YSL Marrakesh Sunset Palette swatches, review, photos | YSL’s Summer 2013 5 Colour Eyeshadow Palette

Monday, September 23, 2013

YSL Marrakesh Sunset 5 Colour Eye Shadow Palette review

The product: Yves Saint Laurent Marrakesh Sunset Palette (Ombrés 5 Lumières/5 Colour Eye Shadow Summer Look 2013)

Summer may be over, but I couldn’t not share this gorgeous YSL palette with you anyways. From the packaging, to the formulas, to the eyeshadow shades, this is one palette that really can’t be missed — um, so I’m really very sorry that I’ve taken so long to get this post up.

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Eyeshadow Palette swatches

The packaging: To start us off, this palette is packaged in a gorgeous gold case, unique to this collection. The same in size and function as the regular 5 Colour Eye Shadow palettes, the Marrakesh Sunset Palette features a Moroccan arabesque design on the front, “engraved with golden satin contrasting against shiny golden reflects.”

Their words, not mine. You know palettes mean business when they come engraved — and though this one fingerprints like crazy, I have to admit: it’s pretty unique.

Limited edition YSL Marrakesh Sunset palette packaging

YSL Marrakesh Sunset 5 Colour Eye Shadow Palette packaging

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Palette review

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Ombrés 5 Lumières Eyeshadow Palette

The eyeshadows: The shades of the Marrakesh Sunset palette are, well, made to be representative of a beautiful Moroccan sunset, and they do a wonderful job of it.

The centre highlighter and bottom two shades create the impression of a warm, hazy sky, brightening and lifting the eye area with shimmering finishes and peachy undertones. The highlighter, softer than the other four shades, swatches almost like a shimmer finish within a frost — from a distance, it has a watery, metallic effect, and it makes a beautiful inner corner highlight.

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Eyeshadow palette swatches review

YSL Marrakesh Sunset Palette swatches: bottom left, centre, bottom right, top left, top right

The top two shades are the accents of this palette, but while both are gorgeous, I felt like they could have used a little more pigment.

The medium brown has green-yellow undertones, and on the lids (where the gold shimmer is more diffuse than in the swatch), the undertones make my eyes look rather haggard. On someone warmer, darker, more peach, or even just a little bronzed, I think they’d have worked much better.

YSL Ombres 5 Lumieres eyeshadow swatches - Marrakesh Sunset review

YSL Marrakesh Sunset 5 Colour Eye Shadow Palette swatches

Finally, the violet. Oh, god — this one is absolutely beautiful both swatched or in the pan, but like the bronze, it doesn’t quite work. It’s a medium-opacity shade with most divine undertones, perfect for both warm or cool skintones, and they’re complemented with absolutely mesmerizing fuchsia and blue (!) microshimmer.

The shimmer, however, has a terrible tendency to fall down during application — it actually has less shimmer than the other four shades, but it was the only one that speckled my cheeks as I blended. While beautiful, at the price point, I was left wanting more from this one: more pigment, a more buttery texture, more adhesion to the skin.

YSL Marrakesh Sunset palette swatches review

The verdict?

At $72 CAD, this palette isn’t a must-have. I love the shades in theory, but they’re best on warmer, darker, more bronzed skintones — on anyone who can pull off sheer golds and peaches well.

The violet (oh, the beautiful violet!) has a tendency to produce shimmer fallout during application, and none of the shades were as pigmented or buttery as I would have liked them to be. Though beautiful, Marrakesh Sunset simply doesn’t make enough of an argument to justify its price tag, and I think it can be skipped.

Availability: $58 USD/$72 CAD where still available. (Limited edition Summer 2013).

Additional photos & more »

YSL Vert d’Orient swatches & review, La Laque Couture Summer 2013 | Another strange, beautiful YSL green

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

YSL S13 nail polish swatch review

The products: Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture in No. 36 Vert d’Orient

The collection: Prefaces for limited edition products are usually easy, because I can just link to the collection teaser. This time, however, I’m going to have to take a moment — I was so enamoured with Vert d’Orient when I swatched it that I haven’t even found time to do the collection overview yet (but I have to share the polish with you anyways)!

The two limited edition YSL Summer Look 2013 nail varnishes (the other is No. 37 Taupe Mauresque, which you may recognize from this YSL Tie & Dye Top Coat review) are made to compliment No. 14 Violine Surrealiste, a cult favourite from the La Laque Couture range. They’re calling it a “colour extravaganza,” and, well — they’re not wrong.

YSL Vert d'Orient swatch

YSL Vert d'Orient review

The shade: Described simply as a “deep, radiant green,” Vert d’Orient (just like all the other La Laque Coutures I’ve ever tried) completely exceeded my expectations. The gorgeous, cream-finish polish toes this fantastic blue/green balance — in most rooms, it reads as a deep, rich, slightly-smoky green turquoise; with tungsten lights, however, it looks more like an emerald with a soft yellow undercurrent.

Vert d’Orient feels like the middle of summer, sweltering and humid. It’s amazingly complex and deep, despite its theoretically very basic finish and formula: rather than relying on texture and shimmer to add interest, YSL does it all with just a handful of [amazingly well-blended] pigments.

YSL nail polish review swatch - Vert d'Orient

YSL Vert d'Orient La Laque Couture swatch

The formula: Again, just as with all the other YSL La Laque Couture polishes I’ve tested before, Vert d’Orient applies absolutely beautifully. With a fairly wide, thin brush and a cream-finish formula, it’s practically foolproof: even a shade as bold as this is a cinch to get smooth and even.

Though YSL’s polishes aren’t marketed as being fast-drying, their perfect viscosity almost makes them seem as such — by the time I’ve gotten to my pinkie finger, my thumb is just about ready for another coat. For a shade like this, I’d recommend three thin coats of polish for optimal ease & opacity, but two thicker ones will work as well.

YSL Summer Look 2013 La Laque Couture reviews

The verdict?

Like last season’s Jade Impérial, YSL La Laque Couture in No. 36 Vert d’Orient is a green that both green-lovers and… well, I don’t want to say “green-haters,” but that green-not-so-lovers will love. With a fantastic formula and stunning, complex green hue, it’s well worth a look if you’re on the hunt for a striking, slightly unusual statement nail. 

Availability: $25 USD/$27 CAD, permanent as of May 2013. Find them at Holt Renfrew & select The Bay, Murale, and Sephora stores.

Keep reading! »

Polished & Pink: Five Summer-Ready Spring Picks | On Our Radar

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Set to conquer in three… two… nope

I have zero inherent talent for anything design-related (or even design-adjacent, really), so product spreads are always a little tricky for me. If, by “a little tricky,” you mean “a time suck and a constant source of frustration,” that is.

Despite the sweat and tears and hours and hours and hours that go into these posts, though, I still quite enjoy putting them together — the challenge, when I can come out on top, is incredibly rewarding.

I hope you enjoy this week’s picks (even though I didn’t quite manage to conquer the image).

Skincare sweethearts

This week’s picks started off with the Sweet Leaf Bath Adzuki Bean & Rice Bran Face Polish, which caught my eye as a low-end Canadian alternative to the Tatcha Polished Rice Enzyme Powder ($65 USD). While Sweet Leaf’s version doesn’t have the same wow! factor or enzymatic powers, it’s still a very cool powder-format face polish for those of us on a tighter budget.

Also in the skincare department is the eos 24-Hour Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream, which is a great silicone-free, scent-free shaving cream for those of us who want to keep our showers simple.

Keep reading! »

YSL Glossy Stain in Pêche Cerra Colla review, swatches, photos | YSL Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

YSL Glossy Stain review swatches - Peche Cerra-Colla

The product: Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stain in No. 27 Pêche Cerra-Colla

The shade: I have to admit, Pêche Cerra-Colla isn’t exactly my usual shade. A slightly pinked peach, it has a blissfully shimmer-free finish, and fades to a soft, super-sheer tangerine.

A solid “medium” in both opacity and depth, this peach Glossy Stain is darker than my bare lips, but creates a very natural effect — far from bold or brash, it delivers good colour while still maintaining a wonderful visual translucence. Though the touch of pink makes this wearable on my cool, pale complexion, I can see it creating a beautiful “my lips but peachier” shade for warmer skintones, too.

YSL Glossy Stain Rouge Pur Couture review, packaging

YSL Peche Cerra-Cola review swatches photos

The application: Like many bright, translucent stains, Pêche Cerra-Colla applies with a milky finish that soon disappears (think Benefit Posietint, but better). The applicator is a thin, slanted doe-foot, and it distributes the perfect amount of product for an even, glossy lip.

It’s not your typical applicator, but that only makes me like it more. The thin profile keeps you from picking up too much product, and the shape makes it easy to both apply product quickly & get right into the corners and edges of the lip.

YSL Spring lip launches 2013

Swatched L-R: YSL (1) Volupté Sheer Candy in No. 12 Tasty Raspberry, (2) Glossy Stain in No. 27 Pêche Cerra-Colla, (3) Glossy Stain, sheered out

The wear: The internet is a crazy place, but they get some things right… one of them being that YSL’s Glossy Stains are awesome.

Lightweight and relatively non-sticky, even a sheer shade like Pêche Cerra-Colla wears for ages: I can get a solid five hours with a glossy finish (if I don’t eat or drink anything), and a few more with just a light stain. While not hydrating, it’s reasonably comfortable for a solid 5-6 hours, even on my dry lips – as long as there’s still a tacky finish, the Glossy Stain formula is incredibly easy to wear.

YSL Peche Cerra-Colla swatches Rouge Pur Couture

L-R: YSL Framboise Craquante, Pêche Cerra-Colla heavily/sheerly

YSL glossy stain review - Peche Cerra Colla

YSL Pêche Cerra-Colla Glossy Stain – stainsYSL Peche Cerra-Colla Glossy Stain review, swatches, photos

The verdict?

Like almost everyone else who has tried out a YSL Glossy Stain, I’m pretty smitten with them. While I could do without the added fragrance, the Rouge Pur Couture Vernis à Lèvres Glossy Stains (what a mouthful!) pair fantastic wear time with ease-of-use, comfort, and a fantastic shade range. They’re as easy to apply and wear as a gloss, but you get the extra-long wear time of a stain, too.

Availability:$34 USD/$36 CADPêche Cerra-Colla was new this January with YSL’s Arty Stone Spring 2013 collection, but is now part of the permanent line.

Recommendations, dupes, lip swatches & more »

YSL Tie & Dye swatches, review, photos | La Laque Couture Cool, Pop, Hip, & Ice Top Coats

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

YSL Tie & Dye layered nail polish top coats

The product: Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture Tie & Dye Pearly Coloured Top Coat (Top Coat Coloré Nacré)

   ↳ in 01 Cool Coat, 02 Pop Coat, 03 Hip Coat, and 04 Ice Coat

YSL topcoat review swatches nail polish

The hardest part about writing this review wasn’t that the product was phenomenally good, or horrifyingly bad, or even incredibly surprising. Nope: the hardest part of writing this review was definitely, absolutely, hands-down the fact that I took almost two hundred photos of these, and all of them were stunning.

Not because of the lighting, or the camera, or the staging, of course. It’s just that the Tie & Dye topcoats are really, really cool — a four year old with a point & shoot could make these look absolutely riveting! 

YSL triphasic topcoat review swatches

YSL Tie & Dye Pearly Coloured Top Coats

YSL Tie and Dye Summer 2013

YSL Tie & Dye Top Coats (partially mixed)

A brief overview of the effects

-01 Cool Coat reads as breathtaking blue-violet duochrome over a dark polish – perhaps because I swatched it over brown? On its own, however, Cool Coat is a dense white shimmer with pink reflects. 

-02 Pop Coat creates sheer veil of warmth (red), with a small amount of pink and gold shimmer. This one made my bare nails look a bit as if they’d been dipped in beet juice, but I can see it being a good “nothing” sheen on warmer, darker skintones!

YSL Ice Coat swatch Tie & Dye nail polish

YSL La Laque Couture Tie & Dye Top Coat swatched on bare nails

L-R: 01 Cool Coat, 02 Pop Coat, 03 Hip Coat, 04 Ice Coat

-03 Hip Coat translates into a cool pink sheen on the nails; more brightening and densely shimmery than Pop Coat. (I found this to be the most brightening “natural” shade for my hands’ colouring.)

-04 Ice Coat, finally, is a super-sheer blue jelly with strong blue shimmer. It’s a through-and-through shimmer (not a duochrome, like Cool Coat), and I think it would be the only one I wouldn’t wear on bare nails.

YSL Tie and Dye topcoat review - flash

YSL Tie & Dye Top Coats 01-04 swatched overtop YSL La Laque Couture in 37 Taupe Mauresque ($25 USD), a shimmer-free brown from the Summer 2013 collection. [ flash ]

A bit more about the topcoats / I’d recommend… »

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