find the foundation works beautifully. It doesn’t make me shiny and like I said, I powder my T-Zone (with Rimmel Stay Matt Pressed Powder) and that seems to keep the shine under control. I have heard that it clings to dry skin but works beautifully well with oily skin. Go figure. Your best bet is to get a sample and try it out beforehand.

In terms of noticing any improvements to my skin, I’m not too sure about that. I don’t tend to stick with one foundation long enough I feel.  However, I must say that at this time of year when the temperature begins to dip into the single digits, my skin tends to become more dry and I start to find unflattering flaky patches (especially around the nose area). I’ve yet to notice that and we have had a few quite cold days. My skin feels quite hydrated so I’m not quite sure if thats down to the foundation. If it is…AMAZEBALLS!!

The packaging does get a lot of flack. It comes in a glass bottle which can be impractical when travelling. The main thing I’ve come across in complaints is that it doesn’t come with a pump to allow for easier (and more sanitary) dispense. You can buy the pumps from Nars at an additional cost of £3. Oh well, we can’t all be perfect and when a product is this good, I am willing to turn a blind eye.

I have been using this foundation for the last few weeks religiously and I can truly say that its absolutely fabulous. It does what its suppose to do and looks good whilst doing it. This is the one foundation that I consistently get compliments when using, either its ‘your skin looks amazing’ or ‘your makeup looks flawless’ as said by the lady herself, Tanya Burr.  I got to meet her at an event in Selfridges. It retails at £30.50 for a 30ml bottle which is not exactly cheap but what you expect to pay for a high-end foundation. However, I know it will last a long time because a little goes a long way with this product. Its easy to see why there is so much hype around this product because it really is THAT good. Give it a try.

**Update. Since then I’ve got to a stage where my skin was void of any colour as a result of winter coming, and not being out of the country for more than 6 months. My au natural skin tone is evidently more closer to an NC25 so the perfect shade for me is now Punjab.

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