YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu, Review, Swatch, Comparison & FOTD

Wish you all a wonderful weekend and happy V-Day. I don't have a V-Day look post for you since I have a cosmetic hill in the living room waiting to be reviewed. I don't even want to think about the promised best of 2014 posts, which will probably never happen. I might move them to Instagram if you would like me to? I am planning soon to have a best to Spring 2015 though. For those of you who wouldn't like to miss the highlights before they are gone. 

Last week YSL released two large palettes which are called Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette. There are two different color stories, #1 Nu, which I am going to write about today is a nude palette with neutral shades from warm to cool tones. #2 Tuxedo is a combination of greys, blues and purples.

YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu

The packaging of the 10-Color Eye Palettes are made of black sturdy plastic. In the middle there is a gold print and logo of YSL printed in black over it. The compact has a click closure. They both offer 6.5g/0.22 Oz of product. Usual YSL 5-Couleur Palettes have 5 g of product and retail for 57€. 10-Color-Eye Palette retails for 69€. If you do the maths, large palettes are slightly more economical than the quints.

YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palettes

Inside the nude palette #1 Nu, there are 10 shades, which are labelled as "base" (the first shade), light colors (2,3,4), medium colors (5,6,7) and dark colors (8.9.10). The finishes and color pay-off changes throughout the palette. There are three matte shades, the base shade and two of the deeper browns. 9th color has YSL Logo embossed. This also happens to be the color with the most interesting finish in both of the palettes.

YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu

YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu offers warm, neutral and cooler nude shades, which I can describe as follows:

#1 is a light beige with matte finish. It is labeled as the base shade. If you run it on your lids before you start applying other colors, it makes the application easier. Since my lids are on the drier side, I like using it to blend over the crease. Although it appears powdery, it applies nicely.

#2 is a light peach with with metallic/shimmery finish. It is one of the most unique shades in the palette since it is a little more brighter than the average neutral. Color pay off in this one is good but the powder crumbles a little.

#3 is a very light cool pink with very good color pay-off and very frosty finish. It goes on like the swatch below with just one pass but I am not so keen of it because of the way it accentuates the fine lines on the inner corner or on the eye lids. 

#4 Light to medium warm taupe with satin finish. This is a great shade for everyday, especially because the finish is more subdued but the color pay-off is not very good. The below result is after quiet a few swipes.

#5 Light to medium gold taupe with satin finish. It is again a great everyday color to apply on the lids. The color pay-off is better than #4.

#6 Again another all rounder shade which can be used on its own. It is a medium taupe with pink and beige undertones and satin to shimmery finish. One of my favorites in the palette.

#7 A midtone orangy copper with metallic finish. This one has a very good color pay-off and it is also more unique once compared to other copper shades I own which are more browny.

#8 A deep warm brown with matte finish. I found this to be a little warmer than I usually wear but on the eyes it didn't look too red or too warm once combined with the others. Both of the deep mattes have good color pay-off, they are buttery and not powdery.

#9 is a mid-toned taupe with multi dimensional shimmer. This is seriously a very beautiful shade. I kept thinking why the other shades were more linear in terms of shimmer if there was a possibility to have them like this one.

#10 is a very deep neutral to cool brown with matte finish. It is soft to touch, not dry and applies beautifully. 

Close-up: YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu
Swatch: YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu

Below I am wearing #2 on inner half, #6 at outer half, #8 and #10 on the crease and a tad of #3 on the inner corner. I have blended everything with the base shade, #1 over the crease to avoid harsh lines. This look lasted on me whole day but to be honest I was not very happy with it. Some of the frosty shades catch the light in a harsh way and accentuate the lines on the corner of the eyes. It might also just be though that I am not used to frost. I have to admit I am feeling the same way for some of the colors in Urban Decay Naked Palettes. If you like UD Naked though, there is a good chance you would like this YSL Palette too.

In-action: YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu

Here is the look in context. I am wearing MAC Ripe Peach on the cheeks (reviewed here) and Tom Ford Tomas on the lips (reviewed here). All in all I like how the look came together but I wished the light reflection would be more complex.

FOTD with YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu

FOTD with YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu

I have also pulled out my Naked Palettes, 1,2,3 and Naked Basics 1 & 2 to compare and try to recreate YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu. I was surprised to find out that Urban Decay Palettes were more consistent in terms of color pay-off, included more than the double of the products and are cheaper. 

YSL Nu #1 is very close but a little warmer than Urban Decay Basic 1 W.O.S

YSL Nu #2 is peachier and lighter than any closer shade in other palettes. The closest ones are UD Naked 2 Chopper (warmer and deeper) and UD Naked 3 Trick (deeper, more brown)

YSL Nu #3 is the most frosty shade I own. US Naked 1 Sin comes close but it is not that frosty, a little more satin to shimmery. UD Naked 3 Dust, one of the low performance shades from Naked 3 palette has less color pay off and is not as light as YSL Nu #3

YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu vs. Urban Decay Naked 1,2,3, Basic 1,2

YSL Nu #4 has the worst color pay off once compared to other similar shades, it is also unique in a way that it is cooler. Closes shade I would was UD Naked 2 Suspect and Naked 1 Sidecar.

YSL Nu #5 is very close to UD Naked 2 Suspect but less frosty.

YSL Nu #6 is also a very frosty shade in comparison to UD Naked shades (and yet I thought UD Naked palettes were too frosty!). Closest match were UD Naked 2 YDK and UD Naked 3 Mugshot, both being deeper, less shimmer and warmer.

YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu vs. Urban Decay Naked 1,2,3, Basic 1,2

YSL Nu #7 is a gorgeous orangy shade which can't be duped by Naked palettes. UD Naked 3 Trick comes close but it is cooler. UD Naked 1 Half Baked is more golden.

YSL Nu #8 is also a unique shade between UD Nakeds and Basics. I find that the matte shades of YSL palette were much better than Urban Decay formula. Closes shade is UD Basic 1 Faint which is much cooler.

YSL Nu #9 has a very nice multi dimensional shimmer, closest shade is UD Naked 3 Mugshot which is a little deeper and has less complexity

YSL Nu #10 is another nice matte shade from YSL, which is not too lifeless, not too powdery and applies nicely. The closest shade I found is UD Basics 2 Undone, which is cooler and deeper.

YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu vs. Urban Decay Naked 1,2,3, Basic 1,2

Final thoughts: All in all I like the shade combination in YSL Couture Variation 10-Color Eye Palette #1 Nu. The matte formula is especially impressive, not powdery, not too flat, applies beautifully. A few of the shades are too frosty for my liking and some of the shades have less color pay-off. All in all if you like the formula, it happens to be more economical than their quints. The shades are rather ones we all have in our stash so you may want to shop your stash first.

How do you find the idea of a 10-color palette from YSL? Do you think more high-end brands should do it?

Disclaimer: The product in this post is purchased by me.


  1. Both of these palettes look gorgeous. I haven't had the greatest luck with YSL eyeshadows in the past but I might just have to cave here. Thanks for the great review!

  2. This palette looks beautiful but maybe not a must-have for me as I probably own similar shades already. I haven't tried YSL shadows though so I do admit I'm curious to see how they perform! ;)

    X Alice

  3. Hey Sara, OK, I definitely don't need this one! For one, I just don't use big palettes often. For another, whoa frosty! By now I have accumulated way too many beautiful neutrals, although I'd like to see more brands do this indeed.

  4. LOL I know what you mean, over the years natural eye shadows accumulate.
    And we keep on buying more. I am not so sure about very big palette though. It makes the decision process in the morning harder lol.

  5. Hi Alice,
    I think the formula of this one and the quints are different. There are also some monos coming up. I have heard that these are close to monos in terms of texture, we will see. Maybe you should check the other palette, #2 Tuxedo, that one is more unique, has blues and violets in there.

  6. I caved too! I was like going strong then I have seen some swatches and became weak lol.
    Which YSL eye shadows you didn't like?

  7. Hm... There are some pretty shades in there, but I don't think I NEED to have it. The look you've done is beautiful, though and that red sweater is incredible against your skin tone!

  8. I know what you mean. I have written over and over about this but people said they like it because they don't have the skills or patience to blend eye shadows and it is good that these blend themselves lol. From the company's point of view, it is just a demand question, there are more people who prefer self blending to nothing eye shadows. I loved Pure Chromatics formula but they discontinued it. Anyway, two of the palettes you have reviewed, Fauve and Afrique, they are one of the best in the line I guess. Some hardly show up on me. I found the formula to be suitable to very colorful eye shadows, making them wearable, so you may want to check #12 or #10, they are fun. There is also a quint called Love, with pinks, that one is gorgeous and wearable.
    These eye shadows don't have the same formula as the quints though, they are different.

  9. Hi Kate,
    thanks, love my red sweater :-)
    And yes none of us need another palette with naturals yet some of us will eventually cave.
    I like the darker palette more than this one. You may like it too. If it didn't have some fall out, it would be one of my all time fav palettes.

  10. Ooh, thanks so much for the comparison swatches- super helpful! Not sure that I need this, as I have all three Naked palettes, but it sure is pretty :)

  11. Ohh! The look is gorgeous :) And thanks for the comparison to the naked paltees :)

  12. Hi Jen,
    I think none of us need any more naturals but we keep on buying them lol.

  13. Hi Camille,
    glad that it was helpful.

  14. Oohh!!! Coral-y bronzey stuff are your shades, Sara! I really liked the eye look you created! And gosh.... too many shades in 1 palette... i'm tired just looking at all the same-same-but-different shades down the row! And I totally feel you about the mountain of stuff that needs to be reviewed!!! We should trade, seriously.

  15. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll have to look into those. I have thought about trying the more colourful shades, I figured they are less likely to blend into one shade :)

  16. Thanks for the swatch fest, Sara, and the comparisons are very helpful! I have plenty of dupes, but I'm waiting for the swatches of Tuxedo :-)

  17. Bronwyn Ashley HarrisonFebruary 17, 2015 at 4:01 AM

    You created such a beautiful look :) I'm tempted to get this but only if it comes to sephora. I just ordered the shu uemura 16 shades of nude palette, so I don't really need this.

  18. Great review and, Sara!
    The UD palettes have ruined me for all other eyeshadows, including some of their own more recent releases, meaning that with a few exceptions (Guerlain, Dior, Smashbox, Kicks) I find myself wrinkling my nose and pursing my lips at most others. Yes, that even includes the Estée Lauder palettes, Lancome, Bobbi Brown and the regular Charlotte Tilbury lineup. The YSL eyeshadows are one of my biggest disappointments when I try them at work, because they are so beautiful - these 10 shade palettes haven't made their way here yet - and they spakle all in their pretty packaging, but the shades just don't perform the way I want the to.
    This, of course is a big relief for my wallet as your reviews can sell me almost anything ;)

  19. Hi Sara, I probably should write in English so that your other readers can understand whats going on. :-) I've just complained about the quality of the eyeshadows, particularly the fall out that bothers me. I use my MAC 227 and, for the outer V, a Zoeva brush. I am kind of on the fence now; on the one hand the shades are amazing and the color pay off really good! On the other side I am fed up with the dust all over my skink after finishing my AMU.... I will probably send the palette back. :// But I am not sure yet.

  20. Hi there, why are you actually disappointed with the YSL eyeshadows? Is it because of the fall out, I've just talked about below?

  21. Hi, Pia
    The fallout is part of it, but I'm not happy about the payoff either. Now, Sara's heard all my complaints about the Chanel shadows, and it's a bit of the same with the YSLs for me. Looks soooo pretty in the pan - doesn't translate to my lids, and I strugg to get the intensity I want where I want it. You use a couple of German words I have been able to pick up yet, but is it just the fallout for you? I kind of feel theyre too dry, and I think that's why we don't get along.

  22. I wrote about my experience again in English (s. below). Yes, it is the fallout and the dust overall after having finished my AMU. The (bad) quality reminds me of my Naked 2 palette, that I just gave to a friend as I couldn't stand the dust... So I believe, I will just return the YSL palette tomorrow. But I consider the payoff good... strange.

  23. Just bought the YSL pallette online, good info you provided. I don't have any UD Naked Pallets to compare, so in that situation I am a virgin, glad you gave such a detailed comparison of colors. Think I stil will try the YSL when it arrives.


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