NARS Altai Matte Multiple
NARS Matte Multiple ($39.00 for 0.26 oz.) are new (and permanent!) for spring. They’re supposed to be a lip-and-cheek multi-tasking product with a “creamy, lightweight formula that delivers buildable, long-lasting, hydrating color for lips and cheeks.” Application makes a difference: if you want sheerer color from the get-go, apply wet, and if you want color truest to what you see in the tube, use dry. I preferred to use a stippling brush to grab color from the tube and then to apply on the face (so not directly from the tube).
I’ve worked my way through four of them (reviews for all to come) so far, and Altai was the first one I tried. Three of the shades in the range can be thought of as closer to traditional bronzers or cream contour sticks–Altai is the lightest, followed by Vientiane and Cappadoce. All seven shades have a satin-matte finish–a very tiny amount of sheen to keep it the finish from being a really flat matte, but it’s not shimmery or a true satin finish either. The other four shades are the more traditional blush shades, but as always, “rules” (or even “guidelines”) are made to be broken, so any shades can be used on cheeks or lips. I don’t like these on lips at all; I find them uncomfortable, a little clingy, and just drying from start to finish. For me, they’re really hard to even wear and test on lips, because I can feel them sitting on the lips in a way that’s bothersome. Like the regular Multiples, it’s not a product I would wear on lips, as the product clings and dries out lips. On cheeks, they work a lot better, and I felt like the biggest takeaway was really how blendable the textures were. They remain blendable for a couple of minutes, so you don’t have to feel too rushed, but they won’t move around a lot. The texture feels silicone-like, almost velvety, light to medium weight, and smooth. So far, the wear has ranged from seven to nine hours. They wear well over as well as under liquid foundation, and of course, do well over bare skin. I noticed that if you need to blend a lot (e.g. Siam is very, very intense in color and pigmentation), it will be problematic applied over foundation, but if you only do light to moderate blending, it is fine.
The original Multiples were one of the more expensive NARS products in the range, and the original range is $39.00 and contain 0.50 oz. The Matte Multiples still cost $39 a pop, but they contain a mere 0.26 oz. The tube is the same length, but it is noticeably skinnier. It’s such a drastic difference in size, so it’s disappointing to see the price remain the same despite a size reduction of nearly 50%. Will one tube last awhile? Absolutely. Does a tube of intensely pigmented lipstick last longer than a sheer tube of lipstick? Absolutely–but you don’t usually see a drastic size reduction/price difference in the same formula just because one is more pigmented than the other. I definitely think that there have been improvements in the formula–it feels smoother, less dry overall–compared to the original formula, but whether it’s worth it is for you to decide. They’re online at narscosmetics.com as well as Sephora (but will be available wherever NARS is sold soon).
Altai Matte Multiple ($39.00 for 0.26 oz.) is described as a “rose bronze.” It’s a light-medium, warm-toned peach-brown with orange undertones and a satin-matte finish. It was intensely pigmented, though it was easily softened and sheered out (even with a dry application) if desired. The texture is creamy, smooth, and very blendable, and this particular shade seemed to wear well for about seven hours on the cheeks and three hours on the lips. Guerlain Moyen Brunettes (05) (LE, $75.00) is darker. Clarins Splendours (LE, $35.00) is more orange. NARS Silvana (P, $29.00) is more shimmery. NARS Madly (P, $29.00) is browner, more shimmery. MAC Harmony (P, $21.00) is browner. MAC Refined Golden (P, $25.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.