YSL Vernis a Levres (Glossy Stains)

YSL Glossy Stain, product shotYves Saint Laurent has created an absolutely revolutionary new product, and I firmly believe there is nothing else on the market like it. They claim that it’s lipstick, lip stain, and gloss — three in one. I don’t completely agree with that. It’s not really a lipstick, and it’s not as staining as a stain. But YSL has created the world’s most freakishly long-lasting lipgloss, one that stays glossy, and stays exactly where you put it, for hours.

You paint the first coat, and let it sit for a minute. Then you paint a second coat for more gloss, more coverage, and a deeper color. Resist the temptation to press your lips together. Nothing terrible will happen if you do, but for the first few minutes, the product is sticky. And then, magically, the consistency changes. Imagine you took the thinnest possible slice of a gummi bear, and put that on your lips. The final texture is gummy, but not at all sticky.

After the five minutes, you can press your lips together, lick them, drink water — the product is no longer the slightest bit sticky. If you drink coffee, you will transfer product to the mug, but these are totally unlike other lipglosses (which thin and disappear over time). Four hours later, they still look freshly applied, and they do not move or migrate.

YSL says you can eat with these on, and I guess you can. I tried eating (a salad), but I didn’t like the sensation of eating the gummy product, so I wiped it off and reapplied after lunch. On a separate occasion I tried eating a cookie, but something about getting crumbs in my gloss and then licking my lips made the product sticky again, so I wiped off and reapplied.

YSL, Yves Saint Laurent, Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres, Glossy Stain, displayThe glossy stains have a hexagon doe’s foot applicator. This is important because you can paint the product very precisely onto your cupid’s bow. They should be applied directly to bare lips, not on top of lipstick, lipliner, or primer.

I also mentioned that these aren’t as staining as a stain. When I swatched these on my arm (which is more prone to staining than lips), I used Shiseido cleanse-off oil, followed by water and sometimes soap (I painted these on so many times, on days that turned out to be completely cloudy). Some colors did leave a stain, but that stain faded in minutes. (Never seen a product do that before, either.)

The colors also deepen (a lot) on the lips. The “bottle” color is not the final lip color. It’s a bit like developing film by hand: the color develops (in those first minutes, as the consistency changes). So how to swatch these? One coat? (Because it’s a bit easier to tell the differences between the colors?) Two coats? (To show how they deepen, and to give a more accurate portrayal of how they look on my lips?)

I wanted — want — to swatch them both ways. And I wanted to swatch the reds together so you can better compare them. Crummy weather in Dallas has kept me from getting good-enough photos, but I didn’t want to wait any longer to start talking about these. Accept these photos as my first submission; I intend to keep playing with them.
Yves Saint Laurent, YSL, Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres, glossy stain, swatches, 1 Violet Edition, 2 Brun Glace, 3 Brun Cachemire, 4 Mauve Pigmente, 5 Rouge Vintage, 6 Camel Croisiere, 7, Corail Aquatique, 8 Orange de Chine, 9 Rouge Laque, 10 Rouge Philtre, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar
1 Violet Edition is a plum purple. 2 Brun Glace is a rosy raisin brown. 3 Brun Cachemire is also red brown, but much less red (more brown) than Brun Glace. 4 Mauve Pigmente is a red-purple wine. 5 Rouge Vintage is red-rose. 6 Camel Croisiere is a muted, slightly dirty orange (persimmon). 7 Corail Aquatique is warm pink. 8 Orange de Chine is blazing, saturated orange. 9 Rouge Laque is warm red. 10 Rouge Philtre first goes on as a pink-red/fuchsia, but develops into a deeper red than Rouge Laque.
Yves Saint Laurent, YSL, Rouge Pur Couture Vernis a Levres, glossy stain, swatches, 11 Rouge Gouache, 12 Corail Fauve, 13 Rose Tempera, 14 Fuchsia Dore, 15 Rose Vinyl, 16 Pourpre Preview, 17 Encre Rose, 18 Rose Pastelle, 19 Beige Aquarelle, 20 Rouge Enamel, KarlaSugar, Karla Sugar
11 Rouge Gouache is pink-red/rose red. 12 Corail Fauve is a warm, very saturated coral-pink. 13 Rose Tempera (for now at least, a Nordstrom-exclusive) is a red-violet fuchsia-pink. 14 Fuchsia Dore is red-plum. 15 Rose Vinyl is a medium rose pink. 16 Pourpre Preview is an orchid pink-purple (an artificial grape color). 17 Encre Rose is a lilac pink purple (lighter than Pourpre Preview). 18 Rose Pastelle is a cool white-pink. 19 Beige Aquarelle is a pale warm pink. 20 Rouge Enamel (for now, a Sephora exclusive) is a warm red with subtle sparkles. It actually looks quite similar to 10 Rouge Philtre.

The glossy stains are available at Nordstrom.comicon (exclusive provider of shade 13; free shipping at any price), Sephora.com (exclusive provider of shade 20; free shipping at $50), and NeimanMarcus.comicon (free shipping at any price with code FSMAR).

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23 Responses to “YSL Vernis a Levres (Glossy Stains)”

  • Natty says:

    Thank you so much for this!

  • joyce says:

    Thanks so much for the swatches! The info on how the color deepens/develops when worn on lips (vs being swatched) was also very helpful :)

  • mila says:

    Thank you so much for the swatches! Just have to try 4 Mauve Pigmente.

    I would also love if you could swatch the new Dior Addict Extremes. They are so so amazing. I have the Incognito already, but would love the see the other shades.

  • vivian says:

    Thank you-these are all gorgeous.

  • Marie says:

    Thanks for the swatches!
    It’s funny that it did not leave a stain on you. I applied some on my hand, and boy did it leave such a big stain I had all the trouble in the world removing it (with water, soap, micellar water, lotion. The only thing I didn’t try was oil.) Maybe it’s just my skin, though! :P

    I want to buy one, but I’m still not sure which color to pick! :P

  • Scrapgalgr says:

    I’ve bookmarked your post for future reference because the swatches are (as always) the best I’ve seen online, keep up the good work!

  • Hboo says:

    I’m NW15/20 and I wear #17 all the time, it’s wonderful!

  • Jane says:

    Hi Karla, I bought two of these when they first came out in the UK about a month ago and I’m rather disappointed with them. They make my lips as dry as the Sahara! I love the colours and the way they last so long, but I don’t think I can carry on using them as my lips feel awful afterwards. Any idea why Beige Aquarelle seems to be “missing” in the UK? None of the YSL counters here have it.

  • Justine says:

    I picked up #17 and #6 so far, debating on getting more. I love these!

  • Lulu says:

    Have you tried Maybelline’s 8 hour lip stains yet? I think they were inspired by these YSL ones. I have one but I used it incorrectly the first time so I’m not sure if they work the same way as these do, I’ll have to test it out again sometime.

  • Michelle says:

    I wonder how you would compare numbers 9 and 20. I have 10, but it’s a bit cool on my complexion and comes up slightly fushia-esque. And I have 8. VERY orange, but makes me look a bit washed out too. I’d like to try either 9 or 20, but since they aren’t sold in the same place (actually in-store at Sephora 20′s been sold-out so I’d probably have to order), so I’m wondering which of the two is warmer? I think I’ve been happiest so far with brun cachemire, but I did want a red. Thanks.

  • KarlaSugar says:

    9 is definitely warmer than 20 (I thought 20 was actually pretty similar to 10).

  • Michelle says:

    Thanks for that! So I’ll be returning the other two- I’ve been trying them on upper lip, half lip, bottom lip, all at the same time- and it gets very confusing because they start to look pretty similar! But with my yellow undertones I really do need WARM. By the way I’ve done the sleep test- which includes- eating chocolates in bed (yes, ferrerro rocher), drinking water from a big bottle, sleeping (obv)- none comes off on the pillow (I guess I swallow the gloss- oh well), and wake up with beautifully tinted lips. I also use it on my cheeks and eyelids but carefully- not with the applicator or it gets streaky. For the complaints I’ve seen about imprecise application esp w/ the strong colors- use a lip brush (there’s no rule about the applicator!) and outline your lips with a highlighting concealer like touche eclat. I also dot the orange 8 right in the middle butterfly/bow area- top & bottom & smudge/blend out a bit. This is especially nice on top of the brun casemire. If it’s all too bright/vivid for your taste blot it down to a stain once it’s set and top with a nude lipstick/ or I like to use the rose sugar gloss too. Sorry to go on & on. Thanks for your help! Going to Sephora to exchange for a stipple brush!

  • Michelle says:

    PS. Tried the Maybelline lip stain- doesn’t come close. Sorry.

  • Alison says:

    WOW! I had no idea there were so many shades!

  • DIANE says:

    Thank you for posting these! So much better than the samples they put the websites. With this you can tell the actual color on skin.

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