May 24, 2010

NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep Review

Ahhh NARS….

Quite reminds me of MAC at times as it excels in some areas of makeup and fails miserably in others. That happens sometimes. Personally I think NARS excels at color cosmetics but isn’t so fabulous in the base department or other areas for that matter. Mascara, foundation, primer, concealer…basically I feel like I can skip all this when it comes to NARS however I must have anything and everything they release in regards to color including shadows, blushes, lippies, etc….

Question is, did NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep perhaps move past all my prejudices about their base products and win my heart?


What is it?

NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep is a targeted primer for problem areas of your face designed to minimize the appearance of fines lines and pores. NARS markets it as a primer that’s ideal for troublesome areas such as larger pores, rough spots, and fine lines.

The Good….

This feels incredible lightweight on my face. The texture is NOT like Clarins Primer nor does it sport a softer silicon feel. It leans more towards the harder consistency of Benefit Dr Feelgood and is best applied using finger tips to smooth on or a sponge if you’re a bit squeamish about dipping your fingers into the pot.

The overall feel of the product is very lightweight and comfortable. It won’t make you itchy (some silicon primers feel itchy or uncomfortable this does not suffer the same faith), it won’t feel uncomfortable on your skin, and it’ll pretty much feel as if you have nothing on at all. I absolutely love the texture and consistency of the product and I like how easily it glides across my face.

The Bad…

I purchased it because I was hopeful it would hide finer lines around my eye area and prep said area for concealer plus I had hopes it would make my foundation last longer. It did neither.

I’m really unsure about the way NARS markets the product as I don’t understand the concept of a “targeted” primer. This makes little to no sense for me as if you have larger pores you’ll have them everywhere NOT just in one small spot of your face correct? I can relate to targeting perhaps finer lines around my eyes however targeting pores? Just sounds illogical but than again I know little to nothing about larger pores.

The primer’s packaging stinks. It’s a fact that the packaging needs a whole load of work. First off, no one is fond of dipping their fingers into a pot but add to the fact that the actual size of the pot is a little larger than a quarter and it opens a whole new dimension of hassle if you want to try applying using a sponge. Sadly, it’s best used with your fingertips as a sponge simply won’t fit into the lid easily without creating a mess. On top of its smallness it also sports the typical rubberized packaging of NARS which means it gets gross and sticky easily.

As mentioned above it feels gorgeous on my skin and very comfortable however it does absolutely nothing at concealing my problem areas such as fine lines around my eyes. It doesn’t make my foundation last longer sadly either but in it’s defense I will say it isn’t advertised as doing such.

Who Might Like It?

  • I can’t rightfully think of anyone who could make proper use of this.

Who Might Not Like It?

  • Anyone thinking this will help prep and primer their face.
  • Anyone who believes this will conceal fine lines and larger pores.
  • Anyone who doesn’t like using their fingers on product.

Final Thoughts…..

Overall, NARS Skin Smoothing Face Prep has a nice formula going for it however that formula does little to nothing for me. The main reasons I purchased it were for prepping and priming finer lines and a hope that it would prevent my foundation from oxidizing fairly quickly however it did neither. You can find way better primers than this and some that are even cheaper.

I’d skip.

No likey.

Anyone try?

Share it!

Hope I didn’t kill too many lemmings!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


  • Fiona

    Holy moley! That is one small size primer. Thank you for putting the coin next to it as reference. I am never a fan of NARS jar packaging. It’s very troublesome and wasteful majority of the time. I’m excited to see your eye primer review next 🙂


    I knew this product looked bad ;( (to me nars is better for makeup and less so for skincare, The only thing they have is the nice packaging)

    funniest thing ever a reviewer on (dreamyone) raved about this one and said it was “the best primer ever” lol i trust your review much more muse <3

    • the Muse

      linda really? I read a few crummy reviews on sephora myself 😀

  • jonnie

    Luckily, no lemmings killed here… I can’t say enough about how much I’m loving the Korres Querctin and Oak primer. It makes my skin looand feel smooth and lovely whether I’m wearing tinted moisturizer (loving UD Urban Defense too!), powder (Hello Flawless) or cream-to-powder (UD Surreal Skin)… I haven’t tried it with liquid foundation since I currently don’t own any I like, but it’s been magical with everything I have tried!

    • the Muse

      oh jonnie I LOVE that stuff so much 😀 best primer ever 😀 UD Defense is amazing 😀 agreed!

  • Virginia

    Hey Muse,
    how would you say does this compare to the L’oreal Studio Secrets primer?

    • the Muse

      no virginia. texture is harder and not as creamy as the L’Oreal one.

  • Soly

    I agree on the “hit or miss-ness” of NARS. And they’re way expensive to boot. I will say though I LOVE Sheer Glow foundation. For me, it’s worth the $42.

    • the Muse

      soly that’s one I haven’t tried! mmm kinda feels a little stirring to get it 😀

  • Pumps And Gloss

    Ohhh NARS Sheer (Glow and Matte) foundations are grreat!!!

  • aaron

    im actually one to have to say i love this product, and i will have to point out you missed a big part of the product that it actually matifyes your complection as you wear it. also through out the day you are able to dab this product ontop of your foundation to blot the shine away with out it breaking down the foundation or having to use a powder or blotting papers.
    i have LARGE pores and generaly larger pores ARE in some areas. not All over the face. mainly in the Tzone. That is why its ment as a spot treatment. for me is smoothed over my pores allowing my foundation to glide ontop.
    Pretty much all nars products when it comes to there complection products with foundations and concealers etc are ment to be used with warming up on the back of the hand and applied with fingers, i have found to be able to get remarkable results following the percise ways nars sets out for there products.

    hope this helps!

    • the Muse

      hey aaron glad to hear it’s working for you hun. sadly didn’t notice it doing much for me. It’s more of a spot treatment and alot of people like a full on primer to not only fill pores but also to act as a barrier between skin and foundation to keep foundation in place. This is one reason I wasn’t loving it.

      • aaron

        its all good. there will never be that perfect product that everyone is going to love. 🙂 fyi im loving your reviews 🙂

        • the Muse

          aw thanks aaron so glad *hugs* agreed. different strokes for different folks 🙂

  • Nicol

    Wish I had read this before I got completely ripped off buying it. Almost as expensive as my foundation and does absolutely nothing.

    what would you recommend instead?