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Which YSL lipstick is best?

For more than 50 years, Yves Saint Laurent has been one of the most respected and coveted names in beauty. The brand’s daring colors and high scientific standards make YSL lipsticks a must-have for beauty fans.

If you’re looking for a long-wearing lipstick that’s still hydrating and comfortable, YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Matte Lipstick is a great choice.

What to know before you buy a YSL lipstick

Lipstick formulation

Yves Saint Laurent makes more than a dozen lip products, including classic bullet formulations, liquid lipsticks, lip glosses and lip stains. For a classic lipstick experience, it’s hard to beat a bullet format. However, if you prefer a longer-wearing option, a better bet may be a YSL liquid lipstick or stain.

Bold color choices

Yves Saint Laurent founded his own fashion house in 1961 after working as head designer at Dior for 3 years. He drew inspiration from the Algerian culture he grew up in as well as the bounty of the Mediterranean, and this is reflected in the bold color palettes YSL offers.

Often regarded as one of the most subversive and avant-garde of the French fashion houses, the brand’s lipsticks capture modernity and boldness in shades that are highly pigmented or texturally unique. Along with iconic bright reds, YSL lipsticks come in rich burgundies, bright oranges and corals, vivid pinks and more. If you prefer makeup that stands out, YSL lipstick deserves a place on your vanity.

True French beauty

Yves Saint Laurent Beauty manufactures all of its products in France with internationally sourced ingredients. Some of their ingredients, such as the pomegranates in the Rouge Volupte Shine lipstick, are sourced from a proprietary garden co-op in Morocco.

What to look for in a quality YSL lipstick

Customizable pigmentation

Do you want full, matte coverage from your lipstick, or something more sheer and balmy? Yves Saint Laurent offers lipsticks with varying coverage levels and finishes. Check the product description carefully while you’re shopping, because some YSL lipsticks can look more pigmented in the tube than they do on your lips.

Bold vs. nude lipsticks

Yves Saint Laurent may be famous for its classic red shades, but if you don’t feel like going bold, there are plenty of nude options in YSL’s lineup that still let you stand out.

For fair or light skin skin tones, consider YSL Tatouage Couture Velvet Cream Matte Liquid Lipstick in Nude Sedition or Rouge Pur Couture Satin Lipstick in Rosy Nude.

For medium or deep skin tones, try Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick in Burnt Zellige or Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Matte Lipstick in Nude Antonym.

Luxe packaging

If you’re going to splurge on a luxury lipstick, it should look and feel luxurious on every level — and YSL delivers. The brand’s lipsticks come in beautiful metallic cases with the distinctive YSL logo highly visible on the side. Some formulations also feature thoughtfully engineered bullet shapes or applicator wands customized to how the formula behaves to make application smoother and simpler.

European cosmetics regulations

As a French brand, YSL adheres to the regulations that control European cosmetics, which are some of the strictest in the world. This means that YSL lipsticks have unsurpassed standards for ingredient quality, and they’re formulated without ingredients like parabens or phthalates.

Yves Saint Laurent Beauty has also been recognized by Positive Luxury, a company that rewards luxury brands for taking steps toward better sustainability and business ethics.

How much you can expect to spend on a YSL lipstick

Almost all YSL lipsticks cost $39. However, some lipsticks, especially the liquid formulations, contain more product per dollar than others.

YSL lipstick FAQ

Do YSL lipsticks have fragrance?

A. Yes, YSL lipsticks contain different fragrances. The flagship Rouge Pur Couture lipstick line has a floral fragrance reminiscent of a classic perfume scent, while other YSL lipsticks have fruity scents like melon or mango thanks to added botanical oils.

Is YSL lipstick vegan?

A. Some Yves Saint Laurent Beauty products contain animal-derived ingredients, and while YSL Beauty does not test its products on animals, they’re sold in countries that require animal testing.

What’s the best YSL lipstick to buy?

Top YSL lipstick

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Matte Lipstick

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture The Slim Matte Lipstick

What you need to know: These highly pigmented lipsticks are so long-wearing, you may never need to reapply.

What you’ll love: The slim, square-shaped bullet makes precise application a breeze, especially for defining your cupid’s bow. It’s available in 19 shades that dry down to a matte finish and leave a lasting tint.

What you should consider: The bullet contains less product than other YSL lipsticks. Not everyone is a fan of the square shape.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Macy’s

Top YSL lipstick for the money

Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain

Yves Saint Laurent Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain

What you need to know: This long-wearing, non-drying liquid lipstick can last comfortably for up to 8 hours.

What you’ll love: The lightweight, ultra-thin formula resists smudging or flaking for a true and lasting stain. Its unique flat-paddle applicator can also act as a lip liner. It’s available in 18 shades, ranging from everyday nudes to bright corals and pinks.

What you should consider: Application can be uneven. Some users disliked the lipstick’s fragrance.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Macy’s

Worth checking out

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick Balm

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine Lipstick Balm

What you need to know: A lightweight, moisturizing lipstick, this formula is infused with botanical oils for glossy, comfortable color.

What you’ll love: It comes in 35 shades that apply sheer and can be built up for full, glowy color coverage. Users love its luxe packaging, which includes a colored ring that matches the lipstick shade, and the formula’s creamy, hydrating feel.

What you should consider: The soft, oil-rich formula can be prone to quickly smudging and fading. The formula’s botanical scent received mixed reviews.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Macy’s.


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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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