Sunday, February 14, 2016

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint


I really enjoy NARS' regular Skin Tint as a daily sheer base, so when I heard they were launching a Velvet Matte version that was really exciting for me.

With this release NARS promises:
  • effortless application
  • soft matte soft-focus finish
  • soft-touch feel
  • antioxidant defense
  • shine and pore control

 I've worn it on and off for over a month, and I'll say:
  • effortless application - yes, this does glide on and blend out beautifully. I always use fingers to test new foundations (it's the one universal tool most of us have), and this takes minimal effort to smooth out
  • soft matte soft-focus finish - if by that you mean satin and non-greasy looking but not a flat powdery matte, then yes; this does leave the exact amount of sheen I like, and creates a very smooth and youthful glow without emphasizing pores, but I would class it as a satin rather than full-on matte finish. It might simply be due to the fact I live in the tropics, but a matte foundation isn't really matte if it only looks matte in dry climates, ya?
  • soft-touch feel - yes, once it sets this leaves skin feeling velvety smooth, non-tacky, and does not transfer to your fingers when patted
  • antioxidant defense - this contains vitamins C, and E, which is great for providing a bit of extra daily protection. The SPF30 PA+++ also helps if you live in a non-tropical climate without a lot of direct sun.
  • shine and pore control - this does a fairly good job for dry and normal skins in hot weather, and I expect it will be pretty good on combination skins in cooler, drier climates as well. However if you are very oily AND live in a hot place, you will probably get some oil break-through in a few hours. Fair enough, because I always recommend you blot it away than try to find a product that absorbs 6-8 hours worth of oil, and leave it all sitting on top of your skin.
With this skin tint, it does respond to what you use beneath so if you wear a matte primer it will take on a slightly more matte finish. And if you use a dewy product it will take on some sheen. Unlike some really matte formulas it will nor take down shine and change the finish of your skin dramatically. 

The coverage is medium-light, meaning you definitely cover a lot more than typical tinted moisturizers which barely even the skin out. It will even out mild discolorations. However if you want more coverage, you CAN build it up to almost a medium coverage by tapping on a bit more product where you need coverage. This is where I would suggest using fingers rather than a brush or sponge, which will just lift a lot of the product away.

I am using Alaska (I'm MAC NC25) and didn't notice any oxidation or darkening over the day. However I do have to say I tend not to experience much oxidation in general so I would try out a sample if your skin chemistry tends to oxidize many foundations.

Bare skin
NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint with no concealer or powder

I don't have the full box in my review kit, and I couldn't find the ingredients list online yet, but I didn't detect any fragrance. If it's there at all, it's extremely mild. I have semi-sensitive skin and this did not give me any breakouts or sensitivities with use. It DOES condition and smooth my skin a little - and while it can't really hide flakiness, it doesn't emphasize them overly either. 

Overall, I do really like this for everyday wear. You get enough coverage to look and feel like you spent time on your skin, and it leaves that polished "expensive skin" glow around the high points of your face, which I prefer to a fully matte powdery foundation. It looks like more perfected, clean, moisturized skin. Not makeup. However this means it's not really "matte" matte, so if you have bumpy, uneven and blemished skin, you will need a lot of matte powder to hide the texture if you want to use this. It probably will not provide enough oil-control for very oily girls either. 

Lasting power is fairly good if you're in air-conditioned environments or a fairly cool place for the most part. But I do find it can break down a bit if you are running about in the heat. This is not one I would personally pick for a full day of running about in Summer or tropical heat. Then again - most foundations can't hold up under those conditions.

The one thing I find a bit lacking is sun protection.
While SPF30 PA+++ is alright for those in cooler climates or with tan to darker skins, it really isn't enough protection for Summer, lighter skins, or anyone living in tropical areas. That's fine for me because I usually wear a separate sunblock (the amount of foundation we apply usually does not give us the maximum sun protection listed on the packaging anyway), but don't assume SPF30 PA+++ is enough. 

If you have light skin, SPF30 only gives you 60-90 mins of protection. That's 1.5 - 2 hours. Enough for a quick run to the grocery store. And PA+++ is adequate but PA++++ is required for optimal UVA (anti-aging) protection.

Still, this one thing is not a big enough point to say don't try this foundation. I think it's a great product for combination, normal and slightly-dry skins, and as long as you exercise basic skin wisdom and wear a separate sun screen or avoid too much sun exposure, it's great.

Launches in Singapore in March 2016.

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