Author: Rebecca Neall
04 Aug 2022
Nars Sheer Glow is a cult classic foundation, loved by makeup artists and novices alike. The father of its creation is none other than François Nars, a frustrated makeup artist turned uber cosmetic giant. Francois first launched the brand in 1994, with 12 lipsticks in Barneys New York, which was met with critical acclaim (well, in the makeup world!) and resulted in the range selling out time and time again. Demand for Nars products grew and the brand now stocks quite a comprehensive range, which as of 2002, now also includes NARSskin.
But the GOAT of the Nars range is Nars Sheer Glow ($35 GBP, $47 USD, $70 AUD). Designed to be a buildable fluid foundation with a natural-looking finish that immaculately evens skin tones.
Let’s see if it delivers on what it promises!
Nars Sheer Glow: The Facts
First up, the packaging. The design is chic and simple, the square bottle could sit proudly on your vanity. The product doesn’t come with a pump, but you can purchase this separately if you don’t like pouring out your foundation (this is 99% of the population, I’m sure). The pump is reusable so you don’t have to buy a new one each time you stock up, but I’m still bothered that foundations coming with a pump is not an industry standard.
Nars is at the forefront of inclusivity and the range now proudly boasts 40 shades, with a vast selection of shades and undertones. It's worth noting that the medium/tan shades are the most catered for with almost too many options to choose from and even borderline similar shades on offer.
In 2002, NARSSkin launched under the brand - but their products have always had your skin health in mind. Sheer Glow has Vitamin C included for some sweet skin brightening benefits, although you’d need to use it daily to see any major effect. It also contains Glycerin, which helps to maintain the skin’s moisture levels.
This is a very approachable foundation that is versatile, fragrance-free, and can be easily customised to suit every skin type. My hot tips for this product;
Dry Skin: Moisturise well, and add a drop of your favourite liquid luminiser for extra glow.
Normal/Combo Skin: Wear as is, apply with your hands.
Oily Skin: Be sure to prime, apply liberally, and set well with powder to ensure longevity.
Apply this product with a brush, sponge or with the warmth of your hands to let it melt into the skin. It does not dry all the way down, which makes it easy to blend and gives you time to play around with the product.
The finish is a natural/satin look, a “your skin, but better” foundation - which I love. Don’t be fooled by the name “Sheer Glow” it doesn’t mean it is Sheer in coverage or Glowy in finish - it just means that it HAS a sheer glow - being a soft satiny, lit-from-within finish on the skin.
It lives up to its description, it’s a lightweight liquid foundation with medium coverage. It can be easily sheered out, or built up to full coverage. A dupe for this cult classic is the Neutrogena Healthy Skin Liquid (UK) (US) makeup, which provides a VERY similar finish and coverage. Some small difference - Nars Sheer Glow feels more lightweight on the skin, and is a little longer lasting.
12 Hour Nars Sheer Glow Wear Test
Ash is our effortlessly cool Lab Manager. She fields brand enquiries by day and kills the motherhood game by night, all the office girls want to be her, but none of us could ever achieve that level of cool - at least not in this lifetime.
Ash tried out Nars Sheer Glow over a full day in the lab & a busy routine with her daughter - So, how did Sheer Glow hold up?
6:00am - Skin Prep: I’m prepping my skin with a light hydrating serum, some moisturiser, oil and lip balm. I’m going to let that settle into my skin while I get ready and have my breakfast
7:00am - Application: I’m wearing the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in the shade, ‘Punjab’ today. I’m applying it sparingly with one of my favourite brushes - my fluffy IT Cosmetics brush. On a normal work day I won’t prime or set my foundation with powder so I apply it like I normally would. I’ve buffed on a light layer of foundation which is giving me medium coverage. I can feel how I could easily apply more for a fuller coverage but I'll leave it at this for today. I then apply the rest of my makeup - concealer, brows, brow gel, eyeshadow, eyeliner, curl my lashes, mascara, blush, tinted lip balm - and I’m done! Getting out the door is never easy with a toddler, so after some gentle coaxing, I drop my daughter off at school and I’m headed into the lab for the day.
9:30am - 2 hours since application: I’ve arrived at work and, after 2 hours, the foundation is still looking really fresh. No signs of wear so far.
1pm - 7 hours since application: I’m starting to look a little shiny in the T-Zone which is normal for me as I don’t prime or powder day-to-day. I can see it’s worn away around my chin, but it's worth noting that I ate a very saucy spaghetti bolognese for lunch.
7pm - 12 hours since application: Time to wash off my makeup, I've had this on for over 12 hours now. The makeup has definitely worn off around my nose, cheeks and chin. I feel like I’ve still got slight coverage and the foundation has marinated itself into the natural oils of my skin. Time to tuck in my daughter and rest up on the couch before doing it all again tomorrow!
Ash’s Final thoughts:
For everyday wear, this foundation did the job for me, and I’m satisfied with its performance. As someone who touches their own face a lot, let alone sticky toddler hands, I feel that Sheer Glow stacked up as I would have expected. I’m pretty shiny and it’s worn away but this is more than okay with me for a normal work day.
For a special occasion, long wear, or oily skin types - I would suggest to prime accordingly, apply a heavier application for a fuller coverage and definitely powder to set to improve its longevity.
Ash’s Skincare Products (in order of application):
Mecca Max Watercooler Hydrating Serum (AU)
Aesop In Two Minds Facial Hydrator (UK) (US) mixed with Sukin Rosehip Oil (UK) (US)
Weleda Skin Food (used as lip balm) (UK) (US)
Ash’s Makeup Products (in order of application):
Nars Sheer Glow - Punjab (UK) (US)
Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer - Custard (UK) (US)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting - Bronzer (UK) (US)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting - Blush (UK) (US)
Glossier Brow Flick - Blond (UK) (US)
1000 Hour - Clear Brow Gel (AU)
Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes - 104 (UK) (US)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting - Bronzer (UK) (US)
Stila Smudgestick Eyeliner - Lionfish (UK) (US)
Shu Uemura Lash Curler (UK) (US)
By Terry Mascara - Purple (UK) (US)
Ilia -Tinted Lip Balm (UK) (US)