#FrenchFriday : Tatouage Couture, the liquid matte lipstick by YSL

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You know a product has truly become mainstream when all the French department store beauty brands start releasing their own version. That's the case with liquid matte lipstick: Chanel launched theirs a few months ago (my review), Dior had a limited edition one for the holidays (my review), but also just released a permanent line, Guerlain just came out with theirs in a handful of shades, and then there's the one we're going to look into today, the YSL Tatouage Couture Matte Stain.

I'm planning to get some of the new Dior and Guerlain as well when I can (if you want to see reviews sooner than later, send your donations, lol!), but I decided to start with Yves Saint Laurent because I usually love the lip products that the brand creates. Is this one as good as I expected? Let's find out!

First, the packaging. It's a bit different from the rest of the YSL lip stain range: same rectangular shape and metallic cap, but the tube is made of frosted clear plastic. It's pretty, classy, and for once you can easily see the color inside (the other Stains only have a clear stripe in the a black tube). The product has YSL's signature exotic fruit scent, but I don't find it obnoxious in this case - unlike in the Gloss Volupté. I can't really smell it after I'm done applying it.

The Tatouage Couture has the weirdest applicator I've ever seen for a liquid lip product. It's an odd rectangular paddle that's slanted, angled and tapered - yep, all that. It's full of angles and sharp edges, which makes it very precise to draw a thin line around your lips. However, I find it a bit hard to use to simply swipe color all over and create a nicely rounded shape on my cupid's bow. How am I supposed to make half-circles with a square-ish tip? With lots of effort, that's how! Luxury detail: the black plastic piece at the center of the applicator has the YSL logo engraved in it, and it gets filled with liquid lip color.

The formula is saturated with vibrant color but it's not 100% opaque. You'll see in the swatches that it's slightly translucent, letting the skin color peak through. That doesn't translate as patchy coverage on my lips though. I just have to make sure that I 'm swiping all over to make it look even.

10 carmin statement swatch

The color I bought is 10 Carmin Statement. It insisted on looking like a warm red on the pictures, no matter if I tried to shoot in natural or artificial light. However in real life it's a pinkish red, not really cool but with enough blue undertones to give it a hint of fuchsia. It's a beautiful color for a statement lip, very brightening and vibrant. The Tatouage Couture was released in a surprisingly wide color range consisting of 18 shades, with lots of nudes, reds and deep berries. I swatched a few extra shades in store to give you an idea (forgive the horrible store lighting, not sure which shades they are, except that the last one on the right is Singular Taupe, which is a nice pinkish nude and definitely no taupe, and not very singular either if you ask me):

Once applied to the lips, the Tatouage Couture dries down to what I would describe as a semi-matte finish, with just a hint of satiny sheen. It does, however, become fully matte with time as it wears down, so if a true matte is what you're after, just be patient. It feels very lightweight and thin, and it's so, so comfortable to wear. On my chronically chapped lips, it's not just non-drying, it's quite hydrating. I can wear it all day, and my lips still look smooth and soft in the evening.

fotd motd wearing 10 Carmin statement
Wearing YSL Tatouage Couture Matte Lip Stain
in 10 Carmin Statement

One thing that may be a deal breaker for some is that it transfers a lot. And I mean, A LOT, like, everywhere, all day long. Basically, it doesn't dry and set completely like some more classic liquid matte lipsticks. It remains slightly emollient, and that's what makes it so comfortable to wear. Unlike some liquid lipsticks that dry to a flat matte finish, sucking the life out of your lips and make them look like old prunes, this one makes my lips look smooth and plump throughout the wear.

Despite the transfer issue and the hydrating formula, this thing wears all day long and even more. It truly deserves its name of Matte Stain! It looks perfectly fresh after drinks and light snacking (again, despite the transfer) and even through a full meal, I still have a very colorful, even stain that's actually hard to remove at night. I've never really had to use a specific makeup remover on my lips (liquid matte lipstick usually balls or peels off on me), but I had to resort to a waterproof remover to completely get rid of the Tatouage Couture. And the swatches on my arm left stains that slowly went away after 2+ days and 3 showers...


If you're looking for a very long-wearing yet really comfortable liquid matte lip color, YSL's Tatouage Couture is everything you've ever hoped for. If you prefer formulas that dry down completely and are transfer-proof, on the other hand, this one is not for you. My lips need all the hydration they can get, so I'm really loving it! I might buy a couple more shades for the fall/season, probably a berry and a nude.

Where to buy?

The product featured in this review was purchased by me. I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links. I receive a very small commission when you click on those links, and the money generated covers a small portion of my expenses to purchase products for review. Clicking on those links helps ensure that Beaumiroir continues to publish reviews of new and exciting high end French products - at no cost to you!

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