Most of you are familiar with this foundation in the Sheer Glow formulation. This is essentially the same foundation but called Sheer Matte, with a slightly different formulation suitable for oily and combination skin. I can't compare the two because I've only tried the Sheer Matte but I don't think there's a huge amount of difference between the two. The idea is that Sheer Matte still gives you that same "glow" even if you have an oily complexion. I would say I'm more on the combination side that oily, it's my T-Zone that suffers, and I was recommended in the store that I could use the Sheer Glow if I wanted as it would be suitable but I feel like I know my skin best and could imagine as the day wore on I would have more of a shine than a glow. Not a good look.
There is a great selection of shades available, I'm sure there's something for everyone there. I was matched with Fiji which is a light-medium shade for yellow undertones. It's perfect for my skin tone as I tend to go a golden yellow sort of tan.
I apply the foundation with my fingertips rather than a brush. I prefer the control I have over the coverage by using my fingertips, it's easier to apply it lightly. I shake the bottle upside down well before using, then apply a pea sized amount to the back of my hand and dip my fingertip in a few times until I've used all the foundation to cover my face. It's a lot more labourious without the pump I've grown used to with MAC foundations!
Not only does this foundation have excellent coverage, but it lasts ages! After a day at work I'm still shine free, the only area that might need touching up being the bridge of my nose. The real test was when I wore this at the weekend. The hottest weekend the UK has seen so far this year, and I expected my face to be a big shiny disco ball when I looked in the mirror, but I was pleasantly surprised, it really wasn't that bad.
What's particularly great about the formulation is that it doesn't leave you feeling cakey-faced. You put it on, it does it's magic and you forget about it. I also don't worry about what this might be doing for the health of my skin. My skin isn't shiny after a few hours' wear but that doesn't mean my skin can't breathe. I think the same rules still apply with this foundation in terms of it's still important to thoroughly cleanse at the end of the day and make sure you wipe it all away, but I know my skin isn't getting clogged up by using this foundation. I've noticed considerably how the condition of my skin has improved lately. I'm not going to attribute that entirely to the foundation, I have changed my skin care, using entirely Purity and Lush products now but I know this is doing my skin some good. The foundation comes with a little booklet so you can find out exactly what's in it, and it's clear there's a lot of healthy things in there, so much so, that I'm using less foundation than I would before, just because it's not needed any more.
As for any downsides, I will have to talk about the price. £29 for 30ml. Yes it's a quality product, and there's something quite satisfying about buying a product like this. Every time you use it, it feels kind of "safe" like you trust the brand because it's got such a good reputation. But £29 for 30ml? I wouldn't spend more than this I'm sure (don't quote me). It's a whole £10 more than MAC SFF and Select foundations, and I can't say that I think it's worth it. I love the skin benefits I've gained from using NARS, but unless you're really struggling with MAC, this won't really be the miraculous product I think a lot of people expect it to be. If your budget stretches this far, I'd recommend trying it, but I think there is possibly a few cheaper alternatives.