NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation
Inclusive shade range
Lightweight, buildable formula
Weightless feel on the skin
Natural, radiant finish
Maintains a skin-like appearance
People with oily skin likely won’t get tons of longevity out of it
NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation
Our writer purchased NARS Light Reflecting Foundation to put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
Considering what I do for a living, it's not surprising that testing out new foundations is one of my favorite hobbies. As my skin has changed from being incredibly oily to just “normal” oily over the last few years, so too have my foundation preferences—and it’s been fun to discover new products. Rather than going for matte foundations like I’m accustomed to, recently I’ve been seeking out medium coverage options with natural, slightly glowy finishes—which is precisely what the Nars Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation provides. As a longtime fan of their foundations and concealers, I knew I had to try this release when the brand teased it earlier this year—so much so that I went out and bought it myself on launch day. And I’m happy to report that it lives up to the Nars complexion products standard—in fact, I think it raises the bar.
So ahead, find my in-depth review of this buzzed-about foundation.
Best for: Anyone looking for a medium coverage foundation with a subtle, luminous finish.
Shade range: 36
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
About the Brand:
François Nars, a French makeup artist, and photographer created Nars Cosmetics in 1994. The brand has gone on to be one of the most popular and best-selling makeup brands in the world. Though it has a full product lineup, Nars is widely recognized as being a leader in the complexion category.
About My Skin: Oily
Five years ago, I was so oily that I found myself needing to powder my foundation almost on the hour. Thankfully, my oil levels have seemed to even out a bit as the years have gone by, but I’m still claiming myself as a member of the oily skin community. Luminous foundations tend to break up around my T-zone in a matter of hours, and I can see some significant shine peaking through even the most matte foundations after a full day of wear. Despite having oily skin, I like to look naturally luminous—if you’re oily, you know there’s a distinct difference between looking greasy and looking radiant. So, I’m consistently turning to foundations with natural, glowy finishes, and making sure to have a good powder on hand.
The Formula: Lightweight liquid packed with skincare ingredients
Like the best liquid foundations, this one has a weightless texture that doesn’t feel detectable on the skin. When you pump it out on the hand, it runs just a bit—a good indicator that it’s lightweight and workable. It contains skincare ingredients, like biomimetic oat to help diminish redness, as well as Japanese lilyturf to add hydration and support a healthy skin barrier. While the addition of skincare ingredients often makes foundation formulas feel rich, like serums or occlusive moisturizers, this formula maintains an airy texture that feels comfortable and hydrating on the skin.
How to Apply: Use your preferred application method
The brand recommends applying this foundation with your fingertips, but I suggest using whatever application method you prefer. Personally, I find that a damp makeup sponge provides the most skin-like finish as it helps me avoid streaks and soak up excess product. I start by applying one pump onto the back of my hand and dotting it across my skin. I then blend it out in one, even layer with my sponge, and assess whether or not I need more coverage in certain areas. If I do, I add just a bit more product where necessary and blend it out with the sponge or my fingertips for added coverage.
The Finish: Natural radiance
One of my favorite things about this foundation is the medium coverage it provides. It’s pigmented enough to camouflage discoloration and create an even base, but it’s not so overly pigmented that it creates a mask-like effect. If you want a more sheer application, you can achieve it by using less product and blending it out with a damp sponge. If you desire more coverage, it is a buildable formula—but don’t expect it to completely cover every spot.
As for how it looks on the skin, the brand claims it has a natural finish, but I would argue that it’s a luminous-leaning natural. It’s not wet-looking upon first application like many truly dewy foundations are, but it certainly enhances the radiance of the skin.
The Wear: Gets more luminous throughout the day
If I could pinpoint one con of this product, it would be that people with oily skin might not achieve much longevity with it. I’ve definitely used several foundations that look greasier and break up more significantly than this one, but I do experience some movement and excess oil when wearing it. I can get a solid four hours of wear without needing to powder it—and applying powder absolutely helps me extend the wear—but at the eight-hour mark I find the appearance really starts to diminish.
If you have dry or balanced skin, this likely won’t be an issue for you, especially if you apply a light layer of powder where necessary. So, while this likely wouldn’t be my top choice for a super long day or a really important event, I think it’s an excellent option for daily use or a night out.
The Value: Somewhat pricey, but well worth it
The Nars Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation will run you $49, which I believe to be a fair price point. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a lot of money for a foundation when the market is full of more affordable options. But given the extensive shade range, the inclusion of skincare ingredients in the formula, the gorgeous skin-like finish, and the glass bottle it’s housed in, I think it’s justified. Plus, if you’re someone who is loyal to your foundation and will wear it daily, you’ll get tons of use out of it which further justifies the cost.
The Nars Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation is an excellent choice for a wide range of beauty consumers. It offers medium coverage that works to blur imperfections while maintaining a natural appearance on the skin, and the formula is lightweight and comfortable to wear. The natural, radiant finish gives the skin a luminosity without being overdone, and I believe that regardless of your skin type, you can make this foundation work beautifully for you in some capacity. It comes in a well-balanced range of shades, and I appreciate that the shades match most of the other foundations in the Nars range—so if you currently like one of their other formulas, you can likely find your shade match in this one.
- Product Name Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation
- Product Brand NARS
- Price $49.00
- Weight 1 oz.
- Color Mont Blanc
- Ingredients Water/Aqua/Eau, C9-12 Alkane, Butylene Glycol, Undecane, Tridecane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Diisostearyl Malate, Glycerin, Synthetic Wax, Sodium Chloride, Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide, Magnesium Chloride, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Tocopherol, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Citric Acid, Sea Water/Maris Aqua/Eau De Mer, Trisodium EDTA, Barium Sulfate, Alumina, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, [+/-(May Contain/Peut Contenir): Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)].