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The Nars Light Reflecting Foundation has been one of the latest base products to fill the stores and kick up a storm on social media. I’ve been putting it to the test and today I’m sharing my thoughts with you.
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Light Reflecting Foundation
So what is the latest addition to the Nars foundation line up I hear you ask? Light Reflecting Foundation is an “Advanced makeup-skincare hybrid foundation with a natural finish that instantly blurs and smooths, while visibly improving skin’s clarity over time.” – Nars
A makeup-skincare hybrid that Nars states can help to protect skin from daily aggressors, strengthens the skin barrier and instantly smooths the appearance of the skin.
- Medium, buildable coverage
- Natural finish
- Breathable, all-day wear
- Vegan formula
- Powered by advanced skincare ingredients
- Suitable for most skin types, including sensitive skin
- Acne-prone skin friendly
- 1 fl oz / 30 ml
- BIOMIMETIC OAT: Visibly improves clarity by reducing the appearance of redness, while helping to soothe and calm the look of skin.
- JAPANESE LILYTURF: Immediately strengthens skin’s barrier, helping to maintain its moisture.
- CACAO PEPTIDES & MILK THISTLE: Help reduce the negative effect of blue light and other environmental stressors.
We’re looking at a medium coverage foundation, that’s breathable, has ‘reflective’ qualities and has all-day wear…? Of course, I was tempted.
There are 36 shades of the Nars Light Reflecting Foundation, the largest amount in any of their foundations and the shades cover very light, light, medium, medium-deep and deep skin tones with cool, neutral and warm undertones.
As with all Nars base products I find the shades err a little on the pink or yellow side depending on your choice of undertone.
Nars Light Reflection Foundation retails for £37.50 30ml
Here is the shade Yukon swatched on makeup free skin. There is zero editing (except to crop), images are taken in natural daylight (by a window) with an iPhone 13pro on portrait mode.
I have roughly blended the bottom half of the swatch on the righthand image to show how the shade works with my skin.
Not unlike other foundations in the Nars range, Light Reflecting Foundation comes in a fully recyclable bottle with a pump (yey!). Gone are the days of needing to buy a pump separately it seems? (or was that just for Sheer Glow?) Regardless, one expects a pump on a foundation at this price point.
It is exactly what I expect from Nars, it is exactly what I want from Nars; it looks sleek and minimalist and doesn’t look out of place next to its complexion family.
Light Reflecting Foundation is water-based, therefore lightweight and easy to apply. Nars recommend applying with fingers (as they do all of their base products) and applying the product from the centre of the face outwards.
As I like to give products a good testing, I’ve tried it with fingers and with brushes and with a couple of different prep options. So let’s go through those!
For reference, I tend to prefer applying foundations that are quite a thin consistency with my fingers. I have oily/combination skin type, with the occasional blemish, redness, oily t-zone and dehydrated areas.
For a lightweight foundation, it really packs a punch in terms of coverage. A little really does go a long way with this foundation, I certainly found I did not need as much product as expected. The foundation does a good job at covering my redness and covers over my post-inflammatory pigmentation marks well – a little dab of Nars Matte Concealer finished the process nicely.
The foundation is a lightweight, water-based formula, it is runny but not too much. It feels breathable on the skin and not heavy in any way.
I found it provides enough hydration for my skin type and doesn’t feel heavy on my skin. With that in mind, I think anyone with a normal skin type would also enjoy the foundation. I think those with a drier skin type will adore the radiant appearance of this base but may wish to prep skin with a juicy moisturiser before application.
In terms of comparison, the nearest I can think of in my collection would be the Chanel Le Teint Velvet Foundation – not because of the finish (this one is velvet matte) but in the consistency and level of hydration. I would place the Nars Radiant Foundation a step up from this Chanel Le Teint in terms of hydration.
As mentioned earlier, I have an oily/combo skin type, so can appear shiny quite quickly. The first time I tried the foundation I noticed a little breakdown around the sides of my nose, I then remembered that I had used an ‘oil in serum’ serum that morning – of course, oil and water (water-based foundation) don’t mix, therefore I tested the next day without this serum and low and behold, zero breakdown folks!
Skincare prep really can make such a difference! I do need to powder this foundation to set it and again require powder top-ups throughout the day but find it wears evenly and still retains its flattering appearance.
The finish is most definitely radiant! Skin GLOWS with this foundation! This may be something to take into consideration if you have a lot of texture that you wish to not draw attention to as any radiance/highlight/glow pigment will naturally draw the eyes’ focus. If however, you are looking for a radiant glow that lasts all day, then this foundation may be for you.
Applying this foundation with fingers is my preferred method. As it has a runny consistency much of the product can easily absorb into a brush (or sponge). Using fingers to apply prevents this from happening and also allows the warmth of your hands to blend and manipulate the product. A simple sweep over the edges to ensure a seamless blend finishes off the base beautifully. I find you can also control the level of coverage better this way; the pigment ratio appears quite high in this foundation, so as with all makeup, I find building up slowly is best.
The Nars Light Reflecting Foundation is a welcome addition to the collection. A lightweight, breathable beauty that perfects my complexion with ease, leaving an uber radiant base that stays put all day. I can see this being popular across many different skin types, if glow is your thing, and appreciate the more lightweight formula, particularly throughout the warmer months.
As always prepping your skin is key and if you find you’re having a problem, check out what products you’re layering. That’s both skincare and primers. Water, silicone and oil don’t work well together, so remember this when choosing which primers to use in particular.
All in all, I can see this foundation becoming a firm favourite!
You can find a full makeup breakdown of the above image in this Instagram post