I bought NARS Sheer Glow last night for £8.50 (ASOS 20% off + left over voucher) instead of £30.50 and Esteé Lauder Double Wear Foundation just over a week ago for £25.50 instead of £28.50 (Debenhams 20% off) and here is my comparison and review of each.
I’d like to say thank you to beauty bloggers – without you I wouldn’t have found or thought or buying these products, but because of your fantastic reviews, I am SO happy I did! Before I start I also find it’s important that you know my skin type; it’s Combination – dry but oily (I still don’t understand how that works?!) and so I’ve been spending many a years looking for a foundation that doesn’t slide off my face throughout the day, doesn’t go shiny, doesn’t make me oilier but also is thick enough to cover my imperfections – I wasn’t blessed with clear and immaculate skin. And so I’ve reached for these two; the creme-de-la-creme of foundations (neither are cheap at RRP). I wanted to give an honest opinion and give as much detail about these two as I possibly could to give back the help that I received in deciding whether or not to buy them.
Just a quick one – neither come with pumps. I didn’t realise this when I bought both of them, and I don’t particularly like this (I’m messy and fear splattering/dropping the bottles!) so I think it’s important to tell you now! Now to begin…
We’ll start with the Esteé Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation. I have it in ‘Bone‘ after many trial and error colours at the testing counter. I was given a few sample sizes of colours to go away with, I think it’s really important, particularly with foundation to ‘try before you buy’ – it gives you a true representation of the product. It’s that funny time of year where I don’t want to be as white as a ghost, but I can’t get away with darker colours as my summer tan/glow has now faded. Bone seemed warm enough so that I wasn’t washed out, but light enough so that my face wasn’t darker than the rest of me.
As a foundation goes, it’s highly priced for a reason – it works. I was skeptical but after so many rave reviews I couldn’t look at my Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hours anymore! It’s a gorgeous silky texture which I find goes on better with a sponge or fingers rather than a foundation brush and I’d say about two good pumps worth does my face perfectly (although hard to say given there’s no pump! But go with with me..). It’s a fairly full coverage too but obviously it’s buildable depending on high thick you want it. I’ve been using this foundation particularly on ‘busy’ days – where I know I’ll be running around and not stopping, just to see if the ’15-hour staying power’ works and it’s as good the reviews claim. It is. After running around going here-there-and-everywhere and going late into the evening/night (where I find my make up goes the oiliest the quickest for some reason) it endured my skin battles. No shine, no slide, no oil. It’s amazing, truly, and this is coming from a skeptic and one who hates parting with vast amounts of cash, particularly for 30ml of essentially ‘liquid’!! So trust me when I say it’s good.
My only complaint about it is that if you have dry skin in areas (I’m thinking in particular of when I’ve picked a spot and my skin begins to peel around it as it heals – don’t judge, we’ve all been there!) it does stick a bit and needs a it more blending attention, so I always find I have to ‘buff’ my skin after exfoliating it to make sure all those pesky little peeley bits are gone. Bit this is completely minor in my opinion, it just means I need to exfoliate more!
Esteé Lauder also have a HUGE amount of shades for this foundation too, lights to darks, pink hints to yellow notes – there will be a shade for you guaranteed, for them to have so many shades is also a good sign – it’s in demand.
Now for the NARS – I wanted to buy this after one particular review I read on Bloglovin, after I read it I was so convinced that just before midnight last night I bought it. Now to say I was skeptical about the Esteé Lauder was nothing in comparison to the NARS Sheer Glow – it’s in the name. I don’t want ‘Glow’ when I’ve got combination skin! But this particular reviewer, who has the same skin as me has sworn by it (rather than the Sheer Matte) and completely changed my opinion too. Just to say that this only arrived today and I’ve had a running-around-like-a-headless-chicken kind of day, so this is a good and reliable indicator of the kind of wear, but I’ve yet to experiment with application techniques.
ASOS only do a limited amount of the shades – although like Esteé Lauder NARS have vast amounts in an array of pink and yellow based notes and ranging from lights to darks. Because the offer was timed and there’s no NARS or Debenhams counters anywhere near me I had to make an educated online guess; so where I thought I should have been ‘Light 3 Gobi‘ (ASOS didn’t have), I went for ‘Light 5 Fiji‘ which was the nearest yellow toned shade that ASOS had to offer. Coincidentally this was also same shade as this reviewer – so I actually knew it wasn’t that dark and could compare it against someone! Thankfully (and luckily) Fuji is perfect, it looked a tad orange as I applied it but settled onto my skin beautifully and is the right shade completely.
I was warned on this original blog post that it can stick to dry patches (like I found with the Esteé Lauder) and to moisturise thoroughly before application. I moisturised an hour or so before application using my new Simple Rich Moisturiser (which I’ve now found is a great make up base FYI!) and then used my Revlon Photo Ready Primer. I decided to apply this with my fingers to get a feel for it and for those who don’t ‘do’ foundation brushes (which I struggle with!) or sponges – it also gives me a real ‘feel’ of what the foundation is like too. I found again like the Esteé Lauder that about two pumps worth does my face perfectly (again this is based on guestimation as there’s no pump!) and it’s a fullish coverage, similar to the Esteé Lauder Double Wear, and again it’s buildable. In terms of the ‘Glow’ – I don’t really see any, there’s an ever-so-slight touch of radiance but personally I think the title is misleading and they are potentially losing a huge audience because of this. It is gorgeous. No slide, no shine, no oil. My face is silky soft to the touch and yes it dried slightly to the dryer patches, but nothing worth the warning I’d received in the previous review – it’s standard really, dry/peeley skin won’t absorb foundation well regardless, hence the exfoliators and moisturisers in the world!
Now I know this is building to which one I prefer and the reviews are basically the exact same, but before I come to a decision I just want to say that they are almost identical and I actually mean that. They have both left my skin almost exactly the same after a full day’s wear – almost exactly how it looked when I first applied it all those hours ago. I also don’t use powder after my foundation, I’m not a fan and my skin isn’t either, it dies out quickly, so I only ever use powder if it’s a big day or important day, so bar the odd big interview and my graduation, it’s a no go for me – so both of these reviews do not include powder post-application. The price also makes a difference to me, parting with either £28.50 or £30.50 is really something I don’t like doing especially with foundation – I rarely spend that much on a dress! And so I’m glad I bought both on offers – I always recommend looking around for them before you pay full price (obviously).
I would honestly say I would buy both again, and it would depend on which was on offer when I was close to running out that would clinch it
But if I had unlimited money/ wasn’t so skint/ neither was ever on offer again? It has to be the NARS… I don’t quite know why, I think it’s because my face feels gorgeous with it on and it’s basically a better version of my own skin. But that’s it. It was SO close, literally, and even saying that, I’ll still definitely buy the Esteé Lauder again. But for those who have been put off by the ‘Sheer Glow’ title, don’t be. But I would not say it was in any way shape or form 100 times better than Esteé Lauder because it isn’t, and if you’re a hard-core Esteé fan, then definitely stay. Likewise if you’re a die-hard NARS fan then I wouldn’t bother. I’ve been new to both of these brands and so don’t have a brand preference and been completely unbiased because of this. And they are so close/similar it’s not worth leaving your beloved brand for the sake of basically the same thing. If you’re new like me, it’s worth trying them both but that’s expensive (and I was lucky with offers, so get yourself some samples) and me being me, I’d always opt for the cheaper so I would recommend trying Esteé Lauder first, if you get on with it then try the NARS – at the end of the day if they don’t suit your skin and you don’t like them it’s a waste of money!
As I said, I’d buy both again, it would just depend on who had the better offer at the time.
– If there is anything I’ve missed out or you’d like to know.. Please feel free to drop me a tweet @HouseofBargain_ and I’ll fill you in some more 🙂 xox