Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation Review

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Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation is a full-coverage liquid foundation that is long-wearing with a natural-looking matte finish. It is best for oily, combo, and normal skin.  This foundation is supposed to be oxidation resistant and lasts up to 16 hrs, similar to the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation wear time. This foundation is fungal acne safe, unlike her counterparts, Nars Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation has three triggers (Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate and Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Palmitate)); *Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation also has three triggers (Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Behenic Acid, and Stearic Acid) – so its best to do a patch test if you have fungal acne to see if it is safe to use. Fungal acne has different sensitivity levels regarding ingredients; therefore, these might be safe to use based on this.


The foundation shades are pretty much the same, and their foundations are usually medium-full coverage.  This foundation is medium-full coverage which means it is buildable. I agree that this foundation is buildable, covers up my hyperpigmentation, and evens my skin tone.

Shade Range:

Soft Matte Foundation has 34 shades, similar to the shade ranges of Nars foundations between 34-40 shades. I had difficulty finding my shade in this foundation. I usually wear the shade Marquises-MD5 (Medium-deep to deep with warm undertones) or Macao-MD4 (Medium-deep to deep with warm undertones and olive tones).  Their shade matches for undertones are pretty tricky, so I just went a shade up.  I first tried it in the shade Marquises, which was too red for my skin tone. Then, I tried it in Macao, which is lighter than my skin shade. I am between a yellow, olive-undertone. So I usually try to stick to neutral shades just because it is either too warm or too light if I use yellow or warm foundation undertones. Undertones can be tricky to look for in Nars. I feel that yellow tones are either too dark or too warm, Neutral tones are too light, and olive tones are too dark or too warm. So, regarding shade match with undertones, Nars still has improvements, especially with yellow undertones. The shades Macao is too red and also too light, and Marquises is too red and too dark. As a shade reference, I wear the shade 14 Neutral in Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin Foundation, Neutral Rich in It Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Foundation, and 21 in Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Skin Tint


The packaging is very nice, and I love that it is in a squeeze-frosted plastic bottle with a silicone bottom. This beauty brand usually packages its foundation in a glass bottle. If you are heavy-handed, please try not to squeeze too much product out because you can’t put it back due to the packaging, similar to Dior’s Backstage Face and Body Foundation packaging. 


Soft matte is thicker, dries quickly, and will get stuck in place if you don’t blend thoroughly. I tend to use my setting spray when that happens to loosen the formulation. The formula claims to be transfer resistant, shine-resistant, and doesn’t oxidize. I apply it from the back of my hand to warm up the formulation and to make sure I get an even blend using a brush. I am a brush girl with this formulation because it gives me more coverage and glow to the skin. This foundation does set pretty quickly, and there’s no need to set it with a powder. It feels like a second skin but is resistant while wearing a mask throughout the day. I have a dry skin type, and because of that, I take my time prepping my skin so that it doesn’t feel dry during the day. You can also add your moisturizer to the foundation to give that extra boost of moisture. Luminous primer or Auric Glow Lust works well with this formulation as well. I prefer more of a glow-from-within foundation look. But the formulation is versatile because you can add stuff with it, even a facial oil, and it works just fine.  

Shelf Life:

It is a standard of their foundations to last up to 24 months in shelf life. If you found my blog because you have fungal acne, I recommend adding the expiration date when you open it. So, if you open it on 2/24/23, it will expire on 2/24/25 (2 years).

Wear Time:

The powders in this formulation are supposed to absorb excess oil, so for all my oily skin types, this foundation is for you. If you wear masks often, look no further; this foundation will not budge. If you have dry patches or texture, use a primer or prep your skin, as this formulation can peel. The foundation blurs throughout the day and does hide texture if you prep your skin. I have texture around my chin, smile lines, and nose. This is my go-to foundation for the spring and summer because it is sweat-resistant. 


Does it cover pigmentation?

100% yes, this does cover pigmentation and evens the skin tone.

Does it cover up texture and pores?

Yes, it leaves the skin with a blurred finish. I would suggest that if you have dry skin or dry patches, prep the skin.

Is it suited for dry skin?

Yes, and No, it depends on skin prep, but I love that the formula is versatile and easier to add a moisturizer, primer, or facial oil without it peeling or affecting the formula.

Is it suited for oily skin?

Yes, this is more suited for oily and combo skin.

Is it transfer-proof? 

Yes, it wears well with a mask throughout the day and sets itself, so there’s no need to add powder on top. 

Does it last 16 hrs?

I have worn it for over 12 hrs, and it still looked good. I would say it looks better throughout the day. It looked dewier and natural throughout the day. Not much touching up with this formulation besides maybe the T-zone.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, it is 10/10 because it is 100% fungal acne safe and a fantastic formula. Even though it is for oily and combo skin types, you can still add something to make the formula more suited for your skin type. 

This foundation retails for $42, the normal price range of Nars Foundations ($42-$50).

Let me know what you think about this foundation in the comments. And be sure to check out my other foundation reviews.

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation

Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation

Huda Beauty’s Glowish Luminous Tint Foundation