Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, £31
Buy in the UK: Selfridges | HQ Hair | House of Fraser | Look Fantastic | John Lewis | Asos | Nars | Space NK
Buy in the US: Nordstrom | Sephora | Nars | Neiman Marcus | Barneys | Beauty
Oh what do we have here – another foundation review? I see… (#shameonme) My face was itching to try a new foundation, and whilst placing a cheeky little order on ASOS last week, I stumbled upon the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation. I’ve always wanted to try this foundation; so many people have given it a holy grail status in their makeup stash, and it was the perfect opportunity for me to finally get it. Of course, I couldn’t leave you without a full review! I’ve already showed you a sneaky peek on Instagram last week, but here we go.
- No SPF (great for flash photography)
- Satin matte finish
- Barely visible and natural-looking on the skin
- Medium to full coverage
- Weightless feel on the skin
- Liquid foundation
- Silky texture
- Suits normal and dry skin types
- Fragrance free
- 20 shades, mostly yellow-toned
The Nars Sheer Glow Foundation is marketed as a ‘glowing, natural radiant finish foundation with sheer and buildable coverage‘, suitable for normal and dry skin types. Some of these claims are highly debatable, such as the ‘sheer‘ and ‘glow‘ aspects of it, but more on that below. It has a thin liquid texture, a super lightweight feel on the skin and it’s available in 20 shades, which are mostly yellow-toned. It has no SPF in its formulation and it comes in a 30ml glass bottle without a pump – boohoo!
As usual, I’ve done a First Impressions review video showing you how I apply the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation, how it looks on camera, and telling you my very first impressions of this foundation. I take you through the basic facts and show you how Sheer Glow performs throughout the day! Hit the play button above or click here to watch the video, and when you’re done, come back and read the rest of the review.
Texture & Finish
The Nars Sheer Glow Foundation has a silky texture and a satin matte natural-looking finish. Despite being called ‘Sheer Glow’, this foundation is not dewy and it doesn’t leave your skin looking extra glowy, like both the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation and the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation do. Having said that, this foundation is light enough to let the natural glow of your skin come through, and in this category I find it similar to the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.
Sheer Glow has a good medium coverage, which can easily be built up to full coverage. Don’t be fooled by the name ‘Sheer Glow’ – it’s neither sheer, nor glowy! If you’re looking for a very light base with sheer coverage like BB creams and tinted moisturisers, stay way from this foundation. However, if you’re used light-medium or high-medium coverage foundations, then this foundation may be just what you’re looking for.
One very light layer of this foundation covered my redness and some of my pigmentation, leaving my skin looking naturally perfected; what I like the most about this foundation is how invisible it looks on the skin. I literally could not detect any trace of this foundation on my face! It was only after I applied a second layer that the foundation became ever so slightly visible.
With two layers on, the foundation covered all of my skin concerns (pigmentation and redness) without looking cakey or heavy. The only part where it clung to my dry patches was between my eyebrows, where my skin is extremely dry, but everywhere else, it looked absolutely perfect. I wouldn’t doubt it if I ditched Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk for this foundation on a day-to-day basis!
Formulation & Application
The Nars Sheer Glow Foundation has a liquid formulation that is neither creamy nor runny and it’s best applied with a buffing brush. The average liquid texture aids to that very ‘barely visible’ natural finish I mentioned above, and it’s lighter than Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk, which makes it a little less long-wearing, but not by much.
This foundation does not contain SPF in its formulation, which means it’s ideal for flash photography. Do remember to wear a separate SPF on your face before sun exposure! The best way I found to apply this foundation was with the Real Techniques Buffing Brush; I found that I got the most natural-looking finish with this brush, compared to when I applied it with a Beauty Blender, which made the foundation look a bit less flawless and emphasised my dry patches.
Sheer Glow is available in 20 shades in Light, Medium, Medium Dark and Dark. The shades are mostly yellow-toned, but across the range you find yellow, pink, neutral, golden, peachy, olive, brown, caramel, red and espresso undertones. However, not all undertones are available in all the categories. For example, you will only find neutral undertones amongst the Light shades, which was very frustrating for me, as I have Medium skin tone with neutral undertones.
I ended up choosing the shade Medium 2 Santa Fe, which is a medium with peachy undertone, and even though it’s a fairly good match to my skin tone, I would have preferred if it was a bit more beige-toned. Also, for Summer, I might have to go one shade darker because Santa Fe looks great now, but it’s on the verge of being too light on my skin when I have a tan.
Here is a list of all of the shades available:
- Light: Siberia (Light 1 – light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones); Mont Blanc (Light 2 – light with pink undertone); Gobi (Light 3 – light with yellow undertone); Deauville (Light 4 – light with neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones); Fiji (Light 5 – light with golden peachy undertone); Ceylan (Light 6 – Light-medium with yellow undertone);
- Medium: Punjab (Medium 1 – medium with golden peachy undertone); Vallauris (Medium 1.5 – medium with pink undertone); Santa Fe (Medium 2 – medium with peachy undertone); Stromboli (Medium 3 – medium with olive undertone); Barcelona (Medium 4 – medium with golden peachy undertone);
- Medium Dark: Syracuse (Medium Dark 1 – medium dark with brown undertone); Tahoe (Medium Dark 2 – medium dark with caramel undertone); Cadiz (Medium Dark 3 – medium dark with caramel and red undertones); Macao (Medium Dark 4 – medium dark with deep yellow undertone); New Guinea (Medium Dark 5 – dark with red undertone);
- Dark: Trinidad (Dark 1 – dark with warm yellow undertone); New Orleans (Dark 2 – dark with yellow undertone); Benares (Dark 3 – dark with golden undertone); Khartoum (Dark 4 – dark with espresso undertone).
Lasting Power on Dry Skin
The Nars Sheer Glow Foundation lasted well on my skin for over 6 hours. I chose the hottest day of the year so far here in the UK (28 degrees Celsius!) to test this foundation, and I’m pleased to say it held up pretty well. Around the 3-hour mark, there was a bit of fading around my nose, but that was more from my poorly applied concealer than the foundation.
At around about 6.5 hours after I first applied this foundation, there were no new signs of wear and very minimal shine on my chin and cheeks, which considering the amount I was sweating that day, was more than acceptable. This foundation is aimed at normal to dry skin, so if you have normal to oily skin, you’re better suited for the Nars Sheer Matte Foundation. I do have to say, though, if you’re looking for a ridiculously long-wearing foundation, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk is still the better foundation in my opinion.
Sheer Glow has no SPF in its formula, which means you won’t get flash-back when taking photographs with flash. This makes it ideal for special occasions, Red Carpet events and Weddings, and I’m very pleased with how it looked on me! Of course, you will have to rely on a separate SPF if you’re going out in the sunshine or using this foundation on a daily basis.
Overall, I’m very impressed with the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation! I know it’s early days still, but I can already see myself using it up pretty quickly. It ranks right up there with GA Luminous Silk, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and Dior Airflash!
The best features of this foundation in my opinion are the lack of SPF, the weightless feel and the invisible look on the skin. It’s not as long-wearing as Luminous Silk, but it looks a lot more natural on the skin. The two downsides are the lack of a pump, which I’m told you can buy one separately from Nars (here), and the lack of neutral undertones on the Medium shades. I would recommend this foundation for normal to dry skin and I think it’s worth the price tag!
Have you tried the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation? How would you compare it to other foundations?
- Product: Nars Sheer Flow Foundation*
- Price: £30-31
- Buy in the UK: Selfridges | HQ Hair | House of Fraser | Look Fantastic | John Lewis | Asos | Nars | Space NK | Liberty | Harvey Nichols
- Buy in the US: Nordstrom | Sephora | Nars | Neiman Marcus Barneys | Beauty
NOTE: The photos have only been edited to correct the colour and light; they have not been retouched.
*Partially paid for with gift vouchers.