Review: YSL Tatouage Couture Matte Stains

I have to admit I haven’t explored YSL beauty products much. A few years ago I tried their glossy stain, but I didn’t like it very much. I’d want to try the cult favourite Touche Eclat one day, but for now, let’s talk about their newly launched YSL Tatouage Couture Matte Stains. I read all the hype in blogs. I saw all the hype on Instagram. I watched the YouTube videos. There’s this Taiwanese YouTuber who is really honest with her reviews who raved about this. I’ve been curious ever since! I wanted to know if the hype is real and thank you YSL for sending me some to try. Guys, the hype is real.


YSL Tatouage Couture Matte Stain


So let’s get some basic expectations set. First, this is a lip stain, with a matte finish. If you have very dry lips, any lipsticks with matte finish probably won’t be for you. If you have a lot of texture on your lips to start with, like lots of deep lines, then any matte finish lipstick will emphasize them.

These YSL Tatouage Matte Stains apply like water. They go on like light liquid but still easy to control. I think the paddle shaped applicator is perfect for this, and the shape allows you to shape your lips with precision, while spreading out the product evenly on the lips. The stain can be layered for a more opaque finish. Bold colours like 01 Rouge Tatouage and 03 Rose Ink go on opaque the first swipe. I like to use my ring finger to diffuse the edges and then apply a second layer if I wanted a bolder look. For lighter shades like 11 Rose Illicite and 23 Singular Taupe, I apply 2 layers.

Observations on application:

  1. The lip stains do set after a while. There is some play time, like blending and diffusing the edges with ease but after a couple of minutes, they set matte. However, because the texture of these stains is very thin, even when they set, they don’t shrink or feel uncomfortable on the lips.
  2. If I apply lip balm before the stains, then they don’t really set completely. There is still a bit of slip and they don’t stain the lips as much. So sometimes, if my lips feel particularly dry, I like to apply Rose Ink or Rouge Tatouage first, and wipe it off leaving a strong stain on my lips. I’d then apply a lip balm on top just for stained comfort.
  3. I like these as a base as well. I’d stain my lips, wipe it off, then apply another lipstick on top. When the lipstick wears off, there’s still a strong stain on my lips, instead of the hideous lip ring.



Here are the swatches.

01 Rouge Tatouage is a bright warm red.

03 Rose Ink is a bright fuchsia.

11 Rose Illicite is a light pink which has a white base, but is surprisingly flattering on my warm skin tone.

23 Singular Taupe is a beige nude, a perfect nude for me. Not too beige, not too pink, not too brown, just perfect. Can you tell I love this shade?

Both 11 and 23 are not completely opaque so when you apply it, your natural lip colour still shines through.



Here is how they look on me.


YSL Tatouage Matte Stain lip swatch


OK, wear time.

The lighter colours like 11 and 23 don’t stain the lips as much. Or rather, my lips are more pigmented so the stain is not very obvious. They stay on my lips the whole day as long as I don’t eat anything greasy. A heavy Asian meal will warrant a re-application, but it’s such an easy formula to work with that I don’t mind at all. It does not transfer, so I’m really happy about that. I hate that my cup or straw is stained red every time I drink. I have a habit of wiping the rim of the cup or my straw every time there’s a stain. When I wear this, I don’t have to. It’s also kiss proof. I kiss my babies, and their faces are clean. However, they are not rub proof. If you rub your lips hard with your fingers, they do come off, leaving a stain on your lips.

The bolder colours give a strong stain. Wiping your lips with tissue will not remove the stain. You’ll need a makeup remover. I’ve tried using micellar water and it works just fine. I feel a little icky using oil remover on my lips but I’m sure that works too. Ah, also worth mentioning is the scent of these matte stains. They smell sweet and fruity, just like all the other YSL lip products, but I think these aren’t as strong as the glossy stain I tried. I can smell it in the tube, but I can’t detect it on my lips.

I have since PURCHASED number 9 Grenat No Rules, which is a medium toned red that is suitable for every day wear. It is described as rust red, but on me it is just a deeper ruby red. Anyway, it is not too bright and not too deep, just right as a stain or worn opaque, with white t-shirt and blue jeans. Can I call it a casual red? Here I am wearing it, because if there’s no photo, it didn’t happen, right?


YSL Tatouage Matte Stain Grenat No Rules 09


I have my eye on number 16 which is completely sold out. It seems to be extremely popular worldwide, but since this is a permanent range, I’m sure I’ll be able to get it later. For RM150 a tube, they are pricey, but the formula is wonderful. I wouldn’t have bought No9 otherwise. I posted try on videos on my Instagram, and my friend who hates the feel of lipstick on her lips ordered number 23. I hope it works for her! Have you tried these? If you haven’t, but you like matte lips and don’t mind splurging, I highly recommend them. I love love love the formula, and at the moment, there are 18 shades to choose from.


xoxo Lily