Housed in a single jar are two products that are claimed to help you look as though you got a great night’s sleep. The upper compartment of the jar houses a lip balm that’s actually a well-formulated option to keep lips moisturized, soft, and protected from further chapping. It has an emollient texture that’s easy to apply and feels creamy. The Face Creme is housed in the lower compartment and isn’t as impressive as the non-aqueous lip balm, primarily because of the jar packaging. The fact that it’s packaged in a jar means the beneficial ingredients won’t remain stable once it is opened. All plant extracts, vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients break down in the presence of air, so once a jar is opened and lets the air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate. Jars also are unsanitary because you’re dipping your fingers into them with each use, adding bacteria, which further deteriorate the beneficial ingredients.
The lip balm in this palette contains fewer ingredients that will break down in the presence of air, plus the absence of water gives the product greater stability against bacterial contamination. The average rating applies to the moisturizer portion of this product. On its own, the lip balm portion would earn a Good rating.
A skincare palette that combines two specialist formulas in one glamorous compact, to target skin affected by stress, pollution, climate changes and lack of sleep. The upper compartment of the palette contains the lip balm, while the facial cream is located in the lower compartment.
Lip Balm: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Octyldodecanol, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides, Phytosteryl Macadamiate, Hydroxystearic Acid, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Jojoba Esters, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Behenoxy Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Irvingia Gabonensis Kernel Butter, Stearyl Stearate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Boron Nitride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance, Behenic Acid, Paraffin
Face Creme: Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Petrolatum, Hydrogenated Didecene, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate Se, Jojoba Esters, Peg-8 Beeswax, Triethylhexanoin, Glycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Passiflora Incarnata Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, Fragrance, Stearic Acid, Octyldodecanol, Fructose, Glucose, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Squalane, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate 60, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Irvingia Gabonensis Kernel Butter, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil Extract, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium Edta, Alanine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Urea, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben
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.