NARS First Time Multi-Use Gloss ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) has a translucent base with flecks of beige and champagne gold sparkle and micro-glitter. It had a semi-sheer amount of sparkle when applied to lips and was even less noticeable when I applied it to my cheekbones/brow bone–more shine than shimmer. The consistency was smooth, lightweight, and mostly non-sticky, though it was emollient and never dried down, so it felt tackier on my cheeks than it did as a lip product.
The formula was consistent with the other shades in the range: best for adding shine and/or very subtle sparkle on skin (brow bone, cheek bone, and the like) but is harder to use on the eyelid area unless you want to have a creased effect and don’t mind the product sliding into the lash lines/getting into one’s eyes. As long as I kept it away from my lid/crease area, it was a wearable, reasonably-lasting product to add shine/glossiness on my brow bone and cheek bones, where it lasted for six and a half hours before it seemed to slide noticeably. It actually seemed to do a bit better with respect to longevity when applied over complexion products at seven and a half hours before migration occurred, but it was critical to give my base products time to dry down and set them prior to applying the gloss on top.
As a lip product, it had noticeable shine but somehow didn’t reflect/sparkle like a traditional gloss, and the shine wore down within two hours, though there was a subtle sheen and some of the sparkle after three hours. It was smooth and comfortable to wear as a lip product, though there was a denser, almost silicone-like feel to it that felt clingy on but wasn’t actually drying.
- Colour Pop Double Down (LE, $8.00) is more shimmery, warmer, less glossy (90% similar).
- Makeup Revolution Liquid Champagne (P, $9.00) is darker, warmer, less glossy (90% similar).
- MAC I Am Too Smart (LE, $17.50) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Dew You (P, $44.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).
- Colour Pop Counting Sheep (LE, $8.00) is more shimmery, less glossy (90% similar).
- Cover FX Moonlight (P, $42.00) is more shimmery, darker, more pigmented (90% similar).
- Becca Pearl x Gold (LE, $22.00) is more shimmery (90% similar).
- Tom Ford Beauty Liquid Sky (LE, $50.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).
- Urban Decay Sin (P, $28.00) is less shimmery, less glossy (90% similar).
- Make Up For Ever 4 Golden Peach (P, $24.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar).
The formula is supposed to work on "lips, eyes and cheeks" that can be "worn alone or layered" that is "luminous and layerable." For adding a glossy, wet-looking shine to skin, whether on the brow bone or cheeks, it works well and has fairly good longevity/doesn't kill everything under it immediately, but the formula has no dry down on skin, so it does feel wet and attracts wind-blown hair, dog fur and the like.
I actually think they're pretty ho-hum on lips; they actually lose quite a bit of shine and have more of a dulled, glittery-dirt kind of effect rather than sparkly, multi-dimensional effect on lips like you might get from a typical, shimmery lipgloss. I could feel some of the texture of the glitter/sparkle when I wore it on my lips as well. They had no scent or taste that I could discern.
The consistency was smooth, mostly gloss-like, but there was something that gave it a bit more substance and thicker feel overall; when it was on my lips, it felt more velvety, like it was a gloss-silicone primer hybrid. As a cheek product--mostly as a highlighter--it worked best over bare skin and lighter bases. Heavier, thicker, and higher-coverage foundations seemed to eat the sparkle more than anything else, so while there was noticeable shine and glossiness, the shimmer was totally lost. Even on bare skin, all five shades looked fairly similar once applied as there wasn't that much sparkle and little of it seemed to catch the light; it was mostly shine.
I found that the Multi-Use Glosses stayed more in place over a base than over bare skin, as it seemed more prone to sliding around more noticeably (within six hours) on just-moisturized skin. When I patted it over my base products, it didn't move around for closer to eight hours, and surprisingly, it didn't eat through my foundation and turn it into a patchy mess. It was difficult to find the right base, application, and figure out timing in order to avoid the Multi-Use Gloss turning my foundation into an emollient mess.
The first few times I tried it, the foundation turned patchy as I was applying the Multi-Use Gloss. It seemed to be easiest to use gently tapped onto my skin after giving my base products five minutes to dry down and set in place; I did prefer applying over set base products as well.
If you're looking for a glossy effect that doesn't totally break down your makeup for the face, it might be worth checking out, but if you're looking for a truly multi-tasking gloss, it's less impressive than a good, shimmery gloss and has to be carefully placed for reasonable usage on the eyes.
Pro-tip: unless you are after a glossy, creasing eye look, avoid putting this on the mobile lid/crease area; they do not survive whether alone or layered over other products--they crease within minutes and absolutely migrate into the lashes and lash lines. At most, get a small amount and dab on the center of the lid and leave a small gap between the mobile lid and lash line to give it room to migrate. I could feel even a very thin, barely-there layer on my lid every time I blinked, and unfortunately, for me, they stung my actual eye (not my lid) as the product seeped beyond my lid space and left me with a dull ache (even after just 15 minutes of wear).
Browse all of our NARS Multi-Use Gloss swatches.