03.25.2015
0
2
Top Secrets Flash Radiance Skincare Brush
Rating
1.3 fl. oz. for $55
Category:Skin Care > Serums > Serums
Last Updated:03.25.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

The only secret about this is how the Yves Saint Laurent marketing department came up with these claims without laughing hysterically—or were they?—while saying, women are really going to fall for these lies. There is absolutely nothing in this product that will make “fatigued” skin look less tired. What you’re getting is mostly packaging novelty and misleading claims. This silicone-based serum has a spackle-like texture that you brush on skin. The component comes equipped with a synthetic brush that dispenses the product onto itself. What’s inside is ordinary when compared with today’s genuinely state-of-the-art serums, and that includes the ones with mild wrinkle-filling effects on skin such as Estee Lauder’s Perfectionist, Paula’s Choice Antioxidant Concentrates, or Tri-Aktiline Instant Deep Wrinkle Filler from Good Skin. Perhaps most disappointing is the inclusion of menthol-derived irritants, whose tingling action is meant to convince you that this product is doing something to refresh or energize tired skin, when all it’s really doing is irritating your skin, which leads to further stress, thus making your skin worse than it was before using this product. That is the secret here, but I have no problem telling it to anyone who’ll listen!

Claims

With a single brush stroke, signs of fatigue are erased, and skin is left feeling velvety smooth and fresh with radiance! This high-performance formula combines all the benefits of a skincare product with the precision and ease of a brush, the silky and comfortable texture glides over the skin, leaving it feeling incredibly fresh and invigorated. A blend of energizing active ingredients combine the Grain of Paradise extract with caffeine to erase signs of fatigue. On the skin’s surface, light-reflecting micro-pigments are able to capture and diffuse light, to reduce skin imperfections and boost radiance. A seaweed derived sugar forms a veil that maintains moisture on the surface of the skin and protects it against external threats. Wheat proteins combined with sugar extracted from oats and a silcon elastomer allow for the formula to quickly smooth fine lines, leaving it feeling soft and velvety.

Ingredients

Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Water, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Ethylene/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, PEG-8, Butylene Glycol, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Caffeine, Hydrolyzed Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Fruit Extract, Menthyl Lactate, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Silica, Fragrance, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrolyzed Algin, Menthoxypropanediol, Sodium Salicylate, Sea Water, Aframomum Melegueta Seed Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Extract, Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Extract

Brand Overview

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.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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