Thursday, April 5, 2012

YSL Glossy Stain (Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres) in Rouge Laque (#9) Review & Swatches

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Yves Saint Laurent promotes the new glossy stain as "a revolutionary new lip product that combines the texture and shine of a gloss with the long-wear of a stain." These have understandably made quite a splash in the beauty blogging world - who doesn't want a lipstick that's as shiny as a gloss, but stays on for hours like a lip stain? I know I certainly do! I was itching to try these the first time I heard about them, and when beauty bloggers raved about their revolutionary texture, I knew I had to try one of these little beauties.

I took the plunge and ordered a bright, bold red! I adore wearing red lips (almost as much as red nails!) but red lipstick is such a pain to maintain. It smears or wears away from the center of lips, leaving the dreaded lipstick ring around the lips (you know what I mean!). I knew red would be the perfect color to put to the test.

YSL Glossy Stain in #9 Rouge Laque

#9 Rouge Laque swatched on arm. See how bright and pigmented it is! Oooo!

I selected the shade #9 Rouge Laque, which according to swatches I'd seen, is a warm (more orange) red. When I ordered it, it was a Sephora online exclusive, but now it appears to be available on the Nordstrom site. 

YSL Glossy Stain #9 Rouge Laque

While this does appear to be a warm red swatched on the arm, for some reason it looks cooler when actually on the lips. The color is strikingly beautiful, but personally I wish it was warmer, since warmer shades always look better on my yellow skin tone. Maybe I should have opted for #6 Camel Croisiere, #8 Orange de Chine, or #12 Corail Fauve, according to Karla Sugar's photos.

On to what it looks like on the lips:

It's very bright, opaque, and shiny!

The texture of this product is like nothing I've encountered. Once it has set on the lips it is like a shiny, cushiony paint (or vinyl perhaps?). I find it performs like a "paint," too, not like a stain. When it wears off, it does not leave much of a stain on my lips, so I do think the name "glossy stain" is a bit of a misnomer.

You apply it in 2 coats. The first is like a foundation, and is more sheer. Let it set for a few seconds, and apply a second coat. This coat is completely opaque, and dries to this shiny, vinyl finish.

And the shine DOES NOT FADE. Well, maybe a little. But as long as the product remains on the lips (at least 6 hours, if you do not eat), there is a good amount of shine. For a shiny lip product, it is surprisingly not sticky.

The "cushiony" nature of the product makes lips appear fuller than they really are - and since the product is so opaque, you can extend the line of the lip a little further than it actually goes, making the lips look bigger. This is a huge bonus for me since I have very thin lips!

Many long-wearing lip colors are very drying, but even though this contains alcohol, I have not found it to dry my lips out at all. While I'm wearing it, my lips feel comfortable, and when it wears off, I don't feel any immediate need to apply lip balm.

I know I've made this sound like a dream product, but sadly, it isn't. It has its own list of problems. In fact, I don't think I'll be purchasing any more of these. Why?

I have noticed this product has a slight problem with feathering around the edges of my lips. I don't usually have a problem with this, so I know it must be this particular formula. When I wear it for several hours, it also has a tendency to smear around the edges. Having a crisp lip outline is crucial when wearing a bright red lip - smearing and feathering are just not acceptable!

I bought this thinking it would be great to wear to dinner parties, but I find it wears off the center of the lip when I eat; not as much as an ordinary lipstick, but it does need retouching. Due to its thick texture, food crumbs stick to it, which I find gross. I also don't enjoy eating in this - it feels like I'm eating thick paint (which with the news about lead being found in many lipsticks is not so appetizing)...So I guess I'd have to wipe it all off before I ate, then go reapply, which is not something I want to do at a dinner party. That said, I found it holds up well if you are only drinking something. I had several cups of tea and water over the course of the day, and it still looked fresh (other than the feathering)!

I have found this product to be almost impossible to apply neatly. The applicator is kind of clunky, so it's difficult to apply that crisp, clean line. I found it works best to outline the edge of the lips with a small lip brush dipped in the product. But this process is quite tedious, and if you make a's a headache to remove.

I am not a fan of the VERY strong fragrance in this lip product. I don't understand why lipsticks need fragrance at all, and this one is particularly strong. When I swatched it on my arm, it was as if I had sprayed on perfume - if I can smell it on my arm several hours later, it is too strong for a lipstick! When I wear it on my lips, the scent is bothersome, but I don't notice it anymore after an hour or two because I become desensitized to it. Given that phthalates and other harmful hormone disruptors are lurking in most synthetic fragrances, I'm willing to bet this product is not the most healthy thing to be wearing on the lips (and inevitably eating!).

Finally, at $32, this product is too expensive (in my opinion). If I am going to pay $32 for a lipstick, it better be working miracles.

Oh, and inadvertently I think I bought the same color as the model in the YSL ads is wearing:

Photo from

Doesn't it look like the same color to you?


  1. Wow, amazing weblog structure! How lengthy have
    you ever been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The entire look of your website is great, let
    alone the content material!
    Here is my blog post ...

    1. Hi there, I've been blogging only since January, and I wish I had time to do it more; I really enjoy it, but it is time consuming. Thanks for the nice compliments!

  2. Wow, this color looks great on your!


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