#FrenchFriday : the new YSL Volupte Liquid Color Balm is much more than just a lip balm

Affiliate Links

Now that we've formally established my addiction to lip products, let's start taking a closer look at the lippies I bought at the Sephora spring sale. First to be scrutinized is the new Volupté Liquid Colour Balm by Yves Saint Laurent (that's how it's spelled on the box, although all the US retailers have it as "Color"). This "balm" really surprised me - but was it in a good or in a bad way? Keep reading to find out!

At 12:02 am on the first day of the Sephora Rouge sale (which started at midnight on this side of the world) I threw this Liquid Color Balm in my virtual cart with the same level of excitement as a puppy being handed its first squeaky toy. So I completely forgot to read the official description on the website. Which means that I had assumptions about this product based entirely on its name, and on the promo pictures I had first seen weeks ago. And I couldn't have been more wrong!

From the name Liquid Color Balm I focused on the balm part, and I was expecting a sheer and hydrating lip gloss - a bit like the Almay Liquid Lip Balm which I really love. Que nenni ! This new lip creation by YSL is so much more pigmented than I anticipated! It's not fully opaque, but it's pretty close. I thought it would be a thicker and creamier version of YSL's Tint-in-Oil but the two couldn't be more different.

The Volupté Liquid Color Balm has the texture of a creamy lipgloss. It's on the slightly thicker side, so not really a liquid, yet it still manages to feel very lightweight on the lips. The consistency means that it won't slide around the lips or feather, and you have good control over application. Except that the fuzzy applicator, shaped like lips, is bigger and more rounded than what I've seen in other YSL lip products. I like that it feels cushy but it lacks a pointy tip or sharp edge for very precise application. I wish it was designed like the applicator in the Tint-in-Oil or the Volupté Gloss. No a biggie though, I can make it work even with the bright color I bought.

The long silver tube is basically the same as the Tint-in-Oil, except that there's a lip shaped window near the bottom that shows the color inside. The color ring with the YSL logo in the middle doesn't show the real shade, it's more inspired by the color family. It's a fairly simple and elegant tube, but it's a real magnet for fingerprints, despite a slightly brushed finish. Like all YSL lip products, the Liquid Color Balm has a strong mango scent. That's the brand's signature, so if you don't like it you basically can't get near any of their lippies!

YSL Volupte Tint-in-Oil on the left and Volupte Liquid Color Balm on the right

YSL promises a "high shine liquid lip color" but I wouldn't say that it's a super glossy formula. Yes it has a nice shine, but not as much as the brand's Vinyl Cream or even their Glossy Stains in the Pop Water version. It doesn't create a wet lips effect, if that's what you're looking for. But it is very smooth and absolutely not sticky or tacky.

What it does provide a great amount of, however, is color. I would describe it as semi-opaque, as you can still see the lips through but they're coated in saturated color. Compared with the other lip products by YSL, I would say that it's not as pigmented and opaque as the Vinyl Cream, but very close to the classic Glossy Stains. In fact, for me this Volupté Liquid Color Balm is like a more comfortable version of the popular Glossy Stains, just with a shorter wear.

swatch compared to ysl viny cream lip stain tint in oil pop water glossy
Swatches of YSL Volupte Liquid Color Balm comparing opacity with other YSL lip products

I don't like the original Glossy Stains because they dry out my lips like no other. The Liquid Color Balm, on the other hand, is super comfortable to wear and lightly hydrating. According to YSL it contains lots of ingredients to pamper the lips: shea butter, coconut water, macadamia, jojoba and apricot oils, pomegranate extract and vitamin E. I wouldn't say that it's actively nourishing on my dry lips, but it adds a nice veil of moisture.

Choosing a shade sight unseen was difficult, and since I thought the Liquid Color Balm was going to be very sheer I went for a bright red: 7 Grab Me Red. It looks almost coral right out of the tube, but it is more like a watermelon red on my lips. After a couple of hours it turns a bit rosy as it wears down. I think it's a beautiful, vibrant color and offers an easy way to wear red, since it's not 100% opaque.

The wear time is excellent for a product that's supposed to be a balm. After a couple of hours the glossiness wears off (and it transfers to my cups), leaving behind a very colorful stain that fades away slowly and evenly in about 4 hours on me.

wearing full face photo fotd motd lotd
Wearing the new YSL Volupte Liquid Color Balm in 7 Grab Me Red


I was very pleasantly surprised by the new YSL Volupté Liquid Color Balm, which turned out to be a lot more pigmented than I expected. If you like the idea of a semi-opaque lip gloss that feels lightweight, hydrating, not at all sticky and leaves a stain for hours, I can definitely recommend it.


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!

No comments

Unfortunately the comment system does not work on mobile phones at this time :( If you see this message and leave a comment, I will be unable to approve it, I'm really sorry about this issue!