As beauty editors, we get countless products every day. We've seen and tried it all, so the competition for our favorites is tough. As a result, it takes a lot to impress us, and only a select few are truly great and so special that they earn a consistent spot on our vanities and in our makeup bags.
Incidentally, nearly all of us at Byrdie HQ agree that Nars has perfected the formula for creating those great products that withstand both the test of time and hold up against the thousands of other products on the market. Long-wearing, highly pigmented, and unique, these are the best products Nars has to offer. The best part? They're all well under $50, so go ahead and treat yourself to a little afternoon pick-me-up.
Keep reading to find out our picks for the best Nars products under $50.
Founded: François Nars, 1994
Based In: New York
Best Known For: Foundations and concealers offered in a wide shade range.
Most Popular Product: Blush, Radiant Creamy Concealer, Soft Matte Complete Concealer
Fun Fact: Nars Blush in Orgasm is the number-one-bestselling blush in the United States.
Nars' Blush in Orgasm is a cult-favorite product that continues to be the bestselling blush in the US. And while some attribute its popularity to its name, its real selling point is the fact that its shimmery peachy pink color works on all skin tones. Just make sure you're applying it correctly or you run the risk of having your blush look like clown makeup rather than a natural flush. After all, "When it comes to blush, how and where you apply it is more important than what color you use,” says François Nars.
Radiant Creamy Concealer
Year after year, this concealer earns a spot on Sephora's list of bestselling products. It's no surprise when you consider how magical it is. Though the texture of the product is extremely light and comfortable, the creaminess of the long-wearing formula effortlessly hides all imperfections from morning until night. It's the best of both worlds, and, as far as we're concerned, it's one of the easiest ways to fake a flawless complexion.
Soft Matte Complete Concealer
This oil-free offering is a unique hybrid—formulated with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and vitamin E, it provides the same hydrating benefits of a tinted moisturizer, but it imparts the coverage and finish expected from a foundation. The result is a perfect, velvety finish that feels comfortable and looks natural. We like it so much that it's even earned a spot on our list of best concealers for shiny t-zones
Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
When it comes to lipsticks, finding the perfect one is no easy feat. That's why it's especially impressive when one product is a favorite across the board. All the Byrdie editors in NYC are completely obsessed with this pencil—editorial director Hallie Gould says that it's her desert island must-have. "It's matte but not drying and adds just the right amount of brightness." Associate general manager Lindsey Metrus likes to up the hydration factor by using it as a stain, smudging a thin layer onto her lips with her fingers, and then topping off with a clear balm.
Matte Bronzing Powder
Bronzers are a makeup staple if you're looking to achieve a sunless, sun-kissed glow. From powder to cream formulas with either matte or shimmer finishes, there are a ton of options to choose from. What separates Nars' matte bronzer from the rest is its long-lasting wearability. Its matte powder formula can withstand everything from soaring temps to oily skin all day long. And if that's not enough, it can double as a contouring product for next-level facial sculpting, too. Try going one shade deeper than your natural skin tone to achieve all-over warmth.
Hallie credits this lipstick from Nars for changing her life—her words, literally. "For years, I was scared of red lipstick. But when I first tried Red Lizard and Heat Wave, everything changed," she explains. She wore them so much that they became a crucial part of her signature look, even causing her friends to feel as though there was something missing about her if she went without lipstick. Enriched with vitamin E, these are as hydrating as they are bold, so lips stay comfortably soft all day while still packing a punch.
Sheer Glow Foundation
Makeup brands have finally gotten on board with offering more shades for all skin tones but Nars was one of the first to preach shade inclusivity. This sheer foundation comes in a whopping array of 40 shades that promises full coverage with a natural-looking finish. Although it doesn't include a pump, you can buy the Sheer Glow Foundation Pump separately for a mere $6.
Powermatte Lip Pigment
If you're wary of liquid lipstick, wet get it. No one likes sticky formulas that smudge, but this lip pigment is different. In fact, it's one of our favorite tools for creating a day-to-night look thanks to its high color payoff and staying power. For the perfect application, begin dabbing and swiping your pigment where the lips purse and work your way outward (versus starting at the edges). Going for a monochrome makeup look? This lipstick can also be worn as an eyeshadow.
Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
If the idea of concocting your own tinted moisturizer feels like too much effort, then grab this DFY (Done For You) option instead. Like any tinted moisturizer, it offers light to medium coverage with hydrating properties; however, it goes a step further by also providing SPF 30 protection and vitamin C skin brightening abilities. Each available shade, of which there are sixteen, is perfectly blendable and buildable, making it ideal for the no-makeup-makeup look.
Light-Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
Not everyone uses a setting powder but if you have oily skin and/or want to get more wear out of your makeup, then you might want to consider it. A little bit of this translucent setting powder goes a long way in keeping your makeup in place while blurring fine lines and hydrating skin (that would be the glycerin and vitamin E at work). The result? A luminous, flawless complexion without the chalky finish.