Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stains Review & Swatches, Part 1

Yes, you read that correctly. I was able to get quite a few swatches of the highly elusive YSL Glossy Stains, $32 each. The full range is currently available at Sephora and one shade is exclusive to Nordstrom. But now that these are my Holy Grail liquid lipstick formula, I was determined to swatch (and buy) more shades. I stalked the Sephora at South Coast Plaza for the last four weeks (over the phone) and finally, my patience was rewarded. Thank goodness for Stephanie P., the most helpful and supportive Sephora sales associate I've ever had the pleasure of meeting!

Here is the full set of swatches I was able to achieve today! The photo above was taken in the most sunny lighting I could find, but it was largely overcast this morning. Keep in mind that there are only a dozen swatched above. The rest of the testers were not available/part of the shipment, so I'll post swatches of the rest of the shades once Sephora puts up the complete new display. 13 is a Nordstrom exclusive shade, now available at all their YSL counters. Here's one more picture of the swatches outside in natural lighting! [UPDATE: Posted HERE are the second set of swatches!]

The Sephora store lighting is more yellow, since they use fluorescent bulbs, but I think they are relatively close to the color you will see on your lips most of the time if you work in an office. They are mostly full-pigment shades!
3 is a medium neutral brown. There is a hint of purple, but it's still very brown.
4 is a deep mauve with a brown base, reminds me of Butter London's Toff nail polish (strange, I know, since Toff is much more purple). This is the only one I had to layer more than twice to swatch.
7 is a beautiful peach with silver shimmers. I will post a full review of this shade later on!
8 is a true tangerine orange with a bit of shimmer. It is a very bright orange, slightly warmer and incredibly pigmented.
10 and 11 are both reds, the former being more warm toned and slightly sheerer - not necessarily a bad thing because it looks juicier on the lip, the latter being brighter and a touch cooler - more color pigment. Between the two, 11 is the true red.
13 is the Nordstrom exclusive deep fuchsia. It reminds me of YSL's Rose Culte Rouge Volupte, except with shimmer. It will look most true to color on fair skin. This one seems to be the most shimmery, even slightly metallic! I highly recommend it if you want to rock a dark pink lip this Spring. 
15 is a deep neutral pink. This is not for the light of heart, regardless of whatever you may think of the swatch. It darkens significantly on my lips, the only one I own to do so. Don't believe me? See for yourself HERE! You can see it in action, on my lips.
16 is a lavender purple with just a touch of pink. It is very cool and may cause a slightly yellow cast to even the whitest of teeth since it will look stark against most skin tones. Pink-toned skin will have the best luck with this!
17 is a cool rose, very bright in the swatch but it darkens on the lip, the most flattering cool pink of the range - not too dark and not too pale. It's a very universal cool rose, shouldn't look stark against most skintones :)
20 is a slightly shimmery warm red, perfect for skins with yellow undertones! It is not excessively strong or deep. Don't get me wrong, it's still a red and will make a statement, but I find it quite wearable. The ideal red for women with yellow undertones to their skin.
18 is a very pale ballerina slipper pink, reminiscent of NARS Turkish Delight gloss but with silver shimmers. If you use more than 2 layers, the color will turn pasty and it will start settling into your lip lines.. best for fair to light-medium women. Refer to the very last photo of this post.

*Note: I previously swatched Coril Fauve (12), a bright deep coral which is the more coral version of 10, and 15 together HERE!

*Note 2: Some shades are available only through Sephora's website: 6, 9, 12, 14, 19. Nordstrom and other department stores like Neiman Marcus should receive the full range of these shades early next month!

As labeled in the photo, above is evidence of the remnants of color from the Glossy Stains after six minutes of wear on my arm. These pack a powerful punch. Not surprisingly, the pinks and reds stain the best. But on the flip side, even 18, the palest shade in the range, leaves its mark!

EDIT: To clarify, I did not want to walk around the mall with swatches all over my arm. So after photographing the swatches outside, I walked back into Sephora to purchase my three Stains and to wipe off all of the swatches with a Philosophy Purity make-up cloth. I only had the swatches on my arm for six minutes. In that short amount of time, my skin was noticeably stained. That demonstrates the staining power of the product.. which is awesome!

I know the last photo is not in focus, but I wanted to post the picture to follow up with the other two, keep it consistent. All were taken in Sephora lighting. 

Now, for swatches of my personal stash. I own six of these gorgeous babies, and yes, I say that proudly! I can't wait to own more :) Application: I smoothly swipe once across both the upper lip and lower lip, then repeat.

7: Daily peach! Even with the shimmers, it is suitable for any occasion. 2 layers, 3 for all-day wear.
12: Coral-red that packs a punch! Looks more red indoors. Juicy pucker in 2 layers. 
13: Intense fuchsia with silver and pink shimmers. Looks nearly red in most lighting. 2 layers.
15: Deep neutral rose, much darker on my lips than in the swatch. I reach for this the least, 2 layers.
17: Perfect cool (true) pink! Warms up on the lips. It's not excessively cool or too bright/light, but it looks best with a full face of make-up & matching blush if you have yellow undertones. 2 layers.
18: Perfect pink-nude to pair with a smoky eye on a night out! 2 layers is perfect, 3 is overkill.. very Nicki Minaj and Snooki, especially if your skin is NC35/Chanel 40 or darker. Avoid that look, doesn't give the product justice.

[Somewhat] Full Sun

 Natural Lighting [Most true to color]

Indoor Shade

Full Sun

Bottom Line: The more I see of these, the more I fall in love. My favorite YSL Glossy Stain shades are 7 and 18. I can't wait to swatch the full range once all the testers are available and to see seasonal colors added to the range in the future!


  1. OMG When did you go to South Coast???? I was just there!:(

  2. Oooh, gorgeous. I need #7 for sure, thanks for swatching these!!!

  3. I want a couple of them! So excited for Sephora to put these on display.

  4. WOW! what a great review! i personally like no.12 and 18:)

  5. Thanks! I'm going for 7. 8 , 9 and 10!

  6. Wow!! Fantastic effort Rae, thankyou. :) always looking forward to all your blog. I'm hoping to see your review/thoughts on tom ford lipsticks. It's rrp in Australia for $65 each !

  7. Wow! These are beautiful! And the pigmentation is awesome! :D

  8. so beautiful!! i love all the shades! i have to get one :)

  9. i love 7 and 15 as well, but I dont understand why you say 15 is deeper on lips, it looks perfect on swatches.

  10. I was at SCP on Saturday, but did not see any of these at Sephora. :( I guess I just missed them. Thank you so much for these photos! 7, 8, and 12 are on my to-get list based off of your swatches.

  11. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication :) you always give the in-depth details that provide enough information to decide which ones to go for. Let's say "All"? XD

  12. Ah! I'm so jealous! I've been waiting forever for these to come to my sephora. I think I like 7 the most too.

    While I am waiting for these I stumbled upon Nar's Mexican Rose which is incredibily staining as well! I sheer it out a little so it's not so strong but it is the best most even and long lasting stain that I have come across. I've tried hourglass aura stains, beaute liqui-gel stains, thebalm stainiac and bourjois pen stains and Mexican Rose is a definate win. You should check it out!

  13. Luck - I was there in the afternoon, just to stop by Sephora :)

    Sabrina - Definitely! I hoped it would be good, but it's awesome!! A really wearable peach and it doesn't darken much!

    Pearyfooa - Steph told me they won't be up for display for at least another week or two!

    Lily and Jamilla - Great choices! I hope you guys love the formula as much as I do!

    Serena - I'll get around to it this month, since I bought two more colors ;)

    Peachy & Kristin - Absolutely! Have fun shopping :)

    Claire - Watch my January Favorites video and then you'll understand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzOuoBW0hBM
    It just happens to swatch pale, the color of 15 changes most out of all the ones I own!

    Reene - They aren't available yet. I had to beg Stephanie to dig for the testers.. I got lucky with Stephanie, she was so willing to help ;)

    Annie - You're very welcome! And I totally agree!!

    Jocelyn - I've seen photos of that on my friend Xiao of Messy Wands and I must admit, I am intrigued! Thanks for bringing it back to my attention :)

  14. Sockhop - Of course not!!! I wiped them off my arm with a Philosophy wipe just 6 minutes after I swatched and photographed them. That photo is just to show the staining power.

  15. Now I want one super badly. The sephora I go to in NYC doesn't have them and I checked twice already.
    Looking at the colors I want 17 the most, but that pink maybe too cool for my NC20 skin.

  16. OMG I am so excited to finally see a line-up of swatches for these. Ever since I saw these on the Sephora website, I became very curious about them, but there aren't many reviews and swatches up for them. This post is INCREDIBLY helpful. I really appreciate it!

  17. Mia - Most stores haven't received all their testers and/or the displays! And if you're NC20, 17 shouldn't be stark against your skin.. though it is slightly cool, I suppose it would depend on your comfort zone :)

    Natalie - You're very welcome!!

  18. Well slap my head and call my silly, these are dang pigmented! Combined with their staining effect, I can see why they're so loved. And you beat Karla to the punch! :) Poke, poke. Still I'll be happy to read her post; it's another great perspective.

  19. Triple Helix - Right?! I know there are a handful that haven't had as good experiences with these stains, but I lovelovelove them :) I can't wait to see what Karla thinks, too!

  20. Hi Rae,

    I know this is a bit off from this post, but would you recommend the Koh Gen Do aqua foundation in OC-1 or OC-2 for me if I'm colored matched to 117 in MUFE.. and I have the YSL #5 in teint resist and I have the dior nude foundation in 020. I know you were wearing the OC-2; has your skin lightened up? The foundation seem so promising so I think I might just take a risk in purchasing it online from sephora but wanted to hear which color you recommend for me.

    On the other note, love the YSL glossy stains! Thank you so much! <3

  21. Hi! I absolutely love your reviews! I was wondering for the #7, would you say that it's similar or comparable to the golden gloss peach that you recommended a few vids back? I love the peach color and looking for something similar in the gorgeous stain line. Thanks in advance!

  22. Lauren - I'd say OC-1! And yes, I'm between 1 and 2 now :(

    Ashdre - The stain is darker on my lips than the gloss! 7 is a true peach, looks even better with the Peach Golden Gloss on top to lighten up the color!

  23. I stumbled upon these when I was in NYC last weekend and HAD to pick them up. I wasn't completely comfortable buying online without trying or swatching for myself. I liked them so much, I picked up three. Like you, I think I am totally addicted. I love everything about these. Thanks for posting these swatches. I will definitely be referring to them when I buy more in the future!

  24. My sister said to me this morning: "Yer, whats with all these amazing products?! You barely put on any makeup now and didn't even own a single makeup then..."
    So as I rushed out of the house to go to work, I said it really quickly, "True! All thanks to Rae! =P Check her videos on YouTube and her blog at www.theraeviewer.com. Dont get too addicted okay?!". And ofcorse, now she's hooked! O.O oops Lol
    Anywho, I went out and got myself the new YSL gloss stain in #17 & YSL Creme De Blush in #05. once again,its because you recommended them (it never fails!). I LOVE THEM! The formulations of these two products are absolutely phenomenal. Thank you!

  25. Sorry for such a long comment -_- I know you have TONS of comments to read (from YouTube to your blogs). I just couldn't stop myself from sharing my funny story with you lol.
    Thanks for such wonderful videos and can't wait for more to come.

  26. Yer - You are too sweet, thank you! I'm glad my recommendations have worked well. And don't worry, I love anecdotal comments, makes them more fun to read and easier to remember you ;) Thanks for the support and for sharing your story with me!

  27. Thanks for swatches... I'm actually thinking about getting #7, seems like it's something I could use very often.

  28. Rae! this is really awesome, i love your blog a lot, now i am going to order it. thanks. it's really helpful.

  29. love this review. going out to buy some soon!

  30. Hi Rae, Normally I totally agree with you on everything if you love a product I usually do and i you do not lots of times i agree. But I do not get why you love this so much. I put this on my lips first it was very watery and they i dried down to some kind of powder or something it felt horrible on my lips? How could this be?

  31. I am sorry I swatched the nr 18 and hated it. It was very dry on my lips and sticky I do not understand why everybody is loving these?

  32. lol. you shop at my sephora. i waited for the discount week and bought some of these and some of the new mufe lipsticks. I usually get help from Talia, she is great at helping me find the right color and product!

  33. Think I might just have to pick some of these up, got my eye of violet :) I love you, my wallet... Not so much lol ! Xxx


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