Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in Stromboli Review

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Hello my lovely people. I hope and pray you're all doing well. I have picked up yet another foundation sample to test. This one is the Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, which will be referred to as ADLW throughout the review because it's a long a** name. I got the shade Stromboli which is what I wear in Sheer Glow and I'm so excited to share my experience with you all. There have been some very interesting discoveries with this I must say, both good and bad!

Nars is an excellent brand, their products are simply luxury and quality in one. I have the Sheer Glow Foundation and the Radiant Creamy Concealer, both which are probably some of the most raved about and most popular products in their keep. So when this foundation launched (yonks ago now) I was eager to try it since I'm a pure foundation junkie. For me it's all about perfecting that base!

What Nars say:
Full, natural-looking coverage with unexpectedly weightless, 16-hour wear. Highly pigmented and perfectly balanced, this breakthrough formula builds and blends effortlessly with just one drop—the result of exclusive innovation uniquely designed to deliver long-wearing full coverage, weightlessly. Shake, pump and blend in sections for complete coverage that's completely natural looking.
Pure Innovation. Exclusively NARS.
Weightless Long-wear Technology delivers up to 16 hours of wear, while always feeling light-as-air. Featuring advanced flexible polymers and first-to-market treated pigments.
I was pleased with the format of my Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation review so I'm going to do this one similarly. So in the order of shade, texture, coverage, finish and feel, build-ability, oxidisation and longevity. What I can say now is that this foundations formula and feel is waaaaay different to CT Magic Foundation, so don't worry, it's not going to be the same. Both are very unique in their own ways regardless of whether they claim to deliver similar results.

The shade Stromboli is Medium 3, described as medium with olive undertones. I fall under the medium tanned category of skin tones, light brown with very yellow olive undertones, NC35 - NC42. I wear Stromboli in Sheer Glow which has been the most perfect undertone for me, but can sometimes lack the depth that my golden tan skin has if it's not built up enough. This however....this....THIS. IS. PERFECT! Like HOLY BAUBLES is this shade yellow or what!?! Okay I need to calm down. I did read somewhere that ADLW was darker than Sheer Glow and it's what I was hoping for. This is perfectly yellow for me, okay I should admit that it's a touch too yellow and can look a teeny tiny bit jaundicey (teeny tiny bit), but this is really flattering and works really well for my complexion as it's a shade that's in between the lightest and darkest areas of my face. I feel like it brightens up any sallowness in my skin. I do sometimes catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and think: woah I look like the sun! But I like that I've found a shade that levels up to my yellowness, plus I can just use a lighter concealer to highlight and tone it down a little on the centre of my face if it starts to bother me. The shade is what I adore about this foundation, there are very few foundations in my hold that I can say that about, the other being bareMinerals Golden Medium. PLEASE, if you are "simpson yellow" like me, I urge you to try this!

In these swatches (taken in different lighting, with and without flash) you can see the variations between Stromboli in Sheer Glow and Stromboli in ADLW. The latter is definitely deeper and more olive toned. Me LOVES! 

Look at Stromboli! It's the most yellowest shade from all of them! A very MASSIVE thank you to the people who take pictures of super helpful swatches like these! You make our lives so much easier! This picture belongs to Cafe Makeup. 

The texture of ADLW is very very fluid and liquidy, it's lightweight and will run down the back of your hand. I've noticed it separates so you must shake it before using it. When rubbed between my fingers, it feels really light and thin, slightly oily yet slightly powdery at the same time which plays a part on it's finish.

The coverage is...WOW! Nars say you need a drop to get full coverage, now the size of a drop can vary between people, I used around 6-8 small "dots" on my face (I'd say an average sized 1 pump) and I got pretty much full coverage. This stuff is very pigmented! I have mentioned before that I don't like or need full on coverage, so I don't know how it'll work on people who have problem skin or blemishes to hide. I have some light scars, some redness and uneven toned skin so I just need to unify my complexion a little and I'm happy. I prefer a natural looking base and my skin can't generally take a lot of product because of texture buildup. Though in my opinion I think you can easily get full coverage with this foundation and it can cover amazingly.

The finish is an interesting one with ADLW, very interesting yet odd at the same time. So I mentioned this has a powdery yet oily texture to it, this can look quite flat on me but the overall finish (without powdering) is luminous like the name suggests. I read that it's a matte finish and great at oil control (also being oil free), which I can relate to but it looks a little bit greasy at the same time, odd. I find this combination really strange because this picks up on E-V-E-R-Y little bump, spot, wrinkle, crease, crevice, nook and cranny on your face! Like if you have it, it will outline it! If I thought Sheer Glow picked up texture then this is its' mama! Yet the finish is greasy-ish luminous at the same time :/ .....??? I can understand why some people hate this, I could easily hate it too but I know better that you should give foundations a few chances to experiment with and see what techniques/products works best with them.

Which is what I done! I used this with my Superdrugs Hydrating Face Mask one time as a primer and it worked brilliantly for my combination/dehydrated skin type, applying with a damp sponge, it didn't pick up on texture too much nor did it sit in all my fine lines like it did the first few times. I obviously use orange corrector in my trouble areas plus I set it all with a light layer of my beloved Soap & Glory Instant Retouch KickAss Powder and it takes away any unwanted shine and smoothens out the surface of my skin without making me fakey cakey. I do mist my face with MAC Fix+ to keep my skin hydrated and I've noticed my skin drinks it up suitably. My skin looks super duper even, matte and bright. I personally think this can be my "special occasion" foundation, where it's okay to have full flawless coverage and look a little "done up". I don't think it's a super "natural" looking foundation, but it's nice for a "full coverage" foundation.

It feels a little tight on me after it dries/sets and it does "dry down", almost as if it's sucking out all the moisture and grabbing onto my skin for dear life :D. (Which is why I used a "hydrating face mask" as a primer as I have very dehydrated skin) but because it has a dewy-ish finish I can use some powder on top without seriously drying or caking my skin up. The tightness disappears after a while when my skin gets used to it and lets out enough moisture to settle it back down a little. My skin feels smooth and I'm reassured that the foundation will be staying put. BUT when I don't powder, my skin feels dehydrated, it also looks really greasy after about an hour and the foundation just separates and nestles deeper into my lines, not a pretty sight at all! The ADLW isn't softening and nourishing like the CT Magic Foundation, so that's a factor to take into consideration.

In my opinion the ADLW is build-able, I suggest you use a little at a time and build only where you need it, one section at a time, you don't need a lot. Like I mentioned before this can easily give you full, even and opaque coverage. Unlike the CT Magic Foundation this doesn't fill in pores or smooth out or plump the skin after applying layer after layer, in fact this can get cakey and build texture if you're not careful. However if you have very oily and smooth skin then this can apply and look like a dream. I apply my foundations with a damp sponge because it gives me a better finish and I can build layers gently and carefully, whereas brushes can cause micro exfoliation and make my base look cakey, this is one of those foundations that can look cakey on me when applied with a brush, dry/flaky/textured skinned people beware!

With regards to oxidisation, I think the colour does deepen a little bit once it dries, but I don't think it turns orange which is brilliant! I hate it when foundations turn orange on me (I'm looking at you MAC). As I mentioned before this shade is VERY yellow, depending on your skin tone you might like or hate this. I really appreciate it. A lot, because yellow is brightening and I can simply use a concealer on the centre of my face to tune it down a little, I'm just so pleased it doesn't look ashy or peachy on me which is my usual struggle when it comes to liquid foundation. Sometimes I like it when foundation shades take down a little bit of my natural yellowness or when they match it, but I don't like looking too neutral nor do I like looking jaundiced and definitely not orange!

Now I haven't worn this for the 16 hours longevity that Nars claim for it to last, but I've worn it for a good few hours and I know it'll last on me (when set with powder). Because of my skin type, this foundation does grab onto my skin, I can feel it as it dries and I can feel it still holding up after a few hours, I can see the oil controlling factor working, it still looks great after few hours of wear, it didn't look any different to how it first looked nor had it budged and usually by that time other foundations that I own do deter from their initial state. Which is another reason why I think this will be my ideal "special occasion" foundation.

This is a great foundation if you know how to work with it. It's liquidy, semi matte powdery texture and consistency reminds me of Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation (which I own and have reviewed) but ADLW is a little more difficult to use than Urban Decay Naked Skin, metaphorically I'd say ADLW is Urban Decay Naked Skin's older, much meaner and difficult sister :D ! In other words Naked Skin is a lot more forgiving to use and ADLW isn't. If you have oily skin, use a mattifying primer and set with powder. For people with dry skin, SKIN PREP i.e. AHA mask/scrub and MOISTURISE, do not be shy with the moisturiser! The hydrating mask worked as a primer for me, it smoothened out my skin and hydrated it enough to keep it looking good. I actually really like this foundation, I like it much more than the Sheer Glow and I like it enough to possibly title it HG! I can understand why it's loved but at the same time I know why people hate it too. I suggest you get a sample, experiment and see what works best for you. I hope this was useful, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me! Toodles!

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  1. I've just come across this blog after my endless search for a review and foundation swatch of both NARS sheer glow and ADLW foundations. This is brilliant and the way you've written this is so me! so easy to understand, not saying it's simple but in a way i am. As a freelance MUA, sometime I get lost in what others need and not what I needs. What you've described about your skin tone, i'd say you were talking about me and even to me at some points. InSha'Allah you keep reviewing products, there are people reading it.

    1. Awww thank you dear, it means a lot! I will do inshaa Allah! Xxx

  2. Thank you for this amazing review! Helped me loads. I was searching for a comparison and you gave a great one! So thank you sister!

  3. Also can I ask, where do you think I could get a sample from? Thanks

    1. Hi there! eBay is the destination for you! Unless you can go to a Nars counter then they'll provide one for you. Thank you for your kind words! Xxx

  4. Oh my..! I think this might be yellow enough for me. I have really olive skin and I think stromboli might be just right for me. Thank you for this great review! Have you tried mixing few drops of face oil into the foundation? I have used 2-3 drops of rosehip oil when foundations feel a little dry and the finish is just amazing! It doesn't feel oily but just really luminous and weightless.

    1. Yes! I do this now :) :) ! I should really write an update because I've gone and purchased the full size bottle! Love it! :D

  5. Hi, I have dry skin and would like to know which one would be better to buy. The all day luminous or the sheer glow? I think I'll be the same shade as you, but I really don't want to buy the wrong shade! I like yellow undertone but don't want to look like a Simpson you know? �� Which is best for dry skin?


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