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NARS (Steven Klein Collab) Killer Shine Lip Gloss

Editors Reviews



Re Buy

Yes/ No
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First Impressions

NARS is the Queen of 4’s in our world; the Quantum Illuminating Multiple, the Intensity Blushes and even the Tahini Bronzer Powder all scored a “4” via our Beauty Editor’s expertise.  And now, with the holiday collection in collaboration with Steven Klein on the market, it is my turn to have a shot at the big time Narcissist brand.

Already not being a major fan of lip glosses; no one likes having a gooey mess on your face, especially when extracurricular activities are involved, i.e. drinking, eating, kissing, driving with the windows down, etc…  And really, what can a lip gloss achieve that a good lipstick/ lip stain can’t?  Lip glosses are messier, they tend to bleed more frequently, slip around your lips and onto your teeth and when they start to fade it’s always in the center first, leaving just a lip liner-chola look.  I think that last point is true of both lipsticks and lip glosses, but it helps my point nonetheless…

NARS is so highly regarded in this corner of the little interweb and I felt with me being given the task of testing the lip glosses, my distain for them would ruin the 4-score-running-streak they’ve had with HBL.  I’m so thrilled to report that I will be keeping the NARS streak going, but more details must be spilled  because it’s not just your average “4” score.

NARS Killer Shine Lip Gloss, limited edition, comes in 3 Steven Klein inspired shades: Special Force, Provoke and Fast Life.  We tested the two shades Provoke (a deep cool toned plum purple) and Fast Life (a shimmering dusty rose), and while we can’t speak for Special Force (a truly “holiday red”), it looks to be a similarly smooth, and without a hint of shimmer, gloss that has the same look and feel as Provoke.  I’m sorry to say that while the deeply rich purple shade Provoke would normally be the color I’d reach for the most, its glossy glass-like appearance comes off patchy.  If you’re paying $28 for a lip gloss, all of those “patchy” issues should have been worked out in the lab… We do not need to see it on our face.  I put a lip base (Sigma’s Lip Base in “Rhapsody” to be exact) and while this helped with the overall use of the gloss, the product would still be more opaque in some spots than others.  The color is absolutely stunning and for that (as long as it is never worn alone and a lip base is always in sight) I would give this a 3.5 score.  Fast Life on the other hand has a different formula due to its shimmery nature.  This gloss can be worn by itself and look flawless.  This color seems nice in the tube, generic, but nice.  On your lips it definitely comes more to life, and as such, so do you!  Fast Life is a perfect year round shade that should be stocked up on immediately since it is Limited Edition!  This shade stands out as a 4.5 score!

Both of these glosses barely bleed, have a nice wear-time (they’re no liquid lipsticks, but they do the trick) and truly make lips look luscious!  While I still have a natural tendency to dislike lip glosses (they still left lip prints on my husband’s face and were fly paper for my hair in any sort of breeze) I realize if you’re buying a gloss you have made your peace with those obstacles already!  So while Provoke holds a 3 and Fast Life is a solid 5, I suppose NARS stays strong with an average of the two scores, making these lippies a 4 score!

What We Love

  • Out of the 2 shades tested (Provoke & Fast Life) the latter is the one you'd want to purchase!
  • Fast Life's shimmer seems so microscopic that there is just a lovely subtle glow about your lips
  • The consistency of the glosses are not so thick that they feel tacky on your lips
  • Hardly any bleeding to be found
  • Fast Life can be worn on top of other lippies OR all by its lonesome!

Not So Much

  • Provoke is definitely the lacking shade of the duo that was tested
  • Provoke was patchy when worn alone and when applied on top of a base it still didn't have a nice even opacity
  • The price is steep, especially for Provoke since it barely beats out drugstore lip glosses
  • Still a lip glosses that will leave evidence of everything you ate/drank/ kissed...


While NARS has always won favor in our book, these Limited Edition Killer Shine glosses leave us uncertain of their latest endeavor. While Fast Life's glistening dusty rose tint illuminated our lips and left us feeling please with NARS' exceedingly high reputation, Provoke's patchy formula couldn't make up for its intensely rich and beautiful shade of purple that we loved so much. Alas, the scores averaged themselves out to be a 4, but make no mistake, it's the Limited Edition Fast Life shade you'll want to purchase in the store!

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