NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF24: The Stuff of My Most Radiant, Soft Matte Finish Dreams (in Somewhat Tricky Packaging)

Published in: Face, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation Broad Spectrum SFP24

Wearing the new NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation Broad Spectrum SFP24 ($48)

Of all my many makeup and beauty pursuits, like the quests for big hair, lush lashes and behaved brows (frickin’ Raul!), the quest for luxurious-looking skin consumes the most time.

I’m always looking for that expensive, luxurious Louis Vuitton skin look…without having to spend Real Housewives of Beverly Hills money.




And hella pricey (looking).

Available in 13 shades, the new $48 NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation delivers exactly that, and it’s a revelation, especially when it’s applied with a wet sponge (I use a Beauty Blender).

It’s the stuff of my most radiant, soft matte finish dreams (in somewhat tricky packaging).

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation light

The light shades

My big fear with powder foundations is that they’ll look thick and heavy on my combination skin, because many of them do, but NARS All Day Luminous does not. The fine, silky powder formula looks and feels lightweight, while the finish falls somewhere between dewy and matte.

Coverage ranges from light to medium, depending on how you apply them. When I use a dry sponge or brush, the coverage is at its lightest. The formula does even out my skin tone a little, but some of the natural redness in my cheeks still peeks through, and I can still see my freckles. Worn this way, the look is super casual.

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation Medium

The medium shades

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation Medium Dark

The medium-dark shades

Using a sponge or Beauty Blender to apply them kicks up the coverage a notch. For the highest coverage (medium), I like to apply a 50/50 mix of Stromboli and Tahoe, because together they’re a closer match to my skin tone than any of the 13 individual shades, with a wet Beauty Blender. That keeps my freckles on the down-low and makes sure that no red on my cheeks sneaks through.

I’m definitely partial to applying these with the wet sponge (I use a patting and rolling motion). I think that way the look is more natural.

These don’t take long to apply, either. I can have a full face of foundation applied, blended and done in 3-4 minutes.

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation Swatches

Swatches of all 13 shades

More thoughts on NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF24

  • A flexible coverage. Coverage ranges from light to medium, depending on how they’re applied. I prefer applying them with a wet sponge for medium coverage, and because I think it looks the most natural.
  • Sun protection. Since these contain SPF 24, I was worried they’d look funky under a flash, but I don’t see any of that annoying white cast in my photography, which is great.
  • Sweet shine control. All Day Luminous Powder does a good job of keeping the oil in check on my oily-dry combination skin, and it lasts. I only start to see shiny spots at around the 7-8 hour mark.
  • Lovin’ the long-lasting oil-free formula. It’s non-comedogenic and free of parabens, alcohol, fragrance and talc.
  • Decent shade range (although I don’t see a perfect match for me). Not the widest selection (maybe they’ll add more), but there are 13 shades, with a nice range for various undertones.
NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation packaging

That middle pan there tends to flip and flop back and forth…

My biggest complaint is with the packaging. The powder pan flips and flops around whenever I open and close the compact, and it’s a little annoying. If I forget myself and whip it open too fast, little pieces of powder break off around the edges of the pan.

NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation before and after

Before and after

Overall, though, I really like this foundation. With a soft and lovely, natural-looking matte finish, beautiful coverage and an easy-to-use formula, it’s a great choice if you’re looking for light-to-medium coverage.

Don’t forget that wet sponge, though. It’s totes key.

PRICE: $48
AVAILABILITY: Coming to the NARS permanent line September 20 at NARS Boutiques and online at, and October 1 to NARS counters at department and specialty stores
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: B+/A- (I only wish there was a closer match to my skin tone among the 13 shades)

The 13 NARS All Day Luminous shades include…

  • Siberia — light with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
  • Mont Blanc — light with pink undertones
  • Deauville –light with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
  • Fiji — light with yellow undertones
  • Punjab — medium with golden, peachy undertones
  • Vallauris — medium with pink undertones
  • Santa Fe — medium with peachy undertones
  • Stromboli — medium with olive undertones
  • Barcelona — medium with golden, peachy undertones
  • Syracuse — medium-dark with brown undertones
  • Tahoe — medium-dark with caramel undertones
  • Cadiz — medium-dark with caramel and red undertones
  • Macao — medium-dark with yellow undertones

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



P.S. Heads up on a new item from Hourglass!

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette, $58

Just a quick peek at the new Ambient Lighting Blush Palette, $58, coming to Hourglass counters, Sephora stores and in October. Includes two existing shades, Luminous Flush (a champagne rose blush fused with Luminous Light Ambient Powder) and Mood Exposure (a soft plum blush fused with Mood Light), and a new shade exclusive to the palette, Incandescent Electra (a cool peach blush blended with Incandescent Light).

To quote my sister from another mister, Liz Lemon, “I want to go to there.”

Seriously, this is the only thing cheering me up after hearing that Eva finally had Ryan’s baby. Whatever… I demand a DNA test.


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 21 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. May says:

    Hi Karen!
    The first thing that comes to mind is……”oooohhh! I like!”
    Are they available in store or only online?

    Hope you, el hub, and Tabs are having a wonderful Tuesday.

    Hugs from the Great Up North!

  2. Genesis says:

    Your too funny! I bet that is going to be a gorgeous baby though! Oh NARS why must I have such an expensive taste. I might have to go to Sephora and try it on 😉 thanks agant for the great entertaining review. 🙂

  3. Agata says:

    I love how this foundation looks on you. My shade in their liquid foundation is Fiji so probably in the powder it will be the same. And I’m super excited about the Hourglass blush palette.
    Agata recently posted … Pick Your Weapon- Powder or Liquid Foundation?

  4. Alison M says:

    1) I am so looking forward to these powders. Stromboli is my (passable) year-round shade and my first true foundation match which is why I have such a soft spot for NARS. But based on your swatches, I might be able to wear Punjab in winter rather than taking the makeup down my neck. Huzzah!

    2) I want to go there with you. I had my eye on two of the HG shades already, but the exclusive one? It looks ravishing.

    3) Get that DNA test. I’m thinking it’s all a publicity stunt anyway 😉
    Alison M recently posted … Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette

  5. Fancie says:

    Darn that looks good on you! Like really good! I don’t know whether to rejoice or be disappointed about the range though. I don’t think Macao will be dark enough for me but at least it’s one less thing on my shopping list lol. I do hope they add more shades though so it can be more universally appealing. It’s definitely not brown girl friendly at the moment
    Fancie recently posted … Urban Decay Vice LTD Palette Coming Soon!

  6. Erica says:

    The foundation has my shade regular Nars shade Macao? Oh,oh, I’m in trouble. I need to find out if it works on oily combo skin. Girl, I thought about you when I heard the baby was born. If it’s any consolation, baby girl Gosling won’t permit Ryan and what’s her name to have a minute of sleep. They’ll both be real life zombies by Halloween!

  7. Kwmechelle says:

    “Sweet Shine Control,” ’nuff said. I’m a fan of their tinted moisturizer but I couldn’t find an exact shade match & purchasing two of them to create an exact match is too pricey for me. Either way though, I truly adore the NARS brand.

    And what a beautiful blush palette. I’m still debating if I’m gonna get the Ambient Lighting palette. Still playing around with the “eyeshadow as highlighter” tip you have me the other day. This palette looks to be a contender if I pass on the highlighting palette. Great review. You make makeup review reading so entertaining. 🙂

  8. That looks good on you Karen! I have not tried NARS Foundation yet. Nor powder foundation for that matter. Time to change that I think!
    Ankita@corallista recently posted … Makeup Look : Sparkly Copper Eyes, Neutral Lips (MAC Reflects Copper Glitter Look)

  9. Amanda says:

    I think this looks pretty on you Karen. But, I’m not gonna lie, I wouldn’t even bother if I had your before skin. It really doesn’t need foundation to me.
    However, mine does, and I’m going to the NARS counter the day this comes out.
    I will also be stalking my Sephora for that Hourglass blush palette. It must be mine.
    This post has totally made my day. Thank you!

  10. I can’t wait to try this new foundation, Karen! I’ve been on such a foundation kick out there and I absolutely love NARS tinted moisturizers and foundations typically. I’m sad that I already have Luminous Flush and Mood Exposure, so I can’t really justify getting the blush palette! Still, so pretty.

  11. Bella says:

    I think I’ll be Stromboli then. What a funny shade Barcelona is here!!! I want this even though I want to kick Nars’s butt over the packaging fail. Unforgivable really.

    That Hourglass palette!! Why, oh why have they included two shades I already have? Great for my wallet I guess; I can pass.

  12. Sylirael says:

    OoOoOoOoOooohhh… <3_<3

    I totally need to swatch Siberia when these come here! (If they come here). I hope they do, as I'm extemely fond of powder foundation but need a lighter one than my beloved YSL! The creamy compact foundation of Siberia was pretty good (maybe just the tiniest hair too dark?).
    Sylirael recently posted … Interrogueation! Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award + A Fun Questionnaire for All!

  13. Dee says:

    Love the finish on this one!! Reminds me of the Benefit Flawless powder’s finish. Very cool…too bad about the packaging tho!
    Dee recently posted … Easy Peasy Layering Nail polishes – My (current) Fav 5 !

  14. Jax says:

    Best Trick I ever learnt for powder foundation was to use a flat headed round kabuki brush and buff it into the skin, I used about a third of the product for a better finish. Then use a finishing spray. I now have a retractable brush and an atomiser in my handbag, less messy for last minute makeup than liquid foundation.

  15. Kim says:

    I really like the finish and you’re not kidding about the coverage. Plus, your pores are pretty much invisible (not that they’re big to begin with). Powder is such a break-out trigger for me, though. That’s my big worry with this but I guess I never know until I try, right? 🙂

  16. Chelsea says:

    God I want the Ambient Blush Palette. I don’t know why but I need it!

    Your skin looks great! I don’t typically do powders because they seem to look bad on my dry skin and suck all the moisture out. I dream of having a classy powder compact to touch up with, but A: I’m lazy and B: I’m dry.

  17. Denise Sheffield says:

    Your skin looks great! I like that it helps with oil control.I think Tahoe would be my color but I’ll check this out in store. Excited about the Hour Glass ambient lighting blush palette! I want a good blush palette for travel.

  18. aradhana says:

    i have an older version of their powder foundation…it has less spf i think. but i love it for touch ups and mattifying my shiny nose from time to time.
    do you know if there’s any other difference in the formulas than spf?

  19. jhoanne says:

    is this refillable?

  20. Christine says:

    I love to follow your posts because we have very similar skin tones and I find that most of the other bloggers are more pale than I am.
    I’m wondering what blush and lipgloss you’re wearing in this picture??


  21. Melinda says:

    For putting on a bare face (no liquid foundation underneath) would you prefer this powder or MAC careblend? Thanks.

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