The 15 Best NARS Products of 2023

The brand might be best known for its Orgasm Blush, but there are plenty of other products to swoon over.

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Best NARS Products

InStyle / David Hattan

In 1994, makeup artist and photographer François Nars released a dozen lipsticks housed in sleek black tubes with his name embossed in white ink. His goal? To share his love of lipstick and to see if people would buy cosmetics with his name on them. Fast forward roughly 30 years, and it’s safe to say NARS has become a household name — only now, the brand is beloved for far more than just its lipstick

“Many brands have one or two star products, but I can honestly say that there is no big weak point at NARS,” says NARS senior makeup artist Julia Sohn. While that may sound biased (given her connection with the brand), we can attest to just how incredible NARS is. Not only do we personally love a variety of the brand’s products, but many of them have claimed the overall top spots in our InStyle lab tests

Suffice to say, if NARS hasn’t made its way into your cosmetic case yet, it’s only a matter of time before you realize how iconic (and pigmented and easy to use) the formulas are. Ahead, uncover the 15 best NARS products of 2023. 

Most Universal

NARS Blush

NARS Blush in Orgasm


What We Love: It’s sold in over 15 shades, so there’s something for everyone. 

What We Don’t Love: We wish every shade was available in mini size. 

Ever since it debuted in 1999, the NARS Blush in the iconic shade Orgasm has been a cult favorite. Often referred to as the most universal blush in existence, Orgasm is found in almost every makeup artist kit and tops virtually every ‘best powder blush’ roundups — including our own. Beyond its perfect pink color, the blush is highly pigmented and incredibly blendable, not to mention buildable, so it’s extremely easy to apply. 

Over the years, the color offerings have expanded to include 15 shades that compliment every skin tone. Aside from Orgasm, we’re also fond of the Orgasm X hue: The peachy-pink powder is sprinkled with glistening gold flecks, which instantly offers a more sun-kissed look. 

Our only complaint about this blush is that of the 15 shades offered, only two are sold in mini versions. But that’s not so much a product flaw as it is an opportunity for an improved product offering. (In other words, please give us all the minis, NARS!)

Price at time of publish: $32

Size: 0.16 oz | Shades: 15 | Key Feature: Pressed powder blush with rich, buildable pigment

Best Foundation

NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation

NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation


What We Love: It’s sold in 36 shades and works wonderfully to even out skin tone without settling into pores or fine lines. 

What We Don’t Love: The formula is on the watery side, which can become messy if not properly stored. 

Not only is the NARS Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation the best foundation from the brand, it’s also our favorite liquid foundation of all time. When we tested 27 top-rated foundations (spanning all price points), we found that none compare to the radiant finish and lightweight feel of this formula, which is sold in a whopping 36 shades.

While this foundation works beautifully to create an even canvas, it also has skincare benefits. The silky formula is infused with redness-reducing biomimetic oat, moisture barrier-supporting Japanese lilyturf, and blue light-fighting milk thistle. Because of these ingredients, this pick makes skin look fabulous while also protecting it against environmental aggressors that could affect its longterm health and appearance.

Price at time of publish: $50

Size: 1 oz | Shades: 36 | Key Feature: Contains ingredients to support the skin barrier and reduce redness

Best Concealer

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer


What We Love: The creamy formula blends beautifully to give a second skin finish — and it’s sold in mini size so you can easily stow a touch-up tube in your purse for on-the-go use. 

What We Don’t Love: If it’s over-applied, it may crease. 

One of the most iconic concealers of all time, this creamy, lightweight formula is infused with tone-balancing and fine line-diffusing mineral powders, as well as a hydrating, redness-reducing botanical blend. What does this mean? Simply put, a light swipe of this concealer will quickly camouflage whatever any imperfections — from dark under-eye circles to blemishes, and even hyperpigmentation.

That said, the formula can crease if you apply too much. With this in mind, be sure to brush any excess concealer off the doe-foot wand before dotting it onto your face. 

Price at time of publish: $32

Size: 0.22 oz | Shades: 30 | Key Feature: Lightweight formula provides a second skin-like finish

Best Primer

NARS Radiance Primer SPF 35

NARS Radiance Primer SPF 35


What We Love: It makes makeup last longer and look smoother, but it also works well as a no-makeup makeup product. 

What We Don’t Love: It’s a small tube for the price. 

For your makeup to last all day (and night), a primer is a must. And if you ask Sohn, nothing compares to NARS Radiance Primer SPF 35. “This primer is so beautiful both underneath makeup and on its own,” she says. “It gives skin a beautiful lit from within glow without being shimmery or overly obvious.” Additionally, she says that since it’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, it adds a boost of moisture to the skin, too. 

We do wish the tube was a bit bigger given the price. Still, due to the stay-all-day results, it’s worth the splurge in our book. 

Price at time of publish: $36

Size: 1 oz | Shades: 1 | Key Feature: Revives dull-looking skin and promotes longer makeup wear

Best Setting Powder

NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder


What We Love: It’s sold in four shades, all of which feature a pop top under the screw top to keep the powder from spilling everywhere. 

What We Don’t Love: If over-applied, it can potentially lead to flashback. 

Just as primer ensures that your beautiful face beat lives up to its full potential, setting powder keeps every product in place for a long-lasting, flawless-looking complexion. While NARS sells both loose and pressed setting powders, Sohn recommends opting for the former. “It is so incredibly lightweight that it doesn’t leave a trace of powderiness on the skin,” she says. 

While the powder can be used all over the face, Sohn especially loves it for under-eyes, particularly to set concealer. “A lot of people, especially with more mature skin, are afraid to use powder under the eye for fear that it will make skin look more textured,” she explains. “This weightless powder is so finely milled that it doesn’t emphasize fine lines and wrinkles and helps to prevent creasing throughout the day.” 

While we appreciate the shade range, the translucent option (which is actually white) can lead to flashback. As such, be sure to tap excess powder off your brush before sweeping it over your face. 

Price at time of publish: $40

 Size: 0.38 oz | Shades: 4 | Key Feature: Cements makeup in place while blurring the appearance of fine lines

Best Eyeshadow

NARS Hardwired Single Eyeshadow

NARS Hardwired single Eyeshadow

What We Love: The velvety formula features gorgeous hues with metallic and shimmer finishes. 

What We Don’t Love: We wish the shadow was sold in a wider variety of shades. 

Tired of wasting your money on 12-pan eyeshadow palettes when you typically only end up using one or two shades? Sohn recommends filling your makeup bag with NARS Hardwired Single Eyeshadow — particular in the shade Galapagos. 

“This is a staple in my kit,” Sohn reveals. “It’s a rich chocolate matte brown with a gold fleck running through it. It works well on everyone, regardless of skin tone or age — the gold fleck doesn’t increase the look of texture on the lid, but draws light to the eyes.”

As wonderful as the formula is, it’s a shame it’s only sold in 18 rather earthy shades. While there are some pinks and purples to choose from, we’d love to see vivid brights like fuchsia, tangerine, and turquoise. 

Price at time of publish: $22

Size: 0.04 oz | Shades: 18 | Key Feature: Metallic and shimmery formulas that don’t settle into fine lines

Best Eye Primer

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base


What We Love: It works well to prevent eye makeup from smudging while also promoting longer wear. 

What We Don’t Love: The oddly-long handle of the wand is a bit cumbersome.

No matter how long-lasting an eyeshadow claims to be, it never hurts to preface it with a high-quality primer beforehand. Our pick? The NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base, which outperformed 28 other eyeshadow primers in our lab test. The silky, balm-like formula applies easily onto lids to smooth the surface and give shadow something to adhere to. 

“Eyeshadow primer is the least exciting item of makeup to talk about, but this is my all-time favorite product that NARS makes,” Sohn reveals, noting that she’s been using it for over a decade. “This primer — and I’ve tried them all — is the best at oil prevention on the market.” 

Sohn even wears it on days when she’s foregoing shadow. “When I’m only wearing mascara I wear this to prevent the oil on my lids from breaking down even the most waterproof formulas,” she shares. “It ensures all day wear no matter the level of eye makeup you’re wearing.”

Price at time of publish: $26

Size: 0.26 oz | Shades: 1 | Key Feature: Smudge-proof, longwear formula

Best Mascara

NARS Climax Mascara

NARS Climax Mascara


What We Love: The buildable, flake-free formula can be used to create natural- and bold-looking lashes. 

What We Don’t Love: While it's completely flake-free, it can sometimes smudge. 

If you’re looking for a mascara that does it all, look no further than the NARS Climax Mascara. The buildable formula is infused with a lash moisture complex so no matter how much you swipe on, your flutter will never look flakey. 

“It has a natural bristle brush that separates and coats each and every lash,” Sohn says. “With one coat, you get a very natural lash look; if you are looking for more drama, you can build as many coats of this without having to worry about clumping. As someone with short, unimpressive lashes, I can wear five or six coats of this mascara and it looks like a very realistic set of false lashes.”

While the formula doesn’t flake, it can smudge. Because of this, you may want to wear the Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base we mentioned before when rocking this mascara. 

Price at time of publish: $25

Size: 0.21 oz | Shades: 1 | Key Feature: The buildable formula is flake-resistant

Best Eyeliner

Nars High-Pigment Longwear Eyeliner

Nars High-Pigment Longwear Eyeliner


What We Love: The Mambo shade is one of the most dynamic browns on the market. 

What We Don’t Love: The formula dries down pretty quickly, so you have to smudge it while you have the chance (if that’s your goal). 

Looking to define your lash lines without making them look stark? The NARS High Pigment Longwear Eyeliner is a great choice. This creamy gel pencil glides on smoothly, making it easy to trace your lash line as well as accomplish more defined wing tips and cat eyes. 

While this eyeliner is sold in black, Sohn recommends the Mambo shade. "It’s such a unique, warm brown with aubergine tones that is incredibly flattering on all eye colors. It’s so much more dynamic than your classic cool-toned espresso brown," she says.  

Regardless of the color you choose, if you prefer a more smudged end look, you’ll want to work fast. This gel liner dries down fairly quickly, but there is a touch of play time. 

Price at time of publish: $24

Size: 0.04 oz | Shades: 12 | Key Feature:  12-hour smudge-proof wear

Best Bronzer

NARS Laguna Bronzing Cream

Nars Laguna Bronzing Cream


What We Love: The shade range offers something for everyone. 

What We Don’t Love: It doesn’t come with an applicator. 

While powder bronzers can be beautiful, we especially love NARS Laguna Bronzing Cream because the cream-to-powder formula applies like butter. Another highlight? The five shades flatter a wide range of skin tones.

“NARS is best in class when it comes to bronzer because of how well balanced the tones are,” Sohn says. “You can easily achieve a sun-kissed glow or a more contoured dimensional look with the same product without worrying about looking orange or too muddy.”

While there’s a lot to love about this bronzer, it doesn’t come with an applicator, so you’ll need to buy a brush to get the best results.

Price at time of publish: $38

Size: 0.67 oz | Shades: 5 | Key Feature: A cream-to-powder formula that’s beautifully blendable

Best Liquid Blush

NARS Liquid Blush

Nars Cosmetics Liquid Blush


What We Love: This blush is richly pigmented and easy to apply. 

What We Don’t Love: It’s only sold in three colors. 

After the unimaginable success of the NARS Blush in Orgasm, it was only a matter of time before the brand forayed into liquid formulas. Sold in two shimmer and one matte shade, this blush is infused with Monoï and tamanu oils to add moisture and bounce to the skin — and don’t even get us started on the pigment.

“​​This liquid blush is so pigmented I only need half a pump for both sides of the face,” says Sohn. For the best results, she recommends applying this with a precise brush, like NARS #15 Precision Powder Brush.

As beautiful as this liquid formula is, we’d love to see it sold in all the same shades as the powder brush (it's currently only offered in three hues).

Price at time of publish: $30

 Size: 0.5 oz | Shades: 3 | Key Feature: Richly-pigmented liquid blush

Best Lipstick

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment

NARS Powermatte Lip Pigment in Get It On


What We Love: The longwear lip pigment comes in some of the prettiest nude, pink, and red shades. 

What We Don’t Love: It's so highly pigmented that it can stain clothes. 

This lightweight, longwear liquid lipstick dries down almost instantly for a smudge-proof pout — and we mean seriously smudge-proof. “The long wear power of this liquid lipstick is like nothing else,” Sohn says. “I always joke that this lip[stick] is burger-proof — my standard test for all longwear lip claims.”

As far as the 13 shades go, Sohn says Don’t Stop is a must. “This is your classic Hollywood red that looks good on everyone,” she says. “It has a neutral undertone that is flattering for all skin tones, and it's not too bright or too dark.”

While we love rich pigment on our lips, it’s important to note that this popular lippie is capable of staining clothing if it spills, so be careful when applying and make sure the lid is screwed on tight before tossing it in your purse.

Price at time of publish: $30

Size: 0.18 oz | Shades: 13 | Key Feature: Slim sponge applicator for precision placement

Best Lip Gloss

NARS Afterglow Lip Shine

NARS Afterglow Lip Shine


What We Love: It’s smooth and non-sticky, which is fairly unheard of with glosses. 

What We Don’t Love: The tube is pretty long, so it might not be able to fit in every purse. 

If you’re looking for more of a sheer, everyday lip product, Sohn recommends the NARS Afterflow Lip Shine — particularly in the shade Triple X (which is crystal clear). “This hybrid gloss and lip oil formula is so comfortable to wear,” she explains. “It is non-sticky, has a very smooth texture, and it can bring a lip back to life because it adds so much dimension.”  

While we love this gloss in clear, it's also sold in nine other hues that feature satin and shimmer finishes. There’s even a coordinating Orgasm shade for those looking to match their lips to their cheeks. 

There's so much we love about this gloss, but we wish it was sold in minis, too, so we could easily toss a little gloss in our smaller bags. 

Price at time of publish: $26

Size: 0.17 oz | Shades: 10 | Key Feature: Non-sticky, jojoba oil-infused formula

Best Lip Balm

NARS Afterglow Lip Balm

NARS Afterglow Lip Balm


What We Love: It’s pH-activated so it looks slightly different on everyone. 

What We Don’t Love: The color fades relatively quickly. 

For those who don’t go anywhere without lip balm, it’s time you make room in your makeup bag for the NARS Afterglow Lip Balm — especially in the shade Orgasm, which is the ultimate your lips, but better shade. 

“I reach for this balm constantly,” Sohn says. “It’s pH-activated, so everyone ends up with their unique shade of Orgasm. It gives enough shine to make the lips look healthy, but not so much that it looks like a gloss.” Best of all, it actually hydrates and protects the lips, too, as it’s made with antioxidants and a Monoï Hydrating Complex. 

Price at time of publish: $28

Size: 0.1 oz | Shades: 6 | Key Feature: pH-activated formula

Best Brush

NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush

NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush


What We Love: The easy-to-grip handle and tapered fluffy bristles make it ideal for diffusing product. 

What We Don’t Love: We wish the bristles were a bit softer. 

Did you know that NARS also makes makeup brushes? Of the many the brand offers, Sohn says the Yachiyo Kabuki Brush is best of all.

“We NARS artists always joke that this is our desert island brush — if we could have only one brush to work with, this would be it,” Sohn shares. “Its unique tapered shape can be used for so any different purposes: When using it with setting powder, it easily accesses hard to reach areas like the under-eye and around the corners of the nose. With bronzer or contour, the tapered point is ideal for getting right in the hollow of the cheek and the surrounding bristles are perfect for blending and softening the color.”

In other words, if you’re looking for a single brush that does it all (or at the very least, a lot), this is it. We do wish the bristles felt a bit more luxe, though. They’re not scratchy at all, but we’d like them to feel a bit more luxe considering the price tag. 

Price at time of publish: $40

Best For: Blending powders, applying bronzer and contour | Key Feature: Easy-to-grip handle and tapered bristles

Your Questions, Answered

Is NARS cruelty-free?

While NARS claims to not test on animals, nor request others to do so on their behalf, they do operate in areas that may require animal testing by law. As such, NARS is not cruelty-free, according to PETA, Cruelty-Free Kitty, and Ethical Elephant. 

Who owns NARS?

NARS was founded by makeup artist and photographer François Nars in 1994. In 2000 Shiseido bought the company and owns it to this day. Though, Nars is still heavily involved in his namesake brand. 

“NARS is unique in an ever growing field of beauty brands because of its history and brand identity,” Sohn says. “I don’t think any other brand that has been around for as long can claim to have their founder still so involved.” Nars currently acts as the brand's creative director.

Why Shop With Us

Rebecca Norris has covered beauty for 10 years. Ever since she first tried NARS Orgasm Blush in 2010, she’s been a fan of the brand. For this story, she chatted with NARS Senior Makeup Artist Julia Sohn to determine what sets the brand apart — and to uncover the most popular products NARS offers. She referenced her own insights and reviews, as well as those of fellow writers, editors, and shoppers. In the end, she narrowed down the expansive NARS portfolio to the top 15 products from the brand.

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