<Annoying digression ends>
Packaging aside, YSL Rouge Pur in Black Tulip (#149) is a deliciously intense midnight purple. There's no way or day I'd pay retail, however, since Rouge Pur runs to about $60 in NZ and as I've remarked before, $60 lipstick better put out, go downtown and make the damn bed, so I snatched this one off a local auction site for less than a third of that. Good times.
Let's probe the little sucker. I think this line may have been superseded by Rouge Pur Couture but whatever- there's plenty floating around, the shade is worth tracking down and if this unit is anything to go by, stock is still perfectly fresh. Believe it or not, the two sticks below are the same tube photographed on the same darn table in the same darn angled winter daylight with about 5 minutes between them. That's purple for you.
Colour-wise, Rouge Pur Black Tulip is a cool (but not too cool) dark, grape skin-type situation, tending vaguely magenta during the day (as you can see to the right there). Keep one thing in mind when you're investing in something like this, especially if you're unaccustomed to a very dark lip- what looks rad at the MU counter can morph into horrific out on the footpath. In sunlight, Black Tulip is warmer and more raisiny; dim or nocturnal conditions trigger a dramatic drop-off in tone from medium-dark to a much more definitive purple (see below). In other words, it can turn pretty blackety-black/supergoth, and while I'm like hey baby, more of you to love, that won't be to everyone's taste. Oh well.
There's no frost or microglitter to speak of. Black Tulip is second from the left in the swatches below. To the left we have filtered daylight, and to the right we have cool-toned indoor shade. See how it shifts, colour-wise? Instigator and Terre de Feu are matte but the others possess more or less the same medium shine; I'd equate BT with Rebel as far as gloss and overall finish goes.
Texturally, it's a curious beast. It goes on quite slick and feels nice and light on the lip and doesn't really bleed or leave that central portion of your lips too naked, something even hardcore mattes in this shade have a tendency to do. Mysterious.
I won't say the colour stays perfectly even because it doesn't, but that's just the nature of the shiny purple beast and it boasts enough fine pigment to remain presentable even after a few sloppy drinks- purple veterans will know that's high-performance, relatively speaking. Good old MAC Nightmoth is the liner I would use to stabilise that shit; it intensifies the blackened aspect but doesn't substantially alter the shade. After wiping it off my lips they feel quite comfortable which is another surprise. There is a noticeable Toilet Duck-esque 'floral' fragrance, a regrettable characteristic of these old school French brands, but it doesn't last and there was no fragrance-induced burn. If I can live with it, you probably can too.