NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner Doesn’t Stop for Breakdowns

Published in: Makeup, Product Reviews

nars larger than life eyeliner

Heavy traffic makes my inner crazy come out. I know it’s not helpful to get worked up over traffic jams, but it happens just the same.


Like last week, I had a mini-nervous breakdown in bumper-to-bumper traffic on Lombard Street in San Francisco. It had taken me 45 minutes to drive four blocks in the city, and all I wanted to do was get home. At one point I looked outside my window at a boy walking past my car on the sidewalk, and I just lost it. Tears, sobbing — the whole shebang.

It wasn’t just the traffic, though. I was also wearing uncomfortably tight skinny jeans and having a really, really rough writing day.

While driving over the Golden Gate Bridge on my way out of the city, I caught a glimpse of myself in the rear view mirror. The purple liner I’d applied earlier in the day, NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Bourbon Street ($23; also available in eight other shades), still looked great, despite my outburst and tears.

I figured, heck, if this creamy pencil liner can tough it out, so can I, so I wiped away my tears, put on my metaphorical big girl pants and focused on the road.

nars larger than life eyeliner pencil

nars larger than life eyeliner

nars larger than life eyeliner

nars larger than life eyeliner


nars larger than life eyeliner

NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner

  • Available in nine colors
  • A twist-up pencil with a hidden sharpener at one end. NOTE: The sharpener can be tricky to use when it’s warm outside because the temp may soften the pencil. I like to place the liner in the fridge for a few minutes before attempting to use the sharpener.
  • Lasts for about eight hours on my lash line and around five on my water line
  • It’s easy to smudge and doesn’t crease or fade
  • Has rich, saturated color

PRICE: $23 each
AVAILABILITY: Available now at NARS counters, the NARS store, Sephora and also online
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A- (I do wish it lasted longer on the water line)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Would it be blasphemous to say that I like the Style Network’s How Do I Look more with Jeannie Mai than I did with Finola Hughes (whom I also really liked)?


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So far, 49 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. mel says:

    No…I like her better too in how do I look…I also love most of the outfits she wears! What would u say is a good eyeliner for the water line? Especially if it tends to be a little watery

  2. kelly says:

    so…if it’s a twist up pencil, is the sharpener just for creating a finer tip to apply the liner?

  3. gio says:

    It is so hard to find a good purple eyeliner but this looks good and pigmented and it’s good to know it lasts long too. I like that it comes with a sharpener too. But ouch at the price!
    gio recently posted … QOTW: Do You Use Testers At Cosmetic Counters?

  4. Kim says:

    That’s a great color on you and very respectable on the wear time (for your lids, at least). Is it just the pic, or are your lash tips also purple?

    I’m sorry about your traffic meltdown. It happens to everyone at one time or another, so don’t beat yourself up. There are few things more frustrating than being in a hurry and getting stuck behind people who seem to have all the time in the world. πŸ™‚

  5. Crystal says:

    I love the black one via veneto (sp?) it lasts through my ichy allergy eye days!
    Crystal recently posted … This Just In: Salma Hayek Nuance at CVS Bogo!

  6. Sarah S. says:

    Oh, girl, I can sooo relate. I have an hour commute each way, every day. Hugs~
    I like Jeannie Mai cuz she’s got such cute style and I love the funky things she does with her hair (blue!). This is the first swatch I’m seeing of this purple color… might be the one I pick up!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Sending you hugs back! Do you drive every day, or take public transpo?

      I’m kind of crushing on Jeannie Mai’s hair right now. I get the feeling that blue would be hard to keep up, though.

  7. This is a very pretty purple liner. Looks good on you!

    Even though I’ve been known to sometimes drop a lot of cash on beauty products (hey, addict here! :P), but I just can’t bring myself to pay $23 for an eyeliner no matter how gorgeous it is. If it were a bottle of nail polish, hehe…that’s a different story.
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … Blog News: Swatch And Learn Featured on TheMagicEveningTimes!

  8. lexi says:

    I bought this in black and I was amazed how long it lasted on my waterline during a sweaty gym class.

    Loving Bourbon Street – looks like that’s next on my shopping list.
    lexi recently posted … Larger Than Life: The Lip Gloss

  9. Chris25 says:

    So pretty! This looks a little like UD Lust pencil without the shimmer.

  10. Emma says:

    Your blog always makes me feel better when I’m a little down. You’re so positive! I love the eyeliner (and the big-girl-pants moment. I need to look at things like that more often!)
    Definitely can’t wait to try those new Nars liners, especially the almondy one that reminds me of Stila Topaz!

  11. Karo says:

    Oh wow….this colour is so wonderful!
    and you look so amazing!
    I love your lashes! πŸ™‚
    Have a nice day! πŸ™‚
    Karo recently posted … mein CHANEL Gewinnspiel

  12. Sophia says:

    Such a lovely color!
    Btw, if anyone is interested, Nars has a coupon code for 20% off- NEWNARS. It ends this Sunday!

  13. Eugenia says:

    Karen what are you wearing on your cheeks and lips?? I love the colors!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eugenia,

      I’m wearing a Sula Beauty Lip & Cheek Tint in It’s Not Me, It’s You. I’ll have a review of it along with swatches in just a few. πŸ™‚

  14. Jessi says:

    That purple looks gorgeous on you! If I didn’t already have a million eye liners I would purchase this immediately. But i still want it. I’m going to have to find a way to justify buying it!

    One of the few good things about living where I do is barely any traffic. I still dislike driving, though, and avoid it whenever I can. I would have panic attack driving on Lombard Street even without traffic!
    Jessi recently posted … FOTD: Sacred Shroud

  15. Lilly says:

    I just tried Maybelline Drama color something eyeliner in Eggplant. It’s gorgeous, vibrant, doesn’t smudge, and only for $8! Can I give you a hug? I totally had a break down in front of several stranger last week….

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lilly,

      I will gladly take that hug. You’re so not alone in having a breakdown in front of strangers, btw. I had one once in a crowded Muni train on the way home. πŸ™

  16. Vijaya says:

    Love it. Want it. NEEEEEED IT.
    Vijaya recently posted … I Dream of Greenie

  17. lexi says:

    I am forever envious of those earrings. I tried to get them last year at H&M but missed the boat. meh. Plz to leave in your will for me?!? πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      LOL, Lexi! You’re not the only person who’s asked, believe it or not. I actually thought I lost them a few months ago… turns out they were tucked away in a purse I hadn’t worn in a while.

  18. Sheila says:

    Wow that colour is so vibrant!! I gotta check these out once they hit counters here.
    Sheila recently posted … Guerlain Holiday 2011: Vol de Nuit

  19. Alka says:

    I love a good purple liner! Sorry to hear about your traffic woes – having once lived in Honolulu I can relate to the frustration of watching pedestrians passing you on the street.

  20. BooBooNinja says:

    I hope the rest of your day is going better!
    (I hope you’re not creeped out by a stranger giving you a hug.)

    The purple looks beautiful on you.
    I wonder if anyone on MBB knows of a cheaper dupe.

  21. Nina says:

    there is a gray NARS Larger Than Live pencil that im totally dying for. πŸ™‚

    ps – i never liked Finola Hughes. shhh!

  22. Kate Williamson says:

    The traffic in San Francisco has become such a nightmare! Next time, try taking California to Park Presidio to get on the Golden Gate Bridge. I usually have more luck avoiding traffic that way. Love the purple eyeliner! Always a winner with brown eyes.

  23. Kimberly says:

    Nice! I never found an eyeliner I liked after I quit Avon, so I went with a fine brush and eyeshadow for liner. These might get me back in the game, I have a soft spot for Nars.
    Kimberly recently posted … Slow Roasted Tomatoes or What Do I Do With All These Tomatoes?

  24. Jennie Kwon says:

    Ooo. I’m always on the lookout for new bullet proof eyeliners (still a fan of Revlon Colorstay and UD eyeliners). How does this one compare to the UD 24/7 ones? Btw, that’s cray cray driving in SF! I never once got in the driver’s seat of a car for fear that the road rage monster would rear it’s ugly head!

  25. dee dee says:

    so is this color close to Mac’s designer purple??? Im working on my 3rd backup and i only got 4!!!

  26. on after mascara, and it added some purple to my lashes. I like that. very nice, Thank so much for tip.

  27. Joyce says:

    purple is my favorite makeup color!

    but the eyeliner tip looks a little bit too thick.

    it still looks gorgeous though. this would be great for a lazy day when you don’t want to wear eyeshadows, but still want that pop of eye look. =)
    Joyce recently posted … Huge Collective Haul (Sephora, Mac, and Drugstore)

  28. Deb says:

    I have sooo been there, too! During a mini-breakdown, it’d be a comfort to know that at least your liner still looks fab!
    Deb recently posted … Vosges Black Salt Caramel Bar

  29. AK says:

    This post made me so happy. Karen, thank you for sharing your freak out on the road – it made me feel so much better because I get nervous in stand still traffic too. Your writing is so good! Haha, “if this creamy eye pencil can tough it out, then so can I!” So great. Thanks again for such a beautiful, empowering blog.

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