Makeup That Acts Like Skincare: We Tried the Viral NARS Light Reflecting Foundation

Already a TikTok fave, the new Light Reflecting Foundation is the brand’s newest launch and aims to combine the best of makeup and skincare into one glow-giving formula. Major green flag.

If anyone gets foundations right, it’s Nars. Known for their complexion-brightening formulas and glowy coverage, you simply know your face is in good hands with them.

Already a TikTok fave, the new Light Reflecting Foundation is the brand’s newest launch and aims to combine the best of makeup and skincare into one glow-giving formula. Major green flag.

Powered with 70% skincare ingredients, this innovative hybrid keeps skin health at the fore whilst boosting luminosity with its light reflecting ‘photochromic’ technology (fancy speak for: adjusts to whatever light you’re in).

Breathable but with medium coverage, it conceals blemishes, redness and dark spots and smooths texture. As for ingredients, it contains Japanese Lilyturf (great for maintaining moisture), biomimetic oats for boosting hydration and reducing inflammation, protective cacao peptides and milk thistle to help reduce the negative effects of environmental stressors.

Lightweight on the skin, dewy and buildable, it lets skin be skin whilst enhancing it with natural radiance aplenty. Kris Jenner works hard but Nars works harder.

After six weeks of daily use, it’s said to visibly improve the skin’s clarity, even after makeup is removed. Long-term skincare benefits? Suddenly we want to wear foundation every day.

But here’s the million-dollar question: can it compete with ya holy grail Sheer Glow? Keep reading to see the team’s reviews!

Lareese says…

Foundation that acts like skincare? Sign me up. I’m a massive fan of lightweight foundations that look like your skin but better and the NARS light-reflecting foundation definitely fits the brief. Texture wise, it definitely feels thinner and more serum-like than other foundations, making application a luxurious treat! I tried it with my brush and my hands and preferred going in with hands in the end, it just seemed to work better with the texture IMO. I tried the shade Yukon and it was a great base for me, offering a medium yet buildable coverage that doesn’t sit in my fine lines.

I went in with two light layers, mixed in with a blob of my Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Filter in Light/Medium, just to warm everything up a touch for this time of year. The sheer finish gives skin a generous injection of radiance which I’m always grateful for, especially as my skin tends to be on the drier side now since hitting my 30s. The joys! Apparently it improves skin clarity after 6 weeks of use due to the skin-loving ingredients, but whilst I can’t claim it’s utterly transformed my skin yet having only used it for a few weeks, I can certainly see how combining makeup with skincare could benefit your complexion over time. For any avid users of Sheer Glow, this glowy newcomer might just turn your head.

Danielle says…

Unlike Lareese I am all about a full coverage foundation. I have no issues with the texture and tone of my skin but I do suffer from a lot of redness I usually like to cover up so tinted moisturisers and light coverage foundations have no place in my makeup collection. I currently wear (read: worship) Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation so you could say I’m already on the Nars hype train when it comes to my base. I was super excited to try the Light Refelcting Foundation as my skin has been consistently improving recently and now I’m going into the office 3 days a week I was ready to try something light, bright and breathable!

The LRF is quite liquidy which means it applies really nicely and feels great over my combination skin, it gives you the opportunity to powder over where you need to whilst keeping the highs of your cheekbones dewier. Although the look was a little less dense than my usual base but I could definitely feel the “light-reflecting” vibe and gave me that glass skin look I’m obsessed with. I popped on some concealer under my eyes to brighten them, then powdered over the whole look was good to go.

I was keen to see how the LRF wore throughout the day as one thing you can guarantee with a fuller coverage is a long-lasting base that you don’t really have to touch up. I definitely noticed it getting a bit patchy around my oilier areas but it was nothing a bit of powder couldn’t fix, and I have to say I was super impressed with how it looked after running in and out of meetings for 8 hours!

I won’t be giving up my Radiant Longwear any time soon when it comes to nights out/events and big weekends but I am definitely converted to the Light Reflecting Foundation for casual workdays, light makeup days and probably evenings on holiday, it’s so light and breathable with the most gorgeous finish!

Darcey says….

Love, love, love this foundation! Nars Sheer Glow is my usual go-to anyway and has been for about 5 years now I think, I much prefer a sheer foundation which you can build up as it makes it way more versatile. Foundation with built-in skincare though? Genius! I used the shade Vallauris and although it is slightly too dark for me (definitely a shade to wear in the Summer/when I’ve self tanned), it blended really seamlessly because it’s so sheer. I’d like to add though that although it is sheer, I couldn’t believe how great the coverage over my dark spots was, my skin looked flawless!

I used a Fenty Beauty concealer in my usual colour which helped highlight and lighten the foundation and actually it was pretty spot on in the end shade wise. I applied the foundation using my trusty foundation brush and found it applied really well, but you could definitely just use your hands too, I often use my fingers for concealer anyway as I think it blends better under the heat of your hands. This foundation lasted reallyyyyy well, I actually used this the whole time I was in Egypt on Holiday and as you can imagine it was hot there, the foundation stayed firmly in place and didn’t crack at all or go super shiny from sweat. So if you are looking for a lightweight holiday foundation, I’d say give this one a go!

Charlotte says…

I am a NARS foundation girl through and through and never normally venture from my daily Sheer Glow so I was a little dubious about trying something new I have to say. My immediate first impressions were that the formula is definitely more liquid-y than Sheer Glow and other foundations I’ve used in the past, making me think the coverage was going to be a lot more lightweight but I was really pleased with how buildable it was as a full coverage gal! I applied it with a Real Techniques sponge which is my go-to for foundation application and love how immediately glowy it is on the skin when using a damp sponge. I also find other products blend really seamlessly over the top, especially cream blush and bronzer, which makes doing a 10-minute face so easy as you can literally throw on your products and know it’s going to blend out and look super natural in the end. I sometimes did find my Sheer Glow would look a bit cakey at times if I was layering/building up product or reapplying to go from day to night, but I can honestly say the Light Reflecting Foundation lasts from AM to PM without any issues and on the times I’ve added a bit more product to see me through the night it has blended like a dream.

I’ve worn this foundation to gigs, full days in the office and sat in the heat of the Spring sun on the beach and never had to worry about how it wears or lasts, and have even found myself reaching for it over my Sheer Glow- something I was not expecting! Overall I’ll definitely be repurchasing to have in my collection for days when I don’t need full coverage as a number one priority, and can confidently say NARS are the GOAT when it comes to foundation.

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