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A Foundation for People Who Hate Wearing Foundation

It’s like Facetune IRL.

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Nars Velvet Matte Foundation Stick
Nars Velvet Matte Foundation Stick, $45

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I used to hate wearing foundation. There’s a good chance you’ve heard me say that out loud if you know me in real life, and there’s an even better chance you’ve read about it if you frequent this site.

It's not that I didn’t want to like it! I’d just never found one that met my extremely basic criteria — like actually matching my skin color and not contributing to my already oily face — until I tried the Nars Velvet Matte Foundation Stick ($45).

My interest was initially piqued because there’s more than one shade of brown. I found a seemingly perfect match within two swatches (Cadiz, if you’re wondering) that truly nailed the undertones in my complexion without making me look too yellow or red, which is an issue I, and many other women darker than a Band-Aid, often have with foundation.

And while finding a perfect match was relatively exciting, it’s not why I’m obsessed with this foundation. (Reminder: Simply accommodating women of color is a really low bar.) The product comes in a really sleek marker-like stick with a touch-up blender on the other end. It couldn’t be easier to use: You apply directly from stick to skin, and the results are — not to be dramatic — mind-blowing.

When I blend in the foundation, it feels like I’m using the Facetune app IRL; my face looks smooth, and unlike a lot of the other matte products I’ve tried, this feels so comfortable that I forget I have anything on. It’s not drying or heavy, and it doesn’t streak, look cakey, or rub off on my clothes or hands if I touch my face. All the joys of wearing foundation, and none of the bad stuff!

The only real downfall here is the price — $45 for any one single thing that will eventually be gone isn’t fun for anyone. But if you’re looking for buildable coverage that looks and feels natural, it’s worth it. I even bought a backup before I was even done with the one I had.

Racked occasionally accepts products for research and reviewing purposes. For more information, see our ethics policy here.