Mar 24 2015

YSL Chinese New Year Palette Review & Swatches


It took such a long time for me to receive my YSL Chinese New Year Palette after ordering weeks ago that I didn’t think I would end up featuring it on the Blog. Surely it would be sold out by now. However, as of this posts’ date of publication, the palette is still available online at Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Selfridges, among other retailers. Knowing that it can still be found at some locations makes me feel better about talking about it. 🙂


YSL Chinese New Year Palette Review


The Limited Edition YSL Chinese New Year Palette is not a compilation of new eyeshadows but rather, it is the permanent neutral palette in No. 4 Saharienne repackaged. Before continuing with the review, I should note that there seems to be conflicting information out there regarding this fact. According to Selfridges online as well as some U.K./international duty-free sites, the YSL Chinese New Year Palette is the YSL Couture eyeshadow palette in No.3 Afrique. The U.S. retailers, that I have seen, don’t name the palette’s permanent counterpart in the online description, simply stating that it contains “warm coral, taupe and rose gold shades”.

However, the palette that I received clearly indicates on the packaging that the “Chinese New Year” or “Heartbeats Edition” palette is, indeed, the Saharienne palette. I cannot be sure if the U.K. reference is a typographical error or whether different palettes were released in the U.K. and U.S. The latter seems unlikely, though, given that press photos look the same across the board.  These discrepancies aside, having compared them in person, I can say with certainty that the palette I have is No. 4 Saharienne. If someone knows more about YSL and can shed some light, please do so in the comment section. Thanks!

Moving on to the actual review. From what I’ve read, the YSL Chinese New Year Palette’s red and gold heart design was inspired by “Yves Saint Laurent’s limitless passion for Love”. Hearts have been a recurring theme in YSL design for many years and while they are not something one would typical associate with Chinese New Year, it does make for an exquisite piece. The packaging is lighter in weight that I would have thought but not a big deal and probably better for travelling.


YSL Chinese New Year Palette


YSL Chinese New Year Palette Review
YSL Chinese New Year Palette Review


As stated, this is a neutral palette. The eyeshadows themselves are a mix of cool and warm tones, with finishes varying from shadow to shadow although they are all are characterized by shimmer. Starting from the top left hand corner, shadow #1 is warm peachy beige with a frost finish, #2 is a cream with hints of gold and is the most shimmery/metallic, #3 (centre), is a dark, neutral-ish brown with satin finish, #4 is warm golden brown with a satin/shimmer finish and #5 is a cool, grayish taupe with a sheen finish.


YSL Chinese New Year Palette Review


YSL Chinese New Year Palette Swatches


Texture-wise, the shadows are extremely soft and creamy. This being my first experience with YSL eyeshadows, I was extremely pleased by how smoothly and easily they blended onto the lid.

YSL promises that its’ couture eyeshadows offer “intense-colour” payoff and while most of the shadows in this palette did offer great pigmentation, I was disappointed by shadow #1 (warm peachy beige). Not only did it lack the pigment I hoped for but, generally, did not perform as well as the others. I just couldn’t get the color to “stick”. The best performing shadows were #2 (cream), #3 (dark brown), and #5 (taupe), with the dark brown being my absolutely favorite. In the photo below, I’m wearing all five shades.


YSL Chinese New Year Palette Review

YSL Chinese New Year Palette


I really enjoyed the overall effect of the eyeshadows in the Chinese New Year palette which, though shimmery, because of the smooth formulation do not highlight imperfections. While I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely necessary to run out and get this, it is definitely worth considering if you’re a fan of YSL. Especially if you’ve been wanting to try the Saharienne palette as this is your chance to get it in some seriously pretty packaging. It retails for $60.00 USD/£48.00.


Are you a fan of YSL eyeshadows? Which are your favorite palettes/formulations?





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    • kirstydowling88 on March 24, 2015 at 7:31 am
    • Reply

    Swoooon! This palette looks stunning.. and right up my street! I’ve never tried any of the YSL eye shadows, but that packaging is super cute! I’d probably buy it for that alone.. sad, I know! Fab review Kimmy xxx

    Kirsty –

    1. Thank you Kirsty! I know exactly what you mean, the packaging is half the reason I bought it, hehe. But I also love the shadows. 🙂 xo

  1. What a beautiful palette, inside & out! I’ve never tried any YSL eye shadows, which is crazy considering I love their foundation, concealer, mascara & lipsticks! xx

    1. Glad I’m not the only one who never tried YSL shadows (well before this anyway). It is indeed a gorgeous palette. I recommend. 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for reviewing this palette of eyeshadows <3 Kimmy the packaging is just as beautiful as the eyeshadows! Woooow YSL Have out done themselves with this one 🙂

    Serene xoxo

    1. You’re so welcome, Serene. It makes me so happy that this has been helpful. I’m afraid a renewed YSL obsession may have begun…hehe

    • Silke Laura on March 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm
    • Reply

    It’s the same in the UK.. and definitely not Afrique since I have that one 😉 I was really keen on picking this one up myself actually, but didn’t bother in the end and got plenty other palettes I want to get my hands on 😉 I really love YSL eyeshadow palettes though. I’m happy that you are pleased with it!


    1. I figured as much. It’s so strange that they would make such a serious error, especially big companies. I have to thank you for peaking my interest in YSL shadows. Their lip products, I’ve always loved but now I have a whole new world to explore! xo

  3. I haven’t tried any of the new YSL palettes yet, but I like how this looks on you! It’s interesting how they threw a very grey taupe into the mix. You don’t see that often!

    1. It is interesting. I’ve seen some people refer to this palette as “cool” which is not the case, in my opinion. I think the grey taupe throws some people off, but the other shades definitely lean warm. 🙂

  4. I love the packaging of the palette and the shadows seem very wearable and pigmented! xx

    1. Definitely a very wearable palette which is always nice when you’re going to invest this much!

  5. This YSL palette is so pretty! The colours are exactly what I would go for. Also love the hearts on the packaging. Simply stunning. <3 x

    Renata | Speaking Beauty UK

    1. I’d have to agree. Anyone interested in Saharienne should grab it in this packaging!

    • Jaa on March 25, 2015 at 11:54 pm
    • Reply

    The palette is so pretty! I see what you mean about the top left shade. It could use a big more pigment! I love your intense eye look, too! And man, those long lashes. You won’t ever need to wear falsies. 😉

    1. Aww, Jaa, that comment made my day! I’ve never had anyone tell me my lashes are long, lol. But I have noticed that on the few occasions I’ve gotten my makeup down, the artist is always surprised once she/he gets the mascara on my lashes. I think they just do well with mascara in general. I’m always looking for more volume though. I guess the look was kind of intense, huh? I did get a little carried away with the dark brown shade – it was just such a pleasure to apply. 🙂

  6. Love the look of these shades 🙂 great everyday neutrals but also a darker one to add in for evening wear xx

    Magpie Jasmine

    1. Exactly! This palette will work great for most people, I think! xo

  7. Beautiful palette!

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