NARS is probably one of my favourite brands of all time, so when the All Day Luminous Weightless foundation was released back in March of this year, I was all over that. It was wildly popular in the Youtube-sphere and among makeup communities, and although it received a mix of positive and negative feedback, I decided I needed to try it out myself.
What intrigued me about this foundation were the bold claims that were being made. On the Sephora website, it is given this description:
Achieve full-coverage, lightweight foundation that leaves a natural finish. Highly pigmented and perfectly balanced, this breakthrough, full-coverage formula builds and blends effortlessly. Its Even Tone Technology instantly neutralizes redness and dullness, while it works to reduce discoloration for more even, uniform skin. Perfect for all skin types, it features Weightless Long-wear Technology, an exclusive blend from NARS with flexible polymers and treated pigments that move with the skin while providing 16 hours of staying power.
So in a nutshell, it claims to be full coverage, very long wearing, and natural looking, all while feeling like you’re wearing nothing at all (…nothing at all). These claims were also said to come out of using just one drop of this foundation. I’m going to be perfectly honest, when I read these claims, the BS alarms in my head were blaring, however if at least some of these claims were to stand, I decided I would be okay with that.
I purchased the foundation for $59 CAD from Sephora around mid-March. I bought the shade “Barcelona”, however I was torn between getting a shade lighter like “Stomboli” or going for a darker shade like “Tahoe” for the summer. Since this foundation wasn’t particularly cheap, I decided to go for the happy medium. To start, I will say I was immediately disappointed by the colour selection for my skin tone range. Barcelona ended up being too dark and a bit too warm for me to wear between March and June, only because my skin is still usually at its lightest, however Stromboli is just too light of a colour to wear all year round. All the darker colours also didn’t really seem fitting for my yellow/olive undertone, and when I found one it was already venturing into shades which were too deep for me. However, the show must go on, and I am no stranger to the hardships of finding the perfect foundation match.
Upon opening the foundation, I noticed that there was a little insert stating that this foundation was best applied with clean fingers and with the product to be warmed up with your hands prior to the application. You also have to shake the foundation like crazy just to get it all nicely mixed. Caution: do NOT shake this foundation without the cap on unless you want your walls to look like a Jackson Pollock painting. So I followed the instructions provided with the foundation, and started applying the product to the center of my face in fast patting and tapping motions while slowly dispersing the product. This product sets almost instantaneously so I would recommend working it in really fast and in sections. My first thoughts upon application were “Wow, this actually covers quite nicely” and “How tf am I going to cover my entire face with just one drop?” Surprisingly, I did manage to cover my entire face and part of my neck with just a single drop, so that was pretty impressive. It is also quite full coverage, considering I used the bare minimum and covered quite a bit of surface area, so it’s safe to say that I was blown away by this foundation…or so I thought… but I’ll get into that in a second. I also tried other methods of applying this foundation, such as using a Beauty Blender or just a regular brush, and I found that using my fingers was personally my favourite way of applying it. I find that the warmth of the fingers really does make the product much easier to work with, and also if using a sponge or a brush you would definitely have to use more than one drop of the foundation.
Finish & Wear
This is where it starts to go downhill. After applying the foundation with my fingers, although it looked beautiful and flawless, I started to notice just after a few minutes that my skin looked horribly dry. It accentuated everything on my face and made every single dry spot and fine line stick out like a sore thumb. I was pretty alarmed because I wasn’t expecting my face to look so haggard, however I thought I was just overreacting because, if we’re being real here, nothing is hidden when staring into a 10x magnified illuminated mirror. I will say that in a generally acceptable distance (such as public or social distance), the foundation probably doesn’t look that bad, but it’s just frightening to see that you look like you’ve aged about 30 years in the span of 5 minutes. Of course, this was a definite con, however I wasn’t about to write off this foundation just because of a first impression. I thought maybe my skin wasn’t hydrated enough, maybe I didn’t use the right primer, or maybe using a different tool to apply the foundation will make it look better, but after 8 months of trying to make this foundation work, I’m waving a white flag. Whenever I use the foundation today, I either have to moisturize the living hell out of my skin in order to make it look semi-decent, or I have to mix it in with another foundation (usually the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation or the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless foundation).
As for the other claims, such as its longevity and lightweight feel, I will say that these were somewhat true. It definitely didn’t feel like I was wearing any foundation while I had this on, and it held up pretty well throughout a 10 hour day, but no longer than that. This product had more of a matte finish opposed to a satin finish which I consider more “natural”. The word “luminous” is definitely misleading given that there really isn’t any luminosity associated with this foundation. There is no need to set this foundation with a powder because of how mattifying it is, however I use some anyway just to make any more products I apply blend in more easily.
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Barcelona – foundation + under eye concealer + bronzer
NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Barcelona – finished look
I would say that this foundation is definitely geared towards someone who has extremely oily skin and is looking for something mattifying. If you have dry skin of any varying level, I would definitely stay away from this one. Having said all that, I don’t actually think this foundation is absolutely terrible. I just think that it requires a lot of prepping which is not something that is ideal if it were to be used as an everyday foundation. I use this foundation for special occasions where I know I’ll be photographed (i.e. my convocation ceremony) because I know that people won’t really get close enough to notice every detail of my makeup and because this foundation has absolutely no flashback, so I guess that’s a plus! Once (or if) I finish this foundation, I don’t think I will repurchase, only because apart from special events, it isn’t really practical enough for me to use on a daily basis.
To wrap it up:
- Pros: Matte, long-wearing, full coverage, no flashback
- Cons: Accentuates dry spots, pores, and fine lines, requires intensive prepping
- Great for oily skin, not recommended for any type of dry skin