Review: NARS Aqua Gel Hydrator… my new favourite moisturizer!

It has been a long time since my last review! These few weeks I’ve been mainly trying out new skincare products, so I didn’t want to do review on them until I’ve used them long enough to be able to comment. The NARS Aqua Gel Hydrator is something I purchased at the end of August when I went to the NARS event at the Bay Pacific Centre. At the time, my skin was being really weird because it was all dehydrated and patchy, so I desperately needed a good moisturizer. I was using Lush Gorgeous Moisturizer and Vitacreme B12 at the time, but neither product seemed to do a good job on my skin.

However, the NARS makeup artist, Tim, introduced me to this product, and I must say after about 6 weeks of using it, it has become the best item I discovered in 2010.

What it claims (from An ultra-luxurious, lightweight gel-cream mask comprised of 87% water to deliver intense hydration to dull, dehydrated skin. Once massaged into the skin, exclusive technology ensures optimal moisture delivery to provide hydration throughout the night. This water-rich treatment enriched with skin conditioners imparts skin with a soft and smooth, luminous appearance.

Price: $120CAD for 100mL (I believe its $77 USD in the states)

What it is: Its described as a hydrating gel mask, but I like to use it as my daily moisturizer. I use it as the last step in my nighttime skincare regime (after lotion, serum and eye cream), and my second last step in my daily skincare regime (before sunscreen or BB cream).

The good: The stuff does wonders for my skin. Its very soothing and delivers just enough moisture, which slows sebum production but still prevents my skin from drying out. It absorbs very easily without any residue and a little goes a very long way. You can also use it as an emergency treatment mask, where you would pile it on and leave it on your face for about 15-30 minutes, then remove with a cotton pad and massage the leftover gel into your skin. It makes for a very good makeup base. I’ve also noticed that I’m not breaking out as much and my skin is not as red or sensitive. It smells of orange blossoms, but the scent isn’t strong, so it is soothing without being overpowering.

  • Very hydrating
  • Soothing, calms sensitivity
  • Does not cause breakouts
  • Smells nice

The bad: If you take a look at the ingredients list at the bottom, the thing is chock full of silicones. At first I was seriously shocked and wanted to return it, but I decided to take the risk and use it. I had been using a mostly natural moisturizer before this (Lush Gorgeous), but it didn’t seem to be doing much, so I thought might as well try something on the other side of the spectrum. If you are allergic to silicones, please do avoid. Also the price is a little steep, even though you do get double the amount of your usual moisturizer, $120 is something not everyone would want to plunk down in one go. If that is something that bothers you, I would also skip and try something else.

  • Full of silicones
  • Steep price

Overall: I’ve kind of looked passed the silicone factor now that I’ve been using it for so long. I feel that as long as I wash my face well enough at night and apply new moisturizer on before I go to bed, it shouldn’t clog my pores. I feel that my skin is smoother and doesn’t break out as much in general, so at least the silicones aren’t doing anything bad to my face. Again the price is a little steep, but keep in mind you are getting twice the usual amount for moisturizer. For my Canadian readers, I would recommend having someone CP this for you from the US if you want to buy it, I have no idea why it is marked up almost $40 more than the US price. I would definitely recommend this to people with sensitive skin, because this is really a good, soothing moisturizer. Also if you are looking for a no-frills moisturizer, this is definitely it. I haven’t tried it out for winter yet, so I don’t know how well it will hold up against crazy Canadian winter, but I’m hoping it should be okay. Overall, it is a great product.

  • Product: 19/20
  • Value: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Overall: 31/35 | 89% | A
  • Repurchase: Yes
  • Availability: NARS counters

11 thoughts on “Review: NARS Aqua Gel Hydrator… my new favourite moisturizer!

  1. Great review! I bought this after Temptalia reviewed it, and fell in love. Glad you like it too 🙂 I don’t know why Sephora stopped carrying this, but through Canadian checkout on, it was actually LESS CDN$ than the USD$ price. I buy it in the States now, ’cause paying that much money CDN is crazy 🙂

    • Thank you! Yes I know! I think when I’m done this one I might just buy it from eBay or something. I can’t believe how much more this costs in Canada than in US!

  2. Thanks for the review. I was looking for a good moisturizer. My skin is really dry and patch as well. I might get this since there’s so many great reviews of this. I tried the Vitacreme B12 and it just broke me out. I hope The NARS Aqua Gel Hydrator doesn’t do that.

    • It didn’t break me out. The Vitacreme B12 is too rich but not moisturizing enough, if that makes sense. Its like a balm that absorbs but doesn’t do too much for my skin. I hope you get a chance to try this!

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