NARS Matte Multiples are here, and they're as pretty and practical as we were promised. The Multiple has been around for many years (and it just might be my favorite NARS product. I've gone through several of them long before starting The Non-Blonde). The matte version is exactly what this product needed: a modern interpretation of a classic. The new Multiples have no sheen, shimmer, or glitter (thank you, François), just a lot of pigment, a smooth texture that glides on the skin despite its matteness, and a formula that can also be used damp.
I played with these three colors and several synthetic face brushes , applying and blending dry and wet, and my conclusion is that using these Multiples wet doesn't affect or changes the color or its intensity in any way. I took photos but eventually erased them because it was impossible to tell which was which (in both artificial light and outdoor mega-cloudy conditions, which is all we can get here. It's going to remain snowy and freezing cold till the end of the days). The difference, which is subtle but important, is in the way the Matte Multiple melds with the skin. It's not that a dry application looks like paint once you blend and sheer it to the desired level, but it does have a makeupy look. Applied with a damp brush (Paula Dorf creme cheek brush or Julie Hewett Cheekie brush), the Multiple gains a skin quality. As I said: subtle, but worth noting and experimenting.
As I told you when the colors were announced, I was interested in three of them. NARS sent me Laos and Siam, and I bought Exumas the second it was available on Sephora.com. Laos is the one I will probably use to the last drop. It's a warm rose, perfect for a quick swipe on the go that brings a healthy color to one' sallow cheeks. Siam is the brightest red coral. If you're very yellow it might pull orange, but on my green/olive undertones it's more red. This is a color I almost have to use with a damp brush with a very light hand, because of its brightness. It's a fun just-out-of-the-cold color, very pretty, but absolutely requires having a flawless base for a polished and non-blotchy look. Exumas looked like the most challenging at first, before I remembered that had I let it, my skin would have tanned quickly and easily into a similar color. I get a good tan from opening the window, so I live under a thick coat of sunblock even now that the sun is a mythical creature. But in theory, the apricoty Exumas is my tan color, so I can fake it nicely by blending this Multiple where it counts.
From what I can tell, the Matte Multiples have a similar (excellent) longevity as the rest of NARS Multiples, but we all know that this is not a very challenging weather. In any case, the colors wear well, play nicely with other makeup products, and are a delight to use and wear.
Bottom Line: I would not object to having the other four colors.
NARS Matte Multiple ($39 each) are available from Sephora and narscosmetics.com. Some of the products featured here were sent by PR.