November 21, 2023 By Thea Off

Nars’s Soft Matte Complete Foundation Could Be Its Best Recipe Yet The brand brought its A-game with a fresh formula that makes skin shine.



Quick Overview:

Product Details: A full-coverage, liquid foundation offering a natural matte finish.

Product Purpose: Achieves a seamless base for your makeup look.

Target Audience: All skin tones.


Nars has proven to be an expert in crafting stunning foundations. I’ve been an ardent fan of its Natural Radiant Longwear and Sheer Glow Foundations for their radiant, dewy finish and adaptable, medium-to-full coverage formulation. However, the brand chose to introduce a different approach in early September 2020, unveiling its Soft Matte Complete Foundation.

This foundation deviates from my two brand favorites, offering a natural matte finish that resembles skin (yet improved) and is housed in a squeezable tube as opposed to a bottle with a pump. It promised extensive coverage to camouflage my scars and any uneven skin tones, sparking my anticipation to try out this innovative formula.

I initiated my routine by preparing my skin with the Exa Jump Start Smoothing Primer and then applied the L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Glotion in Dark to bestow an inner glow. I dotted a bit of the foundation on my forehead, cheeks, and chin before evening it out with a foundation brush. Instantly, I was captivated by the gorgeous satin finish — it provided me an ideal base for my complete makeup ensemble.


Usually, I tend to avoid ultra-matte formulas, but this finish was more than what I’d hoped for. It bestowed upon me the most seamless, uniform skin I’ve ever had. Discovering my shade wasn’t too complicated as they remain fairly stable across the brand’s foundations, albeit some shades can appear slightly lighter. I chose New Caledonia (not an absolute match for my neutral brown skin but the closest fit), which functioned equally well in the soft matte version.

While I won’t be forsaking my dewy formulations in the near future, Nars rekindled my admiration for the seamless appearance of matte foundations.

Makeup artist Ashunta Sherriff highlights some perks of choosing the velvety formula. “Matte foundation is excellent as it aids in preserving a seamless finish and regulates oil during wear,” she elaborates. “It also conceals skin blemishes much better than a nude formulation.” Sherriff indicates that nude formulations typically offer a “lightweight, light- to medium-coverage” that delivers “a skin-like finish.” Who wouldn’t desire that?

In the application of these formulas, Sheriff expresses her preference for a flat vegan foundation brush (EcoTools Flat Foundation Makeup brush being a commendable choice). She prefers to target the areas that generally require more coverage. “I start at the center of the face near the cheeks and eyes, then gradually move outward,” Sherriff explains. “Most of the imperfections we wish to minimize are undereye circles, rosacea on cheeks, and blemishes on chin or forehead, hence starting this way helps to cover the problematic areas most effectively.”

At $40, you can achieve silky, airbrushed skin with the Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation available at

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