|twiggy wearing yves st. laurent|
in a way, it's strange that i haven't paid more attention to ysl, because yves saint laurent the man is a character who fascinates me. promoted to the position of head designer at dior at age 21, succeeding the man himself (who had hand-picked him before his own untimely death), he saved the company from bankruptcy with his 1958 spring collection. by fall of that same year, he was old news and in 1960, the house of dior colluded with the french government to see him conscripted to the army so that they could replace him. (he later sued them and won his case.)
on a more personal note, one of my prized shoe possessions (found at well less than their value on ebay) is a pair of boots from designer tom ford's final season with the fashion house that are really more like a piece of wearable art than something you'd find at payless.
i may never get to own a piece of vintage ysl couture (the house closed in 2008, although its parent company, gucci, continues to produce ready-to-wear lines as well as accessories and cosmetics, under the ysl banner.), but i can indulge a little in the colour offerings found at their counters at the bay and holt renfrew. here's a few choice morsels:
|mondrian, not mascara|
so far, my all-time favourite mascara has been benefit's bad gal, but i'm always on the lookout for something new. with faux cils, i may have found it. it does indeed add volume, so that you have a lovely fringe without a lot of fussing around or dealing with multiple coats. at first, i thought it was clumping a little, but an extra pass with the wand combed that right out. it doesn't deposit any unsightly lumps and, although the applicator can get a little messy when first removed, it doesn't go on messy like some other volume formulas i've tried. best of all, i find that the wand separates the lashes enough that, despite the considerable enhancement it gives, lashes never look "heavy". i was easily able to apply it to my bottom lashes without making my eyes look all squinty.
as far as the "noir radical" colour is concerned, i took it for a marketing ploy. black is black, right? well, not quite. i tried it next to mac's "false lashes" mascara, which is another formula i really like and, yes, i could easily see a difference. the "faux cils" was noticeably darker. i think that the intense black colour augments the appearance of volume as well, since it really makes lashes pop.
a definite winner! ($36cad)
rouge pur couture :: rouge saadi :: everyone seems to flip over ysl's "rouge volupté" lipsticks, their moisturising intense colour line. personally, while i really liked the formula at first, i've grown a little disenchanted with it. i find it very slippery and, on me at least, it wears off very quickly and leaves me with the lipstick "ring of shame". couple that with the fact that they smell strongly of watermelon (i hate watermelon) and i'm not exactly rushing back to try more.
|rouge saadi #3|
the "rouge pur couture" colours were launched this spring and are a different formula from the original "rouge pur" lipsticks. this series of shades are inspired by the designers original palette of bold colours- red, orange and magenta shades. if you like bold lips (and i do), the colour selection is dazzling. the nice thing is that they are pretty true to the colour you see in the tube, which most lipsticks aren't. there are a few more understated colours available, but this whole collection seems to be about the brights. the reds in particular are just ravishing.
|noir lacque #18|
for those who prefer their colours more toned down, the rouge pur couture line includes two shades- a shimmery, semi-sheer white and an intense purplish black-brown- which can be used to lighten or deepen other colours. of course, if you're like me, you'll just as soon where the dark colour- noir lacque (#18)- on its own. and there's no rule saying you can't do that...
you can see a full and very accurate set of pictures of the rouge pur couture line here. ($37cad)
|slate green #5|
slate green doesn't remind me much of a slate colour at all, really. it's a very cool green- i'd say more like a slightly lightened forest green, with a gorgeous sea blue shimmer. unfortunately, while the shimmer shows both in the pan and when i swatched it on my finger, i couldn't get it to show up in use. granted, i could have built the shadow up more, but given how well the colour went on and how much payoff it gave, it seemed pointless to keep packing stuff on my eyes.
|slate green #5|
the shadow came with a little brush and sponge applicator, which i didn't end up using, but which would be great for travel.
once again, you can see a complete set of product swatches via karla sugar's site (shadows are second from the top). the colours surprise me a little, in that they're so far off what a "regular" range would be. there aren't really any "basics" (beige, cream, etc.) and the bulk of the colours are either fairly dark or quite bright. for my part, i'm quite happy with the selection. for me, these shadows are more of a "special" purchase, so i'd rather have them in colours that would be a feature. i can get light neutrals anywhere. ($34cad)
i have to say that my one beef with ysl is their packaging. everything is made to look like a little jewel case, with gilt and filigree, like something that immediately announces "high end". but for some reason, they insist on making these lovely little packages out of a cheap plastic that scratches and smudges so easily that even bringing them home can leave them looking shabby. this holds true for all the products i've tried from them, although i will say i found the mascara a little better. for the price range they're playing in, it's not something they can really afford to continue with. chanel has a lock on black chic, shu uemura always looks nicely futuristic, mac cosmetics at half the price have a streamlined and immediately recognisable look with their gunmetal casing (and "bullet" lipsticks). for the money they charge, they could look a lot better.
in closing, here's a look that i did that incorporates the three products (only one colour of lipstick) reviewed here, so you can see them "in action". i think it shows pretty well how well and precisely and evenly the shadow and lipstick apply, with no extra effort required.
nars sheer glow foundation mont blanc
mac prolongwear concealer nw20
mac vex e/s [soft grey-green with pink sheen: absolutely necessary; accept no substitutes]
mac motif e/s [peachy-gold with pink sheen]
nars night star [light peach with gold shimmer]
ysl slate green e/s [deep blue-toned green]
mac greasepaint stick greengrease [black-green, used as a liner]
ysl faux cils mascara noir radical
mac magically cool liquid powder truth & light
mac my highland honey blush
ysl rouge pur couture rouge saadi
|tom ford for yves st. laurent made, evidently, with me in mind|