Before I begin, can we just pause for a moment and appreciate the packaging and design? I have only a few YSL products as part of my collection, but I can say that they are always timeless, simple yet elegant and super classy (plus they look beautiful on my vanity)! When I first stumbled upon this product, I couldn’t help myself from trying out a few shades. I have a serious obsession for lip products, especially lip stains simply for it’s longevity and super pigmentation. I’ve tried several different tint formulas ranging from water-based, oil-based, glossy stains, velvet stains and… you get the gist of it, I wouldn’t admit my obsession if it weren’t true. Truthfully, apart from the classic YSL Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick I wasn’t totally impressed with the raved about oil-tints and balms. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of glossy tints so I was more intrigued to find out if these matte lip stains really were worth the hype. Keep reading!
I purchased these matte stains in four shades – #1 Rouge Tatouage, #11 Rose Illicite, #16 Nude Emblem and lastly #23 Singular Taupe. The applicator is really quite interesting, it resembles a chiseled angled tip which makes it great for precise application especially in the corners of your lips. The formula appears glossy on initial application but very quickly dries to a matte finish. All of the four colours I purchased are actually quite pigmented, including the lighter pink, #11. Some reviewers have mentioned incredible staying power, but I can say that I’ve had longer wear from other tints. Perhaps it’s just the way I eat my food and, if anyone knows me, I am literally eating ALL DAY which may contribute to lesser longevity as compared with other folks. Honestly, the longest wearing tint I’ve tried is from W.Lab One Day Coating Tint, which literally lasts all day… makes you wonder what harmful chemicals are in this though… 🙈
Left to right : 1 Rouge Tatouage / 11 Rose Illicite / 16 Nude Emblem / 23 Singular Taupe
- 1 Rouge Tatouage – A vibrant, pink red that is SUPER pigmented even with one thin layer. Personally, when it comes to bold lips I prefer to apply to the center of the lip and blend it outwards for a softer look. If you’re into the gradient lip, you can also opt to use this colour in the center of the lip on top of a lighter colour. Even on it’s own when you’ve blended this out, the colour is less bold and can actually have just the right pop of colour.
- 11 Rose Illicite – I purchased this colour online as the description read “nude rose,” but personally I think this colour is rather bright to be considered nude. It isn’t a neon or bold lip per se, but is surely isn’t something I would classify as a nude lip. I was very surprised with the colour payoff as lighter colours on my lips tend to show through. With one layer, it’s still pretty pigmented, but I found that two layers gives complete full coverage. I’m not a huge fan of this particular colour on my skintone as it tends to lean on the cooler colour spectrum and I tend to find warmer colours much more flattering. As with other light matte lip colours, I also find that this colour shows the cracks on lips more easily as the colour sets and wears throughout the day.
- 16 Nude Emblem – My ABSOLUTE favourite of the four colours! I can understand why this colour has been sold out online and in stores, it’s such a beautiful rose colour that can turn into a super natural “My lips but better” (MLBB) type of look or a stronger nude with full application. When I’m shopping around for a nude lip colour, I personally need to look for a colour that has the right balance of rose and isn’t too nude otherwise I can end up looking ill. I don’t have this problem with this particular shade. This is my current everyday lip 😘.
- 23 Singular Taupe – Very similar to #16, only this one is more neutral, less red and more of a brown nude. It feels like it’s slightly darker on the lips, thought you can’t really tell from the swatches. I think it just might be attributed to the fact that it isn’t as vibrant which makes it appear darker.
Overall, I think the formula and application is great. Very easy to use and has excellent colour payoff. If you’re looking for the magical matte lip stain that doesn’t show cracks as it wears throughout the day, then this isn’t really the product for you, at least in my humble opinion. It retails for $43 at Sephora which can lean towards the pricier end of things, but honestly (yes, this is coming from a girl with a lip obsession) one tube should last for a decent amount of time even with daily wear. I’ve yet to finish a lipstick, stain or any of my lip products for that matter before I have to throw it out because it’s expired or it’s just gotten gross… *Inserts internal monologue* or… it could just mean that I’ve just got way too many lip products that I am just not able to finish any one… Anyways, would love to read your thoughts if you’ve tried this product whether you loved it or hated it. Hope you found this useful or at the very least, entertaining 😏.