Volupte Sheer Candy Glossy Balm Crystal Color

Price:
$32 
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Category:
Makeup > Lipsticks > Sheer Lipstick
Last Updated:
2/14/2013
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
Yes

This fragranced lip balm has a texture reminiscent of Bonne Bell's Lip Smackers (remember those?). It's wonderfully moisturizing (but not waxy), and coats lips in a soft wash of hydrating color. Packaged like a traditional lipstick, Sheer Candy slicks on easily, leaving juicy sheer color and a soft, shiny finish.

This lipstick hybrid comes in a gorgeous selection of colors, whether your preference is understated nudes or vibrant brights.

One more comment: The tiny amount of hyaluronic acid this contains cannot grow lips to "30 times their normal volume." First, if that worked as claimed, Angelina Jolie's lips would enter a room five minutes before she did! Second, just because hyaluronic acid draws moisture from the environment doesn't mean that it can somehow fuse that moisture into thin lips enough to make them plump to epic proportions. If it were that easy, women who live in humid environments would have luscious full lips simply by virtue of the climate—but travel to Hawaii or Thailand (two notoriously humid locales that infuse skin with moisture just by being there) and you'll quickly see that's not the case!

Pros:
  • Leaves a soft wash of sheer yet vibrant color.
  • Provides moisturized shiny finish.
  • Wide variety of shades.
Cons:
  • Doesn't live up to its claim of increasing lip volume to 30 times normal.

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.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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