NARS Altai Matte Multiple Review, Photos, Swatches

NARS Altai Matte Multiple
NARS Altai Matte Multiple

NARS Matte MultipleNARS 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 as well as SephoraSephora (but will be available wherever NARS is sold soon).

Altai Matte MultipleAltai 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.

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NARS Altai Matte Multiple
NARS Altai Matte Multiple

NARS Altai Matte Multiple
NARS Altai Matte Multiple

NARS Altai Matte Multiple
NARS Altai Matte Multiple

NARS Altai Matte Multiple
NARS Altai Matte Multiple

NARS Altai Matte Multiple
NARS Altai Matte Multiple

NARS Altai Matte Multiple
NARS Altai Matte Multiple

NARS Altai Matte Multiple
NARS Altai Matte Multiple

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
Makeup Look
On face:
  • Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation
  • Guerlain Les Voilettes Pressed Powder
On eyes:
  • Chanel Jardin Zen Eyeshadow Quad
We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


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‘Just had to say, after coming to your site for years, that’s one of the nicest nude lips I’ve ever seen on you. ‘Sorry it’s not up to your highest standards for the lips, because that looks spectacular on you, Christine!

I would be interested to see how these compare to the Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge which I have been using for years. The old Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge came in a larger container that would take several years to use up.

Pot Rouge doesn’t dry down or have a similar feel to this at all. They’re both cream blushes, but otherwise, they don’t have a similar consistency or feel.

Its good to know that there is a significant improvement in the formula though the quantity factor is a bummer. Again multiples never work for me as lip products and i guess its nt going to change anytime soon πŸ™ At $39 half the size???? Around $30 bucks these would have been much better bet.

I wish they’d just call ’em cream blushes or face products, and then they can use them on lips on the runway or whatever. You can technically use a lipstick as a cream blush and vice versa, regardless of what the brand markets it as – but obviously if you market it as both, then it’ll be judged for both!

I don’t have an issue with the price/size ratio, as from what I swatched, these seem like a totally different product than the “original”; I just wish the casings were more in line with each other for storage (just a personal, OCD issue, LOL). I also don’t intend to use either formula for anything other than cheeks, so I wouldn’t personally hold that against the product, although for your purposes, it makes complete sense. My issue is with the shades themselves; all the bronzing shadea run sooo warm! I was hoping for something cooler, particularly with Altai, give the description of “rose bronze”, but it swatched so yellow on me. Hopefully, we’ll see more shades in the formula in the future; a matte version of St. Bart’s would be nice, especially since the original is on its way out… From what I could tell with swatching, I really like the formula.

For me, it’s more of the principle of the matter, because it’s too drastic to just ignore or say, “No big deal.” I think they’re very similar to the original Multiples with slight changes/improvements, but the formula is still very recognizable as the Multiple base and feel, based on my testing thus far!

Granted I only swatched a few on my hand, but they felt a bit drier to me, not as slick, although creamy/velvety. Also, you can use them wet, but not the original formula, and they’re more packed with pigment. I just really hope NARS does some cooler bronzers in the future! I think if I were to pick up more than one, the size difference would be easier to deal with, but at this point, Anguilla is the only one for me…

It just occurred to me, perhaps if NARS went a *bit* less on the product, and kept the same price & comparable packaging, maybe skinnier & just as tall, it may have been more palatable to consumers.

I also wanted to add, when I barely touched these to my skin, I got full color payoff, whereas with the originals, I have to layer it on, then blend, taking some product away, so it seems although “smaller” in weight, they’ll last as long.

You know, I was really intrigued by the look of these, and they looked beautiful in a lot of the swatches I’ve seen circulating around… but when I stopped into Sephora today to take a look and swatch them in person, I wasn’t all that impressed. Something about the texture wasn’t something I liked, and Exumas looked way more orange in person than I thought it looked in the swatches. I’ll probably pass on these!

I have not! I heard a lot of mixed things about them. Some seem to love them, some seem to hate them. I don’t really hear any in-betweens. Copacabana seems to be ‘the’ shade to get if you get a Multiple, though!

The Meteorites, though, I absolutely love. My first experience with them was from my mother back when I was…. oh, I don’t know. 9 or 10? It was in a little round cardboard box decorated in creams and beiges in a rose pattern, and it had that distinctive Guerlain scent to them…. Oh, dear, I’m sighing nostalgically.

And it’s not like she doesn’t have them anymore. She still does!

I wish they wore a little better on the lips because this shade is gorgeous on you! I think it’ll just blend in with my skin tone but I’m interested in trying the deeper shades. I’m a bit disappointed with the price and product amount though. I wish they would have made these a little but cheaper considering we’re only getting half of the product.

As usual, thanks for your thorough and unbiased review, Christine! I always look forward to your reviews, especially for those products that are “hot” right now, before deciding whether to buy. I feel like you’re the most trustworthy beauty blogger out there. This product is going to be an easy skip for me!

Odd that they changed the size/price ratio – maybe they’re taking a cue from Tarte on stick-based face products?

It’s a shame that they’re such a fail on the lips (kind of takes away from the ‘multiple’ thing a bit!), too, because this one looks like a perfect matte nude on you! Well, assuming you ever *wanted* a perfect matte skin coloured lipstick, that is… πŸ˜€

Honestly, it seems like brands will use a new formula/reformulation/new packaging to significantly alter price/sizing, whether to “catch up” on increased costs or to realize greater margins or it could be to encourage people to finish products sooner and have to repurchase, etc. I don’t know why brands do it, and I’m sure the reasoning differs from product to product, but those are my guesses.

I wish they would just market these as strictly cheek products and call it a day. For some reason it bugs me when brands try to market products as multi-tasking when it just doesn’t work! That being said I’m excited for some of the other shades and while this one is not my cup of tea it looks like the other shades will be fantastic.

It’s so rare that they do well on both places, because I think inherently what stays well on cheeks and all that… wouldn’t necessarily be great on the lips! Like something super hydrating is often fairly emollient and slippery, but you wouldn’t want a blush that slipped all around your face!

I use my Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Lollipop as both a “lipstick” (it’s as much or even more pigmented than most lipsticks!) and as a cream blush. It’s marvelous, and at these price points, a real bargain!

I have four Nars Multiples (three mini’s that were in a set, and a full sized one), and they’re terrible and drying on lips, and don’t work well for me on the eyes either…

I should add that I have much better luck using lipsticks as blush (usually I apply it on my lips, then tap my fingers on my lips and pat it on my cheeks), than using “multiple products” including Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge as lippies, with the exception of Edward Bess Compact Rouge. It’s too bad you get such a tiny amount of product for the relatively high price, but it’s great to keep in my daily makeup bag for touch ups during the day since it’s tiny and truly multipurpose. Whew! That was a long sentence πŸ˜‰

Also when I stated “and at these price points” for the Revlon Lip Butter I’m including the fact that they are very frequently on sale, and/or have coupons sometimes too.

Thanks for the review! I think this might be good, for my very fair skin, as a contouring shade. I absolutely wanna check it out, but the price point is the biggest negative here considering the product size compared to its non-matte counterpart. Still it’s a lovely shade and seeing as I would never use these matte multiples as lip colors I could see getting one or two for contouring and for a traditional blush, would be really nice for traveling!

Yes, it could definitely be a potential contour shade for fair skin! The only thing is it may be too warm, depending on your undertones.

I’m glad that they last a long time on the face! I can’t wait to read the rest of your reviews. I like Anguilla, Exhumas, Laos, and Siam. I can’t wait to see how Siam looks! Thanks!

Just to clarify, I normally get an average of eight hours of wear on cheeks, and with excellent cream blushes, almost ten! πŸ™‚

would this work well as a contour for a (i wear UD naked in 1.0) pale girl like myself? or would you recommend cappadoce or vientiane from this line?

Probably this over either of those, which have really strong warm undertones. This is warm, too, but I think the other two are even warmer (and darker).

This is strangely kind of cool on the lips. I don’t know, I’ve never seen a lip color like this. It’s nice on the cheeks. Is it really browner than Madly? Madly looks much pinker to me in person, but I guess it does look rather brown in your swatch. Maybe it’s just my lighting

I thought the same about Madly (which I love!); always thought it was a pale pink – but it is something I have used as contour, and it works. So reading it compared to this new color made me realize maybe Madly is browner than I’ve always thought!

Hi Christine,

Thank you so much for your review. How would you compare this to Soleil Tan de Chanel?

Seeing in store, I thought that the Chanel bronzer was too yellow for me (I’m neutral-cool toned, leaning towards cool), but I’m having second thoughts, as the store I swatched it had terrible lighting. I’m looking for a creamy contour.

Thank you once again,


I don’t think I have any of the Soleil Tan de Chanels that are actually permanent! There are a few versions, do you know which one you were looking at? Or was it the cream one? I don’t know anything about that one!

I find NARS lip products super drying so chances of me wearing a multiple on my lips is non-existent. I’m content to just use on my cheeks. I was really psyched for this review and was hoping Altai was going to turn out to be more of a rose-bronze, but typical, it seems, to many combo bronzing/contouring products, it looks like this runs far warmer and therefore a complete pass for me.

I’m so glad to read your review of this product! My thoughts:

First, prior to reading your review of the new Matte Multiples in general:
1. I didn’t know they changed the size of the product, packaging, and the formula for this Matte Multiple’s Collection.

2. I’m shocked that they cut the size of the product virtually in half, yet kept the same price point. Even with a newer? better? different? more expensive? formulation, I think they should have cut the price by at least 20-25%.

3. I had never heard of applying the Multiples “wet” using a damp sponge or brush. I’ll try it with my older formula Multiples, and see if I get better results with that application (it might work with a damp sponge). I love how I always learn new things from you and the others who write comments to your posts! πŸ™‚

And now to the review Altai:
As I noted in yesterday’s swatch preview, I’m very disappointed that this shade that they call a “rose bronze” is actually orange and warm, and being the lightest of the bronze tones in this collection, still too dark. I had so hoped like several others have mentioned, that it would be a lighter, and cooler tone color that would work well for contouring on us lighter and cooler skintones. I’m usually around a MAC NW/15-20.

Actually this leads me to go a bit off topic and say that I’ve been so excited to try the new version of your Foundation Matrix (especially because it’s so difficult to find my skin tone in foundations and concealers) I finally gave it a whirl today, and was sadly disappointed to find that many of the shades showing up that were supposed to be in my coloring were orange, yellow, and/or dark. Then I tried it using one of my mineral foundations that I use sometimes which is La Bella Donna Compressed Mineral Foundation which in no way darker than MAC NW/15, and the “swatch” showing on your site was really dark! I also wonder if people are submitting their opinion as to how close a match a color is, as to whether or not they’ve used, or at the very least, swatched the shades they are rating, or if they are just going by the photo. If the Foundation Matrix is diluted with opinions that are not from personal experience, I fail to see how it can be accurate. It seems that maybe some /all of the companies that have participated, recommended shades they might suggest from their line, even though they don’t have the requisite (in my case cool/pink) undertones, or shades in the proper color depth (being either too light or too dark). I think I went through at least 6 pages of suggestions, and just gave up. As an aside, it might be a little more helpful if the foundation & concealer swatches could be additional “types” in the fabulous Swatch Gallery, though that would only work as good as the swatches being as accurate as the ones you do yourself in actual reviews.

I’m so sorry to “rant” about this, especially because I know you have worked really hard and really long on it, but I felt you would appreciate honest feedback about the features that would be so awesome if it worked as it was intended.

BTW, even though our skintones aren’t similar, one of the reasons that I love your blog so much is that you do emphasize cool/warm/neutral tones in your comprehensive descriptions. And you control the parameters of the lighting that your photos are taken in so they are always consistent. In my opinion, you are THE hardest working (so many posts daily AND seven days a week!!!) and MOST innovative beauty blogger there is!

Hi Pami,

Regarding the Foundation Matrix, results you see will be:

1.) All shades +1/-1 from your skin tone (with some additional algorithms in place to limit some of those), because sometimes shades can match skin tones and in general, it’s rare that we get a really great consensus that 1 shade fits only 1 skin color, but it can depend on the range. Throughout the original Foundation Matrix, many shades were submitted in multiple skin tones (e.g. “Tan” might be submitted in Medium-Dark and Tan), which makes sense as skin color is a spectrum with no hard stops. If we don’t know the undertone, we don’t give it one – we don’t just guess when all we have to go by is a name or number – so you will see all shades that have NO undertone for any undertone, because the very point of having the community involved is to help us help everyone by collecting the votes and sorting/assigning additional data (like undertone) so that over time, we have that information. Unfortunately, many brands do not provide any insight regarding undertones! There’s nothing I can add if all a brand gives me is “Coffee,” until a user submits that it is yellow/red/neutral/pink/etc. πŸ™ This is exactly the same as it was previously – all of the results today are at least as accurate as the original Foundation Matrix, but they are actually more accurate, because I have gone through and verified across what shades we were able to swatch in person.

2.) We do not have swatches for La Bella Donna foundations, so you’re seeing merely a placeholder – it is by no means representative of the actual shade, as I do not have it to photograph or swatch. We created a “spectrum” of skin tone shades to serve as placeholders based on the shades we were able to swatch.

3.) Like the original Foundation Matrix, the community submitted matches based on what worked for them, which is the same thing that we ask now, only it’s less of “submit your shade” as it is “vote on it,” though there’s no real way for us to verify that someone used that shade or is merely voting to vote (and there was no way to verify if someone used a shade or not when they submitted it before or now). What I do on my end is look at each shade and make sure it is not a serious error (e.g. something that’s dark being submitted as fair). Based on all of the voting data that I have seen, it seems to be accurate based on what people are actually trying as the strongest matches are coming forward as expected. Additionally, we have limitations and restrictions on how and who can vote to mitigate anyone who might be trying to game the system – e.g. if you are very fair, you cannot vote on a tan foundation.

If you would share with me the actual shades you used to look up your matches, I am happy to take a look to ensure that it is functioning the way it should be. The Foundation Matrix is always a work in progress, and it gets more and more accurate the more people contribute to it, whether that’s by adding undertones where we’re missing them, voting to ensure that shades are properly categorized (while at the same time, strengthening matches we have in a visual way to users). That is why the Foundation Matrix is a guide – it can help narrow down the field of matches, and over time, as the community votes, it will also show you known matches AND un-matches (so-to-speak).

Thanks for your feedback! We are already thinking of ways we can address some of your concerns and hopefully we can continue to work to improve the Foundation Matrix so that you can actually use it.

Hi Christine,
Do you recommend Altai for ‘warming up’ the face? I’m an NC25-NC30 and looking for something quite similar to Mac Smooth Harmony or NARS Irresistiblement… Thanks! πŸ˜€

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