NARS foundations and I have a bit of a tumultuous history. Back before NARS was available here in Malaysia (you lucky young ‘uns!) I stayed away from trying their base products. It was too risky trying to pick a foundation based solely on online swatches.
So, the very first time I tried a NARS foundation, was during a trip to Thailand, where I picked up a bottle of Sheer Matte foundation (which I believe has been discontinued in favour of the All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, one I have not tried and have no desire to due to its unsuitability with my skin type) What a mistake that was! The day I found out it was discontinued, I danced a jig.
Although the shade in Mont Blanc was just right for me, the texture was such a failure, I gave up on all their foundations thereafter, in a fit of pique. However, some of you were persistent. You told me to please, for the love of God and all that’s flawless, PLEASE try the Sheer Glow, which will WOW me.
Are you sure? I asked.
YES! You will LOVE IT! I was assured.
So, after dithering over it for a couple of years (I take my time to make up my mind, evidently :P ) I took the chance on the NARS Sheer Glow foundation, which I wear in Mont Blanc (Light 2).
The big question of course, is whether I am wowed, or am I about to slap this one silly and swear off all NARS foundations for good?
Happily (or unhappily, for anyone looking into their tired wallets) this one is a winner in my books :) Only in formula though. The packaging is a bloody disaster.
What you see in my pictures here, is a bottle of NARS Sheer Glow foundation, with a pump dispenser. The original bottle does not come with a pump, but merely a screw on cap. If you look at my pictures of the Sheer Matte foundation here, this is the exact packaging you get.
You get a wide open mouthed bottle, with a screw on square cap, that eventually fails to align with the rest of the bottle, the more you use it. I’m not OCD and even that bugged me. The wide mouth is also a recipe for disaster. All this points to just one thing – NARS just wants you to pay another RM20 (US$6 / £3) for the pump that you now see in my pictures.
I think it’s too bloody sneaky of the brand to make us spend that extra money, and if they really want to improve, just change the packaging and stick the pump on at the factory. This is also because, if you put the pump on, the original cap no longer fits, and if you store the bottle on its side, you will end up with an unholy mess in your foundation drawer. Yes, I speak from experience. It pissed me off.
The pump itself can be swivelled left or right, to lock the pump if you’re carrying it around. But be sure not to leave it on its side. I thought I’d tightened it as best I could, but apparently, it’s not enough. If you want the foundation on your face and not in your drawer, or makeup bag, don’t tip it over.
Grouchiness aside, I love the formula of the Sheer Glow foundation. The primary reason I do, is because it isn’t very sheer at all. I don’t quite get why NARS calls this “sheer”, because I feel it to be more of a medium coverage base, that you can layer on where you need, if you want more coverage. You won’t get full coverage, but I’d put it at 70% coverage. That’s pretty decent, considering that the formula is lovely and lightweight in texture. EDIT: As Kim & Hanny have kindly pointed out in the comments below, it’s the glow that’s sheer, not the formula – gels pretty much with my view. Thanks, girls! :)
As for the “glow” bit, I won’t say that it glows per se, but it does make your skin look nice in a natural way. Not shiny, not greasy or oily, the way some “glowy” products make you look, but just natural and healthy and radiant. It’s very flattering, and doesn’t get oily or slippery as the day progresses.
Here is a swatch of Sheer Glow Mont Blanc, alongside other foundations I wear, for you to gauge the shade.
Mont Blanc, is one of the lightest shades (lightest is Siberia) and is a fairly neutral shade, with slight pink tones. This is the shade that flatters my skintone the best. You might notice from the swatch, that the texture is thicker than the Urban Decay Naked foundation, and also more pink when compared to the UD Naked and Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in B10. However, it isn’t as pink when compared to the MUFE HD Foundation or the Guerlain Parure Lumiere in 01 Beige Pale. In terms of coverage, Sheer Glow offers more coverage than UD Naked foundation, comparable to the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet and is a little less than the Guerlain Parure Lumiere and MUFE HD Foundation.
In that sense, the Sheer Glow foundation falls somewhere in the middle of the foundations I like wearing. It’s light and can be sheered out, yet it offers good coverage on its own, so I don’t even have to wear concealer, if I just layer it on the areas I need it most. Here’s how it looks when I wear it.
The lighting is a little off, so I do apologise. It does not colour correct my skin THAT drastically, which you will realise when you look at my neck LOL! :D But shade aside, I think you can see just how well it evens out the skintone in general, and covers up redness and minor blemishes.
This is just with 1 pump of foundation, spread evenly and blended all over, using my 5 line foundation method, and a flat top foundation brush. I dab on some extra where I need more coverage and if I really want to go all out, I dab on some concealer, and set everything with a light dusting of powder.
It is otherwise, a very compact foundation, that looks lovely on skin, giving you decent coverage and a lovely radiant glow to the skin. There is a wide selection of shades, which will mean that you should find your shade quite easily. The formula is lovely, but the packaging … oh the packaging! How I hate thee! :P
IN A NUTSHELL
The NARS Sheer Glow foundation is a lightweight medium coverage liquid foundation that you can sheer out if you like, or layer on for slightly more coverage. It isn’t too heavy, and gives skin a natural but more radiant appearance, without looking glittery or shimmery or shiny or oily or greasy. It is fairly flattering, and if you set it with a little powder, it can last all day even in our tropical heat. The product itself is a very good one, spoilt only by the poorly designed packaging. The original bottle comes in a wide-mouthed bottle and cap which makes using this a mess. A foundation pump is sold separately which I think is ridiculous, yet absolutely necessary. That pisses me off an otherwise well-made product.
PROS: Lightweight texture, Does not turn oily, Does not look shiny, glittery or shimmery or oily on skin, Medium coverage can be built up, Does not mask the skin, Makes skin look naturally radiant, Wide selection of shades
CONS: Pricey, Packaging is a disaster, Pump is sold separately and is liable to leak if stored on its side
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who likes medium coverage foundation with a radiant and glowy appearance
PRICE: RM165 | US$45 for 30ml (Pump is sold separately: RM20 | US$6)
For anyone interested, here is the ingredient list for Sheer Glow foundation.
Have you tried the Sheer Glow foundation and are you a fan? Do you hate the packaging as much as I do?
I honestly don’t get why NARS can’t just upgrade the packaging to that of a pump. It works with the formula, it’s practical and it makes us, the consumer happy because we no longer have to buy a separate pump, nor do we have to spill half the bottle each time we want to use it. It appears they have taken note, because their new foundation bottle sports a pump. Now, please upgrade Sheer Glow, please. Do you feel the same way I do? :P