YSL Vinyl Cream Lip Stains

Lots of to-do lately about the Yves Saint Laurent Vinyl Cream Lip Stain line. These are fairly similar to the YSL Glossy Stain line, which my colleague Rachel swatched and reviewed.

First, a review-

Application: It took me about a week of regular use to master crisp lines with the spongy doe foot applicator. If you wear liquid lipstick regularly, you'll probably have an easier time than I did. You have to work quickly, because if you go back over the stain before it has set, the finish will become tacky and the color patchy. I found it was best to apply one coat, then wait a couple minutes and apply the second.

Finish: These are less, well, glossy than the Glossy Stains. "Vinyl" is a fairly accurate description, as the finish isn't ultra high-shine, but it isn't satin, either. They do have a creamier look than the glossy stains. The difference in texture is akin to the difference between berry juice (glossy stains) and melted ice cream (vinyl stains), but they aren't thick going onto the lips. If you gently blot the top coat after letting it set, you'll have a slightly more satin look, which I like.

Staying Power: Pretty incredible. These take about 10-15 minutes to fully set. If you apply and immediately reach for your coffee cup, there will be a crescent of lipstick on that coffee cup. This problem is easily solved by light blotting (I usually am fervently anti-blot, but for this formula, I'll change my registration to pro-blot). I find many lipsticks, even traditional formulas, do this within the first 15 minutes, or will come off on your coffee cup once and then be sufficiently blotted down by the cup, and stop transferring after that point. Anyway, I digress...

I recently put on two coats of 409 around 8 am, blotted very gently with a tissue, and headed to my studio for drapings. I talked a lot that day, drank two bottles of water (from a Camelbak spout, no less), ate two meals, and when I properly assessed my lipstick again around 7 pm, it had settled down to a beautiful rosy stain with no unevenness. This formula is my new go-to for days and situations when the last thing I want to worry about is reapplying my lipstick.

Other Comments: These do boast the standard YSL rose scent. I love it, but it may not be to everyone's taste. In any case, I don't think it lingers long. At $36 a pop, these are NOT cheap, and certainly a treat. I haven't used up a tube of lipstick since I was 13 and wearing a shimmery mauve Jane lipstick that was certainly not my season, so I'm not sure how long it takes one to go through a stain like this. Readers, feel free to chime in if you've ever used up a Glossy Stain or other liquid lipstick. I salute you.

Keep in mind the standard color disclaimer of differing monitors, etc. etc., and the fact that my photos turned out a bit muted.

The seasons as I see them-

401 Rouge Vinyle - I see this as a pretty classic Bright Winter red, like maraschino cherries. There's a lot of blue, and a lot of pink.

402 Rouge Remix - Bright Spring. Good middle of the road choice, which is not to say boring. Saturated pink coral, what's not to love?

403 Rose Happening - True Spring and Light Spring. True Spring doesn't always mean orange, and while Light Spring is delicate, it is also vivid. I find this kind of midrange warm pink often works on both seasons. (RIP, Bite Rose).

404 Nude Pulse - Light Spring, pretty shell pink.

405 Explicit Pink - True Winter, though True Summers who wear higher saturation well could try it, especially blotted. I don't see why it couldn't work on both. Very clear candy pink.

406 Orange Electro - Bright Spring and True Spring. Quite orange, and quite bright.

407 Carmin Session - I'm still dithering between Soft Autumn and Soft Summer for this one. It's an elegant, muted burgundy and I can picture it looking beautiful on both seasons. Worth a try for either.

408 Corial Neo-Pop - True Spring, very similar to 406 but slightly more muted.

409 on Dark Autumn, two coats, lightly blotted.

409 on Dark Autumn, two coats, lightly blotted.

409 Burgundy Vibes - Dark Winter, though Dark Autumns like myself who wear cooler berries well can try it. Really gorgeous rich burgundy.

410 Fuchsia Live - Bright Spring, very warm bright pink. Just stunning, a Marilyn Monroe kind of pink.

411 Rhythm Red - Also Bright Spring, a lot of orange to this red, like a strawberry daiquiri.

412 Rose Mix - Light Summer, a quintessential rose.