What is your theory on matte vs. luminous finish foundations…do you like customizing day to day or do you always prefer the same finish?

NARS Sheer Matte Foundation Stromboli Info

Ever have one of those moments where you’ve worn a foundation for over a week, suddenly catch a glance of yourself in just the right lighting, and see that you’re wearing an obviously wrong shade?  That’s what happened to me and my beloved NARS Sheer Matte Foundation.  I picked up a sample in the shade Barcelona and instantly loved it.  I wore it daily for over a week, then purchased a full-size bottle for $44.00.  The first day I wore it from the bottle, I thought the shade looked a little off.  But confident in the fact I tested it for so long, I didn’t concern myself with it.  The next day I wore it (and a white sweater), gasped, and realized it was the wrong shade.  Has this ever happened to you?  Where did you have the misfortune of finding out?

“How on earth did this happen?” you ask.  My original shade match was assisted by a rushed SA who applied entirely too much Stromboli to my chin, making it look like a far cry from an actual match.  Needless to say, when applied in the appropriate amount, and when given five minutes or so to settle in, I am in fact a match from the NARS Sheer Matte shade Stromboli which is NARS Medium 3.  (I am currently a MAC NC37.)

NARS Sheer Matte Foundation Stromboli Swatch

See how nicely that blends in?  It is a very heavily yellow shade and the above swatch was photographed shortly after applying.  The undertones are all sorts of right on.  Check out my bare face and then how a built up layer of foundation does at covering any imperfections.

NARS Sheer Matte Foundation Stromboli Before


NARS Sheer Matte Foundation Stromboli After

I love that this foundation is sheer.  I love that this foundation is matte.  My theory about matte vs. shimmer still stands:  I can add glow.  I can add shimmer.  I can add glitter.  I can’t take any of that out of a product.  So I go with natural looking matte foundations just as I would most likely choose a matte eyeshadow palette over a full shimmer one.  And as far as choosing a sheer formula, NARS Sheer Matte has the ability to build into a medium coverage.  It did a decent job covering the spots on my forehead and the area around my eyes, did it not?

NARS Sheer Matte Foundation Stromboli Packaging

The downside to my new favorite foundation is obviously the packaging.  I am annoyed to no end by foundation that comes without a pump.  I am even more annoyed that I don’t have access to a NARS counter and therefore can not buy a pump without paying shipping.  So a quick shout out to my favorite Sephora SA (you know who you are!) for hooking a girl up with a spare pump.  NARS Sheer Matte Foundation requires one as it is not a very fluid foundation that pours or runs.

Stromboli wears on my skin for around 6 hours without primer or powder.  It breaks down much more quickly on my nose (as does every other foundation under the sun, including Revlon ColorStay) and my day definitely lasts longer than 6 hours (try 16).  So I always apply a primer and set with powder and a spray for the ultimate long-lasting and versatile finish foundation.

I’ve been contemplating a spring foundation routine, but given the number of face products I’ve reviewed lately (I can’t help it, I’m obsessed!), I don’t want to bore you all to death.  Is anyone interested in it?


Price: $44.00

Availability: NARS, Sephora, Nordstrom

Summary: NARS Sheer Matte Foundation is a great mattifying formula with sheer to medium coverage.  It does not dry out skin and has a fairly natural finish.  For the price, the packaging should include a pump.

10am Beauty Approved?: Yes

Disclaimer: I purchased this item with my own money.