NARS Cosmetics is my one-and-only, drive-off-into-the-sunset base brand. Somehow, it’s the only brand that has formulas that suit my skin, don’t break me out and have a colour match for my South Asian, medium, very olive skintone. You wouldn’t think it would be as difficult to find all of those combined in a base product as it actually is. There has been literally (and I don’t use that word figuratively) one foundation that I have been loved and been using for my entire makeup wearing life: Nars Sheer Glow. That being said, I have tried every base product Nars has to offer and I don’t think there has been anything that I would say I wouldn’t use. So, of course, when Nars came out with the Velvet Matte Skin Tint to rave reviews, I decided to check it out for myself – you know, because I’m dedicated like that!

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in St. Moritz - Review

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in St. Moritz - Review

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint

The Velvet Matte Skin Tint comes in a skinny, matte black tube. I don’t have the full size of the Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer to show as a comparison but comparatively,  the Velvet Matte Skin Tint tube is taller and not as wide. The tube allows for good control when dispensing the product. It’s very functional packaging with no fussy frills and I appreciate that.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in St. Moritz - Review

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint

Nars’s Velvet Matte Skin Tint is an oil free tinted moisturizer that is supposed to even out skin tone, blur the look of pores and fine lines while providing matte finish on the skin. It also claims to control oil and shine throughout the day with help of “Transparent Blurring Powders”. And I’m please to say, all of this, it does! The consistency of the product is a thick liquid that spreads out really easily and creates a soft matte finish on the skin that looks very natural. It does have a silicone like slip to it but it doesn’t feel like you’re slapping a layer of dimethicone on your face. Nor does it feel heavy on the skin. The powder aspect of this product kind of reminded me of Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Foundation but of course, this doesn’t apply like a powder and you get more than 5 seconds to work with the product. It works well enough when blended in with your fingers but I actually prefer to apply it with a medium density buffing brush. With the brush, it really becomes one with the skin, you don’t see any product on top of the skin and keeps it from settling into any crevasses or textured scars. I assume it’s the powder element of the skin tint that requires a brush to truly buff the product into the skin. I have never been happy with a tinted moisturizer before because they never give me enough coverage. This is not an issue I face with the Velvet Matte Skin Tint. It has surprising amount of coverage and eliminates any redness on your face. I have seen others say it has foundation like coverage and although the coverage is impressive, I wouldn’t go quiet as far as calling this a foundation. But if you find regular tinted moisturizers to be too sheer, I think this is one that could actually slide its way into your daily routine with a little concealer.

The Velvet Matte Skin Tint is designed for oily skin and in this case, I would really warn those with dry skin to stay away. Or rather, try the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer instead that is geared towards drier skin types (let me know if you would like to see a review of that as well. I would be happy to do one!). I don’t think it’s enough to moisturize on its own unless you have extremely oily skin so I do use it over my regular moisturizer. I find that it clings to any dry patches so even with oilier skin types, it is best to make sure that the skin is exfoliated. I find it to control oil well enough that I don’t feel the need to powder my face to set it. On a few occasions I have powdered, it ends up looking slightly dry and heavy on the skin.Although if your face has the tendency to look like an oil spill, or it’s peak summer, a little powder may be of assistance as far as longevity is concerned. It does allow a little bit of oil to come through as the day progresses but you get more of a natural glow at 5 hours or so mark but I have never had to powder with this product. It starts to fade a bit around the 8 hour mark on me but even then, I think my skintone looks completely even. Any additional products layers on top of the skin tint like blush and bronzer also last surprisingly well throughout the day and start fading towards the end of the day.

The Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint comes in 12 shades. The shade I use is St. Moritz. The shade  is a little lighter than I would like upon initial application but darkens within a couple of hours as it settles (this is not an issue if I’m adding bronzer, of course). I suppose it could look like it oxidized if the shade is a perfect match for you but in my case, it looks perfectly natural. The Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in the same shade leans a little darker and slightly more orange. For reference, the shade Stromboli in Nars foundations is my holy grail. I have never found a shade that matches my skin that well. This is a sidenote but I would also like to commend Nars for sticking with a shade system that doesn’t require a ridiculous amount of work to figure out what shade you are in various products within the line.

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in St. Moritz - Review Swatch

NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in St. Moritz

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (St. Moritz), Velvet Matte Skin Tint (St. Moritz), Sheer Glow Foundation (Stromboli) & Luminous Weightless Foundation (Stromboli) Swatch

L – R: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (St. Moritz), Velvet Matte Skin Tint (St. Moritz), Sheer Glow Foundation (Stromboli) & Luminous Weightless Foundation (Stromboli)

Another point to note: In the US, the Velvet Matte Skin Tint comes with Broadspectrum SPF 30. From the conversations I have had with Sephora employees and their hesitant way of saying “no, it doesn’t contain SPF”, I’m guessing it’s the exact same product and does contact SPF 30 for us Canadians as well. Nars just didn’t spring for the DIN number as they did with the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer. But, of course, this is a hunch and cannot be verified so, as annoying as it is, be sure to layer the sunscreen underneath.

If you have pretty good skin that doesn’t require too much coverage but can’t find bases that mattify well enough with a natural looking finish, I would say this will be a godsent! I have always felt like there was a tinted moisturizer shaped hole in my makeup arsenal but I’m not sure I have ever truly understood the big deal. Now I get it. I’m looking forward to summer so I can use this on a daily basis without having to worry about the constant blotting and powdering. Oh Nars, you never fail me!

What’s your favourite tinted moisturizer? Have you tried the Nars Velvet Matte Skin Tint?

 

**Swaches on MAC NC 30-35/Nars Stromboli skin