review, pics & swatches: nars sheer glow foundation in #stromboli

For darker tanned, olive and Asian complexions with golden yellow undertones” – if this is not a direct message to me from NARS, then I don’t know what is. I swatched this foundation in store, liked it, bought it and I’ve been using it for a few months now.
Time to review!


VOLUME/SIZE  30ml / 1.0 fl oz.
FORMULATION  Oil-free, fragrance-free silky fluid
TEXTURE/FINISH  Luminous and natural 
PACKAGING Transparent square glass bottle with opaque black plastic cap.
Foundation pump available for purchase.
RANGE 19 shades available across all undertones –

Siberia, Mont Blanc, Gobi, Deauville, Fiji, Ceylan

Medium: Punjab, Vallauris, Sata Fe, Stromboli, Barcelona
Medium-Dark: Syracuse, Tahoe, Càdiz, Macao, Nuew Guinea)
Dark: Trinidad, New Orleans, Khartoum

I bought this in shade #Stromboli / Medium 3 (medium with olive undertone)


NARS Sheer Glow is certainly not new to the beauty circuit and has its own larger-than-life cult following. This isn’t surprising given the wide and accommodating range of shades this foundation comes in and its overall quality. But more on this later.

Is it just me or does anyone else think glass bottles for foundation are a little antiquated. Granted it gives the product heft and consequently, that luxe factor. But the absence of a dispensing pump has been a sore point for many. I don’t care either way to be honest. I like that I can see how much product is left but what really creams my corn is that the bottle cap does not close flush with the body – so the square edges are always offset. Gah!

The product has a lovely slip and is easy to apply – I use a damp blending sponge to dab it on. It blends in seamlessly and I find I don’t need much product to cover my whole face.  You can also use your fingers to apply this foundation but  I wouldn’t recommend using a brush as it won’t help you achieve as smooth a finish.
Sheer Glow in Stromboli is a terrific match for my skin tone. Actually, it is the best match I have found in any foundation I have tried to date. The toss up was between Stromboli and Barcelona but I found the latter runs too pink for me.

The coverage of this foundation, contrary to the name, is hardly sheer. It is actually medium to full coverage (although I have not yet tried to layer it to acquire heavier coverage). Having said that, it is quite a natural looking finish and really makes the skin look great. I can’t attest to the claims of improvement in skin with continued use – but that’s not what I’m looking for in a foundation anyway, that’s what my skincare is for.

With Sheer Glow, I don’t bother with primer as I think it blends into the skin much better without it. And naturally, I use this foundation with the NARS Radiant Creamy ConcealerI find it covers minor imperfections flawlessly and does not look cakey at all. It is a hydrating foundation so it is probably best for drier skin types.
The finish is true to claim, a lovely dewy glow which can get a tad too shiny after some time if you’re oily-skinned like me. A dusting of translucent powder and touch up can help with this.  I found the shine creeped in at about the 4 hour mark and by the end of the day I was emanating quite the wattage. But even in the 8th hour of wear, this foundation hardly shows signs of fading. I’m quite impressed to be honest.
I know there is some fuss about the more recent addition to the NARS family, the All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. But in my opinion, ADLW does not have the same beautiful finish Sheer Glow does.

I generally save this foundation for special-but-low-key occasions like a family brunch or client presentation at work. It’s a big call but until something better comes along, this might just be my holy grail foundation.


Here is what the foundation looks like on me.

The cap won’t close flush with the bottle

Have you tried NARS Sheer Glow foundation? What do you think of it? 

review, pics & swatches: nars sheer glow foundation in #stromboli

8 thoughts on “review, pics & swatches: nars sheer glow foundation in #stromboli

  1. Suits you so well! Admittedly, this foundation is at least half a shade darker than my skin color but none of the lighter shades are olive. Light/medium yellow olive people exist NARS! I can get away with it by applying it sheer. In the summer, this fits me perfectly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been using you as my skin twin (I just bought the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer online based on your shade choice). Have you tried shade adjusting drops to lighten the foundation a smidge? It might be just what you need Rachelle 😉


            1. I rate the Real Techniques sponge over the Beauty Blender any day.
              So is it thick and paste-like? Why is it hard to blend? I’ve worked with cake foundation so if it’s similar, I can still make it work. I can’t use face oil during the day – ehrmahgard!


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