Hi guys, I finally tried out the NARS ADLW foundation on myself. I’ve used it on clients and friends because it’s been a personal favourite of theirs and works for them. When a client asks me to use their foundation I get so nervous because I don’t know the product and haven’t tested it myself. What I have in my kit is tried, tested and loved on myself BEFORE I buy it for my clients.
I wanted to really test this foundation and write a full review. This is what I do for all my reviews, I will never just write a brief review or basic opinion, I like to really put the product through obstacles, get to know a product and then base an opinion on it.
Please note, this is my opinion and it’s based on my knowledge and experience. You do not by any means have to agree. Enjoy reading x
So I bought two colours because I couldn’t figure out what colour I was and I was really confused. I bought Stromboli and Barcelona. Now let me tell you about these colours lol… Stromboli is Simpson skin in a bottle. It can look very wrong very easily. Because the foundation is medium – full coverage it can look very opaque yellow which is not flattering. Barcelona on the other hand is not yellow enough, it’s an odd shade of pink and orange tones that again isn’t very flattering on my skin tone. There is no shade in between and anything darker is too dark and anything lighter is too light for me. I make Stromboli work with a ton of bronzer.
Now that I’ve covered the colours let’s move on to the coverage and texture. The foundation is very watery, a lot runnier than Mac face & body foundation if you’re familiar with that texture. It dries almost immediately so you really have to work in sections and work quickly otherwise you’ll be in trouble! After application it dries completely matte and I was happy about that because I have oily skin. It is medium – full coverage and I did try to layer is on some areas but you have to work QUICKLY like I said, otherwise it can be a cakey disaster.
I apply all my foundations in the same way so I didn’t apply this with my hands like NARS recommend to do. It just sounds so gross to me to use my fingers… I apply foundation with a flat brush on my face like paint and spread it out in an even layer, then I go in with a beauty blender and pounce it gently on my face for an airbrush finish. This is how I apply foundation and ever since I started using this method I can’t use any other!
Okay after finishing my makeup with this foundation I took pictures to see how it photographs with flash. And it looked amazing on camera! My skin looked so flawless, even and doll-like. I really do love how this foundation photographed.
Below are 2 pictures of me wearing it – please note the lighting in my room is yellow so that + Stromboli = yellow overload.
and below is with flash photography on my friend and she is in the shade Santa Fe:
Let’s move on to the tests:
Wear & longevity – wears well for about 3 hours and then it all goes downhill from there. It just starts coming off. Yes it just comes off! Around my nose, chin and mouth, after 3 hours I have my skin peeking through and it looks very odd lol. This foundation is NOT long wearing AT ALL despite the claims and name. I have been sick for weeks now with a chest and lung infection so haven’t been gym and that’s why I haven’t tested it at the gym like I usually do but let me be honest, I wouldn’t even attempt to wear this to work again let alone the gym lol!
Skin texture – redness comes through after a few hours. If you have acne scarring or spots they will show through after a few hours too. It literally just comes off.
Finish – I mentioned earlier that this foundation dries quickly and dries matte but it does not stay matte! It gets ‘dewy’ after about 30mins of wear. My skin starts getting oiler and oiler the longer I wear it and the times I wore it I just wanted to go home and wash my face!
With a primer and without a primer – I tried it with my primers, facial sprays and setting sprays and nothing kept this on for more than 3 hours. No setting powders and products can prolong the wear of this foundation sadly.
How I make it work – now that you have my full review on this foundation let me tell you how I make this work. I mix it with other foundations and it looks lovely!
Because Stromboli is so yellow it helps me colour correct other foundations I have that maybe ‘aren’t yellow enough’ mixed with studio fix fluid I get the coverage, colour, longevity & photo friendly finish I like. This is perfect for events and occasions. Definitely not an everyday thing to do as it can be too heavy for me personally.
Other key notes you might want to consider:
- Exfoliate well prior application
- Make sure your skin is well prepped
- You HAVE to set this, whether you use powder or sprays, just set this but even then it didn’t work for me.
- If you have large pores this will emphasise them more
- Photographs well
- Large shade range, and yellow tones
- Not long lasting AT ALL
- Makes me look oily, would be better for drier skin types
- Can be hard to find your shade in the right tone as it can be too pink, too yellow or too orange.
- Dries too fast so it’s not easy to work with. You need to be quick
- But after drying it gets oilier and comes off after a few hours
Below I have inserted client pictures with this foundation mixed with Mac studio fix fluid. the result was flawless. These pictures are straight off my camera & please respect that these are not models but real clients.
*Overall I don’t recommend this foundation on its own. I will keep it and buy more colours for my kit but that’s because I find it works better mixed with other foundations. On it’s own it’s terrible. If you’re a freelancer then yes buy it for your kit but if you’re looking to get this for yourself don’t bother unless you want to custom mix foundations and colours.
I hope this review was helpful. Thank you for reading, R x