Aaahh… this sun, this heat, the tangy scent in the air… it feels like summer, except it really is still frozen tundra in most parts of the world. It’s weird to say the least, especially when YSL’s latest La Laque Couture Collection for Spring 2014 brings us back to the Moroccan theme of Summer 2013. Regardless, if you’re sick of staring at the wintry landscapes and pale spring colors, these may warm your heart a little.
YSL’s La Laque Spicy Collection is inspired by the Orient, and consists of 6 exotic shades reminiscent of Eastern spices. From crazy mustard yellow to deep beetroot, there is a shade for every palette. And to top it all off, there is a gold-flaked topcoat to add more richness to the mix. Sorely tempted as I was to pick up the entire collection, there is a limit to the depths of my personal wallet. So, I went with the shades that were the most unusual in my mind, and are currently unrepresented in my nail cabinet. These were:
Eventually though, I couldn’t resist, and went back for 45 Piment D’Ailleurs. Sucker.
YSL La Laque Couture 42 Safran Sultan is a honey mustard color, one which clashes unspeakably with my skintone. Granted, mustard may be the IT color of the season, but nothing is worse than following fashion trends blindly (and you must be quite blind to wear this on all 10 nails). Notwithstandingly, it is a unique color, and something which works well as an accent color which I’ll illustrate in one of the NOTDs below.
YSL La Laque Couture 43 Opulente Canelle was not something I had set my eyes on originally, and then I picked it up on a whim. In the bottle, it is a very feminine warm dusty rose shade that pulls strongly towards reddish-brown. This was the most disappointing in terms of how it looked on me… somehow it just turned out washed-out, very nude, not at all opulent nor distinctive like cinnamons for which this was named after. Regardless, it is a safe choice for those who are averse to crazy shades, and an easy everyday non-descript lacquer.
YSL La Laque Couture 44 Ambre Gingembre is my favorite of the entire collection because it is hawwtt and it does not disappoint. It is a warm burnt orange that works well for all skin tones. It is a striking color that manages to be quite classy without going neon or fugly. I also found this shade applied the best out of all those I picked up, and is almost opaque with 1 coat (2 coats will look creamier and smoother, but you can get away with just 1 coat if you’re in a hurry).
YSL La Laque Couture 45 Piment D’Ailleurs was a second chance purchase. When I first saw it, it felt like an interesting red, but dupeable. And then I saw some online swatches, and went back to check it out. As I had gelish on my nails, I could only swatch it on a piece of clear tape. It all looked like a medium-dark reddish purple, which was what prompted me to pick this up. So imagine my disappointment when I finally applied it to find it is actually a dark red with some blue undertones. Still interesting, just not at all very unique. After I applied it on all my nails, and showed it to some friends, who remarked, “Oh red again!”.
YSL La Laque Couture 47 Feuille D’Or was actually released as part of the Holiday 2013 collection in the US, but was launched as part of the Spicy Collection in the rest of the world. For that reason, it feels somewhat out of place – too much bling for a collection that is already so striking and unique. I had wanted it very much for the year-end parties, but when paired with these warm creamy shades, it takes everything over the top.
The golden flakes are lovely and very bright, and suspended in a clear polish, so it only works on top of an existing coat of color. It does give room for creativity, but be warned though the gold flakes are very large and irregular, and quite sparse. When applied all over, it gives an easter-egg effect, which is really not the best way to wear it…ugly. Unlike other glitter polishes from nail glitter specialists like Deborah Lippmann, there isn’t a mix of big-medium flakes and tiny shimmers in the bottle to keep things balanced. The thick and wide YSL brush head picks up too much product, but is not very effective at picking up the flakes, so you do end up piling it on the nail, which is the straightest way to peeling. The best way to work this is to use a thin stick like a toothpick, to pick out the pieces from the brush head, and place them exactly where you want them. Also, do note that despite this being billed as a “top coat”, you still need a clear varnish top coat for optimal shine, and to protect those golden flakes!
Unfortunately I don’t have time to do full set swatches of all the shades (also…lazy). Instead, I played around with different combinations of the colors, to give you an idea of what they look like and how you may want to wear them.
All the colored shades in YSL La Laque Couture are easy to apply, fully opaque in 2 coats (some can make do with just 1), and streakfree. The extra-wide brush head makes easy work, and the formula dries fairly quickly. It also lasts a good 2-3 days with minor wear at the edges, but starts to chip by the 3rd day, which is amazing by my standards given how tough I am on my nails. The only gripe I have is the lacquers do not have a glossy finish by themselves, and do require a good clear coat for maximum shine.