NARS Sheer Glow Foundation and Sheer Matte Foundation Reviews and Swatches

The long-anticipated Sheer Glow and Sheer Matte Foundations from NARS are finally here!

The two foundations first made their debuts at New York Fall 2009 Fashion Week and will replace the existing NARS Oil-free Foundation and Balanced Foundation. Sheer Glow is a glowing, satin-finish foundation that is great for those with normal to dry skin while Sheer Matte provides a soft matte finish and helps to control oil and shine throughout the day.

Both foundations have light coverage that is buildable and the texture is heaven-sent! They go on super smooth, blend effortlessly and do not feel like makeup at all! They also contain skincare benefits and an exclusive Complexion Brightening Formula to keep your skin hydrated, luminous and more even in the long run. Plus there are a total of 20 shades available to suit different skin tones. What is there not to love?

NARS Oil-Free Foundation, Sheer Glow Foundation and Firming Foundation
NARS Oil-Free Foundation, Sheer Glow Foundation and Firming Foundation

Despite the differences in the size of the bottles, all 3 foundations contain the same amount of product (30ml).

Onto the swatches:

NARS Sante Fe and Fiji foundation swatches
Oil-Free in Sante Fe, Sheer Glow in Fiji and Firming in Fiji swatches

To see the foundations in action, check out the Hervé Léger Fall 2009 , Thakoon Fall 2009 and 3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2009 shows at New York Fashion Week.

And below is me wearing the Sheer Glow Foundation:

Sheer Glow Foundation and Sheer Matte Foundation are now available at and Sephora for $42.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE,, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.


  1. They match you with Fiji? The guy at Nordstrom almost wanted match with Tahoe which is a light dark shade! LOL… I’m definitely getting them after I use up my NARS Balanced foundation which I also love! But I’m not sad at all that they are getting discontinue coz I’m sure I’ll love the new one… *narsgasm*

  2. Yea, I have NARS Balanced in Barcelona and even that’s a little too dark for me. I mixed it with a little Fiji (I have 2 shades for mixing)… It’s just funny that the MA keeps matching me with different colors though… the Nordstrom on Michigan Ave has horrible lighting… I don’t blame him… It looks like Fiji of Firming Foundation is a little lighter than the Sheer Glow one?

  3. I have the Sheer Matte in Barcelona and love it. It is an open mouthed bottle like the true match, which i don’t like, but i guess it makes it easier to use if u use sponges.

    The nars foundation colors don’t match across their different ranges. In the firming foundation, I am Tahoe which is 2 shades darker than Barcelona. I wouldn’t get Sheer Glow, better to just use some moisturizer and let it settle into your skin for about 5 mins, then follow up with the Matte. Glowy stuff can easily look greasy after a few hours. I didn’t like the firming either, it is too thick for my face (i guess that’s how it gives a firm look).
    For reference I am around W6 in Loreal True Match (slightly too light), NC42 in Mac (bit too yellow), and in Makeup Forever I am 153 (perfect match). In Revlon Colorstay, I am Golden Caramel.

  4. Are the bottles for the three foundations same in size when it comes to the opening? I know the Sheer Matte and Sheer Glow don’t have the pump, but I have the Firming Foundation (with the pump) and was wondering if I could just transfer the pump to the Sheer foundation bottle.

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