Expert Review: Is NARS Foundation Water-Based and Right for Your Skin?


As a seasoned beauty expert and enthusiast, I’m often asked about the intricacies of various makeup products. One query that frequently pops up is about NARS Foundation: “Is it water-based?” In this comprehensive review, we’ll not only answer this question but also delve into whether NARS Foundation is the right fit for your skin type. NARS, known for its luxurious and high-quality products, has been a cornerstone in the beauty industry for years. But, as we navigate the myriad options in the market, understanding the composition and suitability of your foundation is crucial for that perfect makeup look.

What Does ‘Water-Based’ Foundation Mean?

The term ‘water-based’ in foundations refers to formulations where water is the primary solvent. This doesn’t mean these foundations are only made of water; instead, water is a significant component of their composition. Water-based foundations are celebrated for their lightweight texture and ability to provide a natural, breathable coverage. They’re particularly favored during warmer months or by those who prefer a more subtle makeup look.

In contrast, there are oil-based and silicone-based foundations. Oil-based foundations, rich in oils and emollients, are ideal for dry skin as they offer intense hydration and a dewy finish. Silicone-based foundations, known for their smooth application and long-lasting wear, are a favorite for creating a flawless, airbrushed look. Each type has its unique benefits, and the choice largely depends on your skin type and desired finish.

Is NARS Foundation Water-Based and Right for Your Skin

Overview of NARS Foundation

NARS Cosmetics, established by François Nars in 1994, quickly rose to fame for its innovative and high-quality products. The brand has been at the forefront of combining fashion, art, and beauty, delivering products that not only enhance natural beauty but also make bold statements. Their foundations, in particular, have garnered a cult following for their extensive shade range, diverse finishes, and adaptable coverage. From sheer and luminous to full coverage and matte, NARS offers something for every preference and skin type.

Is NARS Foundation Water-Based?

When it comes to NARS foundations, the answer to whether they are water-based isn’t straightforward. NARS offers a variety of foundation formulations, and not all of them can be categorized as solely water-based. Many NARS foundations, such as the Sheer Glow and the All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation, list water as one of their primary ingredients. This suggests a significant water component, contributing to their lightweight, buildable coverage and ease of blending.

However, it’s important to note that these foundations also contain silicones and other ingredients to enhance their performance, longevity, and finish. For instance, the Radiant Longwear Foundation, while containing water, also has silicone-based ingredients to ensure long-lasting wear and a radiant finish.

In essence, while NARS does offer foundations that are predominantly water-based, they blend these with other components to strike a balance between a lightweight feel and desirable performance features like longevity and finish.

Is NARS Foundation Water-Based and Right for Your Skin

Suitability for Different Skin Types

Choosing the right foundation for your skin type is crucial for achieving optimal results. Let’s break down how NARS foundations, with their varied formulations, cater to different skin types:

For Oily Skin

Those with oily skin often struggle with foundation staying put and not looking overly shiny. NARS foundations with a matte finish and oil-control properties are ideal. Products like the NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick are formulated to absorb excess oil, minimizing shine for a smooth, matte finish. Such foundations help in maintaining a balanced look without clogging pores.

For Dry Skin

Dry skin requires a foundation that hydrates and illuminates. NARS foundations like the Sheer Glow Foundation are perfect as they provide hydration while offering a luminous finish. These foundations often contain ingredients like glycerin and antioxidants, which nourish the skin and enhance its natural glow, ensuring that the foundation does not cling to dry patches.

For Combination Skin

Combination skin can be tricky, as it involves managing both oily and dry areas. A balanced foundation like the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, which offers a blend of matte and dewy finishes, is suitable. This foundation provides long-lasting wear that can handle oilier zones while still hydrating drier areas.

For Sensitive Skin

For those with sensitive skin, it’s crucial to choose a foundation that is free from irritants. NARS foundations are generally non-comedogenic and are formulated without irritants like alcohol and fragrances. However, always check the ingredient list and patch test before full application.

Application Tips for NARS Foundation

Achieving a flawless application with NARS foundation involves a few key steps:

  1. Skin Preparation: Start with a clean, moisturized face. Applying a hydrating primer can create a smooth canvas, especially important for dry or textured skin.
  2. Application Technique: Use a foundation brush, sponge, or your fingers to apply. Brushes offer more coverage, while sponges give a more sheer, natural finish. For areas that need more coverage, use a stippling technique.
  3. Blending: Ensure to blend the foundation into your neck and hairline for a seamless look. Proper blending prevents demarcation lines and patchiness.
  4. Setting: For oily skin types, set the foundation with a translucent powder. For dry skin, a hydrating setting spray can add moisture and longevity.

Pros and Cons of NARS Foundation


  • Diverse Shade Range: Catering to a wide spectrum of skin tones.
  • Quality Formulations: High-quality ingredients that offer various benefits to the skin.
  • Long-Lasting: Many of their foundations are known for their durability and long wear time.


  • Price Point: NARS foundations can be on the higher end of the price spectrum.
  • Finding the Right Match: With so many options, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect match without trial and error.


In conclusion, NARS offers a versatile range of foundations that cater to various skin types and preferences. Whether you have oily, dry, combination, or sensitive skin, there’s likely a NARS foundation that can meet your needs. While many of their formulations are water-based, providing a lightweight and natural finish, they also integrate other ingredients for enhanced performance. Remember, the key to perfect makeup lies not only in the product you choose but also in how you apply it. With the right NARS foundation and application techniques, you can achieve that coveted flawless complexion.

So, is NARS foundation water-based and right for your skin? The answer is nuanced, but with the information provided, you’re well-equipped to make an informed decision. Don’t hesitate to experiment and find your perfect match. After all, makeup is an art, and your skin is the canvas!

Kelly Rodriguez
Kelly Rodriguez
Where Sophistication and Style Meet.

Share post:




More like this

Embracing the Outdoors: Designing Your Dream Modern Conservatory

Modern conservatories have been gaining popularity among homeowners in...

To Wash or Not to Wash: Decoding the Dilemma of ‘Should I Wash My Hair Before I Dye It?’

Picture this: you're excited about a new hair color,...

How to Have a Glow Up: The Ultimate Guide to Transforming Your Skin Care Routine

Embarking on a skincare journey is much more than...

Decoding the 6565 Angel Number: Messages from the Universe Explained

In the mysterious and interconnected world of spirituality and...