Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

YSL Eyeshadow

YSL Single Eyeshadows:  Fawn, Mogador Blue, Slate Green

YSL Ombre Solo Lasting Radiance Eyeshadows ($30.00 for 0.06 oz.) are a new, recent release from YSL. Accordingt o YSL, they are to deliver “vibrant” and “pure” color for “hours.” Each palette contains both a sponge-tipped and brush applicator.

These single eyeshadows are available in twelve shades: #01 Midnight Black (black), #02 Cashmere Brown (brown), #03 Perian Blue (gray blue), #04 Midnight Purple (dark purple), #05 Slate Green (forest green), #06 Pink Nude (soft pink), #07 Smokey Grey (gray), #08 Fawn (soft brown), #09 Mogador Blue (blue), #10 Lunar Purple (purple), #11 Garden of Eden (light green), and #12 Parisienne Pink (pink).

I’ve tried three shades, and I think now would be the best time to review them, given that I was so disappointed with the spring palette–because I don’t think it’s representative of the entire YSL line. (Their eyeshadow palettes have never wowed me, but they have never entirely disappointed me, either.) The new single eyeshadows are much, much better.

  • #08 Fawn is a softened, peach-toned brown with soft peach-gold sheen. It’s not too warm, so I think it would work on both cooler and warmer skin tones. It would make a good all-over lid color on medium skin tones, too.
  • #09 Mogador Blue is a silver-shimmered sky blue. This shade had the frostiest finish out of the three I tried, but it’s not an over-the-top frost. It was surprisingly pigmented (I feared for the worst on this pastel-ish shade!), and it went on very smoothly.
  • #05 Slate Green is a darkened forest green. This shade of dark forest green is one of my favorite shades, and I didn’t have any eyeshadow in this shade until now, so I’m really enthused over this one on a personal level.

I’m so, so pleased to say that these are soft, smooth, and pigmented. They actually feel a bit different than YSL’s palettes and duos–a little thicker in a sense, not at all powdery, and seem more pigmented. The packaging is traditional YSL with the “gold” case. The two applicators included in the eyeshadow are so-so — nothing ground-breaking, and I’d only use them in an emergency situation, but I like that they had a bristle-based one, too.

I’m not particularly keen on the price/quantity situation here — it’s closer to luxury brands like Cle de Peau than high-end, designer brands like Chanel and Dior. The quality is fantastic, but I could see these better priced at aroun $26 or $27.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Based on the three shades I tried, the new single eyeshadows are silky smooth and richly pigmented. They apply evenly and easily. The price tag is a bit steep, so it may not be for everyone.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

YSL Spring 2010 Palette

Weekend Quickies: YSL Parisian Sky Eyeshadow Palette

YSL’s Spring Look may have offered some pretty lipsticks and glosses, but they really failed on the eyeshadow palette as far as I’m concerned. The whole thing is a sheer, chalky mess. I haven’t been this disappointed in a product since Chanel’s Les Folie Noirs Quad from last fall–which is a good thing, because these really bring me down. So uninspiring!

Parisian Sky ($56.00) consists of a pale sky blue with silver glitter, satin-y navy blue, iridescent lilac, satin-y pale pink, and muted plum-brown with silver glitter. None of the five shades was what I would call pigmented. The more satin/matte shades were chalky, and the light pink was a bit powdery, too. The shimmery shades were dusty and felt a bit loose, like the glitter would easily travel elsewhere on your face if you used it on your eyes.

If you showed me these swatches, I would never have guessed it was a YSL palette. Not in a bajillion years! I think this may be the first true F of a product — I’m at a loss of positive things to say about it. There are sheerer, softer shades, but these just look like they were meant to be more – they required such heavy swatching just to show up. At least with Chanel, half of the shades showed up decently, and it could also be used wet to intensify the shades.

A part me wonders if I somehow got a bad palette, because I can’t believe what swatched. I’ve tried several YSL eyeshadows in the past, and none of them have been even near as poor as these were for me. In fact, I just finished up testing their new single eyeshadows, and those had excellent pigmentation and texture!

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  • Product: 10/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  I would most definitely not recommend this to anyone.  If you like sheer shades, I would recommend testing this in person first to see if you get better results than I did.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Sunday, May 9th, 2010

YSL #13 Rouge Volupte Lipstick
YSL Peach Passion Rouge Volupte Lipstick

The Summer Season: YSL Peach Passion Rouge Volupte Lipstick

YSL Peach Passion (#13) Rouge Volupte Lipstick ($34.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a brightened peachy-coral with an ultra creamy feel. Rouge Voluptes are ridiculously creamy–quite possibly the creamiest lipstick I’ve ever tried–so they do have a lot of slip. It’s easy to use more than you need, but the lipstick itself lasts a solid three to four hours, despite the slip-factor. Peach Passion is a rich, opaque shade that delivers full-color coverage with a soft, mango-ish scent.

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

YSL #94 Rouge Pur Shine

YSL Summer 2010 Goes Blood Orange

YSL Blood Orange (94) Rouge Pur Shine Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a vibrant shade of coral-orange with an ultra glossy sheen. It has just a smidgen of iridescent shimmer woven through it, but it’s nearly indetectable once on the lips. It’s really the glossy finish that stands out in comparison. The semi-opaque color itself is rich, lush, and perfect for summer. I love the lightweight feel of this creamy, moisturizing lipstick, and I like that I get three to four hours of wear with it to boot!

This is a new and limited edition shade from the upcoming YSL’s Solaris Collection, which will debut in June at YSL counters and the usual retailers.

Would you rock it?

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  Moisturizing and really rich in color, it should work well for summer!

Availability: June 2010

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

YSL Dessin Eyeliner

YSL Dessin du Regard Eye Pencil ($28.00) are gorgeous, deeply pigmented eyeliners that apply evenly and smoothly.  I spent the past week testing between three shades — Turquoise (09), Oriental Blue (03), and Black Velvet (01).

  • Turquoise is a lightened aqua with a slight golden sheen to it.  It had the frostiest finish of the three I tried–definitely more of a shimmer sheen here, which works, since it’s light and bright enough to make your eyes pop but not over the top.
  • Oriental Blue is a brightened-up navy blue with silver sparkle.  It’s not quite a true navy blue, since it’s brighter — almost like a midnight sky blue lit up by the moon — it’s very pretty.
  • Black Velvet is an intense, deep dark black with an inky feel and look.

Recently, YSL reformulated their eye pencils “with highly pigmented color for a deep impact and long-lasting finish.”  They’ve included jojoba oil to “mak[e] the finish on the skin smooth and conformtable” along with “a wax adhesive [that] acts as a fixing agent to reinforce the intensity of the pigment for hours.”  The eye pencils are definitely easy to use and give you a smooth, creamy line with little effort.  The color is also highly pigmented, as advertised, but I didn’t quite get the long-lasting finish I expected (and would have loved!).  These are nowhere near as bad as NARS Eye Pencils were on me, though, thankfully!

I get about four hours of wear before these shades start to disappear on my lower lash line (maybe an hour or so on the lower water line).  The good news–at least as far as it can go–is that these fade away rather than migrate and smudge and otherwise give you raccoon eyes.  The first time I tried these, I wore Oriental Blue by itself on my lower lash line, and after five hours, when I went to inspect it, it was nearly all gone.  All that remained was a smidgen of faded, dark blue between my lashes.  I repeated testing with the other two shades as well, just to be sure, but they all performed the same on me–faded and nearly invisible by hour five.

Each pencil comes with a sharpener, and the pencil itself is dual-ended with an angled sponge-tip for smudging on one end and the pencil on the other.

It’s available in twelve shades: Black Velvet (black), Leather Brown (dark brown), Oriental Blue (navy blue), Smokey Purple (grayed purple), Deepest Green (forest green), Hazelnut Brown (reddish brown), Charcoal Grey (gray), Amber Brown (medium brown), Turquoise (teal), Purple Silk (purple), Stellar Green (green), and Silky Pink (pink).

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  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you don’t find yourself having trouble with your eyeliner smudging or like to wear pencil on your upper lash line, these might be a product worth trying, because they do pack plenty of color pay off and look beautiful on.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

YSL Golden Sand Bronzer

Bronzer Without the Shimmer with YSL

YSL Golden Sand (03) Terre Saharienne ($50.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a rich, golden tanned bronzer from YSL’s Solaris Collection. YSL is releasing three shades of Terre Saharienne that are both new and permanent — Sand (01), Copper Sand (02), and Golden Sand (03).

Golden Sand is a rich, golden bronze with an orange undertone. It has very, very faint shimmer, which translates into more of a subtle sheen that reflects light in an incredibly delicate way. This shade will work best for those of warmer and deeper skin tones, because the slight touch of golden orange in it may translate into an orange-y mess on those with paler and/or cooler skin tones. You can layer it on for an intense look or use it sheerly for a naturally bronzed look — you can see me wearing it in this look.

The packaging is classic YSL — the gold “metal” compact that flips open to reveal a large mirror and compact with YSL emblazoned in the middle. The back reveals all the pertinent information like its weight (0.35 oz.) and the active sunscreen ingredient (octinoxate 6%) — which is SPF 12. I like it for a more matte version of a bronzer — it’s not completely matte, but it’s not shimmery either. It’s also very finely milled, smooth to the touch, and easy to blend on the face.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re on the look out for a long-wearing, nearly shimmer-less bronzer, YSL’s new Terre Saharienne might work for you.  Golden Sand, in particular, works well for warmer, deeper skin tones with yellow or olive undertones.

Availability: June 2010

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