And unlike some fast and easy loves that leave you crushed and disappointed when exposed to the cruel light of day, I found my affections had not been misplaced when I finally had a chance to sample some of the items in the collection.
The Rouge Volupté in #34 Rose Asarine and the Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain in #33 Bourgogne Artistique rank especially high.
They are also, perhaps not coincidentally, some of the least stereotypically "Spring" shades I've seen this season. Pinks and corals are commonplace, but YSL takes the "crushed flowers" theme to a more luxurious realm. Flower petal shades yes, but these are hothouse blooms, vivid and bright and deep.
The Rouge Volupté in #34 Rose Asarine is an intense fusion of coral and hot pink, saturated and attention-getting. This is the kind of shade that demands either impeccable makeup or supreme confidence to pull off. You have to commit to wearing this shade, or it'll wear you.
But holy cow is it ever gorgeous.
The formula is classic Rouge Volupté - very opaque, creamy to the point of slickness and hydrating. I know some people find this formula drying, but I've found the opposite to be true for me. On the other hand, it does pick up on flakiness like you wouldn't believe, so good exfoliation is key.
It has a rich, almost glossy finish when first applied, and dries down to a satin. Blotted down, it looks matte and loses none of the intensity. Wear time is good, going strong for 5-6 hours or until I eat, at which point it erodes on the interior of the lip. (If I don't specifically remove it, I still have some of the stain left over in the morning.)
It has a fairly strong, watermelon-candy scent.
The Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain in #33 Bourgogne Artistique is the first deep shade I've tried from this product range (I've only owned a couple of nude and pink shades). I wasn't sure what to expect, as vampier tones can be difficult to pull off in a formulation like this.
I needn't have worried.
Applied as one coat, it pulls more cool-toned than it looks in the lip swatch above, closer to the shade in the tube. It looks pinkish burgundy, sort of like wine-stained lips. Although I like the colour at one coat, I find that it tends to seep into the lines of lips in an obvious way. At two coats, that ceases to be an issue.
With the second coat, it also deepens and warms to more of a cherry red. Although it becomes more intense due to both the opacity and darkness increasing, it also becomes less bright, more muted. Not quite a Fall lip, but definitely a richer tone. If this is meant to evoke crushed blooms, we'd be talking blood-red roses.
I have to mention the applicator here - it has a fantastic pointed tip combined with a nice, flat paddle shape. I can get both a precise edge and a quick fill with equal ease.
If you've never tried the Vernis à Lèvres/Glossy Stain formula, I recommend giving it a try next time you're at Sephora or Hudson's Bay. It really is singular, despite its very close drugstore cousin from l'Oréal. It's somewhere between a pigmented gloss and a liquid lipstick, with better wear than the former and more translucency than the latter. It also maintains that glossy finish throughout its formidable wear time (6 hours easy on me, unless I eat).
I do find the formula can take a little getting used to. It's not tacky at all, but compared to a lot of glosses that eventually seem to meld with the lip, I can always feel like I'm wearing gloss as long as I have this on. It's not uncomfortable or thick feeling, but it's unusual to be conscious of having something on your lips like that. I think part of that is because of the way it adheres to the lip, creating sort of a film that doesn't rub off or move around, but that remains glossy looking and feeling when I press my lips together. In comparison to the Volupté, I don't find this hydrating at all, and I do need to apply lip balm to my lips after wearing it for the day.
It also has a scent, which is more floral, though still a little sweet. (I personally prefer the scent of the Volupté, but it's not unpleasant.)
Availability: Both are priced at 39$ CAD and 35$ USD, and can be found at YSL counters at Hudson's Bay and Holt Renfrew. They can also be ordered from www.yslbeautyus.com if you're in the US.
Pros: Swank packaging, as always. Saturated pigmentation balanced with glossiness for the Volupté, hydrating feeling. Longer-wear and maintained glossiness for the Glossy Stain, and an excellent applicator. Unusual and gorgeous shades for Spring.
Cons: Volupté formula can pick up on flakes, despite hydrating factor. Glossy Stain can feel weird on the lips due to the particulars of the formula, is more drying.
Have you guys checked out this collection? If so, are you enjoying the more intense shades, or are you gravitating to something more traditionally pastel for your Spring looks?
(These items were provided by the brand/PR to be considered for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated, all opinions are my own.)