Sunday, March 4, 2012

Review: NARS Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc

Blogger fail.  100% fail.  Someone come and take all my midterms and go to all my meetings for me, okay?  Blargh.

Well, on a less fail-tastic note, I have a foundation review for y'all!  Before I get to the review, let me give you some background on my skin and foundation routine.

My skin is combination, meaning that it's dry on the cheeks but oily on the t-zone.  I have the occasional breakout, redness, and acne scarring that I want covered up.  I used to use MAC's Face & Body foundation, which is a water-based, very sheer foundation.  I really like how it sits on my skin and doesn't break me out, but Face & Body comes in a limited shade range (and was always too dark for me), and since it's so sheer, I have to use a LOT of product to get the coverage I want.  On top of that, it oxidizes throughout the day and doesn't have the best lasting power.  So I wanted a foundation that would match my NW-15/20 skin, not break me out, last through the whole day, and cover all my blemishes.  I also like a dewy finish, and not a very matte finish, because I feel like it makes me skin look fresher and more radiant.

I decided to pick up NARS Sheer Glow because I'd seen it in action on Pixi2Woo's YouTube channel (look her up, she is fab), and it looked so natural but had such nice coverage.  So I ran to Sephora with my Christmas money, did some arm swatches, and picked up a bottle of Siberia.  The Nars Sheer Glow foundations are named after locations--so Siberia is snow-white.  Which made me cry a little instead about how pale that I am.  Siberia is the lightest Nars shade with both pink and yellow undertones. 

Well, Siberia worked on my face in the store, but when I tried it in my bathroom the next morning, it was "Hello there, Casper!"  I looked dead.  So I ran back to Sephora and exchanged Siberia for Mont Blanc, which Sephora calls "fair with slight pink undertones."  Mont Blanc is a much better match for my NW-15/20 skin, but I love that NARS has a good amount of options for us crazy-fair people.

Here's the 1 oz. bottle, and a swatch on my hand--it's blended out a little to the left.

And here's a less than adorable picture of me so that y'all can see what it looks like on my skin.

Let's break it down.

Application: I uncap it (sadly there's no included pump, but you can buy one from NARS), put my finger on the opening of the bottle, and flip it over so that I get a little product on my finger.  Then I rub it into my skin with my fingers in a circular motion.  I really like how this applies with my fingers, but I've never been a foundation brush kind of gal.  I use about one finger dab on each cheek and one on my forehead, and then I go back for more if I need more coverage.  Then I put on concealer and set it with powder.

Formula/lasting power: Sheer Glow is a relatively thick liquid foundation, but I find that it goes on easily and blends nicely without looking heavy or cakey.  What I find really interesting about this foundation is that it's called Sheer Glow, and there is a Sheer Matte version, so this one is supposed to be dewy.  But when I put it on, it somehow manages to cut down on the oiliness on my t-zone while making the drier parts of my face look dewier and more radiant.  It certainly doesn't make me look oilier, which was what I expected from a 'glow' foundation.  The one problem I have with the formula is that it emphasizes any dry flakes that I have, and makes them look much worse.  So if you have really dry since, it's not for you.  In terms of lasting power, I can actually get from 9AM to midnight or later with only minimal touch-ups and no oxidation.  It really hangs on!  It definitely fades faster on the oilier parts of my face, but even that is barely noticeable.

Coverage: My skin has gotten better, but I do have occasional breakouts, redness, and scarring, so I want at least a medium coverage foundation.  This is called Sheer Glow, but I find even with one layer I get medium coverage.  With two thin layers I get almost flawless looking skin that doesn't look too heavy, which is lovely.

Color: I am very pale, with lots of pink undertones to my skin.  Mont Blanc is a perfect match in terms of how pink my skin is, but it is the tiniest bit dark for me.  Given that Siberia is way too light, Mont Blanc works fine, but I do have to be careful with blending at my hairline.  I think that if you're a MAC NW-15/20, Mont Blanc would be a great match for you.

Packaging: I love the heavy glass bottle.  It feels very luxurious.  The packaging is standard NARS, with the pretty black lid that collects fingerprints and dust like no other.  I also don't love that this has no pump--much less hygienic.

Awkward Chic rating: A.  I don't love that it has no pump and that it's $42 for a 1 oz. bottle.  But I think I can get 4-6 months out of each bottle, so it's expensive, but doable.  In terms of the physical foundation, I love it.  The shade range is great, and it works so well for combination skin, has lovely coverage, and a really natural-looking finish.  I'm calling this Holy Grail for me (as of right now.  Don't hold me to that).

In other news, Anastasia Beverly Hills sent me these adorable brow guides.  They're breakdowns of how to get different brow styles, as seen on some of your favorite past and present Hollywood Starlets, and product suggestions.  Personally, I love that Bombshell Brow.


  1. i asked for some samples of the same shade of the sheer glow. perfect match for me too, also a nw15~20. I don't think it leaves any glow on my face, but instead a homogeneous, healthy, flawless porcelain face for a good while.

    As I have very dry spots in my face, as you have said, it accentuates the flakes. It is a pity because otherwise I would have bought it.

    Interesting post.

    Greetings from Spain.


  2. I am obsessed! I just picked up a sample on Friday - my color is Deauville (I'm NC15) and it matches me wayy better than any other foundation I've ever had. And I totally agree with you - the coverage is Medium/Full on first application. It's gorgeous!



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