This spring, NARS added a tinted moisturizer to their foundation lineup — and there was much rejoicing. NARS chiefly received accolades for its shade selection, which spans a diverse range of skintones. Less talked about (but equally intriguing) are the foundation’s treatment properties. This tinted moisturizer is supposed to reduce discoloration and fade dark spots over time.
The formula is flexible (kind of like how MAC Matchmaster was supposed to meld with your skintone). If you’re somewhere in the middle, you could probably get away with wearing two (or even three?) different shades. This also means that my swatches don’t tell the whole story.
With a sheer foundation, the color of the skin underneath affects the way the foundation looks. The darker shades do match skincolors deeper than the color of the stripe on my arm. I’ve consulted ladies who wear NARS Sheer Glow in Trinidad and New Guinea, MAC Matchmaster 7.5, and MAC NW45, and they’re all extremely happy with Polynesia.
My best shade match was Finland. If we’re splitting hairs, it’s maybe a tiny bit too dark and too yellow (which would be more of a problem in winter than it is now), but NARS foundations (Sheer Glow, too) sheer out very nicely when applied over skincare.
To demonstrate how sheerable these are, here are blended swatches of the two lightest shades, Finland and Alaska.
I asked makeup artist and NARS wizard Michael Duquette (Nordstrom The Grove, L.A.) to help me put together a translation guide (so folks who know their Sheer Glow shade would know where to start with the Tinted Moisturizer). He said that the tinted moisturizer and Sheer Glow/Sheer Matte don’t match up exactly — and because of the TM’s blendability, multiple SG/SM shades may wear the same TM. So this is approximate.
Finland = Mont Blanc, Gobi, Deauville
Alaska = Deauville, Fiji, Ceylan
St. Moritz = Punjab, Santa Fe, Stromboli, Barcelona
Annapurna = Barcelona, Syracuse, Tahoe
Cuba = Cadiz
Malaga = Cadiz, Macao
Seychelles = Macao, New Orleans
Martinique = New Orleans, New Guinea, Benares
Polynesia = Benares, Trinidad, Tortuga
Here’s that same chart again with NARS’s shade designations:
Finland (Light 1) = Mont Blanc (Light 2), Gobi (Light 3), Deauville (Light 4)
Alaska (Light 2) = Deauville (Light 4), Fiji (Light 5), Ceylan (Light 6)
St. Moritz (Medium 1) = Punjab (Medium 1), Santa Fe (Medium 2), Stromboli (Medium 3), Barcelona (Medium 4)
Annapurna (Medium 2) = Barcelona (Medium 4), Syracuse (Med/Dark 1), Tahoe (Med/Dark 2)
Cuba (Medium 3) = Cadiz (Med/Dark 3)
Malaga (Med/Dark 1) = Cadiz (Med/Dark 3), Macao (Med/Dark 4)
Seychelles (Med/Dark 2) = Macao (Med/Dark 4), New Orleans (Med/Dark 5)
Martinique (Med/Dark 3) = New Orleans (Med/Dark 5), New Guinea (Dark 1), Benares (Dark 2)
Polynesia (Dark 1) = Benares (Dark 2), Trinidad (Dark 3), Tortuga (Dark 4)
Michael said he didn’t feel comfortable putting a client who’s Siberia or Khartoum in the Tinted Moisturizer. If you’re one of those shades and you want lighter coverage, he likes to use concealer in Chantilly (light) or Cacao (dark) where needed, then set with powder.
The tinted moisturizer is oil-free, and contains SPF 30/PA+++. It’s $42, and if you’re shopping online, you’ll find free shipping at:
- NeimanMarcus.com (with code JULYFS)
- NARScosmetics.com (they usually offer free shipping at $50, but right now they’re offering free shipping on all orders)
- Sephora.com (with $50 purchase. You’re almost there!), and
- Beauty.com (the downside of shopping at Beauty.com is you either have to click through pages and pages of NARS products, or search for a specific shade name — their organization is not the best. The upside is that they have a lot of past limited edition products still available for sale, if you’re looking for something).