Review: The lightweight YSL Beauté Vernis À Lèvres Water Stain that feels like water on your lips

YSL campaign. (PHOTO: YSL)
YSL campaign. (PHOTO: YSL)

SINGAPORE — Lip stains are perfect when you just want enough lip colour to look pulled together but are not interested to spend 15 minutes perfecting your lips. Traditionally, lip stains cling to lips all day and stay there even after food and drinks. However, they tend to amplify the look of those wrinkly lines on your lips, and make your lips feel dry. These days, lip stains leave a more watercolour look, offering more hydration and comfort, with options for matte or glossy finish.


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About the YSL Beauté Vernis À Lèvres Water Stain

One makeup brand synonymous with lip stains is French beauty house, YSL Beauté. Its latest lip stain offering is the YSL Beauté Vernis À Lèvres Water Stain (S$52). Designed to be “light as air” and hydrating, this long-lasting lip stain is said to be highly pigmented. It also comes with an intense glossy finish.

No matter what your skin tone or colour may be, according to YSL Beauté’s global beauty director Tom Pecheux, all shades of nude, orange, pinks and reds are meant to enhance all skin tones from light to dark. It comes in 18 shades, of which two are only available online: #604 Peach Plunge and #616 Bathed in Beige.


My verdict:

The texture of the YSL Beauté Vernis À Lèvres Water Stain feels like water, and is so weightless, I don’t feel like I have anything on. The finish was glossy enough to give lips a full, pouty look that looks office-appropriate, and not overly shiny like you’re disco-ready. I prefer to wear the Water Stain with a less glossy finish, so I would blot once after application, which makes the stain appear almost like it’s coming from my own lips. Also, I liked that my hair didn’t get stuck in it. The lip stain leaves my lips feeling soft and hydrated even after the colour has worn off. I think the Water Stain is great because you could opt to look dressy with two layers of the stain and its glossy finish, or you could look like you want some colour on the lips without looking like you WANT some colour on your lips with its dreamy stained look.

Colour: Promising Pigment and Payoff

With such a light, non-sticky, and non-drying texture, I was expecting a sheer colour, and so I was pleasantly surprised that the colour intensity is just opaque enough. Once the stain has set, one layer gets your lips a natural-looking, soft-focus hint of pigment. The colour is buildable—an application of two layers is sufficient for a pretty wash of colour and shine, three layers doesn’t look too different from two, and having four layers is just a waste of your time and product (I tried it so you don’t have to). At random, I picked and tried #617 Dive In The Nude (I love this pinkish mauve that interestingly looked like a refined shade of my natural lip colour), #612 Rouge Déluge (a chilli-red that seriously perks up my neutral skin tone. It looks more red on me than the coral you see on British-American punk musician/model Staz Lindes in the ad campaign) and #603 In Berry Deep (a reddish-berry with a neutral undertone that would suit anyone. Actress Zoë Kravitz wears this shade in the ad campaign and it looks less red on her). Basically, the darker the hue, the more intense the shade looks. The final colour left on your lips is also dependent on your natural lip colour.


Staying Power: Through Water, Tea and Soup

After I drank water or hot tea with milk, the Water Stain comes off ever so slightly without requiring any reapplication. However, it doesn’t stand a chance against ramen. Tonkotsu ramen wears away the part of the lippie that comes into contact with the pork broth, leaving an awkward-looking ring of colour that’s easily saved with a touch-up. I must add that touch-ups are so foolproof; the freshly added layer just blends into the layer applied earlier. Personally, the lack of lasting power is not a dealbreaker for me because long-wearing formulas mean I would need more time to remove the lip stain, or I would need a more “effective” cleanser that could potentially trigger my eczema. I really like the texture of the Water Stain, the colours (especially #617 Dive In The Nude), the colour payoff and the finish.

Comparing Water Stain with YSL Beauté’s other Lip Stains

If you’re a fan of YSL Beaute’s lip stains, or are simply curious, read on. Now, how does the new YSL Beauté Vernis À Lèvres Water Stain compare with the other lip stains from YSL Beaute? The Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain (S$55), launched last year, leaves a highly pigmented colour and a true matte finish; it takes about three times the amount of time to remove using micellar water. Against the Vinyl Cream Lip Stain (S$52), a high-shine, high-pigment formula, the Water Stain has a lighter colour payoff and doesn’t feel as thick. Pop Water renditions, which have been discontinued, is slightly more translucent and extra glossy in finish. The original Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres (S$52), a glossy stain, has a silkier and slightly thicker texture compared to the Water Stain which feels more watery, and is slightly more pigmented.

The YSL Beauté Vernis À Lèvres Water Stain, S$52 is available at all YSL Beauté stores, namely ION Orchard, VivoCity, Raffles City Shopping Centre, Metro Paragon, TANGS at TANG Plaza, BHG Bugis, and Takashimaya S.C.