Housed in a small black jar is this specialty makeup product that technically functions like a foundation primer, yet NARS insists it should be applied in addition to one of their primers (and then foundation, concealer, powder, etc.). Do you need both steps? No. Skin Smoothing Face Prep is a silicone-based, fragrance-free formula with a thick, spackle-like texture that liquefies on skin, spreading easily and feeling much lighter than you might suspect.
Its best traits are that it (temporarily) diffuses the appearance of wrinkles and large pores, creating a very smooth canvas upon which to apply makeup (and, as mentioned, you don’t need to follow with a separate foundation primer). Skin Smoothing Face Prep is best for normal to oily skin but due to its wax content could be potentially problematic for breakout-prone skin. This is an intriguing product worth an audition if you’re finding your foundation isn’t going on as smoothly as you’d like or if it tends to emphasize pores and wrinkles.
Note: the jar packaging is not a problem for this product. It contains only a tiny amount of a light- or air-sensitive ingredient (vitamin E) and in terms of hygiene, its waterless formula has minimal ability to support bacterial growth.
Skin Smoothing Face Prep prepares skin for a flawless makeup application. Ideal for trouble spots (fine lines, large pores, rough spots, and other imperfections), this formula creates a smoother and more even canvas. It creates a perfectly matte finish that leaves skin feeling comfortable, not dry.
Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Silica, Paraffin, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax), Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Tocopherol, Alumina, Methicone, BHT, Polysilicone-2, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
Frenchman Francois Nars has been painting the faces of New York's top models since arriving in the United States in 1984. Their images and his handiwork have been seen on the covers of countless fashion magazines, most notably Vogue and Elle. As the story often goes for the talented makeup artists who have become celebrities in their own right, Nars became frustrated with the state of available makeup and, surprise, another cosmetic line was born.
Beginning (as Bobbi Brown did) by launching a small collection of lipsticks in 1994, the clamor for the colors was incredible, and demand for more NARS products from the artist grew. Shortly thereafter an entire product line followed, gaining women's attention with sleek, tactile-enhanced packaging and risqué shade names.
As an overview, NARS makeup has many strengths, but just as many weaknesses. It reaches its zenith with blushes, foundation shades, brushes, and lipsticks, but falters when it comes to pencils, and mascaras. Still, the best of NARS are really spectacular, and include expanded color palettes.
Although much can be said about the makeup side of this cosmetics line, there is very little, if anything, to be said about the skin-care products other than "Why bother?" or better yet, "What were they thinking?" Most of the cleansers are drying, the toners are dated formulations of alcohol and other irritants, and the moisturizers are mundane, poorly conceived and dated formulations. A little grape juice and fennel won't save a mix of alcohol, film-forming agent, and waxes, especially not at these inflated prices. And sunscreen? Completely absent; it's not even discussed. The assembly of products is attractively presented at NARS counters, but don't be fooled!
For more information about NARS, owned by Shiseido, call (888) 788-6277 or visit www.narscosmetics.com.