Product Review: Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

On the day-to-day I am a minimal makeup kind of gal. More because my skin is like a 3 year old toddler waiting to have a tantrum so when it’s sleeping (acting like an angel) I will do whatever I can to not wake the beast.

However, when I have a glam party or something coming up I’ll do the whole get up from primer to setting spray. I wanted a new foundation because my go-tos were somewhat sheer and have SPF which can cause flash backs. On the hunt I went.

Because I knew I’d be out and about for a long time, I wanted a longer wear foundation. My requirements were that it doesn’t break down due to my dehydrated yet oily skin, won’t settle into lines or pores, and has a skin-like radiance to it vs. an ultra matte mask-like look. Basically, I wanted to look natural and flawless. Is that so much to ask?

Because I was tired of the Armani Silk Luminous everyone throws my way when I ask for this type of coverage (to be fair it is good but not HG and I would not call it high-coverage) I wandered around Sephora until I found something that said what I was looking for – Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. I mean, could it describe anymore to a T what I wanted? I like Nars as a brand and it had decent reviews. The SA I talked to said she loves it and recommends it for her brides when she does their makeup. It all sounded up my alley so into my bin it went.

What it is

Nars touts this as a long-wear, high-coverage foundation which looks like your skin but better. From their website, “Introducing NARS’ first 16-hour foundation that stays turned on by the power of radiance. Untraceable. Unstoppable. Unlike anything else. Longwear is finally lightweight—and radiant. High coverage is now super natural. Its breathable, fade-resistant formula is infused with Raspberry, Apple, and Watermelon extracts to help smooth and improve the look of your skin instantly, and over time for full-powered radiance. It wears longer, stays stronger, and looks better with each hour. Specialized skin-matching technology ensures your truest match yet. Your future looks radiant with Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation.” Well alright then. I’m in.

Application & Packaging

Unlike the makeup artists you see on YouTube, I don’t have a ton of makeup beauty tools since my day-to-day is basically BB cream some mascara and call it a day.  I also don’t think your makeup should require you to have a Fine Arts degree and $700 worth of tools just to apply it. But I do break out the Beauty Blender for higher coverage foundations.

The instructions say, and I also saw this reviewed online, that using your fingers is the best option because it warms up the fluid. It also mentions that you should work a little at a time and that the product looks better over time on the skin as it lasts for up to 16 hours. So I worked one pump at a time using my clean hands to dot it around the inside area of my face and blended outward. I then went over it with a slightly damp Beauty Blender for additional blending and to keep the product from drying before it was fully blended in.

The packaging was nice. A heavy, glass bottle with a pump that appropriately dispensed small amounts of product. It felt like a higher-end makeup product, but I wouldn’t call it a work of art. I have seen other Nars packaging, like their recent Climax mascara that has more flash to it.

Initial Review

When it comes to coverage and overall texture, I am generally a dream for any foundation manufacturer. I don’t need a ton of help. I’ve got some redness, and some freckles but not flaws that someone generally wanting high coverage wants to hide on the regular. Where it becomes tricky is that I’m dehydrated oily so alcohol irritates me and I need moisture but not oily foundations. I also have large pores so anything that just sits ends up looking like white dots all over my T-zone.

I did not use any primer beforehand to really put it to the test for wear and longevity. After all, this says it will last for 16 hours so I should be Aok. When I put this on I decided that the color match was great. The coverage was more of a medium vs. high coverage (at least for me) but it covered my light freckles and my redness well. Using a Blender would sheer this out a bit, but it looked very skin-like which I liked and you could build up the coverage with more thin layers. It had a beautiful satin sheen to it which is my preferred look. I noticed some of those dreaded dots in my nose and cheek areas where the foundation was sitting, but since Nars says it looks better with time, I let it sit. After about 15 minutes you could tell the warmth of my skin was helping this to melt and become even more skin-like. NICE.

Final Assessment

This foundation has a major bell curve to it. The initial application looks good. It’s not a foundation you’ll put on and think wow my skin is suffocating with paint on my face. You’ll look really nice. You’ll look even better about 2-5 hours into it. A beautiful radiance, nice coverage without that textured high-coverage foundation look.

And then. It happens. About 6 hours in give or take, the oiliness of my skin began to overtake this foundation. By the end of the night (8-10 hours in) I looked like a disco ball. I saw pictures of myself and I looked like I had oil or highlighter slathered all over my skin.  I have naturally glowing skin, but compared to the people around me I looked like I was 16 again and manufacturing for Pennzoil. This went from radiant to radioactive. I also noticed that areas of my face were missing foundation that I may have touched over the period of the night.  I even used Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray. WUT happened to stronger, longer and unstoppable. Did I buy the wrong thing or am I in an alternate universe?

Ok…ok….deep breaths. I had been flying that day, my skin was ultra dehydrated and I was recovering from microneedling.  I gave it a whirl again and ring the alarm I was a slithery salamander again by the end of the night.

My final thoughts on this foundation is that it is the tale of two stories. I feel let down based on the claims it made and the fact that it is a $42 higher end foundation.  I am a marketer and I understand choosing words to hype up your product, but the description did not make a bit of sense to me. I would call it natural and didn’t feel like a mask, but at the sacrifice of high coverage which is what it says it is supposed to be. The beautiful look becomes disastrous far before the 12-16 hour mark which I think is fair given it’s claim of 16 hours.  It seems to just sit on top of the skin, making it very transferable to anything your face touches and breaks apart on top of the skin. One could argue that I didn’t use primer or powder my face all night which would have likely saved it, but for $42 I don’t think I should have to. I’m OK with shine breaking through and a little bit of wear and tear because I sacrifice adding layers upon layers of makeup to keep my pores as clear as possible. What I’m saying is that I don’t have unrealistic expectations. But this product did not even meet the company’s own.  I suggest they revisit and either reformulate or pull back on those claims a bit.

It’s not all bad though. If you’re only going out for an event <8 hours, this is a beautiful foundation. If your skin is very matte and dry, this may be a great compliment to you but you’ll still need to prep your skin first.  But I can’t find a reason to purchase this over anything else. If you’re going for long-lasting high coverage, go with Estee Lauder Doublewear. If you’re going for a nice satin look, go with Armani Luminous Silk. If you’re going for YSBB, Dr. Jart Premium is my BFF ride or die multitasking beauty machine (can you tell I love it?).

Sorry, Nars. Oh how I wanted it to be but his one was neither climactic or orgasmic for me. An extra .5 for the beautiful look for the short period of time and the fact that it didn’t cause me my usual breakout after a night of high coverage foundation. In the meantime back to Dr. Jart which will need to be pried out of my cold, dead hands at this point because I seriously have yet to find something better on the regular.

Overall: 2.5/5

Price: $$$$$

Packaging: 5/5

Have you used this product or have one you suggest instead? Drop us a line in the comments.

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