Look Fresh & Flawless All Day with NARS Sheer Matte Foundation

First let me say that I have combination/oily skin. I get extremely oily in my t-zone even in the Winter, but the rest of my face is pretty normal. I don’t suffer from dry skin at all unless it’s due to product over usage. I’ve tried a lot of different foundations, using them with oil-control primers and mattifiers along with a setting powder to control the oil, but eventually it still seeps through and needs to be blotted. I’ve been testing out NARS Sheer Matte Foundation and it is perfect for my skin. It keeps my face looking fresh and flawless all day with no touch ups or blotting.

NARS Sheer Matte foundation Trinidad

NARS Sheer Matte foundation is an oil-free  lightweight foundation with sheer, buildable coverage that dries to a semi-matte finish. The formula controls oil and shine throughout the day making it perfect for oily skin. It is supposed to improve skin’s texture and brightness with continued use due to the inclusion of NARS Complexion Brightening Formula.  Sheer Matte comes in 20 different shades to cover an extensive range of complexions, I chose shade Dark 3 Trinidad. For reference I am NW45 in MAC and Cappuccino in Revlon ColorStay.

Trinidad is described as dark with warm yellow undertones and the description is dead on as it is a very warm shade. It looks slightly yellow when first applied but as it melts into the skin and oxidizes, it becomes slightly darker and more neutral, not orange or red. It actually looks better after it oxidizes as it matches my complexion better. Wearing this foundation has made me realize that a lot of my other foundations makes me look too orange or red after they oxidize. When comparing my pictures I see that this foundation looks more true to my natural complexion, especially in the Fall and Winter when my undertones are more yellow and my complexion a bit lighter. When I tan in the Summer it brings out my red undertones and I will probably have to switch to Dark 4 Tortuga which has brown/neutral undertones. I will have to wait and see if Trinidad still works. Anyway,  Francois NARS is known to apply foundation with his fingers and Sheer Matte is best applied that way. You’re supposed to warm the foundation in your hands and then blend slightly with your fingers, layering if necessary for more coverage. I apply it to a steel palette, warm it with my fingers and then dab it on and blend. You have to move fast because it dries quick and it’s best to apply light layers to avoid caking. I’ve also had good success using a flat top kabuki brush to blend and buff the foundation into the skin. It is very blendable and covers well to create a natural looking, flawless finish. Here is how it looks a few minutes after it is first applied…

For best results you must exfoliate well, then apply a good moisturizer and primer. If you have dry patches this foundation will enhance them, it is not for dry skin at all. If you have dry skin pass on this and opt for the NARS Sheer Glow. I use my Clarisonic MIA daily to exfoliate my face, apply my Oil of Olay moisturizer and then apply my Victoria’s Secret Pro Airbrush FX Primer or my Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Primer. I only apply concealer under my eyes and I then apply the foundation and set it with Ben Nye Neutral Set. My face stays flawless from 7:30 am until 6:30 pm without blotting or touching up. As the day progresses my skin is less matte and achieves a natural glow, but I am not oily or shiny at all. I am not sure if it will hold up this good in the heat and humidity of Summer, I will test it then but for now I’m loving it!

I heard that this foundation now comes with a pump but my bottle did not. I will be going to the NARS Boutique or ordering one online as it will be much easier to dispense and much more sanitary with a pump. The NARS Sheer Matte Foundation retails at $42 for 1 fl oz which is pretty expensive definitely since it doesn’t come with a pump, but if that’s the price I have to pay to keep the oil at bay I will gladly pay up!

Available at www.narscosmetics.com & NARS boutiques and counters

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Aside from my 9-5, I'm a Freelance MUA & Hair Stylist with a love of all things beauty & fashion. When I'm not hunting down the latest and greatest beauty products, beating a face or lacing a do, you can find me roaming the streets of NYC in my stilettos looking for the next best restaurant. Or in the kitchen trying to outdo myself from the last time.


  1. Excellent review! I love my NARS Sheer Glow in MACAO. It does tend to lean towards neutral when it oxidizes. I have combo skin, oil in tzone only. I probably won’t buy this Sheer Matte. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This foundation is my favorite out of all that I own! unfortunately, my bottle broke coming back on a flight and i almost cried! LoL i haven’t purchased another since but since the sephora f and f is coming up i might resort back to it. i’ve used in the summer and it held up well, getting me compliments on my skin and not my makeup. i wore tortuga. love this stuff and glad u like it too!

    • Yes I am so in love with this foundation. I would cry if mine broke too. I think I will use the Sephora F&F Sale to try the Sheer Glow 🙂

  3. Okay will definitely be trying this out..My t-zone recently became oily thanks to a new moisturizer I started using..I get oily in literally 20mins..Let’s see what NARS Sheer Matte will do..Thanks Erica.xx

  4. Love me some Nars their products never disappoint me, think have to repurchase Sheer Glow for this season my skin kinda dry-ish. U look so beaut&flawless hun, great review

  5. Nice review hope I can afford it soon. May I ask do you have an idea what your shade would be in marykay or blackopal? Thankx Erica

  6. Listen!!!! I have been TRYING not to buy this foundation but you’ve just convinced me! There is one other blogger that uses it and stands by it… Thanks ladies! LOL

    I’m going in!

  7. For the person who asked what shade this will be in Mary Kay it will be a 607 in medium coverage or I recommend a bronze 8 in luminous wear.. Erica, you should let me send you some Mary Kay foundation to try out

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