The latest addition to the Yves Saint Laurent Beauté face makeup range, the new All Hours Foundation Stick promises a lightweight and lasting matte finish.
Ease-of-use characterises this chic stick: The petite tube (7 cm when capped, 8½ cm when fully-retracted) fits snugly between my fingers, its compact size allowing me to stroke on colour with the right amount of pressure.
Going on with a silky glide, the cream-to-powder product blends effortlessly without smearing or streaking. The texture is not quite “melty” but has a decidedly soft-velvet touch. Though it’s marketed as an oil-free foundation, it has skin-conditioning polymers that prevent it from being drying whilst maintaining a no-shine appearance.
Its lightweight nature means it can disappear with vigorous blending, so use gentle motions when applying. It works well with my fingers because the warmth from my digits smooths it out, melding it seamlessly into my skin.
The first layer offers immediate medium coverage that I can swiftly soften for a natural my-skin-but-better look. The coverage is certainly buildable—additional swipes of the product and quick blending easily give a more finished result—but this foundation doesn’t obscure my facial moles like some full-coverage crème foundations can.
With this foundation, I often don’t feel like I’m wearing anything on my face. The velvet matte finish can look almost-airbrushed, especially on good-skin days.
I haven’t fully tested its all-day shine control claim but I once wore it for 3 to 4 hours, with a light moisturiser (see below) + no setting powder + no blotting, and arrived home without a greasy face. A bit dewy, for sure, but no oil-slick.
It works remarkably well as a concealer: it’s moist enough without sliding and layers over itself, and even powder, without settling into my fine lines. I haven’t tried it for contouring (another targeted application recommended by the brand) but I can see how it would work, thanks to its structure and texture.
It carries a powdery floral scent that isn’t obtrusive to me, but sensitive noses might pick it up readily.
I like setting the stick with YSL Beauté Le Compact Encre de Peau (S$99): The finely-milled pigments of this compact foundation have a luxe melting texture that imparts a satiny feel, and my face looks polished with a matte glow after finishing off with it. I reach for this compact so often that it really deserves a review of its own!
Priced at S$88, the foundation stick weighs 9 grams, just 1 gram shy of Le Compact’s 10 grams.
It doesn’t quite reach the level of blemish-banishing coverage that something denser affords—the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Stick immediately comes to mind, thanks to the black/gold similarity—but on the upside, it layers without caking and doesn’t leave a mask-like effect.
Perhaps reflective of the product’s featherlight touch, the tube doesn’t carry much weight and feels rather light. While this makes it ultra-portable (good for on-the-go touch-ups), I do wish it had more physical heft, something I associate with a luxury brand.
On its own, the lightweight moisturiser adds a subtle glow and soft-focus effect, creating a smooth base for foundation.
Its benefits might be obfuscated by sunscreen in the daytime (the YSL Blanc Pur Couture UV Protection and Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense which I regularly use give me both sun protection and radiance) but wearing it in the evening—sans sunscreen—really brings out its skin-softening features, both in touch and appearance.
My dehydrated skin needs a bit more help, so this isn’t a must-have for me, but I can see why a few makeup artists I know love it.
Formulated with moisture-replenishing hyaluronic acid and antibacterial walnut leaf extract, the fixing spray dispenses a fine hydrating mist to seal makeup in. The nozzle is a pleasure to push – it goes all the way down with just enough resistance for control.
Despite several spritzes to test, the liquid didn’t shift my makeup. I like how it imparts a luminosity bordering on dewy. Using this keeps my makeup fresh, though I still need to use a blotting sheet or two to be photo-ready at the end of the day.
The mist is housed in a plastic bottle, yet there’s a nice heft to it. I’d like to see it in a classy black glass bottle but I reckon that material is mainly used for the core YSL skincare line.
Both products carry the signature Top Secrets scent. I don’t mind it but according to a YSL makeup artist I know, there are fans of the brand who are so drawn to this sweet floral fragrance that they hope for it to be made into a YSL perfume!