Is Nars Foundation Water Based?

Is Nars Foundation Water Based
NARS is a big beauty brand that is famous for its foundations. Often, people wonder if these are water-based or not, so let’s find out!

Makeup products have come a long way, especially in the case of foundations. These days, there are many types of foundations out there that are used, either cream, liquid, or even powder. Each has its unique way of giving uniform coverage and even skin complexion. One such brand that makes foundation is NARS!

Nars foundation gives sheer and full coverage with a natural finish. As this is a lightweight foundation, this improves the appearance of the skin. There is some confusion about whether it is water-based or not. Nars Foundation has different types. So, it depends on that particular foundation and its ingredients. Whether it is water, oil, or silicone-based, there are some identifiable marks of the product that can help you determine whether NARS Foundation is water-based or not. So let’s find out how you can differentiate between them!

Is nars foundation water based?


Nars offers a range of foundations with different formulas. Depending on the specific product of Nars, it can be said whether Nars is a water-based foundation or not. Some of the foundations of this brand are water-based while others are silicone or oil-based. Checking the ingredients of this foundation is the easiest way to know whether this foundation is water or silicone-based. If it is a water-based foundation, water will be the first ingredient while in a silicone-based foundation, silicone compounds will be the first ingredients.

Nars brand has different types of foundations for different skin including water-based, oil-based, and silicone-based. To determine the base of NARS foundation, you can see the ingredients list on the packaging on the NARS website. The ingredients are usually listed in descending order of concentration. So, the first few ingredients listed will give you a good idea about the primary base of the foundation.

3 Ways to Know If It’s a Water-Based Foundation

There are some ways to know about the foundation type. They are as follows-

Ways to know if its a water based foundation

1. Ingredients List

This is one of the best ways to know if a foundation is water-based or not. In the case of NARS foundation, the same tricks can be applied to know whether it is water or silicone-based. For example- in water-based foundations, the common ingredients are water, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin while in silicone-based foundations, silicon will remain the main ingredient. In some cases, there is both silicone and water as the base ingredients.

2. Texture and Consistency

You can also look at the texture and consistency of a foundation. Water-based foundations are mostly thinner and more liquid than oil-based foundations. And they give a lightweight feel to the skin.  Water-based foundations are mostly suited for dry skin. But it is also good for oily and combination skin. In the same way, you can see the texture and consistency of Nars foundation to know its type.

3. Reaction with Your Skin

Another way of knowing a foundation’s base is the reaction with your skin. As water is the primary ingredient of Nars foundation, it is best for dry skin. Moreover, water-based foundations are also good for oily or acne-prone skin because they don’t contribute to access to oil production.

What The Ingredients of NARS Foundation Tells Us

NARS foundation contains many ingredients. The ingredients include water, silicone, and glycerin as the main components of the formula along with different other ingredients that contribute to the foundation’s texture, coverage, and longevity. It is important to note that different shades of the foundation may have slightly different ingredients. So, it is always recommended to check the ingredient list of the specific product you wish to buy.

  1. Dimethicone: This is the most common silicone used in any product. It helps to form a protective barrier and makes the skin smooth. This also helps to fill the wrinkles and fine lines. Besides, it also helps to increase elasticity and soften the skin.
  2. Water/Aqua: Water is the most common ingredient of any skincare item. Water is very important to build up this foundation. Water can be considered as a solvent for other ingredients. The water used in this product is deionized and purified.
  3. Phenyl Trimethicone: This is a silicone fluid that gives a non-oily finish to the formulas. It is also used to reduce the tackiness and stickiness of the other ingredients used in a product.
  4. Glycerin: This is one of the most common and effective ingredients which works as a natural moisturizer. Most significantly, glycerin helps to treat severely dry skin.
  5. Polymethylsilsesquioxane: This is a powder that helps to enhance the texture and it works as a “soft focus agent”. It gives a softness like silicon to any product which helps the product to have a soft finish.
  6. PEG-10 Dimethicone: This ingredient helps the water and silicone to mix nicely with one another. Another ingredient, the Dimethicone CrossPolymer works as a thickening agent that gives a silk & smooth feel.
  7. Cyclopentasiloxana: It is a cyclic structured silicone that is water-thin and provides a silky and smooth feel. For getting a breathable and protective skin barrier, this ingredient may help.
  8. Boron Nitride: Boron Nitride works as a multi-tasker in any product. It helps to improve the texture of the product and gives a creamy feel to any product. In makeup products, it increases the comfortable feel of the skin.
  9. Tocopherol: It protects the skin from UVB rays and provides the skin with vitamin C and vitamin E which makes the skin healthy and shiny.
  10. Mica: Mica is added to the foundation to give it a smooth, silky texture and to help it adhere to the skin. Mica is a translucent powder that helps to create a glowing effect on the skin. Mica also helps to absorb oil and moisture in the skin.
  11. Potassium Sorbate: Potassium Sorbate is used to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause the foundation to spoil or become contaminated. It is effective against a wide range of microorganisms such as yeast, mold, and bacteria.
  12. Tin Oxide: This helps to improve the consistency and texture of the product. It gives a matte finish which helps to control the shine of the skin. Tin oxide also helps to reflect light which can make the skin appear more even-toned.
  13. Alumina: It is a white and powdery substance that is derived from Aluminum oxide. It helps to create a smooth and even finish on the skin. Alumina also helps to absorb excess oils and swat which keep the skin fresh.

Breaking Down NARS Range of Foundation

Now it’s time to break down each component in the range of NARS Foundations and see for ourselves; Are NARS foundations water-based or not?

Sheer Glow Foundation

Sheer Glow Foundation

One of the very first ingredients noted on the list of this product is Cyclopentasiloxana. It is a silicone compound as mentioned above. Other ingredients include Dimethicone, PEG-10 Dimethicone, and Dimethicone CrossPolymer, which are all forms of silicone. Hence, the NARS Sheer Glow Foundation can be deduced as silicone-based.

Due to all the primary silicone ingredients, Sheer Glow Foundation is silicone-based.

Light Reflecting™ Advanced Skincare Foundation

Light Reflecting™ Advanced Skincare Foundation

The ingredient list of the Light Reflecting™ Advanced Skincare Foundation from NARS lists WATER/AQUA/EAU as the primary component. Thus, it is safe to say that this foundation product is water-based. Moreover, it is silicone-free, alcohol-free, and paraben-free.

Water-based foundations like the NARS Light Reflecting™ Advanced Skincare Foundation are best for people who are prone to breakouts.

Soft Matte Complete Foundation

Soft Matte Complete Foundation

The Soft Matte Complete Foundation from NARS is paraben-free, oil-free, and claims to not clog pores at all. The primary ingredients listed are WATER/AQUA/EAU & Dimethicone. This leads experts to believe the foundation is a blend of water and silicone-based.

Oftentimes, the primarily water-based foundations may also contain silicone like this one, but in small amounts. The quantity is almost negligible so they are not worth mentioning.

Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

The ingredient list of the NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation starts with Dimethicone and then notes WATER/AQUA/EAU. Water and silicone are both bases for this NARS foundation.

NARS claims this foundation is oil-free, and paraben-free, making it suitable for a wide range of skin types.

Characteristics of the NARS Foundation

The characteristics of Nars Foundation are as follows-

Characteristics of nars foundation
  1. Buildable Coverage: Nars foundation provides full coverage which means it covers imperfections such as blemishes, redness, and uneven skin tone.
  2. Texture: Nars foundation has a lightweight, creamy texture that blends easily into the skin.
  3. Natural Finish: This foundation has a natural, radiant finish that gives the skin a healthy glow.
  4. Different Shades: Nars foundation comes in a wide range of shades to match different skin tones and undertones.
  5. Long-Lasting: Nars foundation is known for its long-lasting formula which can last up to 16 hours.
  6. Dermatology Tested: The foundation is clinically tested. There is no allergic reaction in this foundation.
  7. Oil-free Formula: Nars foundation is oil-free, making it suitable for people with oily or acne-prone skin. This oil-free formula makes it a good option for people.
  8. SPF Protection: Some Nars Foundations contain SPF protection to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.
  9. Breathable on Skin: Nars foundation is lightweight and it feels comfortable and breathable on the skin.

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Pros and Cons of NARS Foundation

There are some pros and cons of the NARS Foundation. They are as follows:

Capable of providing light to full coverageExpensive compared to other brands on the market
Offers long-lasting effect, even after a full day of work or activitiesContains ingredients that could be sensitive to some
A lightweight formula makes it comfortable on the skinMay result in dryness if the skin is not properly moisturized
Water and sweat-resistant product that lasts an entire dayA glass bottle with no pump may seem inconvenient to some
A wide variety of choices for shades suitable for all types of skin toneTakes practice to learn the best application techniques
Ideal for all skin types including normal, oily, dry, and combination skinSome users may find it heavy or uncomfortable for their skin, especially if it is not applied properly
The lightweight formula doesn’t clog pores or cause breakoutsTakes practice to learn best application techniques
Pros and Cons of NARS Foundation


1. Which skin type is Nars foundation good for?

Nars foundation is designed for a variety of skin types including normal, dry, oily, and combination skin. Their foundation has different types to provide different finishes, to suit different skin types and preferences.

2. What are the best-selling shades of Nars foundation?

Yes, Nars Foundation can cover a variety of skin tones including dark skin tones. The Lightweight Nars All Day Luminous foundation is a favorite for people as it gives full coverage and matches all skin tones.

3. Is Nars Foundation waterproof?

Not all of the Nars foundations are waterproof, rather some of them are. NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation is waterproof.

4. Is Nars foundation bad for acne-prone skin?

You should check the ingredient list to know whether that specific foundation contains heavy oils, silicones, or alcohol which are acne triggers.

Final Thoughts

NARS’s range of foundations are glowing, natural finish foundation that gives buildable coverage on the skin. Their foundation has different types; some are silicone-based, some are water-based, and others are oil-based. It depends on the particular foundation that you are talking about. The ingredient list of any foundation is the primary indicator of its base and type. The water-based NARS foundations are lightweight and hydrate the skin. It is mostly applicable for people with dry skin while the silicone-based NARS foundations help to give a smooth finish and help the foundation to last longer. So, when choosing between NARS foundation, refer to its ingredients to choose the right product according to your preferences and skin tone.

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