Nars Vallarta Matte Bronzer Review

Nars is one of my favourite brands and they do cheek products extremely well so when they came out with the Matte Bronzing Powders a couple of months ago I was extremely tempted. I am big fan of the Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzer in Falaises so at first I couldn’t decide on the shade not being able to go into store. I have way too many bronzers but after months of toying with the idea of purchasing this one, I finally bit the bullet and definitely don’t regret it. If you were considering it as well, despite these coming out in with the Laguna Collection, I believe these are part of the permanent range for now.

This range features four shades including Vallarta, Laguna, Samoa and Quirimba. I obviously discredited Laguna which is way too yellow for my skin and Quirimba which is the darkest shade. But I was torn between getting Vallarta which looked to be a neutral tan shade and Samoa which looked to be a deeper and more red toned. I do love the red tones in Falaises but it only works because of how sheer the Sun Wash Diffusing formula is. Overall, I’m happy I went with Vallarta because this formula is quite pigmented and from what I’ve seen of Samoa, I think it is warmer than Falaises which is actually a cooler red shade. Buying bronzers online can be a bit risky especially given there were very few swatches of Vallarta available but in my mind I was hoping this would be a slightly cooler version of Fenty Inda Sun or maybe even a lighter version of Tom Ford Terra which is has been my favourite bronzer for five years now.

Clockwise from top right: Fenty Inda Sun, Nars Vallarta, Tom Ford Terra, Marc Jacobs Tantastic

What do I think of the colour? Now first of all I know this is awfully strange thing to say but I feel like the copper rim around the pan kind of confuses the eye and it makes this bronzer look more pinky in the pan that it actually swatches. I do love a pinky bronzer so let’s just say I was a bit disappointed. Overall, I would call it a neutral bronzer with a slight hint of pink. It definitely doesn’t look orange on the skin and when I blend it out the face, it pulls out some of those pink undertones which I find to be quite flattering. I spent an embarrassing amount of time staring at Vallarta, Terra and Inda Sun side by side and in the end, I would definitely say Vallarta falls in between those two where it’s less pink and lighter than Terra but cooler than Inda Sun. I also pulled out Marc Jacobs Tantastic to compare with this one but on me Tantastic pulls orange and is not half as flattering as Vallarta.

L-R: Marc Jacobs Tantastic, Tom Ford Terra, Fenty Inda Sun, Nars Vallarta

Saying that Vallarta is lighter than Terra, though, isn’t quite accurate. Terra and Inda Sun are both buildable denser powders while Vallarta is more of a typical silky powder so it goes on the skin with similar depth to Terra but is a touch darker than Inda Sun. In terms of finish, Vallarta is very similar to Terra where it’s a soft matte finish with a bit of reflectivity to it while Inda Sun is a flat matte. The formula of Vallarta is in no way overly pigmented though where you end up with a tone of kick up in the pan but you might get a bit if you’re using a rougher brush. I find this picks up and blends extremely easily whether you’re using a denser or extremely airy brush and it definitely doesn’t go on patchy or uneven. I also haven’t had any issues with this fading or wearing off patchy. If I were to be really picky, I’d say the finish of Terra is smoother but there really isn’t much in it.

On my skin, Vallarta is a tone of bronzer I will happily wear without a blusher which I can’t do with many bronzers without looking muddy. In the past I have used Terra to both bronze and contour and I won’t be doing it with Vallarta because on my undertones, it’s just a bit too warm but it’s definitely a sunkissed kind of warmth and if you’re not a obsessed with having pink undertones in your bronzer, I think this is a fantastic bronzer for lighter skin tones. It’s pigmented and buildable so I can see it working on fair to light skin a lot better than Laguna.

Have you tried the new Matte Bronzers from Nars? What are your thoughts on the range?

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