As a beauty editor with access to lots of products you'd think I would have countless amounts of lipstick in my makeup bag. Truth is I own two (I wrote about one of them for the best lipsticks of all time according to beauty experts), and they’re identical. Both sheer soft pinks. Hardly ground-breaking and edgy. I’ve always put my lack of lipstick wearing down to the fact that I don’t think I have great lips, that they’re always chapped and flaky (years of coldsore suffering) but the main one is I can never find a lipstick that suits me. Slightly embarrassing when I’ve made a living from apparently being a beauty expert.
Step in the YSL Rouge Sur Mesure Device, £250, an at-home gadget that can create 4000 different shades of lipsticks and uses an AI powered app to help find your perfect shade. My first thoughts before even receiving the gadget were; 1. this is gimmicky and won’t work and 2. wowzers, that’s expensive.
I think it’s important to mention that the concept of creating your own lipstick is not a new one - nor is the concpet of bespoke beauty as a whole as we found out when we tried the Dcypher custom foundation. There is the Code 8 Bespoke Lipstick Creation Service at their London store which costs £80 to make one lipstick. On the more affordable end of the scale there is Brighton-based Chelsie Lane which offers an online Custom Lipstick Service. You click on four shades that then get mixed up to show you the shade on the screen and you can then choose the finish you’re after, add flavours and even choose the shape of the lipstick all for the price tag of £30. However, what did intrigue me about the YSL Rouge Sur Mesure is that you’re not just getting one, hopefully great, lipstick choice, but thousands and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
How does the YSL Rouge Sur Mesure Device work?
Before you even pickup the device you have to download the corresponding free app. The app is quite literally the heartbeat of everything. It’s where you store shades you like so you can make them again quickly, it’s your instructions manual, the app knows which cartridges you’ve inserted and how much of them is left and it’s what makes the device work.
As well as the device you need the YSL Rouge Sur Mesure Cartridges. These comes in four ‘colour universes’; red, nude, orange and pink. Each contains three different tones; a light, medium and dark and they each cost £60. An additional cost of £240 to be able to try all 4000 possible shades.
Each cartridge has a number on the bottom that corresponds with where you slot it into the machine under the base. Once they are in, the app recognises which cartridges you have inserted, does a quick calibration to clean the system through.
There is a magnetic lipstick brush that you can stick to the back of your device to apply your colour and a lipstick compact that you connect to the top. And once you’ve teamed your phone and the machine together, you’re ready to create.
There are three ways to make a lipstick. You can colour match a shade to an item (as long as it falls within one of the ‘colour universes’). And it can be anything - a favourite handbag, dress or a wall colour! The other option is to scroll through lots of the shades the app suggests and you can see them on all different skin tones to give you the best chance of seeing how it would look on you. Or, you can use the interactive colour wheel and try virtual shades on your face. By simply moving your finger around the wheel you can change the intensity and tone of colour until you’re happy with the colour that’s on your ‘lips’. That’s the option I went for. And with a tap of my finger on the ‘create’ button on my phone screen, the device whirrs into action and in less than 10 seconds the three cartridges dispense just the right level of each tone to create my shade.
The app of course stores all the shades you’ve created - you can even name them - so that next time you want to wear it, you just head to your lipstick library, find it and the device will make a fresh batch for you.
Is the YSL Rouge Sur Mesure Device any good?
Quite frankly, yes it is. Even after selecting the shade I felt looked best on my face via the app I still wasn’t convinced that was going to translate into a lipstick that would suit me but they did. And it’s speedy. Eat shade took minutes to create.
Of the four shades I made, the red shade took me most by surprise because it’s not a tone I would have thought would have worked on me - it was a sort of rusty red. But as soon as I put it on, I loved it. I even messaged the entire GTG team to tell them that after years of believing that red lipstick didn’t suit me, I’d finally found one that did.
The texture is really creamy and balmy, so much so that I easily applied them with my finger and they glided on - I didn’t want to use the magnetic brush as I borrowed the device and I couldn’t find a lip brush anywhere (did I mention I never normally wear lipstick!). The device dispenses out enough product for an application and a touch-up. The idea being you take the compact and brush with you.
What I wasn’t expecting was how fun it was to use. I am lucky enough to try out lots of products and gadgets for my job and after awhile a lot of them feel quite similar and even the newest thing feels like something I’ve seen once upon a time. This is totally unique, slick, chic and actually delivers on what it’s meant to do. And I don’t get to say that as often as I should.
There is of course a negative and that is the price. £250 is a lot of money for a gadget plus £60 per ‘colour universe’. To be able to try and create the 4000 shades you are in fact having an outlay of £490. However, I have been comparing it to some very expensive hair gadgets (that I have paid for) that cost the same amount and I have to say that this out performs all of them in terms of what it says it’s going to do and what it delivers. Of course it’s not going to be for everyone, especially at that price point, but if you’re a beauty obsessive then this will bring you lots of joy. Or if, like me, you’d love to rock a great lipstick but struggle to find the right shade I promise you this will find not just one shade but multiple.