When YSL launch a lipstick, the world watches. And, between you and me, I’ve been patiently waiting since last November to tell you all about Vernis a Levres Water Stain. Yves Saint Laurent’s latest lip addition, will change the way you apply and wear lip colour, just in time for a seasonal shade switch.
If you’re new to the YSL lipstick party, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do – there are classics like Rouge Pur Couture, and The Slim, which keeps flying out of stock may I add. But the gap for a lightweight, long-lasting and most importantly, bold lip colour was yet to be filled, until now.
Good news. Dry textures and messy applicators don’t exist here. YSL’s Water Stain is unlike any lip stain you’ve tried before. Attention to detail and the customer ‘no-nos’ associated with lip stains have been effortlessly demolished – they’ve even had time to embellish a few extra details from their Saint Laurent fashion house. Gosh, YSL, you do know how to make a girl feel special…
Vernis a Levres or as I like to call it, Water Stain for short is a long-lasting lip stain, with a twist. As you can guess from the name, it’s made from 40% water which emulates an ultra-thin wet-lipped look. It feels like nothing but looks dries down to create a demi-matte finish that looks high end, and it tastes incredible; imagine a fruity cocktail.
The technical bit? L’Oreal, YSL’s parent company has developed two exclusive ingredients to make sure this outshines, like my pun? Any competitor lip stains. First up, silicon gum is what brings the shine and makes the stain feel comfortable on the lips. Then, silicon resin is what makes this lip stain last, minus any stickiness or transfer.
One thing that scares me about lip stains? A formula that bleeds and is a struggle to clean up with concealer or a cotton bud. Maybe that’s dramatic, but if that’s also a pet peeve of yours, you’ll be pleased to know that this, wait for it, *another exclusive* applicator has actually been tried and tested by customers like us to make sure it fits and hugs all lip shapes; thin, big or uneven. The groove in the applicator also means that you’ll never apply too much product, layering is easy.
If you’re a follower of YSL fashion, you will also appreciate that the design of the ysl stain is inspired by Mr Saint Laurent’s very own signature black tuxedo, AKA Le Smoking Suit; the front black stripe is taken from the tuxedo trouser stripe which first appeared in his 1966 A/W show.
The YSL Water Stain Swatches
YSL’s Beauty Director, Tom Pecheux, has outdone himself. With 14 bold and neutral shades in total, there’s a colour to suit every skin tone. If you like the idea of Vernis’ thin texture, but you’re scared of colour, the serum-like consistency of these lip stains will help you test the waters with your confidence, while offering colour addicts the opportunity to transform their look with a few extra layers. From milky corals to vibrant reds, get to know which colour will suit you best below…
602 Vague De Rouge
602 Vague De Rouge is raspberry red, but when you build up the layers, the colour transforms into a vibrant cherry tone.
603 In Berry Deep
Star shade alert! Worn by the one and only Zoe Kravitz herself in the campaign imagery; 603 is a purple-pink lip colour that builds to create a plum-berry stain.
604 Peach Plunge
The Water Lip Stain in 604 is a baby pink hue mixed with a dash of coral. One layer creates a kind of neutral summer lip that’s a warmed up version of your favourite nude. But if you layer 2 or more coats, you can create a vivid coral lip.
605 Bain De Corail
605 is the star coral shade in the lip stain collection. More orange than pink, its bold colour actually looks demure with one coat, but if you layer it up, you can create a statement in seconds. I think it’s a beautiful alternative to a classic red for summer.
606 Rosewood Flow
From the outer packaging, you’d think 606 was more of a pink, but it actually dries down like a barely-there nude. Call it a ‘your lips but better’ shade, the mauve and rosewood undertones make it perfect for any skin tone, and if I’m honest, it’s my favourite shade from the collection. One layer is ideal to create a polished look, but if you add more, this shade will take you from desk to dancefloor easily.
608 Flot De Fuchsia
With a name like flot de fuchsia, which translates to flowing fuschia, you’d expect 608 to be a bright pink shade from the way it applies, but to my delight, it’s not; it’s the most beautiful pink-red that is the best shade for anyone who wants to wear red, but hasn’t built up the confidence to yet. Again, apply one layer for a pop of pink, or add extra layers for a brighter finish.
609 Submerged Coral
609 is more of a coral-red than a coral-pink. It’s another great option for anyone scared of red lips, and have a warm undertone. Create a blush of colour with one layer, or up the ante with a few more coats to create a soft, red lip. If you’re purely looking for an orange-coral, go for 605, or for a pink coral, you’ll need 604.
610 Nude Underwater
610 is the most popular nude of all the YSL lip stains. This rosy brown’s warm undertone gives it a subtle 90s edge, making it perfect for day and night. If you always go for neutrals over bolds, this shade will be the one you want, as you can create the coverage you wish by layering it.
612 Rouge Deluge
612 is the colour you’ll see cool girl Staz Lindes wearing in the YSL Water Stain campaign. Its bright pink-red lip looks almost bitten with one coat, but as you dial it up with more layers, you create a traditional pillar-box red.
613 Cascade Bordeaux
As soon as we launched Water Stain, this shade was by far the most popular. More oxblood than red, its burgundy shift looks great on a plethora of skin tones. Plus, its layering benefits make it a great statement shade all year round. Apply one coat in summer for a berry stain, and apply 3 or more in autumn for a deeper, darker lip.
614 Rose Immerge
614 is a pretty tea-rose pink. Subtle, and almost milky, its muted vibrancy can be enhanced with two or more coats.
615 Ruby Wave
Skip straight to 615 if you have a cool skin tone and you’re all about bright reds. In just two coats, you can build a deep red, plus its blue undertone means it works wonders for making teeth look whiter.
617 Dive In The Nude
617 is another nude lip stain, however, when compared with 606, it’s more of a plum-brown with a hint of coral. Again, this is easy to build, so only apply one coat if you prefer a neutral lip, but if you want to go full-on 90s, apply three coats or more.
618 Wet Vermilion
618 is a blood-red lip stain with an orange undertone. One of the more pigmented reds in the collection, it’s easy to build a Hollywood lip in just two layers. 618 is definitely the biggest statement maker of all the reds.