NARS Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer Review

NARS Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer
NARS Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer

Lightweight, Quick-Absorbing – Better for Oily Skin Types

NARS Skin Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer ($58.00 for 1.8 oz.) is described as a “aqua-rich gel-cream that hydrates, revitalizes, and fortifies the skin.” It’s supposed to improve water retention, keep skin feeling supple, and soften fine lines. It is “synthetic fragrance-, paraben-, alcohol-, and oil-free,” according to NARS.

In the past, I’ve used the previous version of the Aqua Gel, and I really liked it and found it hydrating enough for my skin type (normal-to-dry; more normal when I was testing this, as it was during the summer). It was actually a go-to product for when my skin was getting dry.  A lot of what was great about the original is true here:  it’s lightweight, feels and glides on like a gel-based moisturizer, and it sinks into skin quickly.  There is a little tackiness, though, even if it doesn’t look or feel oily/greasy.  It has a pleasant smell, though it is hard for me to articulate the scent; it’s not quite herbal, but it seems natural enough–not perfume-y or anything like that.  During the summer, it was lovely against the skin, because it felt cool when applied.

This moisturizer is much more suitable for combination to oily skin types; it was not hydrating enough for me with normal skin.  I would use it at night, but my skin really need more moisture.   NARS says it is ideal for normal to combination/oily skin types, but it was not hydrating enough for when my skin was normal. I went through the jar in a month, only using it at night time.   I didn’t notice an impact on minimizing or softening fine lines.

Ultimately, this is a lightweight, quick-absorbing gel moisturizer that will be most suitable for oilier complexions.

About the Reviewer


Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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Thank you so much for posting this. I have been trying to find a good oil-free moisteriser for a price that isn’t going to make me feel bad. Everything I have gotten samples of in the past turn out to be like 70$ :S I think I am going to ask for a sample of this at Sephora to see how it works!!!

Thanks a lot <3

I think Cafe Makeup also did a review of this and loved it with her combo skin. I’m liking the moisturizer I’m using now, but this may be an option when I finish it.

I love the idea of this, but the price really is too steep. As much as I love NARS, I can’t justify spending so much on a months supply. At nearly $60, it needs to last at *least* 3 months.

Christine, I am sure you already have tried but if you didn’t MAC’s mineralize water cream-gel moisturizer can fit you better for your skin type. I bought it hoping that it will be suitable for my oily-comb. skin for winter times. But it was a bit heavy for my skin (not oily) so that might work out for you.. And this one might work out for me better thanks for the review 🙂

100% agree with you, and i already sent them an email,here is the reply from NARS (Everyone who likes the previous version ,pls write them an email ,coz we really need it back so badly )

[email protected]

Dear Kim,

Thank you so much for your interest in NARS Cosmetics.

We are pleased that you have taken the time to contact us and would like to apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused. Please be assured – your message has been forwarded to the Product development department so we may look into this matter further.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any future questions.

Kind regards,


Customer Desires

NARS Cosmetics

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2012 3:53 PM
To: Nars-CustomerService
Subject: NARS Customer Contact – Ask a Question (Thread:290215)

Body: Hello, I’m a big fan of NARS , and I’m very disappointed aqua gel hydrator which is discontinued , actually i bought the new products which replace this product , but i don’t like it, so could you make the aqua gel again ? thx! Kim

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!