#FrenchFriday: Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Nude Carat

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Nude Carat #20

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté, launched in 2014, could be my HG gloss formula and replace an old discontinued favorite in my heart, if only it didn't suffer from a major issue I'll describe in a moment. 
Years ago, around 10 I guess, I was collecting Dior Addict lipglosses. The range was rich with gorgeous shimmery, intense and luminous shades with a very comfortable texture. Then, the dreaded "incident" happened: a reformulation, a threat that all beautystas live in fear of when it comes to our HG products. After Dior re-vamped the Addict Gloss line, the colors got more muted, the finishes less shimmery and the shades more... boring. I never bought another tube. And I never found another line of glosses that compared in any other brand. 

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Nude Carat #20

That is, until YSL released their Gloss Volupté. The first time I saw a display in a store, my jaw dropped below my knees. The luminous, vibrant colors, packed with exquisite shimmer or pure and jelly-like, were all shining like jewels before my fascinated eyes. I know I'm being a little dramatic, but I really think that the shade range of the Gloss Volupté is by far the best in the high-end market. The shades are grouped in 3 finishes: Golden, with gold flecks, Iridescent, with classic shimmer, and Pure, a jelly finish without shimmer. 

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté
A view of the shade range

I was looking for a beige gloss at the time, and I picked the shade called Nude Carat, #20, part of the Golden category. It's a beige leaning towards pink with a hint of mauve, containing golden flakies. Those flecks are not large sparkles, but small, semi-transparent reflective gold particles in irregular shapes. I never feel those particles on my lips, but they make the gloss very luminous, without the disco-ball effect of sparkles. This glimmer is hard to capture with a camera, it is much more striking in real life. 

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Nude Carat #20

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Nude Carat #20 macro view of golden flecks

Nude Carat is sheer and subtle, but it really flatters the lips. It applies very evenly and doesn't settle into lip lines. Despite being lighter than my natural lips, it doesn't wash me out, and it works well paired with heavy eye makeup like a good ol' smokey eye. It tends to look more beige in indirect or artificial light, but the pink undertone takes over in direct sunlight. 

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Nude Carat #20 swatch

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Nude Carat #20 swatch worn on lips sun/shade
Top: shade
Bottom: direct sunlight

The texture of the Gloss Volupté is dreamy: it's a lightweight, slippery gel-like formula, with absolutely no tackiness or stickiness to it. It doesn't dry out my lips, it actually seems to keep my lips moisturized and it's really comfortable on. It will disappear fast if I eat or drink but it stays put as long as I don't. 

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Nude Carat #20 fotd worn on lips full face picture
Wearing Nude Carat with a smokey eye

The applicator is supposed to be shaped like lips... It's a weird angled felt applicator that's split in the middle, and that space acts like a reservoir. The shape works well, it makes application really easy by hugging the curves of the lips. On several occasions, I've had a drop of gloss fall off the applicator right after I pulled it out of the tube. Recipe for disaster if you use a red gloss and wear a white top... Luckily I never stained my clothes, but something in the shape of this applicator is causing this dripping, so be careful. 

Yves Saint Laurent Gloss Volupté in Nude Carat #20 felt applicator

So why is YSL Gloss Volupté not my new HG gloss, since it sounds pretty awesome, right? Why haven't I bought the 4 or 5 more shades that are screaming my name every time I walk past a display? 
Yeah, it looks great. But my problem is with the smell. This gloss has an incredibly strong tropical fruit scent that lasts as long as the gloss stays on my lips, if not LONGER. I usually don't have a problem with fragranced makeup, and I enjoy fruity scents. When they're subtle. Here, the intensity of the scent is just way, way too high, and this synthetic mango fragrance suffocates me and upsets my stomach. Why YSL, or WHY did you need to make this gorgeous lipgloss smell like a cheap popsicle? 

Overall: Nude Carat is a beautiful nude lipgloss with glimmery golden flecks and a near-perfect texture, but it reeks of tropical Kool-Aid. If you're not sensitive to scents or are really into fake mango, by all means go check out the Gloss Volupté line and its mesmerizing shades. Otherwise, go smell it at a counter before you make the decision to buy it so you know what you're getting into. 

Where to buy? 

The product featured in this review was purchased by Lulle. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Oh, a strong smell that stays throughout the whole wartime definitely is a deal-breaker for me.

    LindaLibraLoca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    1. If it was lighter, I could handle it. But it's just too strong :(

  2. Dang. Apparently this is a big problem with most of YSL's lippies, if not all of them. But I have a matte lipstick and a couple of the glossy stains and don't notice the smell. I like the look of these glosses too and really wanted one for the summer but maybe later, when I'm not struggling with 20 opened liquid lip stuff.

    1. I've never had a problem with the stains or the Volupte lipsticks being so strongly scented that it disturbed me. It's such a bummer, it ruins a really good lipgloss line for me :(

  3. Ahhh so sorry to hear this thing is ALMOST perfect! I get the smell problem tho. I can't stand the smell of fig, so any fig-smelling lipsticks are automatically in my "look not touch" category. Does this smell like any of their lipsticks? I actually like the mango smell of Rouge Volupte Shine, but I know people who hate it.

    1. I don't own a Shine but I have a regular Volupte lipstick, and the scent is nowhere as strong as it is with this gloss, and I don't think it lasts throughout the wear either. It'd be ok if it was lighter or just lasted a few minutes!


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