Lip products are almost always a fail on me, they never last more than a few minutes on me (with the exception of the Pro Longwear by Mac, they last a little longer, lol!).
So when I read all the raves about the new Vernis a Levres (or Glossy Stains) by Yves Saint Laurent, I was very sceptical but curious as well, so I decided to give them a try and get one.
The first one I purchased was #7, Corail Aquatique, a discreet peach. After a week of wearing nothing else on my lips but this, I decided to get a few more (the 25% off at Hondos Center really helped!).
The above is a reasonal description. The truth is that until I got my hands on the rest of them, I was like on caffeine abstinence, I wanted some like crazy! And that's a first time for me.
So here are all my beauties together
From left to right on all photos:
#7 Corail Aquatique, medium subtle peach
#12 Corail Fauve, red coral
#15 Rose Vinyl, mid tone pink
#17 Encre Rose, a cotton candy, lightly lilac pink
One layer swatch
Two layers swatch
The stain after removing them
#12 Corail Fauve on my lips, two layers
The punch line: Are they worth the splurge?
They apply pretty much like a usual lip gloss but I don't press my lips together, and I keep them apart for a minute, so that the product sets. The result is just brilliant because what I get is truly beautiful, fresh, dewy, semi transparent and shiny but pigmented color, it's hard to describe. If I apply a second layer, with the same method, the color result is more vibrant and prominent. I haven't tried a third layer, but I think it is possible and it will result in even more vibrancy and color depth. Basically it's like each tube has three different shades, depending on application, which I think is awesome!
The sensation on my lips is also new, they don't feel like lipstick or lipgloss or lip butter. It's light, a little tacky but not sticky, not moisturizing but not drying, in a word my lips are very happy!
The longevity is the main advantage because for the first time a lip product lasted on me for HOURS! The first to go is the gloss after 2-3 hours but even then the pigment stays on for a good 3-4 hours as well and even when the pigment is gone, it leaves behind a "ghost" like tint, so my lips are never bare.
In a few words, these little treasures are pigmented, long lasting, not parching my lips, low maintenance (I reapply only after eating, mainly because I swipe my lips a lot) and depending on application I get more than one color depth from each tube.
Benetint etc by Benefit are truly stains BUT they parch my lips like hell and the color selection is limited to three shades if I'm not mistaken.
Superstay by Maybelline is a low budget alternative but they dry my lips as well and the gloss is really sticky and must be constantly reapplied. Also, the product doesn't apply evenly and I see goo on the inside of my lips.
So, these Glossy Stains are fabulous, but is there a con? Yes, they smell awfully! Some say like rose but to me they smell like heavy wine, thank god they smell only during application and the perfume doesn't linger afterwards.
The only thing I would like to warn you of is that some shades are a little different from the hand swatch. For example, on me #7, 15 and 17 are close enough to the hand swatch but #12 on my lips is actually quite red (and not that coral), especially if I apply two layers.
The truest to life online swatches i've seen are from Karlasugar take a look!