In my attempt to stop purchasing from brands whose parent companies are not cruelty-free, I’d sort of ruled Nars out as a potential brand I would want to shop from when it came to picking up a new foundation. Although Nars don’t test on animals, are not sold in mainland China and offer several vegan-friendly products, their parent company – Shiseido – is far from being cruelty-free.
Buying from brands whose parent companies test is not something I feel totally comfortable with, but Nars’ vegan-friendly All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation had been on my radar for a while, so I thought I would bend my rules ever so slightly to see what the fuss was all about. I’m not interested in purchasing anything else from their range (not least because I think there are superior cruelty-free brands offering similar products) but their foundations are known to be high-quality and long-lasting so, with all that in mind, I headed to their counter at Liberty in London about a month ago for a colour match.
This actually wasn’t my first time getting colour matched for a Nars foundation. Probably a year or so ago, I tried out their Sheer Glow Foundation which does what it says on the tin, offering a sheer coverage, dewy glow. This time around, though, I wanted to go for something with a fuller coverage – the All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation provides that, but without the heavy, caky feel of some of its contemporaries.
The consultant swatched three shades on my cheek, and I straight away saw that Deauville – described as “light with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones” – was the best fit for me. Using just one pump, she applied the product to my face with clean fingers, warming it around my nostrils and mouth, where foundation can normally flake. After double-checking the shade in natural daylight, I went away a very happy customer.
However, after that initial satisfaction, my feelings have remained mixed. I can’t deny that this is a very good foundation – better, possibly, than my favourite Illamasqua one. It truly lives up to its name and feels totally weightless on the skin and, although I’ve been using more than one pump, you can certainly get away with a tiny amount. But there’s a part of me that is saying, “It’s nothing special.” Perhaps I need to consider foundation as what it is – a mere base – and accept that it’s what you do next (contouring, bronzing, blushing, highlighting, etc.) that counts. Indeed, all manner of creams and powders apply very nicely atop this foundation.
It’s a water-based foundation, so it requires a damn good shake before use. Like if you think you’ve shaken it enough, keep going a moment longer. I can’t get on board with applying makeup with my fingers, so I’ve been using a damp blending sponge which has been working really well. Although the All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is, of course, not as dewy as Sheer Glow, it does provide an adequate glow. I can’t personally attest to its claim to last for 16 hours, but it does still look decent after at least 8. The foundation doesn’t oxidise and flake but, towards the end of the day, it does start to cake a little around the chin and cheek area; this is relatively normal as far as I’m concerned.
I’m interesting in seeing how this foundation fares in the cooler weather. The lovely lady at Liberty also gave me a sample of the next darker shade, Fiji, which is a much better match for me at the moment, as I am more tanned than usual. At the moment, I’ve been mostly wearing CC cream as it’s more comfortable in the heat, but once the summer subsides I’ll be wearing the All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation out and about a lot more, and will hopefully learn to really love it.
Have you tried any of Nars’ products? Do let me know what you think of them in the comments!