Sunday, April 27, 2014

REVIEW: Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation

The Sephora VIB sale signaled my last beauty purchase for the foreseeable future, partially because I won't be teaching this summer, partially because I don't need any more makeup in my currently-well-pruned collection. But I wanted to try one last much-lauded foundation, a product that some say is light enough for the super-pale and is often recommended for its great glow: Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat. As the name suggests, this foundation is meant to give you the same radiant effect as the Touche Eclat pen, a cult favorite for decades.

Now, I know that the smart thing would've been to get a sample instead of spending the last of my pocket cash on a $57 + taxes foundation. But I'd already asked for a sample of the Marc Jacobs Genius Gel foundation. The YSL seemed like the safer bet: medium coverage, dewy finish, wide shade range, and again, plenty of positive reviews. What was there to lose?

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Let's go over the technicalities. The YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation costs $57 for 1oz at Sephora. There are 16 shades, ranging from very light to very dark, with three undertones: neutral (the B shades), yellow (the BD shades), and pink (the BR shades). This is actually a relatively impressive range for a luxury foundation, considering most brands just stick to 7 or 8 medium shades, though you may have to mix to get your perfect match.

The packaging is absolutely stunning and reeks of opulence...or at least it does for me, because I like things that are simple and elegant. It's a glass bottle with a pump and some gold trim, just my style. I knew that if this product worked out for me, it'd look great next to my Dolce & Gabbana powder

For the photos included in this review, I used 1 1/2 pumps of foundation on my face and upper neck. I blended the product using my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (and I kinda missed a spot on the end of my nose there--I fixed it later!). I worked in sections because I heard that this foundation dries down quickly, but I didn't find that to be the case, not even on my very dry cheeks.  I wouldn't take my good sweet time smoothing the foundation out, but you have some leeway and you shouldn't panic when applying.

The formulation is a smooth, creamy liquid with a slight floral fragrance that fades after a few moments. It feels absolutely weightless on my skin. Although this foundation is touted as being super-glowy, it looked more satin on my skin; I'm combination-dry, however, so I've yet to meet a "dewy finish foundation" that actually looked like that on my skin. Regardless, it's an absolute stunning finish. LTTE has SPF19, which can cause flashback in photos, but wasn't too much of a problem for me.

Applied with a brush or with my fingers, I get medium, slightly buildable coverage. A damp BeautyBlender gave me sheerer coverage, but I wasn't as fond of the finish and felt like it took more work to blend out with that method (see here).

Flash on the left; some sunlight on the right. I live in Pennsylvania, so trying to get BRIGHT sunlight for a photograph is kind of a moot point.

Suffice to say that this product photographs beautifully. I was absolutely blown away by how fantastic my skin looked in pictures, both with and without flash; it was like it was airbrushed, but so carefully that it still looked like skin. Just looking at these photos makes me fall madly, desperately in love with LTTE's phenomenal finish and coverage.

But in the harsh light of day, it was a different story. Because, you see, this product looks like makeup on my skin. That's not to say that it looks bad, because it doesn't. But it doesn't look as "real" or as natural as what I'm accustomed to. I'm without a doubt visibly made-up when I wear this product.

The NARS foundation swatched here is Sheer Glow; the Flower Beauty foundation is the About Face liquid. The Sheer Glow is actually old and rancid (thanks, unsavory swappers), but the color should still be accurate.

It's also a bit too dark for me. My face is about N15 with pink undertones, but my neck is N5 with cool yellow undertones. I prefer to match to my neck. I'm okay with foundations in the N10 range (between my face and neck) because the difference is generally imperceptible, but I've come to the conclusion that B10 is much closer to N15 than what I'm comfortable with. (NOTE: It looks like a perfect match in the full-face pictures posted above, but I've found that my camera can be very generous, probably because I am so blindingly white. IRL, this is definitely too dark for me.)

B10 is relatively neutral, though, especially compared to NARS Siberia and Flower LF1 (which have hints of cool yellow) and MAC Face & Body N1 (which is very pink). I was told that the BR10 shade is lighter and would therefore work better for me, but it's apparently not available in America, and I'm not a huge fan of weaseling expensive products through customs unless it's absolutely necessary. (EDIT: While the BR10 shade was not available when I purchased this product and wrote this review, it is reportedly now available at Neiman Marcus.)

I was pleasantly surprised by how well this foundation wore throughout the day. It looked stunning on my normal and dry areas throughout the entire day, with no fading, patchiness, or flakes showing. And while I wouldn't recommend this product to an oily-skinned person, it's not terrible on oily skin by any means, either. My nose did get a bit shiny and the foundation did fade, but it faded evenly after 5-6 hours and wasn't settling in my pores or sliding off.

In the end, the Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation is absolutely stunning, one of the few $50+ foundations I've tried that's definitely worth the money. But because it's too dark and because it looks a bit fake in daylight, it's just not the right product for me.

RATING: 5 out of 5

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