It’s a bold statement to say that I love a foundation after only using it three or four days, but that’s all the time it took for me to see how NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint SPF 30 rocks.
I put it through its paces last weekend on my three-day trip to Monterey and Carmel, and I can’t remember the last time I thought my skin looked better, whether in real life or pics. I think when you’re on vacation — and, assuming that you’re wearing makeup on that vacation because, let’s face it, on some vacations, like beach vacations or long walking tours, you don’t always want to wear makeup, especially a full face of makeup — that’s a good time to really test a new foundation, because you’re out and about for long stretches of time and probably taking hundreds of pictures along the way.
Also, and maybe this is just me, but I don’t like to spend a ton of time on my makeup when I’m on vacation, especially first thing in the morning. I can usually tolerate spending about 15 minutes (ideally less), but then I want to be out the door because adventure awaits!
I can say with absolute certainty that new NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint — which is really just a fancy name for a tinted moisturizer with an almost fabric-like matte finish — is the sh*t. Based on the crucial vacation/low-patience-for-makeup test, it totally checks off all the right boxes.
In some ways, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint is a lot like that superstar of the NARS foundation line, Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer, of which I’ve gone through bottles, and on which I’ve gotten many friends hooked. And, mind you, these friends don’t even wear makeup on the regular, but they still love Pure Radiant.
Yup, it’s that good, and this new one, Velvet Matte, is just as great, if not better.
Like Pure Radiant’s finish, this one looks like real skin, but it still evens out your skin tone. Also, again like Pure Radiant, Velvet Matte Skin Tint contains broad-spectrum SPF 30, along with extra skincare bells and whistles like vitamins C and E.
“This oil-free formula delivers NARS’ signature natural-looking finish and shine control with the skincare benefits of an all-in-one treatment. NARS’ innovative Velvet Illusion Complex Technology creates a soft-focus effect with a soft-touch feel. Transparent Blurring Powders instantly enhance the look of skin by helping to blur imperfections and even tone — naturally dimensional skin that doesn’t look flat, masked, or chalky.”
The coverage is sheer but build-able up to medium, by the way, so don’t expect it to cover every single freckle or imperfection. My freckles and moles peek through, but I’m totally fine with that right now. I’ve been loving a more natural look lately, but I think you really have to like that whole, “What, me? Am I wearing makeup?” look to appreciate the finish.
As for the formula, just as lightweight as NARS Pure Radiant. Seriously, at some point I kind of just forgot that I was wearing makeup. It’s SO comfortable.
Where the two — Pure Radiant and Velvet Matte Skin Tint — really differ is finish. Pure Radiant’s is dewier, although Skin Tint isn’t completely flat, but I think that if you’re all about that matte life, and/or you have oily skin with a lot of natural dewiness already, then Skin Tint would be the better choice.
Funny thing is…I’m not always a matte finish gal. Most of the time — OK, maybe like all the time — I’ll choose dewy over matte because I feel like matte foundations, as beautiful as they are, particularly in pics, can appear slightly aging because of how they tend to settle into pores and fine lines and look heavy and cakey, but this matte finish looks fresh, incredibly natural and youthful.
I think this bad girl’s gonna be like the Taylor Swift of the tinted moisturizer world. Soon, everyone and their mama’s gonna be talking about it, and you’re going to be seeing it all over the frickin’ place.
Of the 12 shades, I wear St. Moritz, a medium with neutral yellow undertones, and I think it’s pretty much a perfect fit for my middle-of-the-winter skin.
The 12 shades include…
- Terre-Neuve (Light0) — lightest shade with neutral pink undertones
- Finland (Light1) — lightest with neutral yellow undertones
- Alaska (Light2) — light with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
- Groenland (Light3) — light medium with a neutral pink/peachy undertone
- St. Moritz (Medium1) — medium with a neutral yellow undertone
- Cuzco (Medium1.5) — medium with a neutral pink/peachy undertone
- Annapurna (Medium2) — medium with a neutral peachy undertone
- Cuba (Medium3) — medium with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
- Malaga (Med/Dark1) — medium-dark with warm caramel undertones
- Seychelles (Med/Dark2) — medium-dark with golden olive undertones
- Martinique (Med/Dark3) — medium-dark with warm red undertones
- Polynesia (Dark1), — dark with warm chocolate undertones
If you like how NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint sounds, look for it starting January 15 in the NARS permanent line at NARS boutiques and the NARS website, and then a little later on February 1 at NARS counters.
I have a feeling you’ll really like this one.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,