NARS Relentless Multi-Use Gloss ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) has a soft, warm pink tinted base with flecks of gold and pink glitter. It seemed to have a moderate amount of sparkle when swatched, but actual application on my brow bone, cheekbone, and lips proved it to have more sheer to semi-sheer “coverage” from the sparkle.
The consistency felt smooth, lightweight, and velvety–almost like a lipgloss-primer hybrid–which was most noticeable when worn as a lipgloss. As a cheek or brow bone highlighter, the gloss applied best by gentle patting or dabbing with fingertips or using a duo-fiber stippling brush, as these methods disturbed base products the least. I found that on bare skin the wear time was shorter–just shy of seven hours before it moved noticeably–while over foundation, it stayed in place better (closer to eight hours). It’s not a product that worked well on the actual lid or near the crease, as it seemed to slide down quickly and get into my lashes, while causing anything else on my lid to crease almost immediately.
When I wore it as a gloss, it was comfortable to apply and to wear, and the sparkles distributed evenly, while the gloss didn’t emphasize my lip lines. The shine of the gloss lasted for three hours on me and was lightly hydrating over time, though the sparkles hung around for longer and tended to travel after the shine wore down.
FURTHER READING: Formula Overview for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Genie Kiss (384) (LE, $29.00) is more shimmery (90% similar).
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- MAC Secrets, Secrets (LE, $20.00) is less shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar).
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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.