Friday, August 12, 2011
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Ceylan (Light6)
I chose NARS Sheer Glow because it has a large following. When it comes to foundation, popularity is a reasonable measure of quality. A big concern of mine is skin sensitivity. Fortunately, I didn't find many negative reviews from people with sensitive skin. So far, I think this foundation agrees relatively well with my skin. It doesn't give me cystic acne or bumps all over my face, which are reactions that have happened to me before. When I tested the samples, my skin was relatively comfortable. I can't say with absolute certainty that there is no reaction because my face is currently unhappy. I think it's likely due to my new primer, setting powder and/or hormones, however I can't completely rule out the foundation.
NARS Sheer Glow doesn't have sunscreen. This is a big plus for sunscreen sensitive people like me. Nowadays it's difficult to find good foundation without sunscreen. Sheer glow photographs incredibly well. This is partially due to the lack of sunscreen. Sunscreen tends to give a whitish cast to skin in photos.
NARS has two foundation formulas: Sheer Glow and Sheer matte. The names are self-explanatory. Sheer glow gives a natural glowy finish, while sheer matte gives a matte finish. Sheer Glow is the more popular of the two. I've tried both and I prefer the finish of sheer glow. If the word "glow" has you running for the hills, you're not alone. I was hesitant as well because "glow" is often a euphemism for shiny or oily. I'm pleased to report that the "glow" in Sheer Glow is an actual natural glow. It's reminiscent of the nice glow I get from Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. Online reviewers often suggest that people with oilier skin should avoid Sheer Glow. However, I disagree. I think Sheer Glow has a good capacity for oil control. Normally, my T-zone can get quite shiny, especially in the summer. Chanel VA is great for me in the winter, however it gets slick really quickly in the summer. It takes a lot longer for oil to show on my Sheer Glow foundation. With powder, the foundation can last several hours before requiring blotting. Furthermore, Sheer Glow can look a little dry on my clean skin when first applied. I would guess that people with dry skin should avoid Sheer Glow more than those with moderately oily skin. I've read / heard a few reviews that corroborate this idea.
The color range of NARS foundations is thought to be quite comprehensive. The colors lean slightly more yellow than other ranges. I find that the color of my NARS Sheer Glow does not oxidize greatly over time. (Foundations oxidation drives me nuts).
NARS Sheer glow foundation comes in a glass packaging a rubberized plastic cap. The rubberized cap can come off to reveal a small screw-on cap. When I received my packaging the screw-on cap wasn't tightly capped, so there was some foundation on the inner lip of the bottle. I thought this was a one-time problem, but it may be an issue every time. Even though I screw the inner cap on tightly, there is inevitably foundation left on the inner sides of the cap. This may be because I shake the bottle before use. Foundation on the cap runs slightly down the inner sides of the cap and transfers to the bottle lip when I close it. This is a minor issue with little mess. Has anyone had this experience as well?
There NARS bottle design receives a lot of criticism because it lacks a pump. Because of this, and the cap issues above, it can get a little messy to use. I talked to a SA about this, and she says she uses hers without a pump because the bottle needs to be shaken beforehand. After shaking you can cover the opening with your index finger and invert/shake the bottle. That way, you'll have a "finger-full" of foundation, which is enough to cover a significant area of skin. I usually need two "finger-fulls" of foundation to cover my face. I imagine you could do a similar thing with a sponge. Pouring this foundation seems like a bad idea. Less is more. There is a pump sold on the NARS website. I'm considering purchasing it, although I could live without it.
Finally, I'll compare swatches of the two colors I tested. NARS Sheer Glow foundation in Ceylan (Light 6) and Fiji (Light 5). They're consecutive colors in the NARS color range. Fiji is for light skin with yellow undertones, while Ceylan is for light to medium skin with yellow undertones. I initially tested Fiji but found it was too dark yellow/orange on my skin. After reading reviews online, I decided to go with Ceylan. By number order, Ceylan is supposedly darker than Fiji. However, you can see from my swatches below that this not the case!
I'm happy with Ceylan as a fit for my skin. In some lights it looks the teeniest bit too yellow. You can see my skin has a slight pinkish cast in my swatch below. However, this is splitting hairs. I prefer to look slightly more yellow than slightly more pink or orange. It looks healthier. If all goes well, I plan on sampling Deauville (Light 3) or Gobi (Light 2) when it becomes winter.
Overall, I'm happy I found a photogenic, SPF-free, skin-friendly foundation. Let me know if you've tried this one and have any thoughts. I'd love to hear them! Thanks for reading =)