Smooth and Protect Primer SPF 50
Smooth and Protect Primer SPF 50 has the makings of a great primer with sunscreen, but gets sidetracked by its near-complete lack of antioxidants and the inclusion of fragrant lavender extract, which can sensitize skin. The tiny amount of antioxidant vitamin E isn't enough to defend skin against visible effects of pollution as claimed.
With a lightweight (though not weightless as claimed) cream-gel formula that's best for normal to oily or combination skin, this primer is easy to apply. It helps softly blur the look of fine lines and large pores, an effect that's only temporary, though visible. However, how long it lasts depends on the makeup you apply over it and how oily your skin is.
NARS included mineral pigments to brighten and add a soft shine to skin, a nice effect that can peek through under makeup.
On balance, the esthetics of this primer are good and, when applied liberally, it provides broad spectrum sun protection; however, it doesn't compete favorably with today's best primers, ending up being more style than substance.
- Provides broad spectrum sun protection.
- Perfectly primes skin for makeup.
- Softly blurs minor imperfections.
- Low on antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients.
- Fragrant lavender extract poses a slight risk of irritating skin.
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.