YSL is offering an eye-area product packaged with a vibrating metal roller-ball applicator. This roll-on device is somehow supposed to help the formula reduce signs of fatigue, along with…Surprise!...puffy eyes and dark circles. Let’s be clear: The ONLY type of puffiness this roller-ball applicator may be able to reduce via massage is puffiness that occurs due to fluid retention. Neither the device nor the product housed inside can do a thing for age-related puffy eyes (also known as sagging or undereye bags) or for dark circles. This particular version’s formula and needlessly high price are why it’s not recommended. The amount of alcohol is cause for concern and the lack of state-of-the-art ingredients is disappointing, as are the irritants arnica and Italian cypress. Really, the only top secret is how YSL convinces women to spend exorbitant amounts of money on their average to poor skin-care products.
A new Top Secret to regain a revived, radiant look in a flash! This new roll-on pen targets the eye contour area to visibly reduce signs of fatigue, thanks to its anti-puffiness and anti-dark circle concentrate, enriched with arnica extract.
Water, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Alcohol Denatured, Pentylene Glycol, Methylsilanol/Silicate Crosspolymer, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Dimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Isohexadecane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Triethanolamine, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Cupressus Sempervirens (Italian Cypress) Seed Extract, Polygonatum Multiflorum Extract, Polysorbate 80, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethiconol, Disodium EDTA, Sorbitan Oleate, Ruscus Aculeatus Root Extract, Tilia Tomentosa Extract, Glucose, Larix Europaea Wood Extract
Yves Saint Laurent At-A-Glance
Strengths: Every sunscreen includes avobenzone for sufficient UVA protection; some moisturizers with elegant textures; good makeup removers and toners; Radiant Touch is a favorite for good reason; intriguing blushes; two fantastic mascaras; very good liquid highlighter; innovative gloss/stain lip products.
Weaknesses: Expensive; no AHA or BHA products; no products to manage acne or combat skin discolorations; mostly mundane moisturizers and serums; pervasive use of jar packaging; antiwrinkle claims that epitomize ridiculous, yet cost hundreds of dollars; mostly average foundations; eyeshadow quads; mostly average lipstick and gloss options.
We have never reviewed an expensive cosmetics line with the intent of criticizing it based on the price tags alone. Our standard for reviewing all cosmetics remains the same whether the prices are rock bottom or stratospheric. What cannot be denied is that there are many consumers who just refuse to give up the notion that, in terms of cosmetics, expensive means better. If you're one of those consumers you may have been curious about our take on Yves Saint Laurent's makeup, which by far outshines their skin care.
In the past, as we surveyed the other French-themed lines at the department store (including Lancome, Chanel, Dior, and Guerlain), YSL almost always came in last, barely stepping up to the plate to compete in any category. Lately, we've been pleasantly surprised to find several impressive products, along with some needed improvements for many of their previously lackluster options (whose price-to-performance ratio was depressingly low). YSL still isn't the French line to set your sights on and fill your makeup bag with, but there are enough positives to make a trip to their counter worthwhile, assuming that your budget extends far enough to comfortably afford these items. (Even the best products from this line have less-expensive counterparts, but if you're label-conscious, you should know what to focus on.)
What's not so great is the lack of sufficient UVA protection in products with sunscreen, or SPF ratings that are too low given what we know about the need for a sufficient level of daily sun protection. Adding sunscreen to many of the foundations and lip products was a smart move, but doing so without getting the basics right doesn't get a passing grade. Most of the mascaras are surprisingly average also, yet on the other hand the foundation and powder shade selections have improved considerably. It's this off-kilter blend of outstanding and boring products coupled with steep prices all around that earn this line an "approach with caution" statement. However, careful shopping from YSL will undoubtedly net you some wonderful products you'll be pleased with, at least until the credit card bill comes due!
When it comes to skin care, Yves Saint Laurent relies heavily on its fashion heritage to convince consumers to give these products more than a passing glance. Based on the formulas and outlandish prices, we see no reason for anyone to admire, let alone purchase, most of the skin-care products this brand sells. The claims are nothing short of ridiculous, especially for any YSL product designed to minimize wrinkles or stop sagging. It's good that all of the sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection, but the cost means you'll be replacing them quickly (if you're being diligent about liberal application, as you should be) and, of course, all of them contain wafting fragrance. The moisturizers are much less impressive, but carry some of the most too-good-to-be-true claims imaginable. None of what they're said to do in terms of wrinkles, skin regeneration, firming, and sculpting skin is the least bit reliable, though many of the moisturizers have luxurious textures.
What's missing is a focused approach to provide skin with what it really needs to thrive and remain healthy. Some of the basics are covered, but antioxidants are seemingly an afterthought, water-binding agents and skin-identical substances are mostly lacking, and once again fragrance takes precedence over advanced ingredients with substantiated research to support their use. If your skin-care routine must involve a designer brand, you'd be better off shopping Chanel and only considering YSL for the makeup products they have that, cost notwithstanding, are worthy of the attention they get in, where else, fashion magazines.
For more information about Yves Saint Laurent, call 800-399-0929 or visit www.ysl.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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