NARS Larger than Life Lipgloss Rouge Tribal Review & Swatches

NARS Larger than Life Lipgloss in Rouge Tribal crossed over my desk last week from the NARS Fall 2012 Collection. I was quite excited about this shade as it looked like a rusty red shade with a warmth that I could pull off.

I never really liked red before purchasing MAC Queen’s Sin and every after that I’ve been obsessed with finding perfect shades of red that suit my skin tone. It really is true that if you search long enough you’re bound to find at least one shade of red that suits you and makes you look like a million bucks.

Let’s take a look at Rouge Tribal.

In the tube NARS Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26) is a deep, warm shade of burgundy. It has a sparkle to it but this comes across as more metallic than refined shimmer.

Unfortunately the color comes across a bit too vampy on my lips. I had hopes for warmer red but I get a bit of a gothier plummy cherry that isn’t entirely flattering.

I’ve never actually tried the Larger Than Life formula and I was a little disappointed. It’s a thicker gloss with a very tiny pointed brush applicator for application. I think the formula suffers slightly due to this applicator as the gloss goes on less than smooth and you end up seeing patches of skin through the shade where the applicator failed to apply color adequately. It does have a fairly comfortable wear but the shade does migrate a good deal so a lip liner might keep it from traveling around your lip line. I noticed after the initial application it seemed to want to crawl around the bottom and top of my lip line, not pretty.

I’ve come to appreciate brush applicators on lipglosses as they build color so well however, in this case, they might have been better off with a sponge. An applicator this small seems quite useless? I really think the overall performance of the gloss would improve for me if the applicator was a shy bigger.

Rouge Tribal wasn’t exactly the shade of red I was hoping for Fall but I think the kill joy here was an applicator that just did a nice formula absolutely no justice. I felt like the more color I applied the more I ended up with patches of skin showing.

Sad sigh!

Hopefully NARS improves the applicator at some point as I truly believe it would help the formula along drastically.

No likey!

Tried this shade?

How about Larger Than Life Glosses?

What did you think of the applicator?

Do share!

NARS Larger than Life Lipgloss in Rouge Tribal is available with the NARS Fall 2012 Collection now on counters or online at


This review contains a sample
product sent for consideration by PR.
Read my full disclosure statement here.

  • 7/25/12 20:25 Barbara:

    The second I saw the applicator I put it back on the shelf; there is no way I could apply it easily. What were they thinking, honestly?!

    Instead, I got the Dior ultra-gloss in black-tie plum which is STUNNING because it has no brown tones to it. It’s a lovely reddish purple with subtle shimmer. Though, I don’t believe you’ll like the shade since it’s more dramatic than this one.


    • 7/26/12 10:25 the Muse:

      barbara, yup, very odd choice for the applicator. Mmmm sounds lovely but maybe a bit much for me ;D!


  • 7/26/12 2:20 Jane:

    That color is amazing on you! Very vampy! :)


    • 7/26/12 10:10 the Muse:

      thanks jane not sure it’s me :) <3!


  • 7/26/12 2:56 Melissa:

    Love this color. I will swatch it to see how it works on my tone as vampy colors usually are good for me. Ill keep the yucky applicator in mind.


  • 7/26/12 8:47 Kim:

    I have another Larger than Life gloss (in Place Vendome) and it is pretty good. I’d prefer a doe-footed applicator for it though, more like the regular NARS glosses.


    • 7/26/12 10:10 the Muse:

      kim, I only this shade, how is application of that shade? curious! the formula seems good to me but the applicator seemed to ruin it.


  • 7/26/12 12:22 Michelle:

    Actually the color looks nice on you, Muse! Maybe you would have liked it better had you paired it with some browns on the eyes instead of the pinks. But honestly, it looks good!

    I’d buy the color. I have a Bobbi Brown gloss color that looks like an exact dupe called Midnight Violet.

    That brush, though, pretty pathetic!!!! :)


    • 7/26/12 12:25 the Muse:

      think you’re right michelle, with browns it would prob pop a little more. application was crummy though :( the brush is just rubbish!


  • 7/26/12 12:37 Trish Williams:

    I love the formula of NARS LLL lipglosses but the applicator…not so much. I have very full lips and it is absolutely a pain in the a$$ to get my lips covered with that gnat-sized brush. What they were thinking in product development for this one I don’t know…


    • 7/26/12 12:38 the Muse:

      trish agreed I really feel like it messes with the formula, I can’t get good coverage with this applicator!


  • 7/26/12 15:33 Lydia:

    Hi Muse,

    I’m new to your blog, but just wanted to say that the color looks very good on you! I’m also quite fair, and would normally shy away from such a dark color, at least it looks dark in the tube, but the swatch was pretty and the color was stunning on you. I also agree with the other poster that you should try it again, only with a warmer palette. Love your blog!!


    • 7/26/12 16:08 the Muse:

      hi lydia thanks for coming out to say hello today! Welcome! aw thanks! It’s a bit much, a little too vampy 😀 but thank you for the very lovely compliment. I agree, I think with a nice nude eye it would work much better!

      Aw thanks <3!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • 7/28/12 23:34 Phyrra:

    That shade is so gorgeous. I only have 1 gloss by NARS, but I can’t remember if the applicator gave me trouble.


  • 8/20/12 22:53 Ian:

    Thank you for posting this! I almost bought this the other day and I’m kind of glad I didn’t.


    • 8/21/12 9:14 the Muse:

      my pleasure ian!


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