It was 6:30am on a Wednesday and I was sleepily applying my foundation 30,000 feet in the air.
It was going to be a long, looooong day; Mamamia’s Melbourne editorial team were flying to Sydney and I needed my makeup to last much longer than usual. Not only would I be working until 5pm, we had organised an after-work dinner and drinks. This makeup would need the endurance of a marathon runner. Or a very dedicated Netflix binge-watcher. Or my boyfriend when I have severe PMS. Or something.
It was my first time using NARS’ latest release, the Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation, and as far as putting tinted goo on your face goes, the stakes were high.
Beauty guru Zoe Foster Blake shares her best beauty and style advice for the busiest of women. Post continues.
I’ve used NARS Sheer Glow Foundation religiously for the last three years (you can read my full review of it here) but recently I’ve encountered a small problem; my skin looks like a mirror ball after six or so hours. I love Sheer Glow’s dewy finish, but I also don’t want my boyfriend to see his reflection in my forehead while we eat dinner, you know?
Anyway. That’s where the Natural Radiant Foundation came in.
The makeup giant’s new formula promises a foundation with “skin-matching technology”; in simple speak, it mimics your own skin while still providing full coverage. The ingredients list also includes raspberry, apple, and watermelon extracts to provide natural radiance.
Beauty jargon over. Here’s my take.
Upon applying two pumps to my face, I was instantly taken aback by two things: How such a tiny amount of product went a long way, and how mattifying the foundation was.
As someone who has always opted for a dewy finish, Natural Radiant was a slight shock to the system. I was concerned that after buffing it in with a beauty blender, the product looked chalky and dusty on my skin, and fretted about it to our writer Zara until the plane landed (she was so blessed to be seated next to me).
Thankfully, after applying my setting powder, bronzer and blush, I felt much better. After an hour? The foundation had really settled in.
From there, it was glorious.
By lunchtime I found that the chalkiness had entirely dissipated; now my skin looked radiant and glowy without wandering into that yuck oily territory. The most impressive part? It didn’t budge at all – honestly, this foundation has the longest and strongest staying power I have ever seen. Despite running up and down the office, scoffing a falafel wrap, and downing a few pinot grigios, my makeup looked fresh and even.
When I demanded my coworkers look at my face and give me their reviews immediately, the descriptions that came back were “flawless”, “airbrushed” and “very full coverage”.
Online reviews did baffle me slightly; a few women complained on the Mecca website that the product settled into their fine lines (for example, around their nostrils and mouth) although I didn’t experience this at all. Others said the colour darkened over time, another gripe I can’t relate to. For me, a woman with normal-but-sometimes-kinda-oily skin, after an hour or two this foundation worked like a dream.
Which brings me to my final conclusions (yes, foundation reviews are a very serious business that necessitates equally serious closing statements).
The Natural Radiant Foundation is not cheap - it will set you back $71. If you have the means to pay that much for a fancy face product, then yes, I recommend you buy it. If you don't want to take the leap just yet - ask the team at Mecca for a tester pot that you can try at home.
This is the foundation you want to wear when you're traveling interstate and need to look alike for 16 hours. It's the foundation you want if you like looking glamorous. It's the foundation you want if you're attending a hot and sticky daytime wedding. It's the foundation you want if you're going to any long event, actually.
Is it an everyday foundation? No, it's not. This is your sometimes-because-it-is-bloody-impressive special friend foundation.
And as far as those go, it's one of my all-time favourites.