Nars Sheer Matte Foundation Review

*Photo from here

Nars is a brand that I’ve been only itching to try, but I never got around to purchasing any of their products whenever I had the money to invest. It’s always struck me as a sophisticated brand with a reputation for quality products. Having heard good things about their Sheer Matte and Sheer Glow foundations I decided to pick up a tester of their Sheer Matte, as my skin is quite oily. I’m always on the look-out for a foundation that has decent oil control, is longlasting and offers a medium level of coverage without looking cakey. Not asking much, I know! 


I got the tester in Brown Thomas, where Sheer Matte retails at €40. At that price, I was definitely glad I opted for a tester first. I had an idea that I wanted the shade Deauville, having spent a bit of time messing around on, a nifty little site that matches your shade in different foundations based on what you wear in what you currently have. As it happened, Deauville in the Sheer Matte was the only tester that the lady at Nars had, so that worked out pretty nicely. However, Deauville was the tiniest bit warm for me, and I think that Gobi might have been a better option.


And yes, it’s another pre-work set of photographs. I get up so early midweek that it’s not bright enough for photos, but on Sundays I work at 12pm so it’s my only opportunity to get some photos in natural light. The above is my prepped face, using my new favourite Soap & Glory moisturiser and Smashbox Photofinish primer. I think you can see my complexion is a little brighter since I started using S&G For Daily Youth 365; my skin definitely appears to be healthier, aside from the ever-present spots. My phone camera tends to blur my blemishes a little but I promise you, they’re there!


Nars claims that this oil-free foundation delivers sheer, buildable coverage with shine control while also claiming to be longlasting and evening out skin tone. Sheer Matte also apparently has skincare benefits which deliver luminousity and smoothness to the skin. The above photo shows just the Sheer Matte with no concealer or powder. As with most matte foundations, I had to work quickly with this to blend it before it dried. While I knew not to expect Double Wear levels of coverage, I felt that this foundation still left a little to be desired in that department. But I do think that, on good skin days (of which I have maybe three a year), the coverage would be perfect. And it is buildable, to be fair. I really like the finish; it’s neither flat nor dewy. My skin did indeed look luminous without appearing shiny. I can’t attest to the skincare benefits of this foundation, having only used it twice thus far, but anything that claims to make your skin better can’t do too much harm either.


And here is the finished make-up look; I kept things simple because I was going to work, and the rest of the products I used are the same as in my L’Oréal Nude Magique Eau de Teint review. The overall effect is very pretty in my opinion; light and natural looking while still evening out my skin tone and blurring the slight redness around my nose. With concealer and powder, I achieved the level of coverage I was after.

I had first worn Sheer Matte to college last Thursday, and for some reason, we didn’t get on. The foundation seemed to settle into my pores, and I was shiny-faced far sooner than I had hoped to be. Overall, I was not too impressed, but I had plenty more product left in the little bottle so I tried to reserve judgement. Also, I had spent an hour on an extremely stuffy train and I just don’t think the foundation was able to cope with the humidity. Yesterday at work, things were a bit hot and sweaty again, and the oil control didn’t perform as well as I needed it to. However, I had no pore issues even after seven clammy hours of wear, and it was showing no signs of migrating from my face when I went for a shower after work. I’m not sure why it performed better yesterday than last week, so I’m still trying to keep an open mind.

There are at least two more applications left in my tester, so I’ll use those up first before I make up my mind. I really, really wanted to love this foundation and maybe it will grow on me. After all, the finish was just beautiful, and it does have longevity, all without feeling like cement on my face. But the oil control aspect could be an issue, and I’m glad I haven’t forked out for it just yet. 

Apologies for a rather inconclusive review, but I don’t think I can make up my mind on this just yet!
Has anyone else used Sheer Matte? How did you find it?

Emily xx


9 thoughts on “Nars Sheer Matte Foundation Review

  1. Pingback: Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations Post | ilyanaroseblog

  2. Really interesting review….. I actually found your blog because I’m writing an MSc dissertation on beauty blogs and their effect in purchase intent (I’m a lifestyle blogger myself, so I find the subject fascinating!). I really liked your post about the blogger made me do it tag…..but actually found myself realising we have really similar skin and I’ve been absorbed in all your other posts for ages now I’m totally blaming you for my pause in productivity!
    Like I said though, although you’re inconclusive about the Nars foundation, I think that tells me all I need to know. I’ve been using Bobbi Brown’s compact for a few weeks after reading lots of reviews. I was looking for a long-lasting, shine free, oil free (for my acne prone jawline!) foundation. I love the texture and the way it sits nicely on my skin….however, I’ve had one or two shiny moments (usually my forehead). I think it’s a great foundation, but I’m wondering if there is a better one for me out there.


    • Thanks for having a look at the blog, hope you enjoyed it. Sorry for the distraction!
      Oily skin is such a pain because you’re so limited with foundations! I actually bought the Nars in the end and I use it everyday. I do need to blot but I don’t mind that for the sake of not having to wear really heavy foundation everyday! It’s non-comodegenic which is a huge plus for spotty skins!
      I definitely recommend getting a tester first though!


  3. Pingback: FOTD #1 The Work Face | ilyanarose

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s