Eyes, Reviews

Review: YSL Couture Palette #4 Saharienne

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I’ve been excited about the new YSL Couture Palettes since I first saw the promo images of them. They came out earlier than I had thought, so I pretty much instantly picked one up: #4 Saharienne. I gave you a little preview of it right after it came in (here), but now that I’ve had it in my hands for a few weeks it’s definitely time for a full review.


YSL Couture Palette #4 Saharienne

The palette comes in a slim, lightweight compact in YSL’s usual bright gold. The inside of the mirror is fully lined with a mirror. It feels just a little less luxe than I would expect for the price, but not flimsy. The only part I would worry slightly about damaging is the plastic clip that snaps it closed; I could envision it wearing out eventually. But that’s just a maybe – for now it snaps shut firmly, and I don’t have any fears of it coming open by accident.

YSL Couture Palette #4 SaharienneThe palette comes with two mini applicators (sigh). They’re functional, but I wouldn’t really want to substitute them for real brushes, as usual. It is a better-than-average mix of applicator shapes though – a wide one for laying down color all over, a pointed one for smaller areas and a precise brush tip for liner.

YSL Couture Palette #4 SaharienneIt also comes with a handy sort of paint-by-numbers sheet with ideas on how to wear the shades. The diagrams look like they’re assuming a non-hooded double lid, but it’s still a good starting point if you have hooded or monolids. There’s also always the option of doing whatever you want, instructions be damned.

The product weight comes in at .18oz/5.1g, which is slightly less that, say, a Dior quint, but still a very decent amount of product. It’s really more comparable to similarly-priced quads, but I’m totally ok with splitting the same amount of product up into five shades instead of four. That lets me do more looks, which means I can get more use out of it, which makes it more worth the price.


YSL Couture Palette #4 SaharienneThe colors in this palette are perfect for a neutral addict like me. They don’t look anything like the photo on the Sephora website – that image is way too warm – and the CGI’d stock image on the Saks product page isn’t quite it, either. Counter-clockwise from the top right we have:

  • Pale slightly yellow cream (reminds me of banana pudding, just a tiny bit)
  • Light peachy beige
  • Neutral medium brown
  • Light lavender grey
  • Deep espresso brown

All the colors are a pearl finish that show up beautifully on the lid. It’s not frosty, so it doesn’t emphasize uneven texture. Instead, it sort of visually smooths things out. I really love the way the colors are put together too – I use a lot more of my base colors than outer corners, so it just makes sense for the pans to be bigger. The mix of lights and darks also makes it really easy to put together a few different looks from this palette, so I’m pretty sure it would be plenty for short trips.

Texture, application & wear

YSL Couture Palette #4 Saharienne SwatchesThe texture of this quad is much drier than a lot of shadows I’ve used – it’s not one you’d describe as ‘buttery’. Even if it’s a little on the dry side though, it doesn’t feel at all powdery or gritty. Out of the other brands I have in my collection, I think the closest comparison texture-wise are the the Dior quints. The YSL shadows apply smoothly and blend very easily – no harsh lines here! Best of all, the pigmentation is worlds ahead of the older YSL wet/dry formula – at least, much better than the old formula when used dry. You can use just a little bit to get a sheer layer, but loading just a little more on your brush will give you the full effect of the color. I haven’t noticed any fallout with these, and wear time is pretty great over primer (I use NARS or Dior). I notice very minor creasing after about 5 or 6 hours, especially on warm days or yoga days, and after that any creasing would only be visible if someone is really up in your personal space. Fading is basically non-existent.

YSL Couture Palette #4 Saharienne

In Short: It might not be my top most-favorite-ever eyeshadow formula, but it’s very nice to use and the colors are perfectly edited; this is my new go-to for days when I want to throw together a neutral look without putting a lot of thought into it. 

The YSL Couture Palettes ($60) are available at sephora.com

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