NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint: Review + FOTD

I’m super excited to share my review of the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint as part of my series on lighter foundations!  As you guys know, I have a major soft spot for glowy foundations (Giorgio Armani and L’Oreal, I’m looking at y’all).  So, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about a foundation that promised to be matte.  Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think there’s a time and a place for matte foundations (I LOVED the L’Oreal matte foundation that I used in this tutorial), but that just hasn’t been my thing lately.

nars velvet matte skin tint

But then I took a trip to LA a couple of weeks ago and it was 90 degrees, and we’ve been having more and more warmer days in the Bay, so I was like “Hmm…might be a good time to try that matte foundation.”

As the name suggests, this is a matte foundation, but it has a very natural and forgiving finish.  Compared to the other matte foundation that I’ve worn (L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte 24HR Foundation), the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint is less matte, so I think it’s perfect for normal or combination skin.  It just has a very natural finish that I really liked.  It also has SPF 30, so I can see myself wearing this more once summer hits (but I will still wear a standalone sunscreen underneath!  My current favorite is this one by Giorgio Armani).

Although my nose typically gets shiny with other foundations, the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint kept the oiliness at bay, so I was super impressed (I didn’t add any setting powder).  As with many NARS foundations, I found that this works better when applied with the fingers.  When I got my makeup done at the NARS boutique in San Francisco, the makeup artist told me that NARS foundations are formulated to be applied with the fingers because NARS believes that method of application gives a more natural finish.  I personally prefer to use a makeup sponge or brush because it’s cleaner, but I definitely get a better finish with the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint when I use my fingers.

nars velvet matte skin tint

Wearing NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Malaga (natural lighting).

nars velvet matte skin tint

Wearing NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Malaga (flash).

As you can see, this matte finish is super natural.  The coverage is light-medium and somewhat buildable.  That being said, if you want a full coverage foundation, this probably won’t be enough coverage for you.  I love how this looks just like skin, but it still manages to even skintone and cover any minor imperfections.

Swatches of NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint

nars velvet matte skin tint

L to R: Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Malaga; Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Annapurna; Radiant Cream Compact in Macao.

In the swatches above, I compare three of the NARS foundations that I’m currently using.  Malaga is the color that I’m most frequently matched with when I’m at a NARS counter.  Annapurna is listed as “Medium 2” so it’s technically a few shades lighter than Malaga.  However, it’s actually very close.  I wear the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Annapurna at least once a week and it blends in really nicely.  Just goes to show you that you can’t always go by the shade descriptions!  Sometimes you just gotta try a foundation for yourself.  The last one, Macao, is a foundation that I bought at the end of summer last year, after spending lots of time at the football field watching my nephew play in the blazing hot sun.  Being an incredible auntie is no joke!  Anyways, my skin was a few shades darker, so Macao was a perfect match at the time, but it’s too dark for me now.  The finish of the Radiant Cream Compact is incredible!  It’s medium to full coverage and is so natural and comfortable to wear.  It feels light on the face and it’s great for travel.

Here’s another look at my makeup:

nars velvet matte skin tint

Here’s what else I’m wearing:

Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow in Laurier Rose // MAC Blush in Blushbaby // Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in 13 Marvelous Mauve (so comfortable and long-lasting!) // Glossier Boy Brow in Black // Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (one of my favorite mascaras).

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint comes in 12 shades and is available at Sephora,  Nordstrom, Saks and NARS Cosmetics for $44.

Shop the rest of my makeup look below:

Have you tried NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint?  Let me know what you think!

  • Mary

    Wow, your foundation looks great – perfect! I too have problems with a shiny nose that needs powder, so I was all set to buy but then I saw the price. I just can’t justify spending that much. I do think this looks like a fabulous “lighter coverage” foundation, which appeals to me. I also think I get a fast, lighter coat if I use my fingers, so I will keep Nars in mind.

    • Adia

      Thanks Mary! I tried out a sample of the Urban Decay One and Done foundation and it had a very similar finish to the NARS one I reviewed. And it’s a little less at $34. May be worth getting a sample from Sephora (I always do this before buying foundation) 😉.