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Foundation for Pale Skin | NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in ‘Siberia’ – Review

Posted on 3 min read

If you have a very good memory, you might recall my review of NARS ‘Sheer Matte’ foundation… which I didn’t exactly love.

It was kinda funny, actually: before I wrote that review, everyone was always telling me how absolutely awesome Sheer Matte was for pale skin, and how I absolutely had to try it… and then, as soon as I did try it,  everyone was all, “But what did you get THAT for? You should have got NARS Sheer Glow Foundation instead – it’s absolutely perfect for pale skin!

So, I got myself a bottle of NARS Sheer Glow Foundation. And, guys? I don’t exactly love it.

On the plus side, I don’t exactly hate it, either. I mean, it’s OK… but it’s just OK, if you know what I mean. I think the universe is trying to tell me something, here. I think the “something” might be, “FFS, stop buying NARS foundation, Amber: it just doesn’t suit your skin type!” The problem is, though, I’m a huge NARS fan for the most part, and I really want to love their foundation, too, so let’s start off with the positives, shall we?

NARS sheer glow foundation: review
Some things I love about NARS Sheer Glow Foundation:

01. It looks really good in a flatlay. Whaddya mean, “That’s not why people buy foundation, Amber,”? Have I been foundation-ing wrong this whole time?

02. ‘Siberia’, which is the palest shade available, really is one of the best – shades of foundation for pale skin that I’ve ever come across. Witness:

NARS sheer glow foundation: in Siberia - swatches

It makes my hand look pinkish-white, instead of the pale blue shade it normally is, no? But my hand is NOT pinkish-white! What witchcraft is this?!

There are, however, some downsides, too:

Things I don’t really love quite so much about NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, even although I would really, really like to love it…

01. It might be the perfect shade for pale skin, but it’s not the perfect shade for MY pale skin, which has pink undertones. This foundation has yellow undertones, which is great news for those of you who have yellow undertones, but slightly less great for the person currently sitting writing this post looking like she has a bad case of jaundice.

02. I was expecting the consistency to create a… well, a sheer glow. On account of the name, you know? Well, it IS fairly sheer (But not so much that you can’t actually see it, or build it up into pretty decent coverage: I was actually surprised by how good the coverage is for a foundation billing itself as “sheer” actually. That should’ve been a plus point, really, shouldn’t it?), but it’s not so much about the “glow” really. In fact, there is really no hint of a glow about my face after using this, which is a shame, because I was quite looking forward to being told how “radiant” I looked in it. But alas, no.

03. My skin just doesn’t seem to like it much. I’ve no idea why, but, like NARS Sheer Matte before it, this foundation just seems to sit on top of my skin, looking very, well… foundation-y. From the name alone, I was expecting a fairly natural finish, with a bit of a glow to it, but while I wouldn’t say it looks cakey, for some reason my skin just doesn’t seem to absorb it very well, so it looks quite obvious to me. No idea why.

I’ll just end this post by saying that this is – obviously – just my opinion. I know a lot of people absolutely swear by NARS Sheer Glow Foundation – and by NARS foundation in general – and I’m a little bit sad that I seem to be the exception to that rule, because, as I said, I’m a big fan of the brand, and think the colour range of their foundations is better than average, especially for those of us with pale skin.

Hopefully this time I’ve learned my lesson about me and NARS, but… well, we’ll see…

[The Best Foundation for Pale Skin: A Roundup | More Products for Fair Skin]

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6 Comments
  • Rosie von Waldherr
    August 7, 2017

    I got this in Italy last year, they didn’t have the Siberia shade, so I got the next one (I was also a bit tan, which is not considered being tanned among my friends, but being a pale girl myself, I totally say I was SUPER tan!) and I have to say I also have a love-hate relationship with it…I really REALLY want to love it, but there is something about it that doesn’t really sit well on my skin..

    xo,Rosie // Curvy Life Stories

  • Etoiles
    August 8, 2017

    I remember not really caring for the Sheer Glow on my skin, but I wear a daily drop of Siberia in the All Day Luminous Weightless foundation, and it works beautifully for me. I am very fair with cool undertones, and, while I have a tiny bit of surface pinkness in my face, my aim is to neutralize that, not to match it. I tried a sample of Mont Blanc on the recommendation of a salesperson, and it was so pink it looked like Pepto Bismal on me and it oxidized to be much darker than my skin. I see a lot of pale girls saying they need to match the pink in their skin, but the pink they are seeing is not necessarily an undertone. It may just be surface irritation due to the delicacy of pale skin. One might even consider the surface of the skin to be the overtone. Mine has some yellow and some pink, but my undertones are a cool reddish-violet. This causes purple lipsicks to look muted on me.

    I suppose my point is that undertones are far more complex than pink/yellow or warm/cool. As well, the goal should be to neutralize overtone or surface color rather than exacerbating it through “matching.”

  • Clementine
    August 8, 2017

    I have the All Day Luminous Weightless from NARS, and it also looks pretty foundation-y on me when I apply it with a brush. It’s nice when applied in thin layers with a damp sponge, though, so maybe that would work for Sheer Glow too? I’m not always in the mood to fuss around with a sponge, though. I like that they have a fair yellow shade because fair pinks always look weird on me, but I wish they’d expand their undertones a bit. NARS foundations seem to run pretty yellow across the spectrum, which isn’t ideal for everyone, obviously.

  • Elena
    August 8, 2017

    I have VERY fair skin, and so far I’m in love with Givenchy’s teint couture balm foundation. It has a great range of pale shades, most of them with pink undertones, and it looks so natural yet perfecting and luminous, with a medium coverage. Maybe you could give it a try if you’re looking for a new foundation!

  • Etoiles
    August 9, 2017

    I apply the Nars foundation with my fingertips the way the instruction insert says. I shake the fiundation first and then warm the drop between my fingertips before pressing it in little by little. A bottle lasts me well over a year, and it provides high-density coverage while appearing to be sheer. I find too much gets applied if I use a foundation brush.

  • Elf
    July 14, 2018

    I know this is an old post but, the shade you got Siberia is for neutral undertones. Mont Blanc would be your shade which is the lightest shade for pink undertones. Also a very common make-up mistake is using too much foundation which turns ‘sheer’ foundation more into medium coverage going to full and/or look darker than it’s supposed to look. I have no idea how much you used in amount just saying in general 🙂

AD | Time for a quick game of “Where’s Amber?”⁣
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It’s another rainy Monday, so I’m throwing it back to our trip to @universalorlando ‘s amazing Volcano Bay water park last month. I’m a bit of a scaredy when it comes to water flumes, but this park had tons of stuff for pretty much everyone: plenty of rides for me, and an amazing splash pad for Max 👶In fact, I’d still be on The Fearless River right now if I possibly could be. Still, doing the laundry and turning the heating on will be just as good, right? Right?! 🌋 🏊‍♀️ .
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#universalorlando #volcanobay #waterpark #lazyriver #vacay #floridavacay

AD | Time for a...

Good news! We took Max to hospital this morning, and saw two different surgeons, who agreed there was no need to go ahead with the surgery as his lip is healing really well on its own 😅  He’ll definitely have a scar, unfortunately, but that would’ve been the case whether he’d had the surgery or not, and if it turns out to be worse than anticipated, we’ll have the option to have it corrected under local anaesthetic when he’s older. ⁣
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I’m still really upset that this happened in the first place, obviously, but so relieved that we don’t have to put him through a general anaesthetic, and just incredibly grateful that it wasn’t anything worse. I know some parents have to deal with much more serious stuff than this, and my heart goes out to you all: it’s been a rough couple of days, and I’m really grateful to everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday’s post - your stories were so comforting when I was panicking yesterday ❤️ ⁣
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(Old photo, obviously: every time Max sees the selfie camera, he thinks it’s going to be one of those filters where you open your mouth and something happens 😂)⁣
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Good news! We took Max...

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve just spent the morning in Accident & Emergency with Max, who fell on the path outside the house and split his lip open 😥 ⁣
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They tried to stitch it up at A&E, but it was totally impossible with him awake, so they’ve booked him in to have it done under general anaesthetic tomorrow ... Max is absolutely fine: the bleeding stopped quickly, he doesn’t seem to be in pain, and is just his normal, happy little self. I, on the other hand, am a complete wreck: the plastic surgeon he saw today reckons if we don’t have it fixed, his lip will be crooked when it heals, but I’m absolutely *terrified* of the thought of my baby having to have a GA. ⁣
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If you’re a long-time follower, you might know that I have a full-blown phobia of general anaesthetic (I literally had an elective c-section in order to eliminate the possibility of an emergency one, which might have had to be done under GA), so I just can’t get my head to accept that it’s safe and he’ll be fine 😥 ⁣
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Positive stories and advice very welcome: I’m just so terrified, I can’t even imagine how to get through the next 24 hours 😥😥😥

Totally unrelated photo, but we’ve...

#throwbackthursday to last week, when I needed a sunhat and SPF 50 to leave the house, rather than the current raincoat and wellies situation. Can you tell the post-holiday blues are still in full swing over here? 🌧 .
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#throwbackthursday to last week, when...

I posted this on Stories over the weekend, but he looked so cute in it I figured it deserved a spot on the grid, too! This is Max all ready for his friend Eleah’s 1st birthday party on Saturday: despite the jetlag and his continuing obsession with doors of all kinds (He had an entire soft play at his disposal, but he mostly just wanted to open and close the gate into it...) he had an absolute ball, and spent the whole drive home shouting, “HAPPY! HAPPY!” Thanks to @thestirlingstyle for a great party 🥳 🎈 🎉 . (Oh, and that’s his hairbrush in his hand - boy likes to look his best 😉)
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I posted this on Stories...

We’re back home in not-so-sunny Scotland, but my feed is still stuck in Florida... New post is up on the blog (direct link in Stories..), talking about how we’ve been dealing with toddler jetlag, and why I always hate coming home after a trip...
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We’re back home in not-so-sunny...

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