NARS Quantum & Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple Reviews, Photos, Swatches

NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple
NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple

NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple ($39.00 for 0.50 oz.) is described as a “sheer iridescent magenta.” It’s a muted, medium-dark pink with cool undertones and subtle silver and pink micro-shimmer. It is sheer, just as described, with a very thin consistency that I found difficult to spread across the skin for even color. The Multiple itself is almost dry with a velvety feel, like a cream eyeshadow that’s on its last legs and has pulled away from the edges of the jar. It seemed more like a blush with a satin finish than a highlighting/illuminating product. On cheeks, it lasted for six hours on me, and on lips, it was a painful two hours before I had to remove it, because my lips were so, so parched. I try really hard to wear things for as long as they’ll wear, drying or not, but I couldn’t make it past two hours – and I suspect it would have lasted around three at most. Clinique Rosy Pop (P, $21.00) is warmer, powder. Colour Pop Clutch (P, $8.00) is brighter. NARS Adoration (Right) (P) is powder. MAC Bred for Beauty (LE) is cooler-toned, powder. MAC Peaches & Cream (LE, $21.00) is powder. MAC Sunset Beach (LE, $32.00) is powder. NARS 413 BLKR (P, $29.00) is brighter, powder. YSL Rose Frivole (02) (P, $40.00) is similar. Clinique Berry Pop (03) (P, $21.00) is cooler-toned, powder. Milani Bella Rosa (11) (P, $7.99) is brighter, powder. Bobbi Brown Summer Pink (LE, $26.00) is similar. NYX Bourgeois Pig (P, $5.00) is powder. NARS Mata Hari (P, $29.00) is darker, powder. MAC Supernova (LE, $27.00) is powder. MAC Weekend Getaway (LE, $22.00) is more muted. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple ($39.00 for 0.50 oz.) is described as a “sheer iridescent violet.” It’s a cool-toned, pinky-lavender base with iridescent gold and violet shimmer. Again, it’s as sheer as you’d expect, given the description and its categorization as an “Illuminating Multiple.” The color had an iridescent sheen to it that made it seem like a more unique shade to me. The drier, thin consistency of this product made it prone to clumping. I only was able to apply it by taking a chunk off of it, warming it between my fingertips, and then patting it and swiping at it with the edge of my finger to blend it out. The color lasted for seven hours on the cheeks, and it lasted an hour on my lips and felt like it was sucking the life out of them every second of that hour. NARS Adelaide (LE, $30.00) is more sparkly. Giorgio Armani No. 08 (P, $59.00) is pinker. MAC Pearl Blossom (LE, $26.00) is pinker, powder. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

In general, I like The Multiple most as a cheek product and sometimes on the eye, but they’re a really poor performing product on the lips, due to just how dry and silicone-like the texture is, in my experience. If you only want to use it as a cheek product, you’ll want to think of the rating as a little higher, though Quantum was still disappointing even as a cheek product. Both of these seemed exceptionally lacking in some of the glide that I’ve typically see present in the Multiple formula, and as mine are press samples, I don’t know if they’ve somehow dried out or if these new, Illuminating Multiple shades are just like that.

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See more photos & swatches!

NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple
NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple

NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple
NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple

NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple
NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple

NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple
NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple

NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple
NARS Quantum Illuminating Multiple

NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple
NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple

NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple
NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple

NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple
NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple

NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple
NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple

NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple
NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple

NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple
NARS Violet Atom Illuminating Multiple

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Makeup Look
On face:
  • Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Loose Setting Powder
  • NARS Quantum & Violet Atom Multiples
On eyes:
  • NARS Outer Limits
  • Parallel Universe Eyeshadows
  • Sephora My Boyfriend's Jeans Eyeliner
On lips:
  • NARS Nucleus Lipgloss
About Reviewer
Review FAQ
Reviewer

Christine Mielke is the editor-in-chief and has been reviewing products for over 14 years.

She has normal-to-dry skin with occasional dryness on cheeks and nose. She has a light plus skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones (view her foundation matches here).

Learn more about her review process here.

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I am really disappointed with these. Violet Atom looks so pretty in the tube but since I don’t own any Multiples, this one is not the one to start with, I guess.

You’re such a hard working lady, Christine!

Given the price point and the NARS reputation, I’m incredibly disappointed in these products! The colors had such great potential. I’ve been aching for a high-performing violet or magenta blush! Boo.

The Multiples should really just be a cheek product – that would help them a lot – though these were still a let-down even as highlighters!

I’ve never owned a Multiple before (something about the greasy/shiny/cream formula puts me off, much as with MAC CCB’s) but I thought for sure that Quantum might be my first….til I saw the D rating. I think I’ll just stick with my initial resolve….

violet atom looks so pretty though! i wonder if there’s anything out there in powder form that looks like that

The sheerness of Quantum is disappointing to me. I know that is the description but I would be disappointed to see such a gorgeous shade not transfer onto the skin as well.

I think you can see a BIT more of the iridescence in person (as it catches the light), but it is subtle.

Lovely colors, but the textures sound like a nightmare. I had such high hopes for this collection, but it all seems dry, sheer, and glitter heavy. Not appealing to me, at least. I was hoping for some pretty brights and iridescence.

Multiples are completely unusable as a lip product and I don’t know why they keep insisting that you can use them that way. These low scores for the collection are killing me as the colors are right up my alley. This whole collection seemed as if it was designed for me. Sad face. 🙁

It’s one of my least favorite lip products to test 🙁 The formula is just not suitable for lip use – you could maybe pat on Violet Atom over your regular lip color, but you need something to keep the Multiple from actually being on the bare lip, lol!

They swatch beautifully but sucks that they lack in performance. Since you said they’re press samples, maybe when they officially launch, performance will be better? Will you be planning to purchase those two and re-reviewing?

Sorry, I don’t plan to purchase these just to find out. At $70, it’s just way too much to waste when it could go towards another brand’s summer launch 🙂

That’s so disappointing, I thought Quantum looked beautiful in the tube. I think I’ll stick with Clinique’s new blushes.

Skip. For $ 39, I expect an A. Thanks for torturing your lips to test these out. I wonder if this was a bad batch or if this is the norm. I mean, shouldn’t they be giving out the best batches if it’s a press sample for beauty bloggers? Seems like NARS is really hit or miss lately.

I’m not a huge fan of the Multiples most of the time (there have been a couple I that are better than others, for cheeks of course!), and they do tend to have a velvety-silicone-y kind of texture, but they haven’t been this crumbly? in a sense. On the flip side, these are technically a different formula. I need to go back and look to see if I have the other shade in this formula to see how it compares (there’s one they have for sale now, unrelated to this launch).

Wow, I personally think Violet Atom deserves a much lower grade if you have to break off a chunk to apply it, lol! Hopefully these are just bad samples. I’m actually tempted to swatch them myself to see if they really are this bad!

You can definitely apply it straight from the tube or onto a brush (the color will translate), but being able to “melt” the product between my fingertips made it a lot easier to blend!

I hate that these perform so poorly. I have quite a few that I purchased before figuring out that they stunk. I always though it was my dry skin and would warm on my hand or only use them on bare, just moisturized skin). I wish Nars would just redo the formula. It’s an awesome idea and the stick package is great..but that may be the issue too. I was just wondering if you knew of any ideas to make them more workable? I was thinking about trying some mixed with a bit of Duraline in one of those sample pots maybe to give it a little slip. I’m not buying these. I’m just trying to think of ways to use what I have versus tossing. 🙂

Hey Nicole,

Depending on what shades you have, some of them work well as a brow bone highlighter. I actually used Violet Atom that way as well (you can see it in the eyeshadow review posts closer-up). You could try using a dampened brush or sponge to see if that helps you at all as well!

Sometimes it’s a matter of just using them several times. I have 9, and the only one that has been a real problem was Antigua, but now that one’s actually starting to play nice. I have drier skin, as well, and I really love Multiples.

If these were drugstore I might be willing to forgive their lack of pigmentation but with Nars’ prices I expect the product to be pretty close to perfect. Every product has its flaws but there is too much working against these Multiple sticks for me to ever to consider buying another one. They are just too many other high end products I would rather spend my money on that I know will perform better than these.

The pigmentation doesn’t bother me on an objective level, since they did describe them as such, but I can totally understand more subjectively that at this price point, you’re looking for more!

I’m not sure why make up brands try to combine cheek and lip products .. cheeks need a dryer formula, lips need more moisture .. seems like a no-brainer .. lol.

Monica.

oh man i got violet atom and it’s even prettier in person. i don’t seem to have problems with the formula either 😀 the way i use it is a press it against my face and gently turn it side to side and lift it off.. and keep doing that across the area like 3 times.. then just blend it out with a brush. i love it so much, i woulda never bought it if it wasn’t for your swatch 😀 so thank you!

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