Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
I've mentioned my love for Nars' Sheer Glow in so many posts lately, so as promised here is a full review. I am so so in love with this foundation. It provides the perfect balance between good coverage but natural looking skin, and I can't see myself buying another foundation for a long long time.
Firstly, I will say that I am not a connoisseur when it comes to foundation, I've previously only used three, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (lovely but insanely light coverage), Bare Minerals Original Powder Foundation (again not the best coverage, and a little too powdery), and Estee Lauder Double Wear (amazing coverage but far too heavy and mask-like). They all have their advantages and disadvantages, and I'd say the Chanel was my favourite, but it just wasn't quite doing it for me coverage wise. Whilst my breakouts have certainly calmed down recently, I still have some scarring and redness. So for me the perfect foundation would hide the scars, but without clogging my pores and causing further breakouts.
I've read so many reviews singing praise for Sheer Glow, and have come perilously close to clicking 'confirm' on my Space NK basket with this product so many times, but didn't think I really needed it. How wrong I was. In January I finally pressed 'confirm' (spurred on by ASOS's 20% off for students), and it's been true love ever since.
I'd say coverage-wise this is about halfway between the Vitalumiere Aqua (very light) and Double Wear (very heavy), so medium? I definitely wouldn't call it 'sheer', and you can easily build it up to get a heavier coverage. It covers my spots and evens out my skin tone a la Double Wear, but doesn't look at all cakey or mask-like, and feels unbelievably light on my skin, I could easily forget I was wearing foundation. However, where Sheer Glow works its true miracle is when it comes to concealing redness. I didn't even realise I had that much redness until I started using this, it really makes such a difference in evening out my skin tone and giving the appearance of a clearer, brighter complexion. If you suffer from pigmentation, scarring, or discolouration of any sort I'd really recommend checking this out. It makes my skin looks so glowy and healthy, and I barely need to use any concealer.
I'm not a fan of matte foundations at all, and the 'glow' part of this product's name certainly rings true. It really gives your skin the luminosity and glow of healthy, well-moisturised skin, but in a very natural way (i.e. without looking like an oil slick). As with any non-mattifying foundation, I do get a bit of shine by the end of the day, so I have to reapply powder, but otherwise the last and finish are perfect.
This also doesn't break me out at all. I've been really on top of my skincare game lately after a particularly bad breakout last term (part stress, part notoriously bad Body Shop skincare range), so I am really thorough with removing my makeup, and I don't wear foundation every day of the week anyway. However, I'm pretty sure that if this was going to break me out, it would have done so regardless. This product is completely fragrance free, and Nars states that it's dermatologically tested, non-comodegenic etc etc, so if you are especially blemish prone I'd recommend getting a sample of this and seeing how it goes.
Nars recommend applying this with your fingers, but personally I find that my Real Techniques Buffing Brush gives a more flawless looking application. I also find that this applies and lasts much better over moisturised skin. This foundation is targeted at normal/dry skin but if you have any dry/flakey patches it will show them up, so definitely apply some sort of day cream/primer beforehand.
I picked this up in the shade Mont Blanc, which is the second to lightest shade. I think I could probably have gotten away with going a shade lighter, as this is a touch too dark for me, but bearing in mind that that is on my skin at its absolute palest I think Mont Blanc will be fine for the majority of the year. I was really impressed by Nars' shade range, it's incredibly thorough and each shade is targeted at either pink or yellow toned skin, so you're more likely to find a perfect match than you are with most foundations.
Packaging-wise this certainly isn't the most travel friendly product, its in a glass bottle and doesn't have a pump... I've seen so many people complaining about the lack of pump, but personally it doesn't bother me too much. I'm not one of those people who carries their daily makeup around with them at all times, so I don't need this to be uber travel friendly. However, it isn't particularly hygienic, and I spend a lot of time wiping the spout clean. The other downside of its being pumpless is that until you've really mastered pouring this foundation onto the back of your hand, you can easily pour out way too much, and it's impossible to get back in (trust me, I've tried). But if this really bothers you, Nars do sell a pump for £3 (the downside of which the lid doesn't fit over it...).
For me, this foundation ticks all of the boxes. Okay, it isn't the most budget friendly foundation out there (£31), but as I am very particular when it comes to what I put on my skin I personally think that it's worth the price. Plus, if you keep your eye on ASOS's promotions you can save up to around £7 off the original price. If you have any questions about this foundation let me know below!