NARS Radiant Longwear Foundation Review
BY REBECCA DIEUDONNE AND SOPHIE CHUNG
Boasting 16-hour wear with a radiant finish, we tested the NARS Radiant Longwear Foundation. Does it live up to its hype?
9 SEP - 2018
Long-wearing foundations tend to catch on dry skin, so I was keen to try the NARS formula designed for mature skin.
First impressions, as with all NARS foundations – they pay great attention to diversity and there is an impressive selection of shades for a range of undertones. I wear Deauville, which is a light pink with yellow undertones to balance and neutralise my skin. It’s a perfect match, colour wise - we are off to a great start!
The formula is liquid light and impressively pigmented for a light-weight foundation. I prefer to apply with my fingertips and press the foundation into my skin. The yellow instantly knocked out any faded redness from my scarring and balanced my complexion beautifully. The finish was naturally radiant as promised. I added a light dusting of translucent powder to my t-zone and I’m good to go. I loved how easily the product spread - you only need a little to cover your whole face, and for any additional coverage, the formula was easily buildable. The product blended well with my blush and contour and didn’t grab in any drier patches. I had a small amount of creasing under my eyes initially, but I tidied it up with powder.
Now for the true test. I tried this without a primer on a grey Auckland day to test the longevity. Unfortunately, by about lunchtime (six hours of wear in controlled air conditioning), the foundation was sitting on top of my skin in a glossy, entirely unsexy layer. A gentle wipe to blend moves my coverage and you can see all of my pores underneath. It was disappointing for a long-wear foundation! I had creasing under my eyes and the dryness around my nose and corners of my lips was accentuated. Disclaimer; I do use very hydrating skincare to prep my skin in the morning but it’s because I feel I need it in the office when I feel like I’m slowly turning into a prune by 6pm. Other foundations tend to cope well with this base, and my skin isn’t super oily at the moment so I would have expected this formula to last well. By 6pm, it’s pretty much what you would expect – light coverage remaining, but not the best finish!
(Side note: I try to NEVER touch my face at work (ew, germs) so the performance of foundation shouldn’t have been compromised by this).
Next morning: Okay, round two. After yesterday’s result, I applied a light moisturiser and no serum. After waiting for the product to sink in, I then applied a mattifying primer. Once again, the foundation spreaded well. It didn’t grab, although I do use more this time (obvs) and my coverage is noticeably fuller. My skin still feels like skin, and the formula is breathable. I spritzed it with setting spray and left it to dry before I applied contour, blush and highlight (no powder this time, in case it was this combo that didn’t work).
Lunchtime comes and I look in the mirror with bated breath... okay not so bad! Definitely better than yesterday. I’ve still got a bit of a sheen going on, so I try to pat and blend this but my coverage moves a bit. This product does not like to be touched up! Maybe I need to use a NARS powder? I haven’t got one of those.
Overall, I loved how this foundation initially applies and feels. The colour-match is spot on. It is hydrating and applies water-light with a beautiful finish. It is the most amazing foundation... for four hours. It just doesn’t last on me! Honestly though, I did expect a lot from the performance of a ‘long-wear’ foundation and would love to know how others have found it. Furthermore, air-conditioning is not kind to most of my foundations, so this could be a contributing factor to why it separated on my skin and easily transferred.
As an everyday foundation, worn for a short time period = 9/10
As a longwearing foundation = 7/10. More testing needed with a NARS specific primer or powder.
Trial on Normal/Oily Skin
I was quite skeptical about this product due to its very mixed reviews - many people have complained about how transferable the formula is. I reckon it's all in its name - NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. The radiant factor is pretty high and talking to the Beauty Editors who are in their forties, they've considered it an incredible, superior foundation. It's great for dry, mature skin - it should stick like your skin is hoovering the formula.
However, for those who struggle with oily skin, or even just an oily t-zone - I would not recommend it. The first time I used it, it was a sunny autumn day (for Rebecca’s 29th birthday) and I do remember sweating from my pits a bit that day. The result was not glam at all. I was shiny all over like a greasy piece of processed cheese. For the primer that day, I'm pretty sure I used the new Sisley Lavender colour correcting primer.
For those who are wanting to photograph themselves immediately with fresh makeup, the Natural Radiant Longwear foundation will make you glow like a sexy water-nymph. In terms of longevity, it did fade in coverage a bit with time. If you've ever tried 'serum foundations' for mature skin, that's the finish you should be expecting from this formula.
In an effort to make it work, I tried pairing it with the Bobbi Brown Primer Plus Mattifer and Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. Sure, by noon my T-zone was a little shiny but it's a small sacrifice to make for how dewy my skin looked. It's definitely a winter season formula for me. If you have dry, mature skin - I highly recommend you get a sample as there's people out there who've given it a solid ten and you never know if it could be your holy grail!