YSL Fusion Ink Foundation (Swatches of Every Shade!) + NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel…In Short, I Adore Both

Above: The YSL Fusion Ink Foundation has arrived! 
After a couple of weeks of trial, I am ready to weigh in on recently-released the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation (currently available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Sephora, Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and Selfridges).  I initially discussed my first impressions in THIS video, have mentioned in my latest article for the Neiman Marcus publication, the blog, and now am excited to offer my review as well as swatches of EVERY shade offering.

Kindly scroll on for more details, swatches of each shade, shade descriptions, a discussion of my new favorite NARS Audacious Lipstick, Raquel and images of the YSL Fusion Ink + NARS Raquel on the face as well as the Bottom Line…
Above: The YSL Fusion Ink is housed in a square glass bottle with a wand applicator.
To concisely communicate my feelings on this formula, I will focus on some clear characteristics of the foundation in terms of texture/coverage, finish, wear and overall impressions:
  • This formula is incredibly light…it reminds me a lot of the Giorgio Armani Maestro (reviewed HERE) but offers significantly more coverage (medium, buildable to full) and performs more like the Cle de Peau Radiant Fluid.
  • Four strokes of the wand on the top of my hand provides my entire face (I prefer to apply with a damp Beauty Blender) with medium coverage.
  • The finish is truly beautiful…a soft matte finish that adopts a bit of glow over time without defaulting to oiliness.  
  • It blurs imperfections, diffuses light and perfects the canvas without utilizing any obvious light-reflecting properties.  
  • I love the way it truly “fuses” with the skin…if you can find your shade match, you will likely experience flawless results.
  • I get a good 8+ hours of wear time before feeling the need to blot or touch up with a bit of powder.
  • No pooling into pores, no creasing, no migrating…it might transfer to a cell phone screen (but what doesn’t?) but I would deem it decently adherent to the skin.
  • The first time I wore this foundation, I attended a wedding on a very hot day; this formula withstood heat, humidity, eating, dancing and late hours like a champ.  I only added a touch of powder about 8 hours into my day and noticed that it photographed beautifully, even after an extended period of wear.
  • I am very impressed with this formula…it is currently in my top three foundaiton rotation (along with the Tom Ford Traceless Perfecting and Cle de Peau Radiant Fluid) and I will likely move from B-40 Sand (the perfect match for my current N/NC 27-30 skin) to B-30 Almond when my summer tan fades.
  • The shade range is great…three different undertones (BR=Rosy, B=Neutral and BD=Warm) from the fairest ivory to the darkest, richest mocha, I think that most will have success in discovering a befitting shade match.
  • It does have the typical YSL cucumber fragrance, but I find it to be less strong than other YSL base formulas and it dissipates within a couple of minutes.  I am generally opposed to scent in foundation, but my extra sensitive skin hasn’t been bothered by this fragrance.
  • This is a marvelous option for one seeking an extremely light texture, medium (buildable to full) coverage, a soft matte finsih and marvelous lasting power.  
Official product details, courtesy of Neiman Marcus



NO MORE COMPROMISE. This feather light foundation wears effortlessly for soft-matte finish, all day comfort with broad spectrum SPF 18 protection. Its hybrid stain technology provides a formula that is as thin and lightweight as ink yet covering as a foundation. Exclusive extendable polymers allow for buildable coverage with long wear results without ever feeling heavy on skin. An unmatched revolution in foundation.

  • At the heart of this exceptional formula is a sensorial and volatile dry oil complex which allows for exceptionally fast application in a matter of seconds with flawless finish.
  • Color: this formula is made of pure micro-coated pigments delivering long lasting color and radiance all day long.
  • Actives: special sweat and sebum control agents allow for 24 hours of perfection regardless of humidity, heat, night and day.
  • Soft matte perfection: the extreme absorbing powder filler provide a natural soft matte finish without ever looking or feeling cakey.
  • Formula adapted to every skin type. The exclusive face zoning applicator allows you to perfectly zone the face for precise and effortless application.

Never cakey or heavy, Fusion Ink wears flawlessly for 24 hours.

Feel the difference of all day perfection and freedom.

Available in 21 shades.

ysl fusion ink swatches
Above: Comparison swatches of summer foundations I’ve been using as of late.
nars audacious lipstick raquel swatches
Above: Behold…NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel, a creamy beige-pink-peach.
Since I am wearing this shade in my foundation-focused pictures at the end of this post, I couldn’t help but offer a glimpse of the stunning NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel (currently available at Barney’s NY and NARS.com), a light, extremely creamy and opaque beige-pink-peach.  This is perhaps the most perfect nude I have ever encountered!  I’ve said everything necessary about this magnificent new formula HERE and HERE so I will let the images of Raquel speak for themselves…
nars audacious lipstick raquel swatches
Above: A swatch of Raquel in direct sunlight.
nars audacious lipstick raquel swatches
Above: Raquel alone on the lips.
Onto the YSL Fusion Ink swatches…shade descriptions per my experience:

ysl fusion ink swatches
Above: The BR shades in direct sunlight.
The BR shades have a rosy undertone, appropriate for cool skin tones:
BR-20 Cool Ivory: For fair, cool skin that is approximately NW 10-15

BR-30 Cool Almond: For light skin that is approximately NW 20-25

BR-40 Cool Sand: For medium skin that is approximately NW 27-30

BR-50 Cool Honey: For medium-dark skin that is approximately NW 35-40

ysl fusion ink swatches
Above: The BR shades in ourdoor shade.
ysl fusion ink swatches
Above: The B shades in outdoor sunlight.
The B shades have neutral (an even mix of pink and yellow) undertones for neutral skin: 
B-10 Porcelain: For fair skin that is approximately N/NC10

B-20 Ivory: For fair-light skin that is approximately N/NC 15-20

B-30 Almond: For light skin that is approximately N/NC 25

B-40 Sand: For light-medium skin that is approximately N/NC 27-30

B-50 Honey: For medium skin that is approximately N/NC 30-35

B-60 Amber: For medium-dark skin that is approximately N/NC 40-45

B-70 Mocha: For dark skin that is approximately N/NC 50+

ysl fusion ink swatches
Above: The B shades in outdoor shade.
ysl fusion ink swatches
The BD shades have warm, golden undertones for skin tones that lean yellow, peachy and olive: 
BD-10  Warm Porcelain: For fair skin that is approximately NC 10-15

BD-15 Warm Buff: For fair-light skin that is approximately NC 15-20

BD-20 Warm Ivory: For fair skin that is approximately NC 15 (oddly, this sample appeared lighter than Warm Porcelain and Warm Buff)

BD-45 Warm Bisque: For light-medium skin that is approximatley NC 30

BD-50 Warm Honey: For medium-dark skin that is approximately NC 40

BD-55 Warm Praline: For medium skin that is approximatley NC 35 (once again, this sample seems  lighter than Warm Honey)

BD-65 Warm Toffee: For dark skin that is approximately NC 50-55

ysl fusion ink swatches
The images below reflect the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation in B40 in various lighting situations…it was not set with powder and had been on the skin for over four hours in extreme heat! 
Above: With a flash.
Above: Natural window lighting…no flash.
Above: Outdoor mixed lighting.
Above: The beautiful cat that was peeking through my gazebo…her eyes are amazing, no?
Above: Outdoor light, sunlight streaming, no flash.
Above: Indoor lighting with a flash.
Above: Outdoor natural lighting.
–Shop the Post–

Bottom Line: The hype surrounding the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation (currently available at Neiman MarcusNordstromSephoraBloomingdalesBergdorf GoodmanSaks and Selfridges) is completely justified in my experience.  The ultra light texture, soft matte finish and splendid lasting power make this a foundation worth trying.  It is excellent for normal skin seeking medium coverage and a flawless finish that takes on a bit of glow as the day proceeds! Additionally, the NARS Audacious Lipstick in Raquel (currently available at Barney’s NY and NARS.com) is fast becoming one of my favorite nudes to date…it has most perfect amount of creamy opacity that achieves a nude effect without washing out the face. Brilliant!  I could’t be more pleased with either product and hope you found this swatch-laden review helpful. 

Have YOU tried the YSL Fusion Ink Foundation?  Thoughts?

Good things ahead including the annoucement of the winner of the Rouge Bunny Rouge Palette Giveaway, new fall releases, a couple of event recaps and some exciting product discoveries…oh, and my August (where did the summer go??!) Favorites video ; ) 


The Beauty Professor
© 2012-14 Beautyprofessor® All Rights Reserved. Do not copy, reprint or republish content and/or photos without author’s written permission.

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Comments (23)

  • Shireen L. Platt Reply

    The finish looks amazing on your skin! I am planning to purchase this foundation when I walk through airport in 2 weeks time. There's no YSL makeup in Malaysia but we're migrating to Canada in 2 weeks time so I can finally get my hands on this and plenty other makeup brands that is not available here. xx

    Reflection of Sanity | Giveaway

    August 29, 2014 at 8:08 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Thanks, Shireen!

      A move to Canada…how exciting! Safe travels for you…and hope you get a chance to try this formula soon!


      –The Beauty Professor

      September 3, 2014 at 12:03 am
  • Unknown Reply

    This finish does look really lovely on you. I just tried this foundation yesterday. But something pilled up underneath it. In full disclosure I did have my beloved Chanel Jour serum ( I refuse to believe this was the culprit) as well as a Laura Mercier primer, and a Supergoop sunblock on when I applied the YSL. So, I will try it again today and hope for better results!
    I am in love with the NARS Raquel.
    Great review! You look amazing!!

    August 29, 2014 at 12:59 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello Amanda,

      Thank you for all of your kind words! Let me kow how you like this formula one you try it over a single layer of skincare ; ) Since the texture is so light, I can imagine it might pill over a few layers. Yes, Raquel is insanely good, no?


      –The Beauty Professor

      September 3, 2014 at 12:10 am
  • Unknown Reply

    I tried a sample of this the other day, I absolutely loved the feel and finish of this and like the coverage too. I had to wipe it straight off my face as once I had applied it, I noticed that the SPF ingredient was Oxinate, which my skin cannot tolerate. It surprises me that a higher end brand does not use titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as SPF as there are many people that cannot use chemical SPFs on their skin with irritation. I wish I could use it as it is a lovely foundation but can't risk the break outs! Great review and swatches as always!

    Jo | A Little Pop Of Coral

    August 29, 2014 at 1:25 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hi Jo,

      Thanks for your comment…I, too, much prefer physical to chemical sunscreen ingredients and wish that Oxinate was not included in this formula. I haven't had an adverse reaction yet, but still wish it was the much friendlier Titanium Dioxide I was putting on my face!


      –The Beauty Professor

      September 3, 2014 at 12:11 am
  • Lili Reply

    I just got a sample from Sephora and I am def getting a full bottle — its my new holy grail high-end foundation! Love it on you!

    August 29, 2014 at 3:40 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Thanks so much and that is excellent news, Lili!


      –The Beauty Professor

      September 3, 2014 at 12:04 am
  • Unknown Reply

    Hi Rachel: I'm rather hoping the swatch of BD20 is somehow a mix-up in the labelling.. I've got a bottle on the way here based on guidance from Sephora and I provided them with my colour IQ match. I was debating between BD20 and B30 which looks too dark and beigey for me. They suggested BD20. OMG..it looks so pale here. I saw swatches on another beauty blogger website and the swatches there read more consistent meaning BD10 and BD15 are definitely paler. So it's weird how this looks so pale and ashy on you. In any event, I should have mine either later on today or Tuesday so will let you know if the match works for me. I'm about NC20-23 depending on time of year. Keeping my fingers crossed and definitely looking forward to trying this foundation. I do like Armani Maestro (level 4) as well, but heard the YSL is even better.. 🙂 Have a great weekend!! xo

    August 29, 2014 at 4:25 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hi Wendy….just read and responded to your second comment first…published this anyway as I hope it will be help to readers in the same shade family!


      –The Beauty Professor

      September 3, 2014 at 12:13 am
  • Expat make up addict Reply

    I have recently discovered your blog via a link on The Beauty Look book and so far you have enabled me to buy 2 Cle De Peau Fall 2014 eyeshadow quads (with a third on the wish list!) and this foundation! This relationship could be dangerous…..

    Stacey Expat Make-Up Addict xx

    August 29, 2014 at 6:37 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hello…thanks so much for your comment, Stacey Jane. The Beauty Look Book is incredible (Sabrina is a dear friend of mine) and I am glad it led you here! Sorry about the enabling…that is part of the fun ; 0


      –The Beauty Professor

      September 3, 2014 at 12:05 am
  • Unknown Reply

    Hi Rachel: Update.. 🙁 Your swatches are quite accurate. This is not even remotely a match for my skin. When first looking at the bottle and seeing the liquid, I was convinced it would work. Then I swatched on a small patch on the inside of my arm which is closest to my face colour. The swatch of BD20 turned pink beige running completely cool against my skin. I was under the impression to BD series stood for Beige Dore (or warm golden yellow beige). I also received a sample of B30 in my haul. It is about a shade or two too dark for my skin and too orangey. This one is going back..sad to say. There is no point in applying to my face. For reference for others if they are reading this: I am about a MAC NC20 to 23ish (I do not own any MAC..they oxidize like crazy on me). A current excellent match for my skintone: Tom Ford Perfecting Foundation in Fawn. The Sephora MUA was way off on this one. I think the YSL numbering system for this particular shade is also off. Perfect swatches Rachel! .. Kicking myself for not waiting for your review.

    August 29, 2014 at 8:37 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hi Wendy,

      Thank you for the update…glad to hear my swatches are accurate but sad you have had difficulty finding the right shade match : (

      xoxo and have a beautiful week!

      –The Beauty Professor

      September 3, 2014 at 12:06 am
  • Blondie, Esq. Reply

    I couldn't agree more with your review! This has quickly become my favorite foundation. It's just lovely on you, and so is the Raquel lipstick!! I prefer bold lip color but you've convinced me this is one nude I need to try. 🙂 Thank you so much for the swatches, they are unbelievably helpful. Hope the new semester started out on a high note! xoxo.

    August 30, 2014 at 5:43 am
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      Hi Blondie!

      Thank you…I had a feeling you might feel that way ; ) This foundation is all the good things you assured me it was and I love it so much more than the Dior Star formula that everyone is talking about.

      The semester is now in full swing (!)…thanks for your well wishes. I hope your week is going well!

      xoxo and talk soon,

      –The Beauty Professor

      September 3, 2014 at 12:08 am
  • kpsays Reply

    Thank you for this comprehensive review! I am NC 40, and your post has helped me choose my shade. Off to order I go!

    October 28, 2014 at 10:06 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      That's great news…thank you for letting me know! Enjoy ; )


      –The Beauty Professor

      October 29, 2014 at 4:16 am
  • Anonymous Reply

    Hi Beauty Professor,
    i need you help to pick the right color of this foindation, as i live in Brazil and they arw sell here. A friend of mine is travelling to NY and os going to buy for me.
    i use a Sheer By Terri in 4 ( rosy beige), a Chanel Perfetion Lumiere Velvet in 22 Rosy Beige, a Lea Beige All in One in 10, and YSL Touche Eclat in BR20. Can you tell me what color should I buy in Fusion ink and Gucci?
    Thank you,
    Best Wishes

    May 30, 2015 at 11:28 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply

      I would suggest BR 20 and BR 30…that way, you can mix when BR 20 gets too light!

      Hope that helps…xx,

      –The Beauty Professor

      June 4, 2015 at 1:18 am
    • Anonymous Reply

      You are always kind! Thank you!

      June 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm
  • Gemma Reply

    So I am in search for my HG foundation for my oily skin, and I got YSL Fusion and Nars All Day Luminous tested on the counter in a span of two days. I love them both! Just wanted to ask you — which do you like better? 🙂

    September 30, 2015 at 9:39 pm
    • The Beauty Professor Reply


      I prefer the YSL Fusion as it looks more flawless for longer on my face. The NARS gets a touch "heavy" feeling as the day goes on. Hope that helps!


      –The Beauty Professor

      October 24, 2015 at 9:02 pm

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