- Buildable medium to full coverage
- Comfortable to wear
- Long wearing (up to 16 hours)
- Oil free
- Transfer and crease resistant
- Humidity and sweat proof
- Great foundation for oily skin
- Inclusive shade range (34 shades)
- Can look heavy/cakey if applied heavy handed
- Can exaggerate dry spots
I adore this NARS Foundation. Soft Matte provides a beautiful full coverage with an impressive long wear. It’s truly stunning.
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This NARS foundation is one of my favorites.
I don’t typically love matte foundations. I love a healthy, dewy glow to my skin. But, when NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation launched, I knew I had to try it. I already love their creamy Soft Matte Complete Concealer. It has a soft matte finish (hence the name) that can be worn alone to hide imperfections or layered to provide ultimate coverage without being cakey and heavy. So, it’s no surprise Soft Matte Foundation had some big shoes to fill. Lucky for the brand, this NARS Foundation completely wowed me. With its velvety matte finish, to its ultra blendable formula and all day wear, this quickly became a staple in my makeup collection.
Quick Rating Rundown
:Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation
:NYX Bare With Me Blur Foundation
Promises vs. Performance: 16 hours of transfer resistant, humidity and sweat proof wear? Sign me up!
Soft Matte Complete Foundation almost sounds too good to be true. NARS promises “all-day satisfaction” with true color that is oxidation-resistant. The formula features something exclusive to NARS called Anti-Oxidation Complex which help prevent color shifting while also protection skin from pollution and blue light. This oil free foundation prevents excess sebum, while keeping skin hydrated thanks to Hydramatte Balancing Complex. All while Superior Oil Absorbing Powders create a smooth, matte, second skin looking finish. In line with the name, expect a natural, soft matte finish that gives a buildable medium to full coverage. With up to 16 hours of wear, Soft Matte Foundation claims to be transfer proof, shine proof, humidity proof, sweat proof.
I was super excited, but also super skeptical the first time I tried this NARS foundation. Matte foundations usually aren’t my cup of tea, but there is just something about this formula that I can’t get enough of. My favorite way to apply is using a dampened sponge (I love the e.l.f. sponge because it is so large and bouncy). A little bit goes a long way with this foundation and it blends in effortlessly. It has a creamy formula that is comfortable to wear. I do think Soft Matte has the longevity NARS promises, with virtually no transferring, creasing, or fading. I love that it still lets some of my natural oils shine through, and I think it looks better as it wears throughout the day.
Soft Matte is so pretty on the skin, and I seem to always get compliments when I wear this NARS foundation!
How It Compares: NARS Soft Matte is one of the few matte foundations I like.
We all know and love the iconic, industry standard Estée Lauder Double Wear (rated **** 4.6). So how does NARS Soft Matte stack up against that? The formula of the NARS Foundation is a bit more fluid and liquidy with more playing time before it sets down. Both feature a beautiful soft, velvet matte finish (the only kind of matte I like!). Just like Double Wear, Soft Matte features an incredibly long wear that is resistant to transfer, creasing, heat, and sweat. I can achieve the same, medium to full buildable coverage from both of foundations. And, honestly, I don’t know which I like more. Obviously, Double Wear is iconic. But Soft Matte is one I reach for so, so much. It is truly a stunning formula.
Give this foundation a go if you’re in the market for a fuller coverage foundation. Even if you don’t like matte finishes, I think you’ll like this one!
NARS Foundation Soft Matte Dupe:
Juvia’s Place I Am Magic Foundation is a great affordable alternative to NARS Foundation. You need the tiniest amount from both foundations to get a medium to full coverage with a matte finish. In my opinion, NARS Soft Matte is easier to apply with either a dense foundation brush or a beauty sponge. Juvia’s I AM Magic foundation is best applied with a damp beauty sponge. Wear time is where Juvia’s Place foundation shines. From my experience, I get several more hours of wear without the foundation transferring or attributing to excess oil on my t-zone. If anything, NARS foundation looks more even and smooth on my complexion in comparison to Juvia’s I Am Magic Foundation.
An even more affordable drugstore option is the new NYX Bare With Me Skin Tint Foundation. If you enjoy a matte foundation but don’t like the heavier coverage, this foundation by NYX is a good lighter option. This foundation provides an effortless blurring effect on the skin. However, this foundation does have several drawbacks. First, minimal shade range (24 shades) in comparison to Juvia’s Place foundation (42 shades) and NARS Soft Matte (34 shades). Next, texture and pores start to look exaggerated after 3 hours or so. Overall, if you’re looking for a lighter coverage and blurred finish complexion, you might enjoy this new NYX skin tint foundation.
Milabu Beauty Method: Flawless, skin-like full coverage.
- Prepare your dampened sponge. I prefer either the Beautyblender Pro ($20) or e.l.f. Total Face Sponge ($6) with this foundation.
- On the back of your hand, put 1-2 pumps. A little goes a long way!
- Swipe the foundation on your face. Concentrate more where you want more coverage.
- Take your dampened sponge and blend in the foundation. Add more coverage as you go if desired.
- I find I don’t typically need to set Soft Matte, but if you do, Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Powder ($39) is one that always does a great job.
Advertised Product Highlights
NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation
Edited by Maddie