Monday, 1 November 2010

Monday Manicure: YSL Manicure Couture in Rive Gauche

YSL Manicure Couture Duo in Rive Gauche - £24
This nail polish duo is driving me absolutely crazy. I have been sat doing my nails through Home & Away, Neighbours, a political special on the American Tea Party, EastEnders, Coronation Street and finally Spooks.

I never normally watch this much TV, but with my nails in the state they were, I wasn't fit to do much else! It took three attempts to make this twist on the traditional French manicure work, and 'work' is probably a stretch.

I loved the look of these and had waited impatiently for my Birthday to try it out, but even with the sticky nail guides they are a total pain. It may be me, I go through bouts of dexterity issues and can have shaky hands (not from drink I might add), but I have never had a problem with normal polish. I think the issue is that the YSL polish is very thick. At first I thought this was a good thing as I only needed one coat of the main colour for an opaque finish (the orange could have done with two).

After the main colour was down I added a coat of Seche Vite and then moved on to the tips. I followed the advice on other blogs and applied the nail guides and then two coats of polish plus one of Seche Vite just on the tips. When I took the nail guides off though the whole think was one soggy, blurry mess.

I tried again from scratch but this time used only one coat plus Seche Vite on the nail tips, same thing happened.

Finally, I decided to try just one coat on the tip and no Seche Vite, remove the nail guide and then apply Seche Vite over the whole thing. Success! Kind of .......

What I have is wearable, just about, but there is a lot of smudging and some of the tips are far too chunky, where too much polish has been applied in a big blob.

Enough about my disastrous application technique and onto the colours. As I took the photos in artificial light, the true colour has not come through. If I am in a fit state after physio tomorrow and my nail varnish is still in one piece, I will do a Tuesday Manicure and take pictures in natural light. Until then, the colours are a deep, rich, cool toned raspberry and a vivid orange that looks just like a pumpkin. The orange comes out OK in the photos but the raspberry is much darker in real life than it appears, so the contrast on the nails is greater.

Overall, I feel disappointed with this duo. The bottles of polish are small and the polish thick and hard to apply. Although the brushes are tapered, some of the bristles were splaying out at awkward angles and I had to get my craft scissors dirty cutting them off.

For £24, I am not happy. Two bottles of 6ml inferior quality polish is not good enough. I was taken in by the interesting colour combinations but there is no reason why I couldn't have tried to copy this with existing shades from other brands I already own.

I love the look of the Belle de Nuit Duo, purple and metallic gold, so I might use a Chanel gold and OPI purple to recreate it and see if I get a better result.

Which colours would you pair up in your dream French Manicure and do you prefer the pink or the orange as the base colour?

If anyone has any tips as to how to get a better finish with this duo, I would be thrilled to hear them!

The YSL Manicure Couture Duos are available online at for £24 each in 4 colours.


  1. Oh Jennifer! That is one wild mani! *Love* it!

    Thanks for the review- I have often wondered about YSL polishes. I think you would enjoy the Zoya brand- I have loads of them and have for the most part been ubber pleased with the quality and colors are fab! x jeanie

  2. HI Jeanie,
    It did come out a lot brighter than I thought it would! I took it off after a day and changed to Estee Lauder's Surreal Violet as I was doing some voluntary work and didn't want to scare people!

    I don't think I would buy YSL polish again as it was too thick for me, I prefer to stick with my trusted OPI and Chanel. It was the colour combinations that persudaed me to try them. I'm not sure whether we have Zoya in the UK, what brands is it similar to price wise?
    Jennifer X