I Feel Good About the New NARS Multi-Protect Pro Primer

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

Look out! It’s a primer triple threat! From the fertile mind of Francois Nars, the new NARS Pro-Prime Multi-Protect Primer SPF 30 ($32) creates a smooth canvas for your makeup while it supposedly nourishes skin with a bevy of plant-based ingredients.


This newest member of the permanent NARS Pro Prime line has a colorless, lotion-like texture that feels light and fluffy to the touch. Oil-free, it totally reminds of Urban Decay’s Complexion Primers, absorbing quickly without leaving a greasy residue or white cast on my skin.

I like the texture, and I do notice smoother makeup with it on (especially in pictures).

NARS bills this as a “treatment face primer.” Sounds good, right? πŸ™‚ And they identify two plants as key to the product’s many benefits: Gentiana Urnula, a Himalayan flower used in Tibetan medicine for its anti-oxidative properties; and Indian Frankincese, used in Aruveydic medicine as an anti-inflammatory.

I dug around and found a handful of studies involving Indian Frankincense to treat asthma, cancer and arthritis, as well as one directly related to skin care, but I didn’t find any studies pertaining to Gentiana Urnula.

I think it’s cool that NARS is looking to ancient medicine for ingredients (if people have been using the stuff for centuries, it should be good for something, right?), but some data to back up the product’s claims would help, as would clearer language. Which compounds provide which benefits? Inquiring minds want to know.

Multi-Protect Pro is a solid primer, and I like the approach NARS is taking with the ingredients. Now that they’ve piqued my interest, however, I want some info to back it up. For now, I’ll happily take Pro-Prime Multi-Protect for what it is — a fast-absorbing face primer with a nice, light texture and SPF. πŸ™‚

PRICE: $32
AVAILABILITY: Exclusively at Sephora (in-store and online) next month

More NARS products to look out for

Also, keep an eye out for these other NARS products coming next month, and lemme know if you spot anything you like.

  • NARS Pore-Refining Primer, $32 — This colorless primer minimizes the appearance of pores and reduces shine. Look for it exclusively at Sephora stores and online.
  • NARS Illuminators in Copacabana, Super Orgasm and Laguna, $29 each — Three new liquid illuminators in iconic NARS colors (Copacabana’s an opalescent pink, Super Orgasm’s a shimmery peachy gold and Laguna’s a golden bronze) to highlight the face and body. Apply your favorite color on bare skin, or mix with foundation or lotion for a shimmery glow. Find it at NARS counters and narscosmetics.com

Now I’ve seen it all…

Look what reader Cynthia found! Check out these awesome cat hammocks.

I’m sure Tabs would love one, but I’m afraid he might be, um, too husky. The cardboard one is supposed to support cats up to 20 pounds. I don’t know… Tabs has a LOT of junk in his trunk.


Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Oh, remember how the original listing for the NARS Spring 2011 Collection featured something called the Calanque eyeshadow trio?

Well, last week NARS launched the release online with Calanque suspiciously missing.

Apparently the trio of neutrals will still be part of the release, but it’s being temporarily held up due to production delays (it’s really fragile). Expect it to join the rest of the collection soon.


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So far, 50 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Heidi says:

    That hammock is adorable, but alas, Missy is also most likely too “husky” for it!

    Loving the sound of the NARS primer. That spf is a great addition. I love multitaskers!

    • Karen says:

      LOL… Missy and Tabs just have more love to give. πŸ™‚

      How are you doing today, Heidi? Enjoying this nice weather?

      • Heidi says:

        Fighting off a touch of the flu, a bit of a stomach thing (ugh!), but, yes, it’s been lovely to have nice weather. Hopefully I’ll feel much better tomorrow and can get out and enjoy the sunshine!

        Off to go have some more broth and crackers…. yum!

  2. Amber says:

    I hope Sephora will have samples of this primer! Sadly, I think I have conclusively determined that MUFE’s HD primer breaks me out like crazy. πŸ™
    Amber recently posted … Seeking inspiration

    • Karen says:

      Noooo! I hate it when that happens. Do you have any idea what the culprit is? πŸ™

    • lauren says:

      Hey, just so you know- you’re breakout was probably caused by the silicones in the primer. Nars doesn’t have any of these. I’m highly allergic to silicones/breakout like crazy. I would never touch any plastic primer. Nars might be a really good option for you. It has never broke me out.

  3. Tiffany says:

    oooh, the pore refining primer and the copacabana illuminator are so up my alley! I wonder if the illuminators will come to Sephora online also?

    love the cat hammock! they have such creative things for kitties these days!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tiffany!

      I am lusting over the Copacabana Illuminator too. I have the Multiple and loooove it. I didn’t see Sephora as one of the listed sites but I’ll keep an eye/ear out and let you know.

      Isn’t that hammock great? Now only if they made one for XXL kitties, LOL!

      • Tiffany says:

        Seriously, I think that multiple is one of those products that everyone should own!!! Can’t wait until this new version comes out!

        LOL, my dog is a little overweight too and it’s all in his belly πŸ™‚

      • Karen says:

        I agree. I love it on the tops of the cheekbones. It adds just the right amount of glow!

        Aw, Tabs and your dog need to start a BBP club (big beautiful pets).

        • Tiffany says:

          Chunky pets need love too! BTW I liked Being Human – I like the ghost character and the drama involved with that and the vampire man candy doesn’t hurt, lol!

        • Karen says:

          Yes they do! And they need bigger hammocks.

          So that werewolf BETTER not kill his sister or else I’m gonna be really cranky.

  4. Karen says:

    Do you know if the primer have silicone? Those tend to break me out with these nasty white bumps =(

    • Rae says:

      I would love to know this, too! My skin and silicones do NOT get along – it’s gotten to the point that there’s an entire series on theNotice (my blog) about silicone-free products πŸ˜›

      *hopes it (and the Copacabana illuminator, which sounds gorgeous) is cone-free*

    • Karen says:

      I’ll have to check on that and get back to you!

  5. Tracy says:

    I wish they made those hammocks for people lol!
    Those illuminators look great and I can hardly wait for the primer.
    Tracy recently posted … Does Benefit The POREfessional Make Pores Disappear

  6. Nina says:

    if this is as good as the eyeshadow primer, count me in!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Hey Karen, I looove your website! I wanted to ask-did you mention when this might be available? I wasn’t able to find it on Sephora. Also, will you be reviewing the new Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation? (I am not sure when that is available either) haha. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Oops, just saw the answer to my questions…too many hours in front of the computer = brain fart. sorry!

  9. Mara says:

    I can’t wait for the Copacabana Illuminator. The primer looks great, too. I desperately need a new primer, but I’ve had a hard time finding one a like. Thanks for keeping us in the know.
    Mara recently posted … Birchbox- January 2011

  10. lexi says:

    I can wait for that trio since I’m still on my MAKEUP DIET! I will add Laguna Illuminator to my wish list. Also has does this primer compare to LM Oil-Free primer? That’s what I’m currently using and loving!
    lexi recently posted … Random stuff

  11. Amber says:

    Still looking for an amazing primer, do you know if it contains any silicone? Silicone based primers break me out πŸ™ love the blog read it every day!

  12. Olga says:

    I’m looking forward to trying out the new illuminators they sound great!! Wanted to buy less make up this spring, well every time I visit your blog I feel like it won’t work out πŸ™‚

    xx Olga
    Olga recently posted … When I get bored

  13. Marie says:

    Nars is going to make me go bankrupt! There are just too many new interesting products this season. And I’m going to have to chose. I don’t want to! :p

  14. Aida says:

    I have to keep on saving!!! I love it all, I should just send my salary straight to Mr. Nars. I want the primer and the pore primer, I love Nars regular primer with and without SPF, it feels so good on my skin. And I am curious about the illuminators. I have copacabana multiple and I have seen the Orgasm illuminator at the Nars counter but I have never tried it, How do you apply it? Is it actually worth it to buy it if you already have the illuminator? and, How can Laguna be an illuminator?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Aida,

      I put a little bit on the back of my hand and then apply it with a skunk brush to the tops of my cheek bones (fingers work great too). You could also mix it in with your foundation or lotion and then just apply to your face/body.

      The issue here’s one of texture. If you already have the Copacabana multiple and like it you probably don’t need the illuminator, but if you’ve been dying for a liquid version of Copacabana then it might be worth the $.

      • Aida says:

        Thanks Karen.
        By the way, I just received the Madère and Tzigane lipsticks together with the Angelika Lipgloss. I followed your advice and yes, Angelika looks lovely on my pale skin, and, funny enough Madère is not so zombie-like on my lips but a pale nude.
        Tzigane is lovely beyond words….I swear it is just what I was looking for. I am loving Nars so much right now =)

  15. Constanze says:

    How cool that you’re using PubMed for researching ingredients, I thought only we dorky med students have to dig through that mess πŸ˜€
    Nice review, and apropos ingredients, from a medical point of view anti-inflammatories regulate sebum production and can prevent break-outs, while anti-oxidants are said to prevent skin from aging and harm due to UV exposion, pollution and stress πŸ™‚
    I really like that you’re always considering what things a product will do to my skin, not only if it makes me look pretty…

    • Karen says:

      I need to break down and get a subscription already. It’s a really great database!

      What year are you in med school? Are you almost done?

      • Constanze says:

        Phew, since I’m studying in Germany it’s difficult to compare… I’m in 5th year now, which relates to 7th year in the US (at least I think so…)
        Hopefully I’ll become an intern in August πŸ˜€

  16. BeckBeck says:

    Love the cat hammock. I have a petite tabby (8lbs) and if she didn’t completely ignore all the “cat stuff” we’ve already bought her, I’d totally get her the hammock.

  17. Alka says:

    Can’t wait to check out these new products! I already have the regular primer and absolutely LOVE it. πŸ™‚ I tried a sample of the brightening serum and adored it but not the sticker price…so I am very interested in the illuminators.

    That cat hammock is such a cute idea and I could totally see Tabs rocking a summer beach look in it!!!

  18. Kim says:

    Oh, gosh – I see that hammock being on the floor in about 6 seconds. My kitties aren’t husky but they like to chew cardboard! πŸ™‚

    I don’t think I’d be down with an all-over face primer but I did pick up UD’s Eden yesterday. We were in the area of our closest US Sephora (about 180 miles away) and stopped in so I could grab a UD Yeyo liner, Posh Squash shadow duo, Hypnose mascara and swatch the Tarte tinted moisturizer. They didn’t carry the shadow and were out of the liner and the moisturizer but I did get a sample and I liked it this AM. πŸ™‚

    PS You’ve probably written about this before, but my Faux Cils is making me batty. I think it’s gotten a bit dried up and it’s flattening out the wand to the point of being unusable. I tried heating the tube with a blow dryer, but no luck. Any advice? Did I read that a little makeup remover in there might help. I hate to give up on it!

    • Karen says:

      GURL I hope you’re rocking that Yeyo liner on your lash line today.

      So, Faux Cils is notorious for getting very thick quickly. That’s one of the major downfalls of the mascara. I would refrain from diluting it in any way. How long did you hit it with the hair dryer?

      • Kim says:

        I swear I would have been rocking it in the CAR if they weren’t out of stock! HAHAHA! I did swatch it, though, and will be ordering online! πŸ™‚

        Probably a minute or so with the dryer. The tube warmed up but it wasn’t super-hot or anything. I’ll try it for a little longer and give the wand a good paper-towel scrubbing. I love the volume and realized it doubly since I’m wearing Hypnose today. Ah, my lash woes! πŸ™‚

  19. Sarah says:

    I know Nars is coming out with Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturizer; any word on when that will happen? very interested in it…

  20. I love when products use natural ingredients or plant remedies in their products. I think it’s so cool and I prefer products like this. I can’t wait to try this one.
    – Liz
    DeathByPolish recently posted … Hey- this is for you!

  21. Grace says:

    I can’t wait to try the new primers (I love the SPF, but I definitely need the pore refinement!). I’ve been loving that the wintertime doesn’t melt my makeup off, but, come summer, I will definitely be wanting a good primer to help battle the heat. Also loving the kitty hammock, btw!

  22. Trude says:

    Here, here, on adding SPF to primer. But I’ve been burned so badly by creamy primers promising me the world and nothing ever works on me the way it should – and I’ve tried a LOT! So I’ll be finishing off my latest bottle of Skindinavia’s makeup setting spray and then we’ll see. πŸ™‚
    Trude recently posted … By the Pool

  23. Melody says:

    I wonder how the Nars Multi protect compares to Becca’s SPF30+ Primer?

  24. I was totally debating on getting this so thanks for the review! it was between this and the skin smoothing face prep by Nars.

  25. Alexandra says:

    Hi Karen!
    Thank you for all the interesting comments. I really like your writing…
    I am interested in finding a primer and moisturiser so the new nars multi protect sounds appealing. I have tried Bobby Brown vitamin enriched face base and it feels good. In your opinion which is a better product? My skin is combination…

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