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A Makeup “Matte” Trick — NARS Introduces New Matte Multiples



When I covered the beauty looks created for the various runway shows during New York Fashion Week, I raved endlessly about the cosmic quality of the makeup at the Rodarte Fall 2014 show, a look that was masterminded by NARS Cosmetics makeup artist James Kaliardos. At both this show and several others — including Creatures of the Wind and Helmut Lang — NARS makeup artists were integrating new products into their looks. One offering that stood out — and which had every beauty journalist and blogger swooning — was the new NARS Matte Multiple ($39 at NARScosmetics.com or Sephora.com), a fresh take on the multi-purpose beauty product that long ago attained cult favorite status among beauty aficionados. At the Rodarte AW14 show, the NARS Matte Multiple in Anguilla, a soft pink shade, was applied to models’ cheeks so as to give them a fresh and youthful complexion. At the Creatures of the Wind AW14 show, meanwhile, the NARS Matte Multiple in Mauritanie (a shade that will be released in the fall) was dabbed onto models’ pouts to give them a honey-like feel. Considering how much I love the original NARS Multiple (I heavily rely on shades like Copacabana, Orgasm, and Undress Me) and how fascinated I am by matte formulations, I was really excited to try the new NARS Matte Multiple and experiment with various application possibilities.

Though many people associate matte formulations with dry and even rough textures (and outdated notion but one that persists), that’s hardly the case with the NARS Matte Multiples. Like their predecessors, these multi-use sticks feature creamy and lightweight formulas that glide right onto the skin with minimal effort. When blended into the skin, the texture feels silky and delicate, smooth and almost powdery, so that the creamy richness practically vanishes — and yet, mysteriously, there’s also no loose, mineral-y, powdery layer either. The effect is astonishingly natural — particularly given that there’s no film-like coating and no glittery shimmer to prove that you are, in fact, wearing makeup.

Now, you can use the Matte Multiple wet or dry depending on the desired intensity. For a sheer hint of color, use it wet (meaning you can wet your brush or your fingertips and dilute the color); for a more vivid effect, use it dry (meaning you use it “as is”).  I personally like using both techniques in a single look, applying the color wet along the high points of the cheeks and then applying it dry underneath the cheekbones for a more vivid effect.

As with its predecessor, the NARS Matte Multiple can be worn on cheeks or lips. Admittedly, some shades are so vibrant, that you’ll probably be tempted to wear them solely on your pout (for me, that’s certainly the case with the Siam shade, a poppy red hue). But do remember that even the more intense shades can be subdued by wetting your fingertips and giving the Matte Multiple a more sheer, veil-like finish.

The NARS Matte Multiple is currently available in seven shades: Anguilla, described as a ginger pink; Exumas, billed as a pink apricot; Siam, an intense poppy red; Laos, a lovely rose coral; Altai, a rose bronze; Vientiane, a copper bronze; and Cappadoce, a golden bronze.

I had the chance to try the NARS Matte Multiple in two shades: Anguilla and Cappadoce. I fell in love with the Anguilla hue almost immediately. It’s a delicate pink hue but it has a warmth to it and even a slightly earthy quality that makes it look all the more natural when applied to skin. When you smooth it onto cheeks, it gives them a just-pinched quality that’s beyond charming. On lips, meanwhile, the color is demure but whimsical.

The Cappadoce shade, meanwhile, was less of a slam dunk for me. The color is billed as a golden bronze which is somewhat accurate, but the color definitely has a strong, reddish brown base. Because I’m so fair-skinned, even when I diluted the color to soften the overall effect, it still looked peculiar — and not in a good way. Applying it as a bronzer was out of the question since the shade was much too deep for me and, without any shimmer in the formula, it just made my cheeks look dirty, as if I’d been touring a construction site where mud and dust was flying everywhere. That said, all of my friends who are dark-skinned and have tested this particular shade rave about it endlessly, so it may just be better suited for women with olive, coffee, or chocolate skin. As a lip color, Cappadoce works better on me, but brown-ish lipsticks also don’t tend to suit me too well, so I’m choosing to use this color only when blended with other multiple shades to create new and unique hues.

Below, check out swatches of these two shades when first applied to the skin, before being blended in:



Next, notice how they soften once blended into the skin:


Here’s a closer look at how the Anguilla shade appears when smoothed onto the skin:


Next, here are a couple of pics of me wearing the Anguilla shade on my cheeks.As you can see, the effect is soft and sweet.



It’s also worth noting that the NARS Matte Multiples are rather long-lasting and hydrate the skin, nourishing it via vitamin E and antioxidant-rich botanical extracts.

I’m pretty in love with these and am thinking of investing in the Siam shade next (which will make for a killer lip hue!) and the Laos hue.

What do you think about the NARS Matte Multiples? Have you tried any shades? Which are your favorites?

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