We tried, reviewed, and took photos of Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch to see if it really worked.

In our recent post asking you which beauty products disappointed you most, at least one reader stated that her experience with famous cult fave Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch just wasn’t a positive oneJennyWren writes:

Touche eclat. Though to be fair, that’s probably because I tried to use it as an under-eye concealer instead of a highlighter- everyone had been telling me how amazing this stuff was for after a night of poor sleep (aka: a hangover), and it just made my face look greasy.

We found this interesting since so, so many people have sung its praises as some kind of miracle product that fixes dullness, undereye circles, and do your taxes all at once, or something.

This is how YSL describes the product on its site:

The beauty secret of the world’s top makeup artists and models, Touche Éclat is the original must-have for a radiant, flawless face.

Capture 8 hours of sleep with the click of a pen. With a few strategic strokes of this award-winning complexion highlighter—dark circles, fine lines and signs of fatigue virtually disappear. Powered by the radiance-boosting Luminocaptide Complex, skin is instantly illuminated, so you look rested and refreshed—even if you’ve been up for hours. Sleek and sophisticated, it discretely slips into a makeup bag for quick touch-ups anytime. It’s the one beauty essential no woman should ever be without.

Get a full night’s sleep without actually shutting my eyes? Sign me up, especially considering I am in the midst of moving right now and haven’t slept in, oh, four days? (Seriously, last night I dreamed I was actually done packing which I think was Sleepy Sam’s way of ruining Awake Sam’s day, but I digress.) In any case, I tend to be very self-conscious about my undereye circles, just as many folks who work full-time and attempt to be social are, so I was certainly curious about this “beauty essential.”

This afternoon, The Gloss’s Managing Editor Jenni and I hopped over to Sephora and purchased the product. Did I mention that it is $41? It is $41, which is considerably more than I would typically spend on anything that doesn’t taste like lobster. But if it is truly, deeply with the ratings it has received on various sites–4.6/5 on Nordstrom, 4.4 on Sephora, and 4.9 on YSL’s site–then perhaps it could be worth the price tag. Let’s see, shall we?

Sans Product

This is what my eyes look like sans anything underneath. I left my typical eye makeup on because I think my eyes tend to look inherently more polished when I have liner on, so this way, you can see what the difference is when simply adding Touche Éclat.

Indoor Lighting

Here are a couple of photos from our studio that show what my eyes look like with the product on in indoor lighting. I applied Touche Éclat underneath and slightly atop my brows, at my inner corners, around my nostrils, along my cheekbones, and at my Cupid’s bow. I didn’t see a particularly huge jump into radiance for my skin, but I figured it was probably just the indoor lighting.

Natural Lighting

These are my eyes in the daylight by the window. As you can see…it doesn’t look great. It’s not awful! But it is also not fantastic–certainly not the life- and skin-saving product I have been told it is.

The Verdict

Not worth it. A couple of my coworkers tried it, too, and noticed no discernible difference. While my own dull and tired skin could be the culprit of why this isn’t working, for $41, I want something that will make me look like I have actually done some sleeping–and I don’t want a product that just looks great on flawless 19-year-old models in beautiful set up lighting. Perhaps this has worked on other folks, but to me, for the price, I could have just purchased a really great concealer and highlighter combo.

My advice: buy yourself a nice highlighter (I recommend Benefit High Beam and Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compacts) and a solid concealer. Apply the latter under your eyes, along your nostrils, above your brows, and on any blemishes using a concealer brush, then add the highlighter in spots like along your cheekbones, in the center of your bottom lip, on the sides of your nose, and at the corners of your inner eyes. I’m siding with JennyWren here and turning this one down.

Side note: Lately we’ve been examining controversial cult faves–such as Touche Éclat and OCC Lip Tar–in order to see if they’re worth the price and fulfill the hype. If you have any products you would like to see us try out and review here, let us know in the comments!


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