Yves Saint Laurent recently released a new lip product that’s been creating quite a buzz. The Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain ($32.00) is said to employ a unique technology that’s being called “revolutionary”, by combining the texture and shine of a gloss with the lasting wear of a stain. I snagged a bundle of the 19 available shades to see if it lives up to the hype.
The product is packaged in a stubby rectangular tube with a black plastic base and a gold YSL-embossed cap. The tube has a window slit that allows you to see a peek of the color, but I wish this was bigger: you have to grab each tube to inspect the color inside, rather than just taking a glance from afar.
It comes with a doe-foot applicator, but this isn’t your run-of-the-mill sponge brush. This “couture” applicator is pentagon-shaped, flattened, and slanted. It reminds me of Lancome’s Color Fever Glosses and L’Oreal’s Infallible Le Gloss, but this one is more angular, which allows for a more precise application as you trace your lips.
Then comes the formula itself. It’s so thin that it feels watery, giving lips a cooling and hydrating sensation — almost like a mist on the mouth. It provides medium but buildable coverage, so you can customize the look to however sheer or opaque you want it.
As it sets, the formula does become a bit sticky, but this feeling subsides after about 30 seconds. It dries to a slick, glossy finish that gives lips a lush appeal, looking more sophisticated than dripping wet as assumed.
But it’s how this lip product feels once set that makes it a true standout to me. It remains constantly flexible, comfortable, and featherweight on lips—even after a full five hours of wear—and never feels dry or chapped. Unlike so many lip stains that seem to crack lips and pool in fine lines, the glossy stain perpetually retains a just-applied texture and seems to virtually melt into the mouth.
The formula stands up to a jumbo-sized water cup, but the color does fade a bit after eating. Reapplying may be necessary after lunch, but only a light touch-up is needed since this product does leave a tint on lips (especially the darker hues). Here, a breakdown of the shades I snatched:
No. 10 Rouge Philtre: This fire engine red is saucy and bright, making it perfect for those with warm skin tones. It left the strongest stain on lips out of all the shades I tried, and actually took three days to remove completely (!), making it last seemingly longer than an *Everlasting Gobstopper. *Willy Wonka reference 🙂
No. 8 Orange De Chine: This true orange shade is also best suited for skin with yellow undertones, and looks smashing for summer. The formula is flecked with the subtlest hint of gold shimmer that isn’t visible on lips, but does seem to give them more dimension.
No. 16 Pourpre Preview: This orchid hue is my personal favorite. It’s feminine in a nuanced way with just a touch of nonconformity, and looks lovely for spring. The strong pink tones make this shade a wonderful gateway to gutsier purple colors.
No. 1 Violet Edition: This juicy plum looks divine on darker skin tones, but can be sheered out for fairer complexions as well. It does have some leftover staining power, so be sure to use an oil-based makeup remover to wipe off any remnants.
No. 3 Brun Cachemire: This warm milk chocolate shade has mauve undertones that look elegant and steers clear of being stuck in the nineties. It’s particularly complimentary on medium skin.
No. 19 Beige Aquarelle: This pinky beige shade is just right for those covetable J.Lo-style pale lips, and looks perfect when paired with a smoky eye. It’s laced with just a kiss of gold shimmer that makes lips subtly glow, but the specks aren’t large enough to be particularly noticeable.
Overall, think of this product as a nail polish for your lips. It gives the mouth a beautifully lacquered look that actually lasts for hours—without any of the negative side effects of a typical stain. Though you might have to touch it up post meal, I dare say that the impressive staying power and everlasting glossiness makes YSL’s hot new product worth all the excitement. And until the innovative formula becomes the golden standard among lippies, I’d say this one is certainly a must-have addition to any beauty arsenal.
– Christiana Molina
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