Face, Reviews

Review: NARS Matte Multiple in Altai

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I’ve been intrigued by the NARS Multiples for a while, but my aversion to shimmery face products made me steer clear. Now they’ve come out with a matte-finish version, which I know a lot of people are excited about. I was particularly hopeful for the brown-toned ones, so I soon as I saw that Sephora had them up I ordered Altai.


NARS Matte Multiple AltaiThe packaging for the new Matte Multiple is a black matte-touch stick with the NARS logo on the cap. It’s a little on the bulky side, but still just small enough to fit in my slim Muji drawers. The cap snaps on very securely and the base is long enough to get a good hold on so it’s not difficult to open.

NARS Matte Multiple AltaiSome folks have been a little miffed that the Matte Multiples have so little product compared to the old version – just .26oz/7.4g instead of .5oz/14g. The picture above shows the product all the way twisted up. I don’t mind so much because I have trouble going through cream products before they expire, but I do agree it’s a little odd that you only get half has much for the same price.

NARS Matte Multiple AltaiI noticed right out of the box that the packaging for the particular one I got wasn’t in such great shape. The bottom of the cap has lots of little chips along the edge, and the part of the tube inside the cap had product smudged all over it. I actually would have suspected it had been opened/returned, except the stick looked perfect and I ordered it right after they came in stock.


NARS Matte Multiple Altai

Left: NARS Altai
Right: Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder

As of now, there are seven shades available in the Matte Multiples (I’m using their descriptions because I haven’t seen any of the others in real life yet):

  • Anguila – ginger pink
  • Exumas – pink apricot
  • Siam – poppy red
  • Laos – rose coral
  • Altai – rose bronze
  • Vientiane – copper bronze
  • Cappadoce – golden bronze

I ordered this one in the hopes that it would make a good cream contour product, but as you can see from the swatch, the orange undertones are strong in this one. Once I blend it out it’s also a little too light for contouring on my skintone. It’s also quite a bit warmer than I normally go with bronzer (on the rare occasion that I wear it), so… yeah. And one other thing – it does have a few fine shimmers in it. I don’t think you can see them in the swatch, and it doesn’t look shimmery at all when worn, but I could definitely see a few sparkles on my arm and in the stick when I was testing it.

Texture, application & wear

I really like the texture of this stick, at least when used as a face product. It glides onto the skin easily with good coverage when used dry. The product description suggests applying it wet for a sheerer coverage, but doesn’t actually say anything about how to do that. I put a couple drops of water on my fingers and then picked the product up on my fingers. As promised, the coverage was lighter. I imagine a damp brush or sponge would also work just as well. Used wet or dry, the product blends very nicely. On my face it wore for about 8 hours before it started fading.

I also tried it on my lips even though this isn’t really a color that I’d wear that way. It feels… odd. Not bad, but a little bit odd. That’s probably just because I rarely wear true-matte lipsticks. It felt a little bit powdery, but didn’t suck all the moisture out of my lips. It lasted about three hours before I needed to reapply. I’d expect the pink-toned ones to be a little more forgiving, since it’s always really obvious on me when beige/nude shades start to wear off. By the way, I think this might be a really good nude shade for folks with darker skin than mine.

In Short: I’m vaguely disappointed that the packaging looked beat up, and this color is definitely not for me. I have a feeling this one will be going back, but the formula is nice enough that I’ll be putting some of the other shades on my wishlist.

The NARS Matte Multiple ($39) is available at sephora.com and narscosmetics.com. Though the end of February, use the code FEBMINIDUO on the NARS website to get an Orgasm Illuminator mini & Aigle Noir Shadow Pencil mini with a $25+ purchase.


  1. Sen

    February 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    :( There’s the “Bonne Minne” look and then there’s straight up orange. Ew! I’m really interested in Laos but the price is’t worth it to me.. maybe when some more reviews are out.

  2. Joyce (bronzerbunny)

    March 2, 2014 at 2:24 am

    Bummer the color doesn’t work for you :( I got this one too and the color almost works for me as contour lol.

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