The Multiple by NARS is a multi-purpose color stick with a cream-to-powder formula that “blends effortlessly to create shimmering accents”. It’s supposed to be your one stop shop for creating dimension and glow on the skin. Oh, and the brand also says it’s “mistake-proof color” designed to be used on the cheeks, eyes, lips and body. Can one little stick really do all that?
Find it HERE
Tested November 2019
I tried out two shades of The Multiple. Orgasm, a peachy-pink with a shimmery golden shift, is a classic NARS shade. When the brand launched it 20 years ago in 1999, it quickly became a cult favorite (it now comes in more than just The Multiple or powder blush; you can pick up lip gloss, lipstick, illuminating powder, liquid blush and more in the shade).
I used Orgasm as an eyeshadow, a blush and a lip color all at once, and was surprised at how pretty this monochromatic look turned out. As a blush, it’s very shimmery and took me a little bit to get used to. I didn’t realize how much of a matte blush kick I’ve been on recently, so this was a change…but I liked it! I could tell that it added some dimension to my face because it caught the light at many different angles. It looked much more matte on the lips but was just a hint too frosty. I’d say this is a blush first for me, but I like that I could dab it on the lips for a little color in a pinch. This stick alone is capable of taking my skin from no-makeup dull to fresh and healthy glow in a few easy minutes.
Copacabana, an opalescent pearly shade, is an amazing all-over highlighter for my pale skin. I really like that there isn’t a strong base color here (i.e. it isn’t a solid white), and that it has a glossy finish instead of straight sparkle. There is definitely shimmer, but when it blends out on the skin it looks more like a pearl sheen. I used this on the cheekbones, the cupid’s bow, bridge of the nose and inner corner of the eye and loved how it looked everywhere I put it. I think it also brightened my eyes when I lined a little bit of the lower lash line with it.
Unfortunately, The Multiple doesn’t quite get an A-plus from me in every category. I tried Orgasm and Copacabana on the eyelids and they both performed really badly. Even with primed eyes, these creased heavily within an hour. It’s easy enough to pat out the creases with a fingertip and go on with your day, but after needing to do this two or three times, the color was totally gone. They just didn’t hold up. Copacabana was a much greater success on the inner corners of the eyes, but I’d steer clear of applying these sticks anywhere that your skin might crease or wrinkle.
I feel like I should also mention that The Multiple stick is about the size of a quarter, which is fine if you want to apply one of these as a blush straight from the stick, but less helpful if you want to add it to the lids or other smaller places. You have to go in and pick up color with a brush, sponge or fingertip. After trying a few different methods, I preferred applying Copacabana with my fingertips and Orgasm with a densely packed brush.
I am all about makeup products that can be applied in a hurry and not make me look like a crazy clown that got ready in the dark. I have been known to leave the house in the morning with only brows and mascara (always mascara), and then pull out a little makeup bag from the center console of my car. I will happily add both of my Multiples to the car kit for sheer, pretty color on the go.
Liz’s Verdict: Really great as blush and highlighter, but don’t waste your time applying to the eyes.
I picked up The Multiple in the shade Portofino ahead of a trip to SE Asia, hoping to take a portable, easy-to-use, multi-purpose product that worked in hot and humid weather. I already own a powder blush compact and lipgloss in the shade Orgasm, which I love as much as everyone else, but because I had tanned a fair amount in anticipation of this trip I wanted something a shade darker. Portofino has gold flecks similar to Orgasm but a bit less. The color is described as coral on the NARS site which I feel is accurate. I was surprised how dry this felt, like a cream-to-powder as opposed to a balm. This made me really happy because my hair didn’t stick to it (as it does with face gloss) and when I tried this stick on the eyes and lips it didn’t feel like I had anything on.
Unfortunately I don’t think this has much staying power at all. Granted, I didn’t apply a primer, powder or setting spray so perhaps that wasn’t fair. I used this on a moisturized face, clean of foundation and it looked beautiful. I tapped it onto my brow bones and the bridge of my nose to fake a bit of sun and it worked perfectly. It was a bit dry for use on my lips, though the color was pretty. I’m a fan of a cohesive look so using the same shade all over was flattering my opinion. It didn’t rub off on clothing and didn’t sink into or accentuate any pores or lines.
After returning from my trip once my tan has faded, Portofino is a bit dark swiped directly onto my face. The blending that’s required to diffuse it leaves most of the product on my fingers. I tried using a stippling brush but couldn’t build the color up enough; the wash was too sheer and the brush moved everything else around. Also when I applied over foundation they mixed together, dulling any sparkle and lifting most of the coverage. I did find myself reaching for it again once I became pregnant though, because I didn’t make time for foundation. My skin was behaving during that period so I didn’t really need it and The Multiple was a quick and portable way to add some color.
All-in-all, this is a fantastic product for travel on skin that’s behaving. I could see it working well on oily or normal skin, but would definitely cling to dry patches. The container is large so it’ll last a while and the shade range is fun.