To the right, please. Pull your gaze away from Kim Soo-hyun to admire the equally pretty Jeon Ji-hyun and her lovely lips. Promo visual © HB Entertainment
Let’s put this phenomenon in perspective: The K-drama in question, My Love from the Star, ended its original run in February this year.
What this means is, if reports filed the world over are to be believed, there has been a global outage of a particular Yves Saint Laurent lippie for a gobsmacking two months and counting.
Brief backgrounder for the benefit of those not particularly inclined towards overwrought Korean soaps: The impossibly lovely leading lady Jeon Ji-Hyun – who, in a brilliant bit of meta-narrative, plays a smug starlet on the show – was depicted decked out in a sensational shade of something on her lips.
Sleuthing Sherlock Holmes of the online beauty community quickly deduced that Ji-Hyun’s Lolita-esque lips were courtesy of YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture in No. 52. In a cultural thesis-worthy testament to the marketing heft of Hallyu, beauty aisles spanning Beijing to Paris were promptly stripped bare of the salmon hue in question.
Fast-forward to April 2014. K-Beauty fans are still divested of the desirous shade; a quick check with the friendly folks at YSL Beauté Singapore confirmed that No. 52 is still M.I.A from makeup counters island-wide.
This, my friends, is the near-mythical lippie in question
Here’s when things get dicey. It appears as if a fast one has been pulled over beauty aisles. The Korea Herald notes that Ji-Hyun did not, in fact, use YSL lipstick, quoting an industry source who insisted that “the colour of her lips [in the drama] cannot be produced by a single product” – and, more damningly, that “YSL was not one of them”.
Well, now. What to make of this doozy of a development? Here’s our advice. Don’t be a fool and fork out a fantastically OTT hundred bucks or more per tube on eBay – not when the product goes for $58 a pop over the counter.
Instead, wait it out. A little bird has told us that crate-loads of Rouge Pur Couture No. 52 are on their way to Singapore right this instant, and should be on shelves anytime soon. (But if you’re thinking of buttering up your nearest YSL cabin staff, don’t; Singapore reps say that no waiting lists will be entertained for this coveted colour.)
Or, in keeping with the very monicker of the lippie itself, concoct your own couture creation by smooshing two or more shades together on a palette.
Part of the allure of Rouge Pur Couture No. 52 resides in its very versatility, seeing as how it comfortably straddles the warm corals and cool reds of the spectrum. Beauty tip: We’ve found a modicum of success in simulating the same effect by layering the glimmering gold-flecked goodness of No. 59 Golden Melon over the solid scarlet of No. 1 Le Rouge. #JustSaying!
Getting your hands dirty playing makeup mixologist? Infinitely more fun than clicking “buy now” on an anonymous bidding site. Good luck!
UPDATE: The lovely YSL Beaute rep for Singapore has just informed us that Rouge Pur Couture No. 52 will be back in stock at the standalone Ion boutique on May 7, 2014, and subsequently at counters islandwide.
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture, $58 each, is available at all YSL Beauté counters and at the YSL Beauté store at #B2-34 Ion Orchard. For more information, visit www.ysl.com and follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter.