NARS Tinted Moisturizer

NARS, Tinted Moisturizer, promoThis 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.
NARS, Tinted Moisturizer, swatches, Finland, Alaska, St. Moritz, Annapurna, Cuba, Malaga, Seychelles, Martinique, Polynesia, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar
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.
NARS, Tinted Moisturizer, Finland, Alaska, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar
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)
  • Nordstrom.com
  • 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).
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16 Responses to “NARS Tinted Moisturizer”

  • Katie says:

    I agree with Michael’s Siberia / Khartoum assessment! I wanted to love this so much, but I wear Siberia and Finland was several shades too dark (it’s kind of validating to read this, too, because the associate at my counter swore that Siberia was comparable to Finland, and I didn’t think it was even close). It has such a nice formula, though! :)

  • Jen Bon Jovi says:

    I must admit, while I quite like this TM, I wasn’t completely blown away by it. However, it’s great for no-makeup days (because I can never wear absolutely no make-up, in case I scare small children) – a quick layer of this applied with fingers and a slick of mascara, and I feel like I can face the world.

    It also smells divine; it has a kind of citrus, orange-blossom scent which you can smell upon application, but soon fades.

    Finland was a good match for my NW15-20 skin (I wear Mont Blanc usually), although it runs a little yellow when swatched on the back of my hand, it seems to blend pretty well with my skin.

    I just wish it had a tad more coverage – but I suppose that would kind of defeat the object.

    Jen
    x

  • Paula says:

    I’m pretty bummed that Nars didn’t come out with a TM for Siberia wearers. Sheer glow Siberia is an excellent color match for me, but sometimes it over emphasizes the dry patches I get in the winter.

  • I love love love this TM, I can’t say it enough. Thankfully, Finland is a good match for me!

  • nacacijin says:

    I love the Nars Tinted Moisturizer and Alaska is amazing. Blends into my fair olive winter skin perfectly. And interestingly enough, it even blends well into my summer tan (MUFE HD 123) with a little help from my bronzer. I tried St Moritz, too, but it’s far, far too orange.

    It’s interesting how Annapurna through Martinique are almost imperceptibly different. My roommate (latina, probably NC40 or so) says that she collected samples of all five when these first came out and could use any one of them because they all blended down to basically the same color. The only minor variations between them were in undertone (orange/red/olive).

    I think they could have improved the product with more variation. Instead of five shades that can all work for the same skintone, they could have taken one or two shades in the middle out and made an additional lighter and darker shade instead. And that huge jump from St Moritz to Annapurna is just silly. It think it would reach a more comprehensive audience if it went something like this:

    Light 1 : Amsterdam (very pale, porcelain)
    Light 2 : Finland (same)
    Light 3 : Alaska (same)
    Medium 1 : St Moritz (similar, not orange)
    Medium 2 : Annapurna (1 shade lighter)
    Medium 3 : Cuba (same)
    Dark 1 : Seychelles (same or 1 shade deeper)
    Dark 2 : Polynesia (same)
    Dark 3 : Nairobi (very deep, ebony)

  • Kumiko Mae says:

    You make AMAZING swatches1

  • Marie says:

    @karlasugar: Thank you for the swatches! Always very helpful. :)

    @Katie + @Paula: I completely agree. I wear Siberia too, and Finland is too dark for me. I’m sad that our portion of the NARS customer base has been left out. I actually wrote an email to NARS customer service to let them know.

    @Michael Duquette: I appreciate your honesty, it’s refreshing. :) I’ve been told Finland is the shade for me, just because the person wanted to make a sale, when it was obvious the color didn’t suit me at all.

    @nacacijin: +1 to everything you said.

  • NARS tinted moisturizers are one of the few TM’s I haven’t tried yet but looks a bit complicated trying to find a shade.

  • deeda says:

    I like it well enough though it’s very sheer. I layer a bit on my cheeks and nose for a little more coverage. I have an oily t-zone so I’m shiny in a few hours but blotting paper or a pat of MAC Blot powder fixes it.

    And for the record, the shade offerings are completely relative to your skin tone, so I couldn’t disagree more with @nacacijin. Her suggestion that the shades jump from Cuba to Seychelles (or even 1 shade darker!) would mean I couldn’t wear it at all. Malaga is a perfect match for me.

  • Esmeralda says:

    I love this product. My face match with Cuba and Seychelles! I like Martinique to for summer weather. There is a very nice tan effect but it still look like my other skin. Very nice product. A lot of money, but no other face make up work like this one. And the smell is delicious like oranges!

    For “lucille” where is Covergirl Natural Lux? I want to try but have not seen it!

    For “deeda” I think you can use other shade too! I can wear a lot of shade with sheer make up like this. That is why they make it so light texture I think. Your skin sound like mine and Cuba is very nice color too!

  • ahhhsoneo says:

    This one of the few times where I was totally surprised to find that it looks like there are more options for darker skinned folks. Thank you Nars!

    However, I wish Nars would educate their SAs a little better about their products…I wear Macao in the Sheer Glow Foundation yet everybody keeps insisting (and giving me samples) for Polynesia which only makes me appear red and sunburned …. grrr. Thanks for the guide, next time I am at a counter I will insist on either Seychelles or Malaga.

  • Malaz says:

    Hiya, will you please please pretty please swatch the nars sheer glows I haven’t been able to find them anywhere online and yours are always so helpful! Thanks so much! Xxx

  • Celeste says:

    Thanks for this post, I was looking for a review on a new tinted moisturiser following use of Bobbi brown which was very yellow.
    Martinique is perfect for my skin! I have been using over a week now, may just be a new staple

    Great blog by the way, thanks for including posts for dark skin, not may people do :)

  • Seychelles says:

    This was so very helpful thanks for the time and effort =)

  • nicole says:

    Amazing blog and swatches! I stopped in my local sephora 3 times this week trying to get a match for this and the sheer glow foundation in a darker shade. Your swatches and descriptions are far more helpful than any of the sales associates. Since this review,Nars has added Tiered Nuevo(apologies if I butchered the spelling),lightest with pink u/t and Groenland,which I believe is a lighter med with pink/peach u/t…not 100 percent on those descriptions. The Nars website usually has a good description. But your swatches are so much better..if they even have any!for the fair skinned ladies who are finding these too dark,the newer lighter shade mentioned above may be a winner.I looked at it. I currently am in Ceylan in Sheer Glow. TN looked way too pale with slight pink to it on my neck. I usually wind up mixing foundations because I pick up color very quick and easy in spring summer. For ex ,I have Ceylan and just got Stromboli in Sheer Glow.I’ll mix them as I go into summer and vice versa as I lose color. Much cheaper than buying 4 foundation shades.I think the key with Nars is the undertone. I have a yellow/olive undertone.So in the tinted moisturizer,I have been doing Alaska in winter and am going to pick up st Moritz now that I’ve seen it.I will be ordering it from Sephora because I am VIB and like the free shipping and points system. I will be referring to this blog now more before wasting my time in that store. I asked for a sample of the sheer glow in Ppunjab and the lady didn’t even try it on me! She just said”not the right color for you”. Honestly,don’t know how a store like that is staying in business these days.

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