nars soft matte complete foundation review copy

NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation Review

A major foundation release is not one I’m going to miss and that’s exactly what the new NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation is! It’s the base pair to the brand’s Soft Matte Complete Concealer which has raving reviews.

The big question is does the foundation live up to the Soft Matte Complete Concealers standard or will it drag down the line? Continue reading this review to find out!

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The NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation

The NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation

The NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation is full coverage, transfer-proof, oxidation-resistant foundation with big claims! It lasts for at least 16 hours with a natural-looking matte finish.

So if you love a full glam look with your makeup, this sounds like the perfect product for you. I was super excited to get my hands on one of these because they haven’t actually been released yet to the public.

It’s great for normal, dry, combination, and oily skin types. I have combination skin and this foundation seems ideal for me!

This foundation has loads to brag about! It’s humidity-proof, transfer-proof, and sweat-proof making it ideal for the hot summer weather.

But that’s not all, it’s formulated with micro-algae and bio hyaluronic acid to help absorb excess sebum and keep your skin hydrated.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation comes in 34 shades with a good, nice range of undertones. And if you’ve ever tried a NARS complexion product before, you can’t deny they make pretty incredible and realistic undertones.

If you struggle to find the right shade for your skin, check out my post on the most inclusive foundations.

The NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation swatches

It also contains oil-absorbing powders to help create a smooth finish. A lovely thing about this product from the get-go is that it is vegan and gluten-free! Perfect to even consider trying it. Now, we know all that but more importantly, is it all it says it is? We’ll see.


The foundation is housed in an upright clear plastic matte tube. It has a black plastic matte cap with the NARS logo on it. Complete minimalistic aesthetics in the typical NARS style!

For $40.00 in the US, or roughly around £31, you’ll get 1.5 oz/45 mL worth of product. It’s not a dollar tree find but hopefully, the finished craft results deliver ’cause that price ain’t cheap!

And if I’m being a harsh critic, I’ll expect the product to carry the price. The soft plastic packaging is making me judge a little harder.

NARS isn’t enough to make me feel like I’m buying posh, because, let’s be honest, it’s a good reliable brand but it doesn’t quite make the cut for luxury.

Formula & Application

When it says full coverage, I didn’t think it could cover up even the deepest voids in my soul! But stretch aside, it really is opaque and full coverage.

You’ll only need about half of a drop of the liquid cream to cover up your face to last for the whole day. Moreover, the formula is easy to spread and won’t sheer out as you do. It stays full coverage too and that’s just with one layer! So far, so good!

If you try to build it up more, expect it to look like a painting. And I mean that in a good way. It looks flawless, spotless, and perfectly sculpted without foundation looking like a layer of silicone mask!

It’s made with micro-algae that soak up your excess oils, and hyaluronic acid to slap back on some essential hydration. The formula is nice and works well with a sponge or brush.

Even using bare hands will work well as the finished result still delivers the same weightless and opaque finish. The foundation doesn’t oxidise and whatever shade or colour you put on your skin from the start stays that way. A real must with foundation but something that many brands struggle with.

Give it just a few minutes to dry off and you’ll be feeling the soft matte effect. You’ll love how it isn’t the powdery type of matte when it dries off, though it does have that velvet rubbery texture when touched.

The actual look of the foundation can be mistaken for really well-cared-for skin. The nicest part is how lightweight it feels.

Check out some of my other foundation recommendations here

Wear Test

The application and formula have impressed me so far. And the actual look of the product after immediately finishing my makeup is gorgeous! I feel like my skin can breathe and still look amazing.

What’s great about this is that the texture is consistent all over my face, considering that I have oiler areas and drier areas. It leaves no patches or flaking parts and it doesn’t sit on my fine lines.

The foundation has done a good job of minimising the look of my pores without giving me the feeling that it’s seeping into them!

The NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation before and after

It is totally weightless and I’d say you can get away with wearing just this foundation, brushing up your eyebrows and eyelashes, wearing a lip balm and voila: a complete makeup look. It’s a foundation you can wear alone!

However, as soon as the midday heat started to creep in, my face got visibly shiny. I knew my oils weren’t getting locked in with this foundation but I love that it didn’t melt or feel heavier. There were just a few shiny spots that I easily fixed with oil blotting paper. After I did that it really was transfer-proof!

Is It Worth It?

NARS has created a really great foundation. It reaches up to one’s expectations and the soft matte finish is one that can be compared to a lot of high-end brands.

That being said I don’t think it’s for oily skin and it’s definitely questionable whether it’s for combination skin.

Final Thoughts

NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation is a great foundation for those with dry or dehydrated skin. If you have oily or combination skin, check out these full-coverage foundations for oily skin.

Are you a NARS fan? Check the NARS Liquid Blush.

Hollie xx


About Hollie

Hi, I’m Hollie, and I’m passionate about everything beauty. Over the last decade and a half, I’ve tested thousands of products to bring you the best of the best! I also love bringing you fun and creative beauty looks. Learn more.

Beauty profile – 35, dry, aging skin, focused on aging well with a healthy glow and natural makeup look ✨

Anastasia Beverly Hills bareMinerals Benefit Cosmetics Bobbi Brown CeraVe Chantecaille Charlotte Tilbury Clarins ColourPop Dermalogica Dior Dyson e.l.f. Cosmetics ELEMIS Estée Lauder Eucerin Fenty Beauty Fresh Giorgio Armani Hourglass IT Cosmetics L'Oreal Lancome Laura Mercier LORAC MAC Makeup Revolution Maybelline Molton Brown Morphe Nars Natasha Denona Neutrogena NYX Origins Peter Thomas Roth PÜR Cosmetics Revlon Sigma Beauty Smashbox Stila The Ordinary Too Faced Urban Decay YSL

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