MAC Versicolour Stain vs YSL Glossy Stain

Who Does It Better? MAC Versicolour Stain vs YSL Glossy Stain

In Dupe Me!, Lips, MAC, YSL Beauty by Angie Canning

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Earlier this week I posted a full review of the new MAC Versicolour Stain in Tattoo My Hearta beautiful coral-pink lip gloss/stain hybrid.  When my Versicolour Stain first arrived and I cracked open the tube for the first time my first thought was, “Oh it’s just like a YSL Glossy Stain!”  

My next thought was, “Wow – I think I’ve seen this color before!”

Lo and behold, not only do the two products the same formula, but the MAC Versicolour Stain in Tattoo My Heart I had purchased is nearly identical in color to my first YSL Glossy Stain purchase, Corail Aquatique.  So in today’s post I am about to show you similarities and differences between these two product’s formulas and performance while at the same time show you a “dupe” if you will of the two shades. To blow your mind even more this isn’t the first time I’ve compared a similar product’s formula to a YSL Glossy Stain – you can read about that comparison here (same shade again, with an even more affordable option yet!)

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, lets take a closer look at the similarities and differences between the MAC Versicolour Stain and the YSL Glossy Stain.

MAC Versicolour Stain vs YSL Glossy Stain

MAC Versicolour Stain vs YSL Glossy Stain

YSL Glossy Stain packaging compared to the MAC Versicolour Stain packaging

Packaging Comparison

The packaging is actually the same in height and similar in width, with the MAC Versicolour feelings lightly more substantial in the hands.  The thickness of the tube is the same, but of course the design is different with the square shape and gold top of the YSL compared to the round shape and black accents for MAC Versicolour.  I like that with the MAC you can see more of the actual product in the tube.


MAC Versicolour Stain vs YSL Glossy Stain

YSL vs MAC applicator wands

Applicator Comparison

Both products utilize a flocked applicator, and both have slightly bent tips. The YSL Glossy Stain has a wider base but both wands come to a point which makes application feel identical.

Price Comparison

YSL works their high-end makeup status, thus the pricing is reflected as such.  A YSL Glossy Stain contains 0.20 oz of product and retails for $36 US, while the MAC Versicolour contains 0.28 oz of product and is priced at $24 US.

YSL Corail Aquatique vs MAC Tattoo My Heart

Here’s where things get interesting!  The two shades I happen to have purchased are similar, so similar in fact that I cannot tell once they are applied to my lips the difference.  As you can see the close up swatches and on my lips below (click images to enlarge) you will notice that the YSL Glossy Stain does have flecks of sparkles in it, while Tatto My Heart does not.  Both swatch nearly identically on the arm, but the YSL is slightly more pigmented.  Now let’s take a look at what they look like on the lips and then I’ll share my thoughts on which one is better!

MAC Versicolour Stain vs YSL Glossy Stain Swatches

YSL Corail Aquatique swatch on the left compared with MAC Tattoo My Heart on the right.

MAC Versicolour Stain vs YSL Glossy Stain Lip Swatch

On my lips the difference is so subtle – from far away they look the same.


The gloss/stain hybrid lip product is an interesting one if you haven’t experienced it yet.  It almost feels gel-like in application, smooth and silky and then settles to slightly tacky as it wears.  The formula quickly begins to settle and meld with the lips after application with both the MAC and YSL, they are both glossy and both leave varying degrees of a stain behind.  As far as longevity and performance, the YSL lasts significantly longer on my lips – roughly 6 hours, while I get under 2 hours for the MAC and the stain doesn’t stick around.  The YSL definitely has more staining pigment to it, feels smoother, looks more glossy and is more comfortable on the lips all around.  Although I have not tried other shades from the MAC Versicolour Stain line yet, Tattoo My Heart does not have any sparkle to it – it is simply creamy – while Corail Aquatique has micro shimmers to it which seem to enhance the glossy look.  In addition, although it is subtle in photos, Corail Aquatique is more pigmented and coats the lips more easily than Tatoo My Heart.  Next let’s discuss the scent, which is an important one!  The YSL Glossy Stain has a distinctly floral/perfume-y plastic scent which is something I’ve grown accustomed to yet I don’t find it altogether pleasant.  The MAC Versicolour Stain?  If you like the traditional MAC vanilla cookie scent then you’re in for a treat because it smells the same as their other lip products.

Overall, although the products have the same formula, these particular shades perform differently as far as longevity.  If longevity isn’t an issue for you, both in gloss or stain, or you can’t stand the scent of a YSL Glossy Stain or if you’d like to save $12 then give the MAC Versicolour Stain a try.  I find that although I’m not a huge fan of the scent of the YSL Glossy Stain I like the entire experience better, from the feeling on the lips, to how long it lasts and the pigmentation too.  I have to say my heart remains with YSL for this product!

Which is your favorite – YSL or MAC?  Who did it better?  Let me know your thoughts on this product and shade comparison – I’d love to hear what you think!

Where to Buy
  • MAC Versicolour Stain is $24 US each and contains 0.28 oz. product.  It looks to be a permanent product and is available at MAC retailers in store and online at, and
  • YSL Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain is $36 each and contains 0.20 oz. product.  It can be purchased online and in store at,

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