Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Eclat Radiance Perfecting Pen is the favorite and go-to item of many makeup artists, and enjoys a loyal following with fans finding new ways to use the multi-functional product.
It brightens the complexion, can be used as a highlighter, and can be used as a concealer.
I typically would not splurge in this product category, but the efficacy of the product and it’s multi-use functions make the cost feel more justifiable. It comes in a range of shades for all different skin complexions, and has never irritated my skin, caused any breakouts, or caused any allergy (even with very sensitive skin). The product has the additional benefit of acting as a skincare product, and contains Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, to improve luminosity, treat signs of fatigue, and restore radiance, leaving a dewy finish following makeup application.
Rare is the product that can act as a concealer and treat the signs of fatigue via skincare ingredients as well, which is why I feel the value exceeds the price point, which is somewhat steep. The product has received awards and positive recognition for years, and remains a cult-favorite amongst those of all ages. It can be used alone or with other makeup, depending on individual preferences and your daily routine.
It glides on the skin softly and doesn’t cling to any dry patches, and the color match is nearly identical, and specific to undertones as well as main tone. It never feels cakey and is highly breathable.
While I’ve tried this product in the past with excellent results, and found even with continual daily use it offered quite a high degree of longevity (mine typically lasts for approximately 3 months), I wanted to test out the product again just prior to review, ensuring the formulation remained consistent to provide the most updated product details. I had opted out of using a concealer and highlighter for some time prior as I didn’t notice any dark circles or feel the need to add an additional step to my routine, but felt like purchasing one that also had skincare benefits may potentially offer benefits or save the need for other products. While I found skin appeared more radiant and adored the item for cosmetics purposes, I would likely still use an eye cream in conjunction with the pen, as I didn’t necessarily notice enough hydration to eliminate a moisturizer as well.
I was anticipating this, and don’t feel the brands message or marketing of multi-use benefits implies other steps should be eliminated entirely, but rather than this offers a good formulation with even more skin improvements (when used in conjunction with a traditional eye cream or serum).
This review will cover some of the main functions and features of the product, some benefits with ingredients in the formulation, as well as some key pros and cons, to help you make an informed purchasing choice.
The Main Features
YSL’s Touche Eclat Radiance Perfecting Pen is the perfect addition to any bathroom shelf or makeup bag, and provides great multi-use benefits, with a gentle formulation safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
The areas it is applied to feel soft, hydrated, and protected following topical application, and the product never clings to dry patches or cakes on the surface of the skin. I enjoyed using it as both a highlighter and concealer, and certainly welcome any additional skincare benefits the product provides.
The finish is dewy and radiant, and skin feels much smoother after use.
As a concealer, I found the product successfully provided coverage for dark under-eye circles, and the subsequent aesthetic was refreshed and rested. It didn’t cake or stick to the skin, and I didn’t find the need to use any heavier formulation in conjunction with it to conceal even significant under-eye circles. It’s lightweight, breathable, and doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything.
As a highlighter, I enjoy the radiant finish and prefer using a product in the category that is effective and lacks in glitter or shimmer, which is generally why I steer away from using highlighter products, the finish never seems matte or even radiant, and I don’t have a personal preference for a glittery makeup look.
The pen can also be used to plump and enhance the lips prior to using a lipstick, and while I did not try it out for this purpose, other reviewers and fans of the brand (including makeup artists) often swear by this trick and find it’s more more natural and effective, particularly in comparison to products which often contain irritating histamines that burn and numb the lips (the plumping reaction is actually an allergic one, in this case).
Overall, I also felt my skin felt refreshed and appeared more hydrated in treated areas. I found the pen valuable for its multi-functional features, as well as it’s consistent efficacy.
Ingredients and Benefits
In addition to micro-beads to add luminosity and restore texture, the product is formulated with Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid, and it’s quite a rarity to find a cosmetics item that seems to fit more in the makeup category that provides ingredients to support skin health as well. Here is a brief overview on the key active ingredients in the formulation and some benefits to continual use:
- Neutralizes the effects of free radical damage from pollution and UV radiation
- Anti-aging benefits: helps address concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, and over time hyper-pigmentation and sun spots
- Compliments SPF and helps further fight the harmful effects of sun damage
- Keeps skin hydrated, while helping to calm and soothe the skin
- Acts as an anti-inflammatory, can help with skin rash, itch or irritation
- Suitable for treatment of many topical conditions, and safe for sensitive skin
- Protects the skin by forming a protective barrier
- Helps contribute to a smoother, softer, and more radiant overall aesthetic
- Safe and suitable for all skin types and sensitivities, this ingredient helps restore a supple appearance, smoother aesthetic, and helps replenish depleted hydration
- Aids in anti-aging, firming and maintaining moisture to the skin and layers of the dermis
- Helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and signs of hyper-pigmentation and sun damage/sun spots over time with continual daily use
- Creates a smooth and supple texture and aesthetic, that’s softer and improved in hydration
- Is a naturally occurring element in the body that depletes over time with age (akin to collagen), requiring restoration to maintain the same youthful appearance
- Increases hydration and overall appearance of the skin, ability to absorb 1000 times its weight in water
- Suitable for all skin types, helping restore balance in oil production for those with oily or combination skin, and adding moisture for those with dry skin
- Lightweight in texture, this is not an ingredient that typically makes a product feel heavy, greasy, or sticky on the skin
Positives and Negatives
The only negatives I can really reference with respect to the pen is the price point, but the multi-use factor adds value, and the product definitely has a great shelf-life, even with continual daily use and frequent application. I found it worked as both a luminous and non-glittery highlighter as well as a concealer, and skin felt refreshed and hydrated, without any subsequent dryness or irritation to the skin. Here is a look at some of the key positives and negatives to keep in mind prior to purchase:
- Provides great use and benefits as both a concealer pen and highlighter, though some prefer to use it simply as a highlighter, particularly if you prefer a heavier formulation for a concealer
- Delivers skincare benefits and formulated with Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid to help restore radiance, brighten the skin, and sooth the complexion
- Can be used prior to lipstick or gloss and used as a lip plumper, to add volume, while I did not personally try this out, other reviewers have claimed it definitely works in plumping lips as well
- Highly ranked every year and winner of several awards, the product is touted by makeup artists and one is sold every 10 seconds
- The product employs micro-fine pearls to further boost radiance of the skin
- When used as an under-eye concealer, I found dark circles were definitely completely covered, so I would not use this in conjunction with a heavier concealer, and a more refresh and rested aesthetic is quite nice
- Can be used as a highlighter without the addition of any shimmer or glitter, for those who prefer a more natural or matte aesthetic (this is typically why I steer away from highlighters, the glitter aesthetic is not a personal preference)
- Adds a natural glow, with a dewy and radiant finish
- Visible differences with respect to brightening, and my skin felt hydrated in areas I had used the product on, unlike other formulations in the category that are often prone to more drying qualities following use
- Offers great hold and lasts all day without any smudging or streaking, does not require frequent reapplication
- Product is formulated without any parabens or sulfates
- Cruelty-free company: Company does not test on animals to formulate products and does not use animal product in any of its manufacturing processes, with the exclusion of beeswax (which is not found in this particular product)
- The price point is fairly steep at $38, but the product does last for quite some time, and it’s multi-use benefits really add value, I’d rather use an effective product that really provides skincare benefits as well, rather than a lower priced item that will end up being thrown out for causing irritation or drying to the skin- and additionally, I have not found any drugstore brands or very low priced items in this category (highlighter/concealer) that honestly perform with any degree of efficacy, however this is a matter of personal preference
- I would prefer the foundations were named numerically, as from a more social/political sense, naming the lightest color “Luminous Radiance,” and continuing with names referencing nuts and food items as colors increase in darkness/scale seems to be a common trend in the industry, one we don’t often realize exists (this is something I hope will change for many brands over time in the future, and not specific to the company)
The manufacturer, Yves Saint Laurent, has a strong return and exchange policy that honors full refunds upon dissatisfaction, a policy that typically favors the consumer, both new and returning. If you are dissatisfied with the use of the product, or if it does not work for your skin to provide suitable benefits with respect to cosmetics or skincare, or you experience any product allergy or reaction to the formulation, you may elect to return the item. In this case, you will receive a full refund equal to the entire purchase price of the item. You may also wish to exchange the product for an equal and full refund. If you do have any reservations about product benefits to use or the price point, you can bear in mind the policy prior to your purchasing choice, but those with sensitive skin can bear in mind the formulation is natural, gentle, and not prone to breaking out the skin.
It’s also not drying, and didn’t cause any redness or irritation with use.
The Final Verdict
Ultimately, I really enjoyed using the YSL Perfecting Pen, and would definitely recommend it. While it is a splurge, this is often a category I find difficult to shop for or find a suitable cheap or drugstore product that doesn’t irritate the skin. Not only does the pen have great multi-use benefits with use, it’s a radiant finish highlighter free of any glimmer, and offers skincare benefits with use in treated areas. It’s safe for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and never seems to dry out the skin or cake on, even in areas that are dry. While you will likely want to continue using your serum or cream for the eye area, adding this product to a daily regimen helps provides additional benefits and makes the cream more effective in daily use.
This product is great for those seeking a highlighter and concealer option in one, and those who find traditional concealing options cake on to the skin or dry the skin, as this conversely leaves skin refreshed and supple.