YSL's Touche Éclat Brightening Pen Is Better Than the Blur Tool

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4.2

YSL Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen

ysl touche eclat brightening pen on marble background

Alexa Garcia/Design by Cristina Cianci

What We Like
  • Lightweight, hydrating formula

  • Blends easily

  • Works as both concealer and highlighter

  • Leaves a glowing, radiant finish

What We Don't Like
  • Not Byrdie Clean

YSL Beauty's Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen gives your complexion an instant, healthy glow. Its duality as a highlighter and concealer make it an ideal product to add to your beauty routine (or bag, if you’re on the go!).

4.2

YSL Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen

ysl touche eclat brightening pen on marble background

Alexa Garcia/Design by Cristina Cianci

We put the YSL Beauty Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

I'm not a morning person, nor am I the type of person that often gets a full eight hours of sleep. So when I read that YSL Beauty’s Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen “instantly gives you eight hours of beauty sleep in a click,” I just knew I needed to see for myself. As someone with constantly dark under-eye circles and dull skin from a hectic schedule and my (not-so) occasional lack of sleep, I strongly depend on concealer and highlighter (this product can function as both, depending on the level of coverage you prefer) to help me look fresh, alive, and presentable in the morning. Keep scrolling to read my honest opinions on this cult-favorite product and find out whether or not I think it's worthy of the hype.

YSL Beauty Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen

Best for: All skin types

Uses: Adds a natural, illuminated glow to the skin, provides sheer coverage

Potential allergens: Paraffin, propylene glycol.

Active ingredients: Vitamin E, ruscus extract, hyaluronic acid.

Byrdie Clean?: No, contains liquid paraffin, parabens, and PEG-18. 

Price: $38

Shade Range: 14 shades

About the brand: For decades, YSL Beauty has been bringing the Rive Gauche aesthetic of Yves Saint Laurent's eponymous fashion label to the makeup, fragrance, and skincare spaces. Best known for fan favorites like Black Opium and Touche Éclat, the brand is today part of the L'Oréal Group, where it continues to inspire with subversive Parisian energy.

About My Skin: Dry with occasional stress-related blemishes

My skin tends to be on the drier side, which I mostly attribute to genetics (and my caffeine problem). Depending on my stress or hormone levels throughout the month, I tend to experience the occasional pimple or two. (I recently started using a topical retinoid—Differin—every other day to address this concern.) Most weekends, I have to wear heavy, caked-on makeup for my job as a performer. As such, I like to keep my weekday makeup minimal; most days, you'll catch me wearing concealer, mascara, and maybe lipstick if I’m feeling extra. My favorite concealers tend to be high-coverage and easily disguise any eyelid hyperpigmentation and under-eye circles, like Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer or Glossier’s Stretch Concealer. For highlighter, I prefer a natural, non-glittery finish. A product that can operate as a concealer or a highlighter is a major bonus.

How to Apply: Click, brush, and blend

ysl touche eclat showing brush

Alexa Garcia

To apply YSL's Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen, I clicked the pen several times to get the product flowing through the silky brush. I then brushed the product onto my under-eyes, eyelids, and any other areas that could use some coverage and brightening. I used my fingers to evenly blend the product into my skin (my personal preference), but this formula is super smooth and creamy, so you can easily use a sponge or brush to blend as well.

The Results: Glowing, radiant skin

ysl touche eclat before and after

Alexa Garcia/Design by Cristina Cianci

Immediately upon applying this product, I noticed how smoothly it glided onto (and into!) my skin. The results were immediate—my complexion was instantly brighter and blurred with the softest candlelit glow. There was absolutely no oily-looking shine, no shimmer, and no glitter—just the most natural-looking, lit-from-within radiance.

While this product effortlessly illuminated my skin with just a few drops, it's important to note that this product doesn't perform like a high-coverage concealer—nor does it claim to. (In fact, the brand's website recommends using this product in conjunction with a traditional concealer if you're looking for coverage.) I found this to be true; it took a few additional applications of this product to cover the dark circles under my eyes, but luckily the formula is buildable—an extra layer didn't feel cakey or crease. If you're looking to address concerns like dark circles, hyperpigmentation, or acne scars, I recommend applying the brand's High Cover Radiant Concealer first, then think of the All-Over Brightening Pen as the cherry on top. But for those that are just interested in sheer, everyday coverage and an unbelievable glow, the All-Over Brightening Pen is all you need.

With that minor caveat out of the way, I'm also pleased to report that the finish on this product was not only ultra-glowy, but it actually lasted for hours and hours. (I needed to touch-up near the end of the day, but I'd been outside wearing a mask for the majority of the day. When you're indoors or maskless in approved settings, this glow will take you from day to night, no problem.)

The Value: Expensive, but has a quality to match

Usually retailing for $38, YSL’s Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen is definitely at a luxury price point. But while this product is expensive, the hyaluronic acid, among other active ingredients, makes the concealer/highlighter hybrid extra hydrating, which is uncommon for most similar products I’ve used in the past. It's also a completely foolproof product—a lot of highlighters go on too glittery or cakey if you're heavy-handed, but this one goes on like a second skin pretty much however you choose to apply.

swatch of ysl touche eclat brightening pen

Alexa Garcia

Similar Products: You have options

e.l.f Flawless Brightening Concealer: This highly reviewed dupe ($5) can blur uneven skin tones and provides a two-in-one solution for your complexion. It even contains one of the same key ingredients: hyaluronic acid. Users report less staying power, though.

Glossier Stretch Concealer: My favorite buildable option yet, this Glossier concealer ($18) effectively covers blemishes, dark circles, redness, and everything in between. Glossier’s formula allows the concealer to “move with your skin instead of caking on top of it,” and radiates a similar glowing finish as YSL’s Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen, at a fraction of the cost (though you'll still need to layer a highlighter on top to get that true Touche Éclat glow). With the Glossier option, you're also missing out on the convenient pen application method (Stretch Concealer comes in a pot, so you'd need to have a separate concealer brush on hand).

Final Verdict

While I’m going to continue to favor my high-coverage concealers for my under-eye circles, I'll definitely continue to use YSL’s Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen as a highlighter. If you’re looking to splurge on a sheer concealer that will brighten your complexion as well as conceal minimal blemishes and hyperpigmentation, then this cult-favorite is worth the purchase.

Specs

  • Product Name Touche Éclat All-Over Brightening Pen
  • Product Brand YSL
  • Price $38
  • Weight 0.1 oz.
  • Full Ingredient List Water, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Talc, Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Peg/ Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, Trideceth-3, Methicone, Methylparaben, Squalane. [+/- May Contain: Ci 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), Ci 77019 (Mica), Ci 77492 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77491 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77499 (Iron Oxide), Ci 77007 (Ultramarines), Ci 77510 (Ferric Ferrocyanide), Ci 77742 (Manganese Violet), Ci 75470 (Carmine), "NF8897"].

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