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NARS

Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer

1.80 fl. oz. for $ 58.00
Expert Rating

Expert Reviews

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Claims

Ingredients

Brand Overview

This moisturizer has a silky, light texture but its formula is incredibly basic (NARS may be a master at makeup, but his pricey skin care is not in the same league). This will help slightly dry, dehydrated skin look and feel better, but there are many other, less expensive moisturizers that go much further to improve skin via proven beneficial ingredients.

Although this contains some intriguing plant and vitamin ingredients, they won’t hold up for long due to jar packaging. The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won't remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients (Sources: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, September 2007, pages 818-829; Ageing Research Reviews, December 2007, pages 271-288; Dermatologic Therapy, September-October 2007, pages 314-321; International Journal of Pharmaceutics, June 12, 2005, pages 197-203; Pharmaceutical Development and Technology, January 2002, pages 1-32; International Society for Horticultural Science, www.actahort.org/members/showpdf?booknrarnr=778_5; Beautypackaging.com, and www.beautypackaging.com/articles/2007/03/airless-packaging.php).

Note that the “dynamic aqua technology” mentioned in the claims is just a fancy way of stating that the company combined several water-binding agents to help your skin retain moisture. In truth, hundreds of moisturizers offer this benefit, regardless of what NARS chooses to name it.

 

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

A refreshing, aqua-rich gel-cream that hydrates, revitalizes and fortifies the skin. Enriched with Dynamic Aqua Technology to improve water retention, skin becomes supple and fine lines and wrinkles noticeably soften.

Contains the NARS exclusive Light Reflecting Complex designed to restore skin's youthful radiance and reflect light like a prism.

Water, Dimethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Isododecane, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Glycereth-26, Xylitol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Methicone, Butylene Glycol, PEG-11 Methyl Ether Dimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysilicone-11, Bis-Vinyldimethicone/PEG-10 Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Parfum, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Maris Aqua, Polysorbate 80, Carbomer, Adenosine, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Ascophyllum Nodosum, Ophiopogon Japonicus, Carrageenan, Maris Sal, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sophora Angustifolia, Barium Sulfate, Paeonia Albiflora, Thymus Serpillum, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Fagus Sylvatica, Plankton Extract, Alumina, Benzoic Acid, Mica, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, CI 77492/Iron Oxides

NARS At-A-Glance

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 risqu shade names.

As an overview, NARS makeup has many strengthsit reaches its zenith with blushes, tinted moisturizer, foundations, brushes, and lipsticks. If youre a fan of bold colors, youll 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 dont 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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.