Now, NARS is releasing the Soft Matte formula in a foundation in response to the enthusiasts asking for an all-over option. Available in 34 shades ranging from super pale Siberia to ultra rich Mali, there’s a tone designed to suit everyone.
NARS already has a well-established reputation for complexion perfection. Besides the fact that its shade range has been inclusive from the get-go, its Sheer Glow, tinted moisturiser, Natural Radiant Longwear foundation and All Day foundation all have a legion of disciples. That’s not to mention the concealers.
The Radiant Creamy Concealer has 366 five star reviews on John Lewis alone of fans waxing lyrical about “the BEST concealer for coverage and natural finish”. Likewise, the Soft Matte concealer has built up a devoted following thanks to its soft-focus effect which blurs imperfections whilst distributing a velvety veil of natural-looking coverage over skin.
Here, five women put the lipstick to the test…
NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation, £28
Available from Boots and Boots.com from 31st October
Luca Wetherby-Matthews, Social Media Assistant
Shade: Stromboli on right side of face
Finding a colour which isn’t too orange, yellow or pink-toned is always a trying task when I’m looking for foundation in my shade range. But, Stromboli was a surprisingly near-perfect match, if only ever-so-slightly lighter than my natural complexion.
I typically prefer a medium coverage foundation to help counteract the redness in my skin, and the dark under eye circles which have rudely invited themselves into my life. So I was really happy that this foundation, despite being full coverage, didn’t look cakey or too full-on. Having an oily t-zone, I always worry that my foundation will move around and I’ll become a bit of a beacon of light, but the foundation rung true to its name and gave me a soft matte airbrushed feeling even towards the end of the day.
Bandi Manzini, Branded Content Partnerships Director
Shade: Manaus on left side of face
I do love a NARS product, albeit I haven’t used a NARS foundation in years. They’ve always catered really well for black skin before other brands started doing it so I was keen to try out this new offering. l like a full coverage matt finish when it comes to foundation so I was curious to see if the new soft matte would charm me and convince me to change tack.
Shade wise, NARS’ new offering doesn’t disappoint, Manaus is definitely a good match for me. The consistency of the foundation is quite runny so I had to be careful when dispensing. I used a brush to apply and it took a couple of applications to get close to the fuller coverage that I like. It’s definitely more of a softer matte than what I would normally go for, but it does what it says on the packaging.
With that being said, the finish is good and it did a decent job of making my large pores appear somewhat minimised. I do like a bit more warmth to my foundations than this one offers but that’s not a deterrent as I can always use a high definition concealer to give my skin a bit of warmth before applying the foundation. I’d say it’s a great foundation for someone who wants medium, soft, natural coverage more so than for someone who’s after a full coverage, completely matte look.
Chloe Laws, Social Media Editor
Shade: Mont Blanc on left side of face
Foundation is my desert island beauty product, and always has been. I can forgo mascara, concealer, and lipstick, but foundation is a must for me, which means I’m a tricky customer when it comes to picking the right one.
I have dry skin, and redness, but I never tend to get oiliness or spots and my pores are quite small. My ideal coverage is something full coverage that doesn’t clog, with a matte finish, but moisturises too, which is a tall order.
At the moment, I’ve found that using Bobbi Brown’s Face Base with my foundation gets this result, so I’m intrigued if a foundation sans base or primer can do the job. The NARS soft matte complete foundation in shade Mont Blanc ticked pretty much all of my boxes – it’s full coverage, matte but not clogging, and hydrating with its botanical extracts.
Adele Lindsay, Audience Growth Executive
As billed, this really does have a matte finish, and stayed so for longer than many foundations claiming to be matte that I’ve tried in the past. Only a little was needed to leave my skin with an airbrushed appearance, while the featherweight texture made sure I didn’t look over made-up.
The colour match was great too, and since finding a shade that isn’t either too orange or too peach is something that I often struggle with, I was really pleased with how natural the colour looked on my skin.
Elle Turner, Deputy Beauty Editor
I should start by saying *disclaimer* I’m a NARS girl. I love the products, the textures the shade range and I almost always have at least one NARS product in my makeup bag. That said, I usually go for a light to medium texture foundation (I love the brand’s tinted moisturiser) so when I blended this all over my face, I noticed the difference in coverage immediately.
First applied, it looked very polished, which isn’t a look I usually go for. I like something perfected, but natural. However, once I applied the rest of my makeup, the foundation had a bit of time to meld with my skin and softened into a perfected, fairly natural coverage with a soft-focus velvety finish that suits the autumn months nicely.
I tend to prefer foundations that are a bit dewy, but if I were to opt for a matte, this is a nice compromise as it’s a soft texture, that falls closer to natural semi-matte skin. As for the shade, Fiji, it’s pretty much exactly my winter skin tone, then for spring, I can warm it up with a bit more bronzer – NARS Laguna, of course.