Saturday, 23 October 2010

The Dark Side: Tom Ford Bruised Plum, YSL Rouge Pur Couture No.8 & Chanel Glossimer

Left to right: Tom Ford Bruised Plum, Chanel
Glossimer No 97. & YSL Rouge Pur Couture
in No.8.
I was going to post this last night but when I took a look at my pictures, taken in artificial light, it would have been useless as they did not reflect the true colours of the lip products. So today, my morning has been devoted to putting this right, trying to grab photos outside in between rain showers and cloudy spells. I hope the result is slightly more helpful.

The three products I have chosen to look at first in this 'Dark Side' series of posts are Tom Ford lipstick in Bruised Plum, YSLRouge Pur Couture No.8 lipstick and Chanel Glossimer in No.97. I picked this trio because the shades are almost identical, magenta is how I would describe it (although they look a little more burgundy before applied), a deep pinky purple with a hint of red. The main difference between them is the finish rather than the colour, and of course the price!

In the photos, the colours look a lot more red than they really are, the swatches show their truer colour. The two lipsticks are very similar shades but the Tom Ford is slightly cooler, with more purple in it, and the YSL has a touch more red to it. The gloss is versatile enough to look perfect used over either colour. It has some shimmer to it so can add a touch more dimension when layered over more intense colour. The gloss is a lot sheerer on than it looks in the tube.

The gloss is a good texture, not too tacky or sticky, and it feels comfortable on the lips. I would prefer it to be a little less sheer (it looks deceptively dark in the tube), but if you are a little tentative about dark lips this could be a great way to get into it. I would recommend using a dark lipstick first, blotting a couple of times with a tissue and then applying the gloss. This gives the ideal level of colour for me.

Now onto the lipsticks. There is over a £10 difference between the two but I don't feel that there is a big enough difference in quality to justify this, especially as the colours are so similar. The YSL was very creamy to apply, but for me, too creamy. I didn't use a lip liner with either lipstick and applied it straight from the bullet, to give a truer idea of the actual colour.

I was a little disappointed with the Tom Ford and impressed with the YSL. The brights I have from Tom Ford apply so effortlessly but this was a lot harder to get right. I suppose it is natural as it is such a deep colour, I think I had unrealistic expectations. This colour is more difficult to wear than the others, I can't apply it with no other makeup and look OK like I can with the others. It is still a great lipstick, but it just didn't feel as extra special as Cherry Lush and Pure Pink.

The two lipsticks - photographed in artificial
The YSL felt better initially than the Tom Ford and as it was my first ever YSL lipstick, this seemed a good sign. When I tried to get a good look applying just from the bullet, it proved a harder task because of the creaminess. It tended to smudge a lot and was difficult to get a hard line. If using a lip liner this will be less of an issue. I think I am too used to matte lipsticks that apply better because they are stiffer, so in comparison this difference was highlighted. I was surprised in the photos that the YSL seemed lighter/sheerer, the Tom Ford is clearly more pigmented.

The only reason I ended up with two such similar lip colours is that I had the YSL and was trying to choose between Tom Ford Moroccan Rouge and Bruised Plum. I can only buy these online and thought Moroccan Rouge looked most similar so went for Bruised Plum. I think I was probably wrong in this choice, but I will never know until I get to see Moroccan Rouge in person. To cut a long story short, I didn't intend the two colours to be so similar and there is really no need for anyone to own them both. If you like the shades, just decide which formula or price you prefer and go for that.

 You should hopefully be able to see from the swatches below the small difference between shades. The Tom Ford appears a truer purple with a softer finish, the YSL is glossier and a little warmer with more red tones. However, the pictures of the lipsticks applied show how much more pigmented the Tom Ford is even if it doesn't appear that way in the swatches. I guess this is what you get for extra money.

Apologies for the state of my lips and the hair featured in the photos (it was windy outside). I did exfoliate my lips beforehand but obviously not enough. At least it shows you how unforgiving dark colours can be when worn this way!

Left to right: Chanel Glossimer, YSL No.8, Tom Ford Bruised Plum


Left to right: Chanel Glossimer applied, YSL No.8 applied, Tom Ford Bruised Plum applied

Overall, the gloss is a lovely texture and the shade, with a hint of shimmer, is perfect worn alone if you don't want such a full on dark lip, or worn over wither lipstick as the colour family is the same. Although both lipsticks are great, there is absolutely no need to own them both (I wish I took my own advice!). They are so similar that unless you are a true dark lip aficionado, you would never be able to tell the difference. If I had to choose between them, I would go for the Tom Ford because the YSL is too creamy for my liking. Also, the lovely gold casing of the YSL is now covered in my very visible fingerprints. Spoils the look.

As you can probably tell from the pictures, I am in desperate need of a new lip exfoliant. I used the Philosophy one before the photos were taken and still flaky skin can be seen. So if anyone has any recommendations I would love to hear them.

  • Tom Ford Bruised Plum - £35, available from Harrods and Selfridges
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture in No.8 (Belle de Rose) - £22, available from Debenhams online and counters nationwide
  • Chanel Glossimer in No.97 - £19, available from and counters nationwide (could have been a limited edition release)

 Next up will be 3 lipsticks with a browner undertone, featuring Dior, Rimmel and 17. Weather dependant, this should be up tomorrow.


  1. Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for taking the time to do such a great presentation and review! I think all three look lovely on you and my personal favourite would be the Tom Ford.
    I'll have to check out the glossimer next time I'm at a chanel counter...
    Enjoy the weekend!
    Nina x

  2. I think that glossimer looks really nice. I'll have to swatch that soon. I actually think the Tom Ford and the YSL don't look that similar on your lips, partly the pigmentation, partly the colour. I think the Tom Ford definitely looks richer and more dramatic. It's very interesting to see that comparison though.

    Thanks for the interesting review, I look forward to the next batch xx

  3. Hi Nina,
    Glad you are enjoying the posts. I think my neighbours must be wondering what on earth I am doing when I keep dashing outside with the camera and a handful of lipstick!
    Jennifer X

    Hi Jane,
    I always find it surprising the difference between colours in swatches and on the lips, the main reason why I decided to show my mouth to the world. I really rate the Tom Ford range, was a little disappointed that the YSL was so slippery but I wanted to try some different brand lipsticks. I normally just stick to Chanel so I'm trying to experiment a bit. Unfortunate that can be a bit costly when it goes wrong!
    Jennifer X