Base Makeup NARS

NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation and Soft Velvet Loose Setting Powder

February 7, 2015

This spring NARS has released some new products for the face including the All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation ($48 for 1 fl oz) and the Soft Velvet Loose Setting Powder ($36 for 10 g). I’ve been testing these for a couple weeks now. I purchased the liquid foundation in store after swatching several of the shades. The NARS team kindly sent the powder for review with Beach as their best guess for my color match. Today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the formulas, wear time, texture and swatches with comparisons.

For quick reference, I use the foundation in Punjab and powder in Beach:

The All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is incredible. It has a lightweight fluid texture that gives you full coverage with one to two pumps. To me it has a similar texture to the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation but has a more natural looking finish that has just the right amount of glow. On me this one covers most of my scars and imperfections flawlessly. Coverage is slightly heavier than the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation but the overall look and effect is similar to me.

In terms of wear, the new NARS foundation blends into the skin flawlessly without streaking or caking. It gives medium to full coverage and evens out the skin beautifully. For wear time, I found it lasted all day long without getting oily or glowy. I do think what you use underneath will make a difference, since this is on the luminous side, if you are oily you may want to go lighter on the moisturizer or base. For me, these days to prep the skin these days I’ve been using Ole Henriksen’s Pure Truth Serum and Sheer Transformation Moisturizer. Sometimes I’ll use primers and my current favorites are the NARS Pro-Prime and Tom Ford Illuminating. For me I find the texture of the NARS foundation is easy to blend so I find that it doesn’t need a primer.

For color, I am a match to the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Punjab. I’ve been matched to this color in most of the formulas, it’s a good medium color with olive and yellow tones. Finding something with the right mix of olive and yellow undertone is hard for me. I’m often in between shades or find that I have to mix colors. Most foundations are not yellow enough or too olive. Punjab is the perfect match for me and I was thrilled to find that the new formula’s color to be an exact match. If you’re similar in skin tone to me but not as olive and are a bit more pink/peach go with Santa Fe. For reference, I found the swatches of all the foundation shades on CafΓ© Makeup extremely helpful.

I have two sets of swatch comparisons below to other NARS foundations and other brands. I’ve reviewed most of the items below before. I’ll link reviews where applicable:

  • NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska
  • NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard and Ginger (I mix them, review)
  • NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland (my match)
  • NARS All Day Radiant Weightless Foundation in Punjab
  • NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation in Punjab (review)
  • NARS Soft Velvet Loose Powder in Beach
  • NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Punjab (review)
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet in B30 (review)
  • Cle de Peau Beaute Cream Foundation in O30 (review)
  • Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation in Bisque 04 (review
  • Dolce & Gabbana Luminous Foundation in Caramel 110 (review)

Bottom line I give the foundation a huge thumbs up. I think it’s their best foundation released to date. I’m a huge fan of the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer for texture and finish but sometimes I want more coverage. The new foundation is exactly what I wanted for an amped up version of the Tinted Moisturizer. I love that there is no detectable fragrance and on me it really did last all day from morning to evening without budging or sliding.

Next on to the powder. I tested a number of NARS powders in the old formulas at makeup events (both pressed and loose). I didn’t like any of them because I found they caked on my skin on top of foundation. It wasn’t until NARS released the Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder that I changed my mind about their face powders. It’s one of my top picks for setting powders because it doesn’t alter the color of your foundation and even though the powder is white it doesn’t make you look like a ghost or powdery. Given my love of the reflecting powders, I was excited to try my sample of the new Soft Velvet Loose Setting Powder in Beach. After playing with this for a few weeks, I have mixed feelings.

There are eight different colors of the loose powder. Even though I was sent Beach for review, I went to the counter to look at the shades in person to make sure it was the best color match. Eden is also very close in color but it’s more pink, while Beach is more yellow. On my skin they looked almost identical, but since I prefer yellow tones, Beach is the better of the two for me.

The powder is a soft and lightweight with a very finely milled texture. It feels silky on the skin and truly weightless. When dusted over the All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation I found it set nicely if I applied while the foundation was still a bit dewy (as in it didn’t set all the way). A little goes a long way so you only need a sheer wash of powder to set the entire face. The powder performed well over the NARS tinted moisturizer too creating a soft sheer matte finish.

It didn’t work so well over other foundations though and I’m not entirely sure why. It caked over the Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Foundation, the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting Foundation, Cle de Peau and also the NARS Radiant Creamy Compact Foundation. It settled into pores that seemed to be blended and covered perfectly by those foundations. My personal preference is to use the Light Reflecting Loose Powder or the All Day Luminous Powder Foundation as a setting powder. Still, I have seen some pretty good reviews on this one, if you’re near a NARS counter I recommend checking it out to see how it wears on you. My experience might not be typical with this one.

Overall, huge thumbs up on the foundation, mixed thoughts on the powder. If you’ve tested these please share what you thought and what shade you were matched to. I know readers often need to order sight unseen and your comments on color matching are always helpful!

You can find the NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation and Soft Velvet Loose Setting powder at all NARS counters now. Online at Nordstrom, SephoraSaks, Neiman Marcus and NARS.

The Soft Velvet Loose Powder was provided as a press sample for review consideration. The All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation was purchased by me.

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  • I want to try this foundation so bad. It looks really beautiful on the package and on the skin. Thanks for posting.

  • I've heard so many great things about this foundation but I'm afraid it may accentuate my oiliness. The coverage is beautiful though.

  • I'm hoping to test the foundation soon! I really want it to work for me but I have dry skin so I'm skeptical.

  • I've been reading so many amazing things about that foundation – cannot wait to try it out for myself!

  • I cannot wait to get my hands on this foundation, it sounds great! x


  • Kim

    As always, a wonderful review. I'm really excited to try this. As someone with oily skin, I shy away from luminous formulas, but I do love Armani's Luminous Silk (even though it only lasts a few hours without me having to blot). Hopefully the Nars one will be longer lasting, or at least more so with a primer.

    • Hi Kim, I stopped using the Armani because it got so oily on me after a couple of hours. The NARS lasts a lot longer, at least on me πŸ™‚

  • Hi, Thank you for the review. Could you please tell me in which country is the All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation made? Many thanks.

    • Mine says Made in the USA.

  • Anonymous

    How does this do in filling in pores? I feel mine are huge!

    • Hi! For some bizarre reason, when I only moisturize, it doesnt get into pores. If, on the contrary, do full blown skin care ritual with serums and stuff, it does. To prevent this I use the thinnest layer of a silicony based primer. Dermalogica is what am currently using, and gotta tell you the results are just beyond beautiful. I actually use 3/4 of a pump on my face for the most beautiful amd natural finish.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks… I'll have to try it! πŸ™‚

  • Oh! I love your swatches on this and the review is so helpful! I too am very warm olive and most foundations like the Dior Star are very hard to match. Glad that the NARS has been well received by you, so I know i'll like it myself.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for the great review. Which foundation do you prefer tom ford traceless foundation or the new nars?

    • I think they are different enough to justify both. I can't pick one or the other, they are both really good.

  • I actually really love the loose setting powder. I use it to set my under-eye concealer. I find that many of my other powders settle into my fine lines, but this one gives me a wide-awake glow. It's so perfect.

    Connie | Sponsored by Coffee | Bloglovin’

  • This foundation sounds like a dream πŸ™‚ I wanted to ask, do you know which shades are also olive/yellow in NARS range? I'm bad with undertones.. I use Gobi.

    • Hi Rhaenyss, sorry I don't know which ones have olive tones. Did you check Cafe Makeup's swatches? She has them all lined up side by side.

  • Your reviews are so thorough and really helpful, thank you so much. Beautiful photos as well. I really want to try this foundation, unfortunately NARS isn't available here so I'd have to order online & I'm a bit wary about the shades … x
    Ε½iva from Nothin' Fancy. Really.

  • Sadly I don't have a match. Punjab is actually too peachy on me; Stromboli might have the right undertone but is too dark. Nars needs something in between as the jump in shades is too much.

  • Sue

    Gotta try this foundation. I am impressed with its qualities and its coverage is amazing as well. Will check this out……

  • I was so excited for the foundation, but sadly, it didn't work for me. I'm not looking for a new setting powder, but I really want to try the Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder now!

  • Anonymous

    will definitely go check the new foundation out πŸ™‚

  • I love Nars, this is a perfect review!

  • I really want to try this foundation! It's been receiving glowing reviews so far

    Follow me to Fancieland

  • Love your review.. Could you tell me how this compares to the armani luminous silk? Which one would you suggest for a girl with oily-combination skin and moderate pores?

    • Hi Tanzin, I haven't used Armani Luminous Silk in several years. It is one of those foundations that looks amazing on the skin but gets very dewy/oily after 1 hour.

      I found the NARS lasts a lot longer on me (all day almost) and it doesn't get oily or dewy but my skin is more combination/normal.

      Hope this helps!

  • I am so disappointed with this foundation πŸ™ I bought Siberia (for my daughter) Deauville and Fiji in the liquid and Deauville in the cream to powder when I saw they were on sale online. I have dry skin and I'm 37 so have some fine lines and visible pores, this stuff finds every single pore on my face and lies inside it. No matter how much I try to buff it they are still visible. Tried with no primer tried with several different formula primers and still this stuff looks awful on me and my daughter who is 14 so doesn't have the fine lines/pore issues. What a waste of hard earned money.