#FrenchFriday : New YSL Couture Highlighter

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Is Yves Saint Laurent advocating for the lost art of writing letters? I like to think that's the reason behind the envelope design on their new Couture Highlighters! I bought mine in shade 1 Or Pearl, and I'm ready to give you my thoughts about it. Is it worth grabbing at the upcoming Sephora sale? Keep reading to find out!

YSL's new Couture Highlighter comes in a very classic rectangular compact made of gold plastic. I think it feels a little cheap to be honest, despite the embossed logo on the lid. YSL makes really gorgeous packaging for their limited edition eye or face products, so I was a little disappointed to see that they cut corners on this compact. There is, however, a large mirror inside and the included brush is usable.

The amount of product in the compact is also very small at only 3 grams. That's only a tiny bit more than Becca's mini highlighters that contain 2.4 grams! By comparison a full size Becca highlighter comes with 8 g, and Dior's newest highlighters contain 6 g. Since the YSL retails for $42 it's really expensive for how much you get!

The cardboard box the Couture Highlighter comes in says that it's a "blendable powder, metallic shimmer, buildable intensity". What's interesting is that the French version is a little different, describing it as "intensité sans effet matière", which I would translate as weightless intensity (nothing here says buildable). I discovered when researching this highlighter on YSL's website that it's a wet/dry formula that you can apply with a wet brush for more glow. Weird that they wouldn't even mention it on the box!

The Couture Highlighter feels soft to the touch and it is indeed very lightweight and finely milled. I find that it blends into my skin without effort and leaves a very natural finish that never looks powdery. As for the highlighting effect, I would say it is quite subtle.

Applied dry I get a soft luminous glow on my cheekbones. It makes my skin look healthy and radiant, which is an effect I really like. But if you're looking for a strong, metallic highlight, I'm afraid you would find it too subdued. When I tried applying it wet it looked even smoother, but just slightly more reflective. I don't think it can be built to the bold, shiny effect that is popular these days, even with a wet brush. The good thing is that this soft sheen does not emphasize texture on the skin such as fine lines or pores.

wearing fotd motd lotd closeup
Wearing YSL Couture Highlighter in Or Pearl (applied dry)

Or Pearl, the shade I got, is a champagne gold with a hint of peachy pink tones. It's the perfect color for my light and warm skin tone, so paired with the subtle finish I get a very natural, healthy glow on my cheeks. There are two other shades of Couture Highlighter available: Or Rose (2) a rose gold with strong warm undertones and Or Bronze (3), a deeper bronze-y shade.

high end luxury highlight ysl french beauty brand swatch


If you prefer your highlighter to create a subtle glow that makes your skin look healthy and radiant, I think you would really enjoy YSL's new Couture Highlighter. The texture is very smooth and sits beautifully on the skin without emphasizing pores or lines. On the other hand, if you like your highlighter bold and metallic, you would probably find that it is not shiny enough for your taste!

As a rule of thumb, French high-end beauty brands tend to design products meant to create softer looks than the average US brand. There are exceptions, but it's something to keep in mind if you are into "full glam" looks.


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 shop through 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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