December 8, 2020

NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation

Have you heard? NARS came out with a new full coverage foundation! Available in 34 shades, the Soft Matte Complete Foundation helps balance excess sebum while keeping skin hydrated, thanks to a combination of micro-algae and bio hyaluronic acid. In addition, oil-absorbing powders create a second-skin finish!

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NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation Review Photos Swatches Before After MAC Equivalents Dupes

Despite the fact that my skin is quite oily, I usually avoid matte foundations at this time of the year because my skin becomes very dehydrated and sensitive when the temperature drops. I like this foundation though, because it doesn't accentuate dry patches and doesn't feel like it sucks the life out of my skin!

I'm not sure if it would be matte enough for those of you who prefer a true matte finish and have very oily skin, as it doesn't stay matte for a long period of time in comparison to other matte foundations I tried. But overall, I really liked this foundation for my skin type (oily, acne-prone and dehydrated)!

When I set it with a bit of loose powder, the Soft Matte foundation lasts more than 12 hours on me and has a semi-matte finish for about 3 hours.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation Review Before After

One thing I would suggest though, is to start with less product than you think you need. I find that this foundation looks best if I apply a thin layer with a damp Beautyblender, which gives me medium coverage.

The coverage can be build up from medium to full, but it was a bit too cakey for my liking when I tried it this way. It doesn't feel heavy or sticky though!

NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation Review Photos Packaging

The Soft Matte Foundation doesn't oxidize on me, but it dries much darker once on the skin. So I would highly recommend to try it in store first, and let the product dry for about 20 minutes to see the true color.

Also, please note that the shades in the Soft Matte Complete Foundation are not equivalent to the ones in the Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation Swatches Montblanc Yukon Vienna Vallauris Stromboli Vanuatu MAC NW20 NW25 NC25 NC40 NW35
Swatches on light skin (NC15)

Montblanc is darker than NW20 (but lighter than NW25) and has pink beige undertones.

Yukon is slightly lighter than NW25 and has pink undertones.

is a bit darker than NC25 and has neutral undertones.

is slightly darker than NW35 and has pink undertones.

is a bit lighter than NC40 and has golden peach undertones.

is darker than NW35 (but lighter than NW40) and has neutral, slightly pink undertones.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation Review Photos

The NARS Soft Matte Complete Foundation retails for $53 CAD for 45ml and is available at Sephora.

(I received these products in order to evaluate them and give my opinion, but rest assured that my comments are always honest and impartial. This post contains affiliate links.)


  1. Bummer the finish was too cakey - especially in the Winter and with masks, I need something much lighter than that!

  2. I loved the post, it helped me a lot, thank you for creating such useful content.

    1. Hi Diane, you're welcome and thank you so much!! :)

  3. Could you please share which shade you used? We have a similar skin tone but I didn't see which was your best match. Thank you so much, your content is concise yet thorough!

    1. Hi Emily,

      I think I used Vienna as I was still a bit tan, but I'm usually much lighter in the winter.


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