NARS is one of the few beauty brands that I truly trust. When I first started wearing makeup, pretty much only NARS, MAC and Bobbi Brown had foundations that matched my skintone. I loved how NARS had the bright, editorial colors like MAC, but wasn’t as basic and neutral as Bobbi Brown. To this day, I’m still not drawn to Bobbi Brown because everything looks so basic lol.
Anyways, when I saw that NARS came out with a stick foundation stick, I had to try it. I’ve tested it over the last month or so, and here are my thoughts.
The NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick is super creamy and blendable. Sometimes stick foundations can be thick but this one isn’t at all. One end has the foundation and the other end has a little sponge, so it’s meant to be something that can be applied on the go. When I saw that there was a removable sponge on one end, I was skeptical since I usually don’t like the sponges that come with makeup. But after using the foundation, I can see how having the sponge could be super convenient if you need to touch up or apply quickly. Also, you can buy the sponge separately for $6 so it can be replaced as needed (huge plus because sponges can get nasty).
“Velvet matte” is a perfect way to describe the finish because it has a bit of a sheen. It’s not a totally flat matte, which is a plus for me, but if you have very oily skin, you may not like that. I think this just looks like skin and has a very natural finish.
It really just glides onto the skin and takes hardly any effort to blend. I’d say the coverage is medium but you can have a lighter finish by just applying less and blending it out more. Lasting power is pretty good too. It’s not touted as being super long lasting, but I think it’ll get you through a normal workday with no problems. I’ve worn this with no primer, no powder and no setting spray and thought it still looked good at the end of the day. I did notice that my nose had gotten shiny, so, again, keep that in mind if you have oily skin.
I think that Cadiz is pretty much a perfect match for me because it has golden/olive undertones. Here are some swatches comparing it to the other NARS foundations that I have:
As you can see, its much less orange/golden than the Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Malaga (review and more pictures in this post).
I also thought it might be helpful to compare it to other stick foundations that I have (all have been reviewed previously):
As far as finish and texture, I think the NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick is most similar to the Hourglass Vanish Foundation Stick (review + swatches in this post). Both have a fair amount of slip and blend out very easily. I think the Hourglass is more full coverage and the NARS is closer to medium. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Stick Foundation (review + swatches in this post) has more of a matte finish because it was specially formulated for oily/combination skin. All are really nice and have wide color selections, so it’s just a matter of preference.
Here are the details to the rest of my makeup:
NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick in Cadiz
NARS Soft Matte Concealer in Caramel + Estee Lauder Perfectionist Serum + Concealer in 4N (to brighten; review + swatches in this post)
Fenty Beauty Matchstick Shimmer Stick in Rum
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer in Caffeine (perfect brown primer that blends in totally with my skintone)
NARS Hardwired Eyeshadow in Stud (review + swatches in this post)
MAC Blush in Blushbaby (OG favorite)
Glossier Boy Brow in Clear
MAC Lipstick in Among the Fireflies (this was limited edition but has just been released again as part of the MAC x Nikki Minaj collection)
Glossier Wowder* in Deep/Dark
If you’ve tried the NARS Velvet Matte Foundation Stick, let me know what you think!