NARS Summer 2013 Color Collection – swatches & review

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limited edition shades that bring the fun under the sun!

NARS summer 2013 

Summer – it’s a time for sun and sand and new makeup collections! I have been fighting temptation and fighting the good fight by not buying anything that wasn’t an obvious must-have. Then along came NARS with their Summer 2013 Color Collection and I lost the battle!

I had been so confident in my approach until I nearly missed out on my two favorite products from NARS in new limited edition summer shades : their latest Multiple in Puerto Vallarta and Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Paris Follies. And if you haven’t gazed upon their ‘one step beyond orange’ summer nail lacquer in Madness – click here to see it in action.

NARS summer 2013

At first glance, I thought the NARS Multiple in Puerto Vallarta ($39) was just another bronze variation of what’s already out there, and that’s how I dismissed it without a second glance. In online photos and in the tube, Puerto Vallarta seems underwhelming. It appears to be a slightly shimmering, but flat-looking pale orangey bronze – not a color I would immediately gravitate towards. Once on, you realize how close you came to missing out on something special – Puerto Vallarta is a stunner!

Swipe this on your cheeks and you almost won’t believe that the boring color in the sleek, black tube and the one you’re wearing are the same. The end result is a sun-kissed, dewy tangerine with a hint of shimmer that wakes your complexion up. It’s like you spent a day at the beach without the crippling sunburn.

NARS Puerto Vallarta

NARS Multiples are designed for lips, cheeks, and eyes, but I find that rarely do they work on all three. I’m drawn to the more blush-like shades, which doesn’t exactly lend itself to wearing on eyes, but Puerto Vallarta looks lovely as a touch of color on lids.

As a lip product, this was a no go for me – it’s a little too pale (but fans of light hues should love it on their lips) and Multiples have a powdery texture that I find drying on lips, but that’s what gives them lasting power as a cream blush (5 hours on my oily skin). Also, I’m not sure if it’s the powdery texture or the quality of shimmer, but my pores seem to disappear when I’m wearing this, so if you’re wary of cream blush due to pore size, this might be the product for you.

NARS Paris Follies

The other swoon-worthy item I got to test out was NARS Larger than Life Lip Gloss in Paris Follies ($26). I was intrigued by this gloss before I got to test it, but I held back from buying it because although it is a lovely pinky coral shade, I have many lovely pinky coral lip products. That being said, I should have known better because NARS is well, NARS.

NARS Paris Follies

In the tube, this is a basic (though pretty) pink gloss, but once swatched, this gloss is that perfect shimmer-free rosy coral shade I’ve been searching for my entire adult life. It’s a perfect balance of pink and orange. Most corals skew orange, but this shade contains enough pink to be interesting and the depth of the pink tone makes this stand out from the pack. Paris Follies leaves you with juicy “I just ate a popsicle” lips, which is the look I cultivate in the summer months. If you think you don’t need another lip gloss, think again!

As for texture, this gloss is a bit tacky, which is great for staying power (3 hours without food or drink). The applicator is a wand with what could be the world’s tiniest brush at the end. I couldn’t help but wish it was a doe foot applicator, but that might just be my preference.

NARS Puerto Vallarta swatchMultiple in Puerto Vallarta, Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Paris Follies – swatched

Puerto Vallarta brightens up a complexion and diminishes the appearance of pores.
Paris Follies is that rare perfect balance of orange and pink.

Mini-brush applicator on Paris Follies is not my favorite.

NARS Paris Follies swatchMultiple in Puerto Vallarta, Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Paris Follies – blended

Overall, I’m really impressed with what I got to sample from the NARS 2013 Summer collection and I can’t believe I almost missed out on these two amazing products. It just goes to show you that swatching is your friend, ladies!

we heartsters – Has anybody else fallen for the NARS 2013 Summer collection? Did swatching play a role?

photos: we heart this, swatches shown on NC 25/30 skintone

Krista resides in the middle of nowhere with her bff/hubby, an obscenely big-eared dog, and a puppy that makes feral capuchins seem mellow. She has an irrational fear of ax murder, owns more than one machete for home defense/the zombie apocalypse, and goes to sleep serenaded by the sounds of the Chupagobbler, a mythical turkey beast that roams the woods around her house. She also has an obsessive love of Tom Selleck’s moustache that is, quite frankly, alarming.

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • krista

    Lives in the middle of nowhere with her amazing hubby and two codependent dogs that love to hate each other. She enjoys dance parties of one and last minute road trips, prays for Angela Lansbury's immortality and can never own enough blush. She averages one "Silence of the Lambs" quote a week and feels no shame over this. Perhaps she should. skin tone: NW15 skin type: sensitive/oily favorite beauty product: Blush, lots and lots of blush


  1. Paris Follies! <3 so pretty. we have similar skintone so it's nice to see how these products can possibly look on me. Anything new to me from NARS makes me excited. I just picked up their eyeshadow primer this past weekend and kicking myself for not doing that sooner. Great review @krista!

    1. @mandabear – the swatches in the photo are on the arm of @stef –she’s rocking a lovely tan :) I’m paler than pale–the lip gloss shows up similarly, but a little more vivid on me, but Puerto Vallarta really shows up on my paler skin. Both are beyond fabulous.
      I just tried NAR’s eyeshadow primer, too! Why did it take me so long? lol

  2. These are definitely pretty, though I don’t know that I’d use the Multiples on my lips either. (I don’t with multi-use products usually anyway, it always feels a bit weird?) I do like Nars, though; I think their Night Porter eyeshadow was my first big “luxury” purchase and they always seem to have great quality.

    I REALLY like Paris Follies, that almost mango color is gorgeous! The applicator would be a turn-off though, it IS tiny! I bet it allows for more precision, but I’m such a lazy “swipe and go” girl… Does it apply well? I find little brushes like that sometimes drag in the product you’ve already applied, so it’s hard to build color.

    SO pretty though…

    1. @lyssachelle – The tiny brush is kinda annoying–I need a couple dips to get a full application and the brush takes forever to apply correctly–didn’t notice any “drag”. But the color is worth it–it’s gorgeous :)

  3. “One Step Beyond Orange”, Summer Nail Laquer made me gasp! I NEED that color in my life. Thanks for the review. That lip gloss tip would drive me crazy. Doe foot tip is my fave too!

    1. DOE FOOT 4 LIFE!!!!! *high five* lol

    2. DOE FOOT 4 LIFE!!!

  4. The NARS lip gloss is so pretty! What a great summer shade. But I am afraid that I would absolutely hate the brush. Decisions, decisions…… Great review, regardless!

    1. @kellie76 – The brush is sorta annoying, but the color offsets that–It’s too sassy for words! Go to a store and swatch it for yourself–you’ll see what I mean :)

  5. I have to admit that I have yet to delve much into the world of NARS . This Summer Color Collection is really pretty and would be a real treat to check out. I’ll have to stop off at my Sephora and play with these shades.. It is summer and time to brighten up a bit! Great review!

    1. @irene – I wasn’t really huge into NARS until last fall when I grabbed their limited edition Autumn Leaves lippie and pure matte lipstick in Amsterdam and restocked on a once discontinued Outlaw blush for my Ireland vacation. I got hooked and ended up adding one or two items from each collection since and picking up a few Multiples along the way (check out their 413 BLKR collection, only available at their stores and at their website–the Multiple and pure matte lipstick from this collection are TO DIE FOR). Now I’m kind of addicted… :P lol

  6. @krista, I think I would probably fall in love with Puerto Vallarta on my face (have a hard time with orange around my eyes) and that lip color on my pout (doe foot or no doe foot). A great blend of pink and coral is SO hard to find! I recently used OCC’s “Creme Colour Concentrates,” which are supposed to be used anywhere. When I put the pink shade on my cheeks, it was gorgeous. (It is a whitened plum.) On my lips, the white pops out and I felt like I was Twiggy in the 60’s, but I way too young to wear makeup then. Their “Terra Cotta” gave the most radiant, real sun-kissed look to cheeks, but it was a no-go on my eyes and lips as well, except as a long-lasting base for other shades. Whoops, got carried away. These “versatile” items can be a tad befuddling . . .

    1. @gigi – I typically can’t do orange or pinky/red shades on my eyes–it pulls a lot of pink out in my skin and I look sick/just plain wrong. The Puerto Vallarta isn’t as bad–maybe because the orange isn’t super bold or what, but a dab works fine on me.
      I hear you about products pulling too much white/paleness on lips–I’m so pale that I look like a ghost if my lips are too pale. Not cute.
      I do hate how some products that are supposed to be multiple use just don’t work on anything but cheeks (unless they work on cheeks VERY well, like NARS Multiples). If you’re looking for something for lips and cheeks, check out Bobbi Brown pot rouges. Raspberry is probably my favorite, but all shades are gorgeous. They have a lipstick-like texture and are shimmer-free. I have oilier skin and the wear time on these is pretty fabulous.

      If you decide to get just one NARS Multiple, try Portofino. It’s probably my favorite. It’s a glorious shade of shimmery coral. That was my first Multiple and I’ve been hooked ever since. Warning: it’s so awesome, you probably won’t be able to stop at one. I thought I could, but now I have 5. :)

  7. That gloss is so pretty–I would love to add it to my collection–but I can’t stand the plasticky scent of NARS glosses. And the mini brush applicator is too much work.

  8. Love the gloss color. I have never used a mini brush type applicator but I’m curious why they felt it necessary to put with a gloss.

  9. I am a longtime fan of all things Nars and this summer collection shows me why I keep returning to this brand!
    Love the lippy and bright orange polish! I am an oily gal, so I steer clear from shimmer, but I wouod be willing to give the multiple a whirl!

  10. I agree with the multiples-thing–you know they were designed for the place most likely to be used, with a “hey, it could work here, too” afterthought. I love the idea of that bronzer cream stick with a powdery finish, especially since it has such a long wear time (5 hours is really good for us oily gals)!

  11. I’m with you- I love NARS multiples, but I simply cannot wear them on my lips, they’re too drying. As a quick and easy swipe on the cheeks, however, and they’re heaven. It makes my vacation makeup bag so much lighter!
    While I love the shade of Paris Follies, I’m not sure I can get on board with that brush. In my book lipgloss should be quick and easy to apply. That brush is too small and I think it would be hard to evenly apply to lips without a mirror. And yes- doe foot forever!

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