YSL x Zoe Kravitz collection: review and swatches

Right after I fell into a deep hole of looking for swatches and any information I could find on the YSL x Zoe Kravitz collaboration, I briefly wondered if it was the packaging, the shades, or Zoe Kravitz that made me want this collection so much. 

I don’t call myself a Zoe Kravitz super fan by any means, but it’s hard to ignore how absolutely cool and gorgeous she is, and she always has some of my favorite fashion and makeup looks at red carpet events. And now she’s going to be Catwoman? I can’t wait. 

Kravitz’s collaboration with YSL is undeniably gorgeous. Elegant and effortlessly cool at the same time, it’s basically the aesthetic that I aspire to be. The 6 shades in the collection are also gorgeous, and inspired by Zoe’s family, and true to YSL, the formula of all the lipsticks I have is one of the best. 

The 6 shades in the collections are divided into nudes and red, in 3 different finishes: satin, matte, and shimmer. They are all in YSL’s best selling Rouge Pur Couture Formula, which I had actually only tried once or twice, but was always eager to try more of. They retail for $38 each for .13oz/3.8g of product. I bought mine at Sephora, but they are also available on the YSL website, and most department stores.

The packaging on these lipsticks is what immediately caught my eye. The black packaging with encased sparkles is beautiful and fun at the same time. The design is apparently inspired by a YSL bag with sparkles from the packaging from the Black Opium fragrance. It feels heavy without feeling like a rock in my bag, which I greatly appreciate. I also far prefer this packaging to the gold packaging since I just don’t like gold packaging, but that’s purely personal preference. 

I have always been a huge fan of YSL lipsticks, from their glossy stains to their matte tatouage to the Rouge Volupte Shine formula. This was actually my first time really trying the Pur Couture formula, and somehow, I think it might actually be my favorite of all the ones I’ve tried. No matter if it’s the satin, matte, or shimmer formula, the shades are all pigmented without feeling thick or heavy, and they are actually moisturizing on me. The shades are long lasting for a traditional bullet lipstick, although they’re not going to last you through a heavy meal. I am mostly impressed with how comfortable they feel on my lips, and how they feel like absolute silk when I apply them. 

Of the 3 formulas, I think that the satin one is my favorite of the 3, just because they have a natural looking cream finish that works for any occasion. The matte is about what you would expect, although it still has a very light finish that I don’t see with other matte lipsticks. The shimmer formula surprised me. I am almost never a fan of shimmer formulas because they emphasize the dry patches on my lips, but these lipsticks have a very subtle shimmer that is just barely noticeable. There is a slight luminosity, but I don’t notice any shimmer or glitter particles. 

These lipsticks have a light floral scent, but it’s light enough that I barely notice it. However, I am not very sensitive to scents so most scents don’t bother me unless they’re really smacking me in the face. If you are sensitive to fragrance, I would look at these in person to see if they bother you. 

Onto the shades that I picked up: 

  • 121 Arlene’s Nude (satin) – a cool-toned mauve nude
  • 122 Wolf’s Red (satin) – an opaque neutral red
  • 123 Maris’ nude (matte) – a brown toned nude
  • 126 Lale’s Red (shimmer) – a deep red with very subtle shimmer

And here are swatches: 

Arlene’s Nude, Maris’ Nude, Wolf’s Red, Lale’s Red

Here are the lipsticks on my lips:

I also compared it to lipsticks I have in my collection already. Surprisingly, Arlene’s Nude was the only lipstick I really had a dupe for. Bite Taurus is nearly identical in shade, although the color is a little heavier and thicker.

L-R: Arlene’s Nude, Bite Taurus, Wolf’s Red, YSL Glossy Stain #11, Burberry Military Red, Maybelline Red for All lipstick

I couldn’t really find a similar red for Wolf’s Red, but I compared to the reds I thought would be the closest. The Glossy Stain in #9 is warmer, as are Burberry Military Red and Maybelline Red for All. It turns out I have fewer red lipsticks than I thought!

L-R: Maris’ Nude, Charlotte Tilbury JK Magic, Pat McGrath She’s Heaven, Lale’s Red, Kosas Fringe

I thought for sure that I would have a dupe for Maris’ nude, but I couldn’t find anything similar. Charlotte Tilbury JK Magic is too light and pink, and Pat McGrath She’s Heaven is deeper and more gray toned. And for Lale’s Red, I compared Kosas Fringe, but you can see that they’re completely different. Lale’s Red is much more of a true red.

Color me impressed with all of these lipsticks. I’ve always loved YSL lip products, but these formulas have just risen to the top for me. And the shades that Zoe designed with YSL seem basic, but are all unique in my extensive lipstick collection. I’m absolutely tempted to pick up the other 2 shades to round out the collection. If you are even remotely interested in the shades, I’d definitely recommend checking them out in person. I think you’ll find that though they might seem boring, they are all wearable and unique, and could work for any type of situation. 

If you’ve tried these lipsticks, let me know! 

As always, thanks for reading. 

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