NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Review!

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation ($42) is a luminous foundation that is promised to enhance your skin without “masking it”. It will brighten the skin, while evening out the skin tone and concealing minor perfections.

 For normal, normal-to-dry and dry skin types
 Hydrates for softer and smoother skin
 Contains powerful anti-oxidants to protect against damaging free radicals and turmeric extract to improve skin’s radiance and tone
 Dermatologist tested. Non-comedogenic. Fragrance free.

Nars Sheer Glow is available in twenty (20) shades: Siberia (light with neutral/balance of tones), Mont Blanc (fair with subtle pink undertones), Gobi (light with yellow undertones), Deauville (light with neutral/balance of tones), Fiji (light with yellow undertones), Ceylan (light-medium with yellow undertones), Punjab (medium with golden-peachy undertones), Santa Fe (medium with peachy undertones), Stromboli (medium with olive undertones), Barcelona (medium with golden peachy undertones), Syracuse (medium-dark with brown undertones), Tahoe (medium-dark with caramel undertones), Cadiz (medium-dark with caramel-red undertones), Macao (medium-dark with deep yellow undertones), Trinidad (dark with warm yellow undertones) and Khartoum (dark with espresso undertone).

My shade is Barcelona, which is a warm, medium-tan shade with golden undertones – It’s not overly yellow and it doesn’t look orange on my skin. For reference, I wear NC40 in MAC foundations.

*I now also use Stromboli, which is a shade or two lighter than Barcelona, for when I’m less tan. It has strong yellow (olive) undertones, and is equivalent to the MAC NC30-35 coloring

I’m wearing Nars Sheer Glow in the shade Stromboli in this photo (my lighter shade)
Continue reading for my review…
The consistency of Nars Sheer Glow is very creamy, somewhat similar MAC Studio Fix Fluid
If you’re looking for sheer coverage, you might want to look elsewhere, because this foundation provides more of  medium-light coverage that is buildable to a solid medium. It completely evens out my skintone, covering minor imperfections (such as sunspots, minor blemishes, etc). For fresh breakouts, a tiny bit of red peeks through, so a concealer for spot concealing might be necessary if you have several blemishes. For myself, it basically covers it all. 
Nars recommends using your fingers to apply this foundation, blending it in downward strokes. I agree that using the fingers works very well, but I don’t like using my fingers in general, so I use a duo-fiber brush and it works great.
I find that this foundation looks its best on a freshly moisturized/primed face. It seems to give my skin a more luminous finish and it overall, smooths on my face better. 
It has a satin finish (not shiny, not matte) and indeed, makes my skin look healthy and glowing.
It feels lightweight, and comfortable on my skin, and despite several reviews I’ve read about this foundation not being long lasting, I’ve found that this lasts from morning till night on my face. I’ve noticed that setting with a light powder will prolong the wear.
Overall, I absolutely love this foundation and will re-purchase!
Swatch of Barcelona

Nars Sheer Glow Barcelona

The Round-Up

  • Good color selection – I was able to find a perfect color match for my MAC NC40 skin
  • Creamy, blendable texture
  • Medium, buildable coverage (doesn’t look cakey)
  • Natural, radiant, satiny finish
  • Long Lasting on my balanced skin
  • Doesn’t break out or irritate my skin
  • Photographs really well (no white cast)


  • Although the shade selection is good for my skin – many shades are very yellow, which may be problematic for cool skin tones. 
  • Settles into my laugh/frown lines around my mouth (Update: Now I only smooth the residue from my foundation brush over those areas to minimize the settling + powder the area)
  • My t-zone gets a little oily after hours of wear (setting the foundation with a powder will prevent this)

31 thoughts on “NARS Sheer Glow Foundation Review!

  1. I can't wait to hear how you like this later on. Sorry to hear how bad the Matte version has such bad reviews…that's the one I would have tried, but my skin truly combo, so it wouldn't work. I won't even try MAC Mineralize Satin Finish, I know it'll grease up in a couple hours 😦

    Great review!


  2. Great review Natty! I was actually thinking about picking the Sheer Matte version up at Sephora this week…may have to rethink it now. And I agree with you about it being hard to find a yellow based foundation.


  3. That is weird. You'd think they would be consistent with their foundation shades in all their lines. You can really tell the undertone in those pictures. I don't purchase too many pricey foundations, but I've been eyeing the NARS foundations for a while. Thanks for the review, Nat. I might just take a look at it.


  4. i am an nc40 in mac but I take stromboli in this – so i think it depends really on tonality! but overall amazing review – i will def not bother with sheer matte anymore since sheer glow is my fave 🙂


  5. Thanks for the review! Can't wait for the update and pics, I'm thinking of buying Sheer Glow next week! I'm an NC43 which seems may be Syracuse. Have a good one!


  6. Great review! I'll definitely keep this in mind when selecting shades. I have oily skin and although I definitely hear WAY more raves for the Sheer Glow foundation, I am curious to try the Sheer Matte version instead. I figure it'll work better for my skintype. Thanks for sharing! 🙂 xx


  7. Lovely review =).

    I have sheer glow and sheer matte and i do prefer the sheer glow one =). The shade i have in sheer matte (punjab) is lighter than the one i have in sheer glow (stromboli) and i got the sheer matte in summer and the sheer glow in winter… Weird huh? I think it's due to the tones of your skin to be honest =).



  8. i love the nars matte foundation. i'm currently using barcelona in the sheer matte. the mua matched me to it but i do find it a tad yellow. I tried the shade darker which was syruse (sp?) and that looked a bit muddy on me. in your photos, the glow and matte in barcelona looks so different in the bottle!


  9. Hi there. I just wonder if you wouldn't mind sharing something: I know you said that you don't like using your fingers in general (me too by the way), but when you do apply this foundation with fingers, do you find that the result is better than when you use a brush? I've read a few reviews that that is indeed the case.


  10. Hi I always enjoy your reviews. My shade is similar to yours. Have you ever tried Becca? or Chanel, what shades would you recommend?



  11. Hi, I want to try this foundation and I am a Mac nc35 in prolong wear. I've heard that runs different from studio fix fluid. Do you think that Stromboli would be too dark for me? Based on pictures and reviews I'm not sure which would be best, the description of punjab with golden-peachy undertones kind of makes me weary bc I have yellow undertones.


  12. Hi, can anyone help me. I have a mac nc 42 wich nars sheer glow foundation should I buy? I don't have a nars store in my country. Help…


  13. I know you didnt mean it to sound rude,but it is. Many people of all ethnicities are very pale. I understand in the west its popular to be dark,but worldwide, fair/light skin is most desired on a woman.
    Many women would rather have pics come out light than look like they have muddy nutella on theri face or tar/charcoal. You wouldnt want to be made fun of for your complexion,so please dont try to insult lightness by saying “ghost”. Its not right. Plus,ghosts are clear.


  14. Pipe down Samantha you dont need to take offence to everything. I agree, erica…I have been matched perfectly but with flash photography i get an ashen tone to my face which is not flattering at all


  15. Samantha you have absolutely no idea what you''re talking about. Did you see the picture? No- then shut up. How do you know what people desire worldwide? And by the way there is no spf in this foundation dumbass. I also get an ashen sheen with flash photography. If you take offence get off the page


  16. even i am facing the same problem. it looks perfect match in the day light or say in the real, but in the pics it looks a sheen to me. it gives effect like my face is different from my neck.


  17. Samantha Derrick: OMG how old are you and how big is the chip on your shoulder?? I'm sure Erica didn't imply the use of “ghost” in a racially offensive way. And ghosts are clear??? What does that even mean??


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