NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation: A Dissenting Opinion
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I’ve been looking for a new foundation for a while because I’m feeling a bit bored with my current one (YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat). Ever since the press releases for NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation started popping up, I’ve been soooo antsy to get my hands on this stuff. One of the Sephoras here finally put their testers out last weekend, so I snapped up a sample as fast as I could. Which is my way of telling you – this review is of a sample, so it’s not like I’ve been wearing it for months or anything. Just fyi. I have worn it almost every day since I picked it up though, and I feel like that’s plenty enough to have an opinion.
Like I said, I haven’t bought this foundation, just got a sample of it, so I can’t really offer any opinions on the packaging. I put a picture of it for you though – it seems to be basically the same as their other foundations. That’s all I can really tell you about it. I could rant about the sample container (I manage to get bits of makeup everywhere) but I’m pretty sure NARS isn’t colluding with Sephora to make a mess of my vanity.
I’m pretty sure I’m doomed to never own a NARS foundation, because even though they have twenty shades of this stuff… none of them match me. I thought Vallauris might work since it’s medium-ish with cool undertones, but when I tested it at the store it was straight-up oompa loompa material on me. Way darker than I expected and more orangey than pink. After much deliberation I settled on Santa Fe – it’s still a little too yellow but close enough that I can make it work. But, if you’ve already found a match in other NARS foundations, I expect you could find one in ADLW too (I’ll be abbreviating the name henceforth because I’m already tired of typing it). They do run from ultra-light to very deep, which is a huge step above what most brands offer.
Texture, application & wear
This is where I diverge from the opinion of basically everyone else ever, which seems to be that first ingredient in ADLW is unicorn tears. Seriously, everyone seems to love this foundation and I just. don’t. get it. I’ll start with the good stuff though, which is the coverage. The consistency of this foundation is very runny – think YSL Fusion Ink or Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet. For a thin formula, it has a huge amount of coverage. I got halfway through putting my makeup on to do this post when I realized I should probably let you see some bare skin (bow chicka bowwow) to give you an idea. So the left half of my face (right side of the photo) doesn’t have any foundation on yet:
A little bit goes a long way with this stuff – I just barely dipped my finger into the sample pot and dotted that all over my cheek:
And then used a stippling brush (Chanel #7, if you’re curious) to spread it out:
I didn’t use any spot concealer in that one, so what you see is what you get. The problem is, it’s just massively unpleasant. I think you can sort of see in these photos how it sits on top of the skin (I know the color mismatch isn’t helping any with that). Getting it to blend is difficult and tedious, and once it’s on I can feel it. The name describes it as weightless, but even though it’s not thick it still feels a bit suffocating and mask-like.
For all that, it does look pretty smooth, except in flaky areas. You’re gonna need to exfoliate for sure.
Wear throughout the day was another bust. Cue up a ‘McKayla is not impressed’ meme here. It steadily settled into all my lines and pores, even though I tried it over a few different primers. Let’s not beat around the bush here – it aged me, and not gracefully. Pardon the weird expression in the picture below – it was the best example of what I’m talking about, especially the crepiness at the top of my cheekbone.
On top of that, it got patchy and powdery-looking in my dry areas (mainly around my chin and nose) and in oily areas, well, this happened:
I’m very careful not to touch my face, but somehow it still broke down and came off between my eyebrows after 6 hours or so (though this picture was taken after maybe 10-12). As you can see, it has exactly zero oil control, though I can’t really count that against it since I don’t think it claims to.
So yeah. Basically nothing about this foundation worked for me, which makes me glad I waited to test it before buying.
In Short: Odds are I won’t even finish my sample of it.