It is a good time to be a foundation fanatic with new formulations springing up on a weekly basis, we've never been so spoilt for choice. Let's forget about all the new kids on the block and concentrate on two the most spoken about foundations ever: NARS Sheer Glow Foundation and NARS Sheer Matte Foundation. As most of us have a preference when it comes to finish and certain needs due to skin type, let me give you the low down on each so you don't end up with another expensive yet neglected bottle of base in your stash!
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (£31 via House of Fraser)
Sheer Glow is a light to medium coverage foundation that offers enough coverage to hide light scarring, disguise redness and generally even out the skin tone for a flawless and some what natural base. One thing to keep in mind is that NARS Sheer Glow does not mean sheer as in transparent but rather sheer in the sense of ultimate, I know a good few have been put off by the title alone but this is not a glorified tinted moisturiser. It is fairly hydrating (perfect for drier complexions) and not typically recommended for my skin type (oily) but I don't find it to slip when primed then set with powder, and I consider myself to overly oily in terms of skin type. Rather I find the luminous quality this foundation possess to disguise signs of excess sebum rather naturally, as this gives a soft dewy and somewhat radiate glow to the skin, any signs of oil tend to be less noticeable than say with a full coverage matte foundation. If like myself you have enlarged pores or fine lines this formulation will not settle into such faults. Despite giving unbeatable radiance to the complexion this contains no obvious shimmer element to highlight such problems. Rather it glides over the skin providing a lit from within glow and a picture perfect canvas - this is why so many brides and bridal parties turn to this on their big day. In terms of wear when primed and set I typically get close to 9 hours of faultless and comfortable wear.
In a nutshell - light to medium coverage, dewy not shimmery, comfortable, long wearing when set, suitable for most skin types but additional work is required when working with oily complexions. Great for everyday wear and/or special occasions.
NARS Sheer Matte Foundation (£31 via Space.NK)NARS Sheer Matte Foundation is a medium coverage foundation (it can be layered on for a fuller finish without caking) that again offers enough coverage to hide light scarring, disguise redness and generally even out the skin tone for a flawless base. Much like the aforementioned foundation above, the one thing to keep in mind is that NARS Sheer Matte does not mean sheer as in transparent but rather sheer in the sense of ultimate. It is fairly hydrating for a matte foundation yet not overwhelmingly so. It has a creamy and somewhat thick texture (on the skin it does not feel heavy at all) and I don't find it to slip when primed then set and I consider myself to overly oily in terms of skin type. Being a matte formula you do run the risk of matte foundation being a little flat and mask like but I can safely say this is not the case with Sheer Matte. Yes it does create a smooth, even matte base but rather than being flat and dull, the matte finish is natural and effortless. I personally prefer matte foundations as I find they work best with my oily skin and tend to be more forgiving on less than perfect skin textures. Unlike other matte foundations this lends itself well to dry skin, the creamy texture is not prone to clinging to dry areas nor will it settle into lines or enlarged pores nor cake throughout the course of wear. NARS base products really are a dream to apply, this light weight creamy base glides over making it a breeze to buff into the skin be it with a brush or with your fingertips. In terms of wear, when primed and set I typically get close to 9 hours of faultless wear, I find the matte aspect somewhat controls oil especially on my t-zone. It really is a revelation within the matte foundation world as it is so breathable and natural looking once applied which I find hard to find.
In a nutshell - medium coverage, buildable, matte but not flat, natural and breathable finish, long wearing and can help control excess oil. A great everyday foundation for normal to oily complexions, perhaps better suited for special occasions for those with a drier skin type.
Hopefully that makes the selection between two foundation heavy weights that little easier.