Review: Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation

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Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation
Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation

Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation is described as “a full coverage, natural-looking matte foundation that resists shifting shades throughout the day due to oxidation, and features comfortable 16-hour wear.” It comes in 34 shades and retails for $40.

There are 1.5 fl oz / 45 mL of product in the container which is 50% more than your average foundation. The bottle has a twist-off lid and you squeeze the product out – there is no pump. Keep in mind that the bottle sits upside down on its cap and has a pointed top. If you like to leave the cap off until you’ve finished applying your foundation, you will have to lay it on its side. I was able to do this without it spilling out, but just be careful if you do this.

This foundation is as liquidy as any other in the bottle but very quickly begins to dry. As it is drying, it continues to be moveable and blendable for a reasonable amount of time. After a while, maybe 5 minutes or so, it sets down completely and doesn’t move anymore.

Application is more work than most other foundations I’ve used. I have to spend more time blending because it thickens as it is drying. Using both a sponge and a brush to manipulate it and move it around has been working best for me. The more hydrated my skin is before application, the easier it is to work with and the better it looks on the skin. Once applied, it feels very lightweight.

The way I apply this, I get a strong medium coverage from it. If I’m willing to sacrifice a little on the natural-looking finish, I can apply it more heavily for fuller coverage. It is sort of buildable but it depends on how my skin is doing. On a good skin day, I can do a little building without it looking patchy/cakey but I wouldn’t go there on a bad skin day.

It has a true matte finish at first but quickly takes on a natural skin-like glow to it (within the first hour). I have more of a combination skin type and it’s currently still a bit on the oily side from the warmer weather.

Wear time is not great for me. By about midday, my skin’s oils will start to break it up and at this point it will also transfer if I touch it. The longer I wear it the less natural it looks on the skin. It will wear longer if I use a setting powder but it will also look more cakey later in the day. Touching up with powder later in the day is less of an issue.

The anti-oxidation claim is pretty prominent with this product so I will address it. I don’t typically have problems with foundation oxidizing on me probably because I don’t really care that much, as long as it’s not a crazy change in color. In Taylor Wynn’s review, she showed that it oxidized very slightly during application.

I think this foundation is good for photos or for the occasional full coverage look. Using it as an everyday foundation was a little hard on my skin. As the days went on, I could feel my skin becoming more congested and more textured.

Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation Comparison Swatches
Left to right: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Makeup in 1N1, Urban Decay Stay Naked Foundation in 20NN, Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation in Salzburg, Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation in 1N, Too Faced Born This Way Matte Foundation in Snow

On the day that I took these photos, my skin was neither in its best nor its worst condition. I got a very light sunburn about a week before this (tsk tsk, I know) and so I had some flakiness and extra texture going on. This foundation will cling onto those areas but for being a matte, fairly high coverage foundation, I think it’s one of the more forgiving ones.


1 thought on “Review: Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation”

  1. Thanks, this was a honest review. I also have the cakey feeling and how it gets thick super fast, but no one else was talking about it. I’ll try to moisturize better and hope it gets a bit more manageable.


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