YSL knows how to push my buttons. First, they come out with a beautiful cream blush that is my absolute Holy Grail, then they threaten to discontinue it (although Babydoll is still available, so maybe they're just trying to scare us in to purchasing more). Then, they release a foundation that is stupidly gorgeous, but of course, too dark for my skintone. Now they're competing in a "World's Cutesiest Name" competition, or something of that ilk. "Baby Doll Kiss and Blush?" Really?
I'm going to refer to these as "KnB" or "Kiss and Blush stains" for the remainder of this review, because I am that old and cranky. In the meantime: stop, YSL. Just stop.
The Kiss and Blush stains are dual lip-and-cheek products that retail at $40 apiece for 0.33oz of product, housed in a pretty glass tube. I'm funny about glass because I'm clumsy and prone to breaking things, but I've dropped these multiple times and they haven't shattered yet. (This is not me telling you to rush out and drop your glass bottles. Avoid! Avoid!)
The applicator is a spongy, spade-shaped oddity, bent at an angle. There's a tiny hole in the center of the spade; when you use the applicator to apply product, the pressure will push the excess through the hole. This makes it hard to overdo your application.
The applicator is kind of a necessity with this product. While I prefer to dab product on the back of a clean hand, then apply it to my face from there, I don't seem to get much pigmentation that way. I think it's because this formula clings to your skin immediately, so once I've got it on my hand, it doesn't want to move. I get much better results if I use the applicator to apply directly to my lips and cheeks. This squicks me out a little, but unless you're a makeup artist who uses their products on tons of different people, it probably won't be an issue for most people.
Wearing 02 Rose Frivole on the left and 09 Rose Epicurien on the right.
Everybody has been raving that the KnBs are some of the only dual use products out there that actually work on both the lips and cheeks. And I have to say that that's true. I get smooth, soft coverage and 3 hours of wear on my lips, less if I eat a lot, and they last for a good 6+ hours on my cheeks. The formula is very silicone heavy, and all of that "slip" definitely helps the products feel weightless and glide over most texture and fine lines.
On both the lips and cheeks, this product has a satin finish. This gives the Kiss and Blush stains a very natural, effortless look. However, it also makes them rather drying. I'll wear these on my lips for an easy match, but it's my personal preference; after a few hours, it feels like I've dusted powder over my mouth. I'm willing to tolerate a drying formula if the color is phenomenal or the wear-time is long, but for 3 hours? Eeeeh.
I also dislike the scent of most YSL products. The Kiss and Blush stains feature their "mango" scent, which I normally find completely intolerable. However, it's not as strong in the KnBs as it is in other products from the line, and I can't smell it after I've applied the stain to my skin. Still, disgusting. Why should such a luxe-looking product smell like peach rings?!
In the end, these are very impressive lip and cheek stains, and I can see why people are loving them. But I'm not entirely convinced I want to buy more shades, especially at $40 a bottle. I'll probably keep them in my makeup bag to conserve space, and use them more in the summer when the heat makes me extra-lazy.
RATING: 4 out of 5