Glossy Stain Face Off: YSL Vernis A Levres vs L’Oreal Shine Caresse

You have all read my raves and my love for the YSL Vernis A Levres glossy stains which are really long lasting, feather-light lip glosses. (In case you’ve missed those posts, I have reviewed Corail Aquatique here and Corail Fauve here.) Today, when I received the new L’Oreal Shine Caresse lipglosses and I swatched them, I went “OMG, OMG!!!” Why did I react that way? Read this Face Off and you shall know why…

YSL Vernis A Levres glossy stains vs L'Oreal Shine Caresse


Who doesn’t know Yves Saint Laurent, YSL for short, the French haute couture brand that also has wonderful fragrances and makeup. A couple of years ago, it was assimilated into L’Oreal‘s cornucopia of brands so, in a way, the lineage wouldn’t really count….they are siblings from the same family. And both francais….


YSL Glossy Stain vs L'Oreal Shine Caresse
I love the black and gold packaging of the YSL Glossy Stains as it looks so different from the conventional lip gloss tubes. The black body, though plastic, looks quite rich and lacquered and the gold cap with the YSL logo embossed in red adds to the funtional-chic look of the packaging. There are two rectangular “windows” on either side of the body from where you can see the colour of the gloss within.
The L’Oreal Shine Caresse glosses are outright opulent, with a gold, conical body and centimeter thick band of plastic that show’s the colour of the gloss. Though almost the whole of the body is gold, it isn’t as bright as the gold on YSL Glossy Stain’s cap and hence doesn’t look ostentatious. In fact, it looks gorgeous! The L’Oreal logo is self embossed on a “clip” on the packaging in keeping with the “muted gold” theme.

Wand / Applicator

Wands / applicators of YSL Glossy Stains and L'Oreal Shine Caresse
The thin, hexagonal foam applicators of the YSL Glossy Stains are my favourite kind of applicators since they make for an even application. The pointy tip also helps in precisely shaping the cupid’s bow. They also tilt at an angle which makes application more comfortable.
The applicators of L’Oreal Shine Caresse are also of foam and are tilted but are leaf-shaped making them slightly wider than the YSL ones. That’s the only difference however and this shape is equally good for a smooth, even application.

Texture, Pigmentation and Longevity

Swatches YSL Glossy Stains and L'Oreal Shine Caresse
DUPE ALERT! Okay, take a look at these swatches and tell me which ones are YSL and which ones are L’Oreal. You could probably tell from the shades but look at the texture and pigmentation. IDENTICAL!!! Just the fragrance is slightly different, but then it doesn’t last anyway. The shades from left to right are: YSL #12 Corail Fauve, YSL #7 Corail Aquatique, L’Oreal #605 Eve and L’Oreal #900 Pretty Woman.
The texture is really light and they both go on as thin, sheer, weightless veils of colour that cling onto your lips for dear life. Both, the YSL and L’Oreal ones have a tendency to look darker on the lips than in the tube/swatch so you really need to start with very light layers and build up if you want a darker colour.
I have worn the YSL Glossy Stains countless times to know that they last through food and drink with bare minimal fading around the inner lip area. Today, I have been wearing the pink L’Oreal Shine Caresse (which on my lips looks more like a dark berry pink) since afternoon and it has seen me through my afternoon coffee and dinner and is still on my lips with a little fading on the inner lip ring. These glossy stains, be it YSL or L’Oreal, don’t budge or streak at all,  though their shine fades a bit, and need to be removed with a good makeup remover.
swatches of YSL Glossy Stains and L'Oreal Shine Caresse
This above picture was taken just 10 minutes before I started writing this post. The swatches have been on my forearm for almost 6 hours and have endured innumerable brushes against my clothing and other stuff as I went about doing my work. And no, they didnt transfer onto my clothes. So, as you can see, the shine has gone but the colours are still there and they haven’t smudged. The colour won’t fade so much from the lips coz your lips wont be brushing against stuff as much as your arm..or will they 😉


And now, the most important part, the price. Of course, YSL, being a luxe brand, it’s products are going to be priced higher. But you aren’t going to believe the difference in price for these two siblings…
YSL Vernis A Levres: Rs. 2200 for 6 ml
L’Oreal Shine Caresse: Rs. 499 for 6ml
So basically, if you have been lusting after the YSL Glossy Stains but have been put off by the four digit price tag, go ahead and indulge in the L’Oreal Shine Caresse coz, like I said, they are identical!! You can buy 4 L’Oreal ones for the price of one YSL (I think I sounded like Becky Bloomwood when I said that).
Which glosses are you eyeing? What shades did you like?

20 Replies to “Glossy Stain Face Off: YSL Vernis A Levres vs L’Oreal Shine Caresse”

  1. Have you tried L’Oreal’s Color Riche liquid lipsticks? They’re even better than the Shine Caresse lip glosses!

  2. Wow these seem great.I am definitely gonna grab few

  3. Pretty shades dear!

  4. Esha Gupta says: Reply

    L’oreal it is!! I can get 4 😉

  5. So glad you liked this post 🙂

  6. Thanks Kanika 🙂

  7. This is so interesting and I think I would give preference to L’Orealover YSL, atleast after this post!! 😛

  8. Jhilmil D Saha says: Reply

    This is such a great post…knowing about products that can give the same look in an affordable price as their expensive counterparts is always cool.

  9. thepinkpout says: Reply

    waooo I would never think of these as dupes for YSL now I have a good reason to get these!!!

  10. Arthi Ramesh says: Reply

    You have some brilliant ways of reviewing and i think your posts are really innovative. Keep up the good work !!! Do check out my blog

  11. Liked the swatches ^_^

  12. Wow. That’s amazing…even without seeing them you felt they were dupes. And it’s true that YSL is YSL for most products and I used to feel that way for the Glossy Stains too, but then now it is part of the L’Oreal group and the formulation of the Shine Caresse is identical….same group, cater to both the markets….

    I shall post lip swatches too….just waiting for my angry skin to calm down. The lip swatches will show what I mean when I say the colours go darker on the lips.

  13. You’re most welcome 🙂

  14. Beauty Frontline says: Reply

    Thank you so much for this post..I ‘ll check loreal ones soon 🙂

  15. Revathy HealthnBeauty says: Reply

    good god… i found another soul in u tat feels these are capable dupes of YSL Glossy stains… I don’t own the YSL ones… but had swatched them along these at the counter & had posted that Loreal Caresse are potential dupes of YSL long before these were launched in India… only to get bombarded by so-called “makeup gurus” that YSL is YSL, Loreal is Loreal.. don’t I know tat!

    apart from this rant, I think u got some pretty shades from both the collection! wish u had posted some lip swatches too 😀

  16. They definitely are Pooja. And they have lovely shades too 🙂

  17. Thanks Dolon :). Now you don’t really need to try out the YSL ones, coz like I said, same product, different packaging.

  18. Pooja Mittal says: Reply

    They are so alike in the shine and look like swatches are from the same brand..
    Nice packaging
    I am going to go for the loreal ones , they are way to cheaper
    Keep in touch

  19. Poutpretty says: Reply

    Great post :)..Havent tried the YSL ones coz I’m not a fan of stains but the L’Oreal ones are quite nice. I got Bella and Juliette and both are lovely!

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