We Put NARS Light Reflecting Foundation To The Test

NARS Light Reflecting Foundation review | Space NK
Brands have been blurring the line between our skincare and makeup products for years. While BB and CC creams, along with tinted moisturisers, used to be the go-to base products for anyone who wanted makeup formulas that included key skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, these days pretty much all foundations are skincare-makeup hybrids.

NARS Light Reflecting Foundation is a formula that pops up on our list of bestselling foundations time and time again. Available in 36 shades and jam-packed with ingredients such as milk thistle to plump and firm and cacao peptides to help protect, this medium coverage foundation goes further than just camouflaging blemishes and uneven skin tone.

Does this NARS foundation live up to hype when tested out on five different skin types and tones? You'll have to keep scrolling to find out...

Grace’s NARS Light Reflecting Foundation review

Skin type: The oilier side of combination

Skin tone: Fair

The product: Nars Light Reflecting Foundation, £ 41,00 in Salzburg

Grace before and after NARS Light Reflecting Foundation | Space NK

Foundations with a light to medium coverage are my usual go-to, so NARS Light Reflecting Foundation is probably the heaviest I’d go for. I was impressed by how easy the formula was to blend. I used three pumps and applied it with a brush before pressing a BeautyBlender over the top for a flawless finish.

The finish was super dewy, and it didn’t feel too thick or cakey. It’s definitely a buildable foundation and you could work up to a much fuller coverage if you wanted to. Throughout the day, this NARS foundation didn’t wear-off or look cakey. My skin is slightly oilier at the moment, so I did have to powder my T-zone.

Overall, I really liked the finished look and thought the foundation sat nicely on top of a primer and underneath my powder. It didn’t feel thick or heavy and had a glowing finish, so it’s a solid yes from me.

Hanitra’s NARS Light Reflecting Foundation review

Skin type: Oily and acne-prone

Skin tone: Medium

The product: Nars Light Reflecting Foundation, £ 41,00 in Syracuse

Hanitra before and after NARS Light Reflecting Foundation | Space NK

On paper NARS Light Reflecting Foundation is my kind of base as it offers buildable, medium coverage. I have some post-acne hyperpigmentation that I like to concealer, it’s the ultimate coverage test for me. When I first applied the NARS Light Reflecting Foundation, I really liked it. The consistency is quite liquid-y, it’s really easy to blend into your skin, and the finish is somewhere in between matte and dewy so it’s the perfect balance. I felt like the finish really lived up to the light reflecting name.

I concentrated the coverage on my cheeks as that’s where I need it the most and I used my Hourglass Vanish Seamless Foundation Brush to blend it in. In the before and after photos above, I used some of my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer to cover my most stubborn pigmentation, but I think the foundation did a great job at hiding most of my dark spots. I loved that my skin looks glowy but not greasy, which is a true challenge for people with oily skin.

Overall, it looked great, aside from the usual T-zone, I don’t think I looked too shiny or oily. I could definitely see some of my pigmentation peeking through towards the end of the day but that’s something I experience with most foundations and complexion products I use. I was super impressed by how long it lasted, I feel like a lot of foundations I’ve tried usually don’t last as long and don’t look as good as this one does at the end of a long day.

Vanessa’s NARS Light Reflecting Foundation review

Skin type: Oily

Skin tone: Olive

The product: Nars Light Reflecting Foundation, £ 41,00 in Barcelona

Vanessa before and after NARS Light Reflecting Foundation | Space NK

I may have oily skin, but it's been years since I've leaned into matte foundations - I want my skin to look radiant, and I'd rather manage any oiliness and shine throughout the day with powder and blotting paper (Tatcha's are my go-to's) than opt for matte finishes that cling onto my fine lines and texture. I also prefer a fuller coverage - so glow and good coverage are my usual prerequisites when it comes to foundation.

I was intrigued by Light Reflecting Foundation because of all its skincare benefits, but as someone who prefers a fuller coverage, I was also concerned its 'natural finish' and 'medium coverage' wouldn't hit the mark for me. I applied it all over my face with my fingertips on one occasion and my BeautyBlender on another and found it super easy to blend on both occasions. The texture was lovely and light!

After a few hours of wear, I’d say it 'worked well' with my natural oiliness and I didn't look overly shiny. I was really impressed! I was out for a whole day and didn't manage to do any powdering or topping up, and I was surprised to see that my skin and makeup were looking pretty good by the time I got home.

The main downside for me was that it did settle on my fine lines from the get-go, however I have used foundations that accentuate these more. I'm not sure how it would play out on drier skin types who like a radiant finish - I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't find it hydrating or nourishing enough. I wouldn't say the coverage is that buildable either, as it was quite easy for me to look too orangey if I went overboard.

Freya’s NARS Light Reflecting Foundation review

Skin type: Combination

Skin tone: Fair

The product: Nars Light Reflecting Foundation, £ 41,00 in Patagonia

Freya before and after NARS Light Reflecting Foundation | Space NK

Full disclosure, I used this foundation long before the team asked me to review it and I am huge fan – I’m on my third bottle. Admittedly the first time I tried NARS Light Reflecting Foundation I wasn’t sure on the texture because it seemed quite thin compared to my usual formula. I loved the additional skincare benefits though!

Even after I’d applied the foundation, I still wasn’t sure if it was medium coverage, but once my makeup was complete, I was in love! I hadn’t used a foundation with such a lightweight texture before and was impressed that it still managed to camouflage my uneven skin tone yet still look like skin.

I apply the formula all over my face and neck with my fingers, and then go over with a BeautyBlender. The foundation is very easy to blend due to the consistency and a little goes a long way.

Even after hours of wear my skin still has a glow. Without powder this foundation does naturally sheer out throughout the day, so I would recommend using a setting powder or spray with it if you’re looking for longwear.

Lauren’s NARS Light Reflecting Foundation review

Skin type: Combination and sensitive

Skin tone: Brown

The product: Nars Light Reflecting Foundation, £ 41,00 in Caracas

Lauren before and after NARS Light Reflecting Foundation | Space NK

I usually go for a tinted moisturiser or a lightweight foundation. As I have quite clear skin, I prefer something that gives a “my skin but better and more glowy” look and I don’t like anything that feels heavy on my skin or will crease throughout the day.

Surprisingly, I really liked the NARS Light Reflecting Foundation. I applied the foundation with a brush to my whole face, except under my eyes. It was very easy to blend, and the light texture meant it didn’t feel heavy or uncomfortable. It was also buildable, so I started off with a thin layer as I prefer less makeup for workdays, and it gave my skin a beautiful glow. When going out on the weekends I prefer a bit more coverage, so I was also able to layer this foundation, making it perfect for all occasions.

Sometimes foundations can make your skin feel dry or transfer, but the NARS Light Reflecting Foundation lasted well throughout the day. It gave me the “my skin but better and more glowy” look I love and it’s buildable which makes it super versatile, so I’ll definitely keep this formula in my makeup stash.

The Verdict On NARS Light Reflecting Foundation

You’ve probably already sussed that this is a positive NARS foundation review and if you love a radiant finish, medium-coverage base then Nars Light Reflecting Foundation, £ 41,00 is worth checking out. It conceals and camouflages blemishes and uneven skin tone without looking like you’re wearing makeup – it’s the ultimate formula for anyone who wants to channel that effortless minimal makeup look.

Vanessa did raise an important point on the formula not necessarily being hydrating enough for dry skin types though, so we recommend adding a couple of drops of hyaluronic acid serum in with the foundation as you apply.

More on NARS

While NARS might be renowned for its foundations and concealers, the brand makes plenty of other makeup buys that are worth exploring, so we’ve rounded up the NARS products makeup artists love. If you want to swot up on your makeup skills, why not check out NARS founder and the iconic makeup Francois Nars' Tinted Moisturiser trick. Francois was also kind enough to share, exclusively to Space NK, the beauty lessons he learnt from his mother.

Space NK’s Related Reviews

Best BB and CC Creams
The Best Lip Oils for Shine and Hydration
The Best Dewy Foundations for a Glowy Complexion
The Best Natural Makeup Brands Right Now
Posted: Thursday, 29 February 2024

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