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Which NARS Foundation Is The One For You?

Precious Sodimu
Writer and expert1 year ago
View Precious Sodimu's profile
a collection of 5 different nars foundations places around eachother

From matte finishes and full coverage faves to skin-mimicking seamlessness and featherlight formulas, NARS has everything — and we mean everything — your beauty bag could ever need. The trouble is, however, with so many foundations at our brush tips, how does one choose the right formula? Allow us to take you back to base-ics…  

Saving many-a make up mare, NARS’ line up of complexion staples has remained at the forefront of the beauty world, each tailored to specific skin types, textures and desired finishes. Here’s how to meet your match:  


After a formula that fits into your everyday? Enter: the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser SPF30/PA+++Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser SPF30/PA+++, a sun-protective staple that forms a hydrating shield over skin. Made to minimise the appearance of pigmented areas by encouraging a brighter, natural-looking glow, this oil-free favourite ups the ante on your go-to glam.  

 “I’ve always struggled to find a tinted moisturiser that works for me (they’re either too watery, not the right shade or simply don’t offer enough coverage) but this has changed the game. The perfect balance between a moisturiser and a foundation, I’d say this tinted moisturiser has medium to light coverage — you can still see my skin (perfect for no-make up make up days) but blemishes and uneven tone are blurred. As for the finish, my complexion looks radiant all day long, with no need for touch ups in the afternoon. Honestly, I’ve been reaching for this more than any of my foundations, and I think (read: know) I’ve found my new go-to.” — Jade, Senior Copywriter 


A skin-enhancing midpoint between dew and dry, the NARS Sheer Glow FoundationSheer Glow Foundation is designed to take your radiance up a few notches, whatever your skin type. Supercharged with skin care benefits (think: lasting hydration, free radical fighting antioxidants and brightening turmeric), this versatile formula allows you the freedom to ace your base your way. 

“Is it ever too late to jump on the bandwagon of an OG formula? Absolutely not. Admittedly, I’m relatively new to the world of luminous, skin-like finishes but this glow-enhancing staple has been a worthy initiation. During the winter months when my skin’s texture feels its driest, I prefer my complexion to just be… without anything coating or caking over it which is where this sheer but buildable foundation enters the chat. I love how this rests on my face with a barely-there, breathable feel that’s great for days when you’d like your skin and base to be the main characters. Seems like I’ve got a new favourite…” Precious, Midweight Copywriter


For skin that sits between normal, combination and oily, this fade-resistant formula offers a buildable, medium-to-full coverage that still maintains its luminosity. Made to support and enhance the natural fibres of your skin with a perfect hue and bouncy texture, this versatile foundation will see you through practically any occasion! After all, it’s all in the name.  

“I’m usually not a foundation gal as I prefer lighter coverage, but this is brilliant for when you want a one-and-done foundation that covers everything, including blemishes, dark circles and uneven skin tone, whilst still looking glowy and natural. I merrily pumped out a decent amount and applied it to my skin, before quickly realising how little you truly need for full coverage – a little goes a long way, and I can see this bottle lasting me a very long time indeed!"  — Emma, Junior Copywriter 


The youngest of the complexion heroes — which should by no means be underestimated — is an innovative blend of make up and skin care that bids a-dew to redness and cakey textures with a blemish-blurring finish. A glow-giving formula by every sense of the word, this medium coverage foundation adjusts to all lighting and glides effortlessly across all skin types. Likely to be mistaken for your skin but better, this glow-to essential is perfect for the days when you want your base to do the talking.   

"This lightweight foundation is perfect for anyone who’s looking for a soft-focus finish. Its water-like texture blends effortlessly without settling into fine lines or creases (I use my fingers, but you could definitely use a brush or sponge). It has a workable, medium coverage that you can definitely build up depending on your preference, which I love. This formula dried down really quickly which makes it perfect for anyone who does their makeup in a rush or likes to use powder products on top of their foundation!  I really like that I still looked like I had a glow to my skin and didn't feel the need to set my base with a face powder." — Amy, Product Copywriter 


Offering matte but not flat coverage, this shine-free solution to a balanced base cleverly absorbs excess oil whilst protecting against harmful blue light exposure. Beating the cake-bake allegations thanks to an advanced ‘Hydramatte Balancing Complex’, expect a smooth, non-drying finish that won’t crack or budge, whatever the occasion. Got a long workday ahead or night out with your mates? This one is for you…  

"I have been loving the NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation. It is a full coverage foundation but still a lovely lightweight formula which blends beautifully with a make up sponge or brush! I have combination skin which is often more dry in the winter months but the matte finish still leaves a flawless base that lasts all day with no dry patches or cracking."  — Lauren, Junior Designer 


Precious Sodimu
Writer and expert
View Precious Sodimu's profile
Precious is a Midweight Copywriter at Cult Beauty. Sticking her teeth into all things make up and skin care, Precious is always on the hunt for products that work perfectly together (while remaining loyal to her can’t-do-without staples). Like most beauty devotees, Precious doesn’t go a day without her trusted SPF 50+ and is a self-proclaimed fragrance-phile. Away from the vanity mirror, Precious can be found sat with a good book (probably by her favourite author, Toni Morrison) or nurturing her nostalgia with a quality animated film – namely Shrek.