Shimmer is a divisive topic. Haters can spot even the faintest opalescence from a mile away; proponents dust, dab, or paint it on with the puckish enthusiasm of a kindergartner. When it comes to sparkle in makeup—glitter, pearl, gleam, fairy dust—there’s nothing quite like direct, unbridled sunlight to separate the men from the boys. Or, more rather, the “haves” from the “have nots”. And sometimes, a have not is a great thing. This is that time.
NARS’ latest addition to their stable of cult products, the Matte Multiple, is free and clear of shimmer. It’s a cream cheek-lip stick that, when dabbed on with a finger, quite literally melts into skin, leaving a powdery, sheer finish. We know this because a few weeks ago we spent two days with four of the colors, some SPF, model Charlotte Carey and a backpack in Tulum, Mexico, as a sort of road-trip/test/romantic getaway to really get to know a product. (Nothing like traveling together to really test a relationship, right?) A bright poppy red called Siam was the perfect complement to a ‘90s Kate Moss-esque ivory knit slip dress we picked up from the shop at boutique hotel Coqui Coqui. Laos, a buildable, classic rose, became our throw-on-and-go staple, and the chalky bubblegum Anguilla was the perfect match for pastels (read: tunic and ocean).
But it was Exumas—a pinkish apricot that Charlotte dubbed her absolute favorite—that proved to be the most versatile, and also struck us as looking the most “now.” Whatever that means.
And in the place of shimmer, after a morning of yoga, lunch on the patio of Posada Margherita, and a walk under a 5 o’clock sun that gives off some of the most beautiful freaking light of anywhere in the world, there was just the subtlest sheen on the tops of cheekbones. The Matte Multiple: matte but not too matte; looks even better at the end of the day. Vitamin D not included.