Though on the pricier side, NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is easily one of the best formulas from this brand to date, if not one of the better foundations on the market today. Packaged in a 1-ounce glass container with a pump dispenser—this is handy for reasons we’ll get to in a moment—this liquid foundation is fragrance-free and offers natural-looking, medium to full coverage, though it can be sheered out if desired.
The usage of the word “luminous” in the name may deter those with oily skin, but rest assured that this doesn’t contain shimmer and the finish is matte—making this formula ideal for those with oily, combination or normal skin, as well as those battling acne breakouts. If you have drier skin, you may not find the matte finish of this foundation comfortable without priming beforehand with a rich moisturizer, and even then, it may cling to flakey or dry patches.
You’ll find that this formula easily covers redness, discolorations and evens out your skin tone with minimal product—a half-pump was more than sufficient to cover our entire face.
Despite the degree of coverage, this formula is super fluid—that is why the pump dispenser was a very good decision on the part of NARS. Had they opted for a twist off cap instead (as they have for their Sheer Glow and Sheer Matte foundations), this would have been an expensive mess. Fortunately, that’s not an issue and the pump is easily controlled, allowing you to dispense only the amount desired. And this feels amazingly light for the coverage it provides.
NARS claims this foundation is “clinically proven” to last 16 hours, or, essentially “all day” if you allow for 8 hours of sleep. We can’t attest to the 16-hour wear time, but you can expect this to easily last the course of a standard workday. Note that wear time doesn’t mean transfer resistant—this can easily be removed with water, sweat or (of course) your facial cleanser.
Turning our attention to the shade range, NARS didn’t disappoint with twenty shades that are suitable for the very fair to deeper skin tones. For the most part, the colors are quite good; you’ll find four options that range from cool, neutral and warm undertones grouped within each range of fair to light, light to medium, medium, medium to tan and deep skin tones.
Those shades to watch out for are Siberia (the lightest, ultra-fair shade), which may be pinker than some may desire, and New Orleans and Benares, which are towards the deepest side and have a very warm/yellow undertone. No matter what your skin tone, we would strongly recommend testing them in-store before making the decision to purchase one—the degree of coverage makes a good skin-tone match critical. Be sure to check results in natural light to confirm the best possible match with your skin.
We should also note that while the shades in All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation reflects many of the same names as other foundations in the NARS range, the colors do not always directly correlate between the formulas. Some shades may run slightly darker or lighter in this medium to full coverage formula, which is understandable given NARS’s other formulas have more forgiving shades as a result of their sheer to light coverage.
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation earned our highest rating due to its excellent shade range and unique, irritant-free formula that allows for a natural-looking medium to full coverage, yet maintains a near weightless feel on skin.
Claims: An oil-free foundation that delivers full, natural-looking coverage with one drop, for lightweight, 16-hour wear.
Dimethicone, Water, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glycerin, Boron Nitride, Propanediol, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Isostearic Acid, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Decyl Isostearate, Isododecane, Bis-Hydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone/PEG-2 Soyamine/IPDI Copolymer, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Isostearyl Isostearate, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Silica, Polysilicone-2, Tin Oxide, Tocopherol, [+/- (May Contain): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499)].
Frenchman Francois Nars has been painting the faces of New York's top models since arriving in the United States in 1984. Their images and his handiwork have been seen on the covers of countless fashion magazines, most notably Vogue and Elle. As the story often goes for the talented makeup artists who have become celebrities in their own right, Nars became frustrated with the state of available makeup and, surprise, another cosmetic line was born.
Beginning (as Bobbi Brown did) by launching a small collection of lipsticks in 1994, the clamor for the colors was incredible, and demand for more NARS products from the artist grew. Shortly thereafter an entire product line followed, gaining attention with vibrant, deeply pigmented colors, sleek, tactile-enhanced packaging and risqué shade names.
As an overview, NARS makeup has many strengths—it reaches its zenith with blushes, tinted moisturizer, foundations, brushes, and lipsticks. If you’re a fan of bold colors, you’ll find them here, and the brand offers consistently impressive foundations and concealers. NARS consistently impresses when it comes to offering a wide range of shades to suit nearly any skin tone.
Where NARS often falls short is in the amount of fragrance added to many of their skincare formulas. In some cases, the amount and specific fragrance ingredients chosen outweigh the potential benefits, so be sure to double check their review before buying. Overall, NARS offers a lot to love, and if you don’t mind splurging a bit (as their prices can be on the spendy side) there are quite a few makeup picks that come with our highest recommendations.
Strengths: Superior foundations and foundation shade options; excellent blushes; splurge-worthy lipsticks; beautiful bronzers and consistently impressive color products.
Weaknesses: Can be expensive; a few skincare formulas contain high amounts of fragrance.
For more information about NARS, owned by Shiseido, call (888) 788-6277 or visit www.narscosmetics.com.
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