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Although this isn’t an exhaustive round-up of the entire brand, I wanted to talk about the current products that I own from Lancome before I let them go. This is a great brand that I can truly show appreciation for, but I’ve just come to realize that it’s not for me. I always have a good experience using their products and I’m always able to find items that suit my skin tone. But on the downside, I’m continually disappointed by the packaging when considering the price I paid. That is saying a lot considering I never pay full price for Lancome, and I still come away feeling like I overpaid. As a military spouse, I can get Lancome products for 15% off and I don’t have to pay tax. The products I’ve tried just feel lighter and cheaper than brands in a comparable price range like NARS and Bobbi Brown.
Cheek & Contour Brush #25, $40 (discontinued 2021)
This brush was such a disappointment despite getting it for $32 instead of the $40 retail price. It is a natural goat hair brush, which commands a higher price, but that is where the price justification ends. It is not as soft as it should be at this price and I’m not impressed with the construction of the brush. It is technically put together better than a drugstore brush, but it doesn’t feel like a $40 brush to me. I can’t tell you how the small/contour end works. Since I never intended to use that part of the brush, I never tested it.
Overall it doesn’t look as nice to me as other comparably priced brushes and the longer I’ve owned it the more it sheds. As an example, my Estee Lauder blush brush is natural hair, costs $42, and doesn’t shed at all. I’ve had the Estee Lauder brush since early-2019 whereas I just got the Lancome brush in March 2020. I guess I should give it some credit because it picks up just enough product and it does blend well. The problem is that I have used much cheaper brushes that I can say that about.
Even though this formula is too intense for my taste, I think this is a really nice underrated formula. It comes in a nice range of shades and has a unique creamy texture. I do have dry skin which I think makes some highlight formulas appear more intense. In the height of summer when my t-zone produces some oil, I notice that highlights melt into the skin making them appear less intense. You can see swatches and my full review here.
Color Design High Pigment – True Color Eye Shadow, $22
This is one of the nicest eyeshadow formulas I’ve used, but I still don’t manage to use them enough. That just happens sometimes, we can think something is objectively better and still prefer something else. For a point of reference, this formula reminds me most of the bareMinerals Gen Nude formula but is less dense. They are somewhat hard pressed, but at the same time I wouldn’t lump them in with old school MAC eyeshadows. I wish the lids were a flip top instead of sliding up to open, but that is just a personal quirk. You can see swatches and my full review here.
Teint Idole Ultra Stick Foundation, $44** (reformulated in early 2021)
Lancome has just released an updated formula for their stick foundation and in doing so has dropped from having 29 shades to just 22. The above shades, 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W, didn’t make it into the new lineup. Both of these shades are available in the liquid version of Teint Idole Ultra so I decided to go ahead and show swatches of them. The brand seems to do a decent job keeping their shades consistent across formulas, so maybe that is still helpful for someone.
As far as my untrained non-cosmetic chemist eye can tell, they have removed the sunscreen ingredients and the tambourissa trichophylla leaf extract (also called rosabora) from the new formula. Based on the below ingredient listings, I have a hard time believing the new formula will perform much differently than the old formula. However, I recognize that I am not a cosmetic chemist and that, at times, any change no matter the size can make a difference.
OCTINOXATE 2.0 %, TITANIUM DIOXIDE 1.94%
CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, PHENYL TRIMETHICONE, ISOHEXADECANE, POLYETHYLENE, METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, ALUMINUM CALCIUM SODIUM SILICATE, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, ARACHIDYL PROPIONATE, TAMBOURISSA TRICHOPHYLLA LEAF EXTRACT, PERLITE, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, ISOPROPYL, TITANIUM TRIISOSTEARATE, LAUROYL LYSINE
MICA, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, IRON OXIDES, FERRIC AMMONIUM FERROCYANIDE
New 2021 Formula
CYCLOHEXASILOXANE ● PHENYL TRIMETHICONE ● ISOHEXADECANE ● POLYETHYLENE ● METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER ● ALUMINUM CALCIUM SODIUM SILICATE ● CYCLOPENTASILOXANE ● ARACHIDYL PROPIONATE ● ACRYLATES CROSSPOLYMER ● PERLITE ● ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE ● DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE ● LAUROYL LYSINE ●[+/- MAY CONTAIN CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES ● CI 77891 / TITANIUM DIOXIDE ● MICA ●
Despite my occasional disappointment in packaging that seems cheap, there are some exceptions. But even when I do like the packaging, it usually turns out those are the times I don’t like the product inside. For instance, I love the L’Absolu Rouge Cream Lipstick ($32)** packaging, but the scent of it bothers me. Fortunately, in my experience, the scent of the lipstick doesn’t linger after application. It just bothered me so much I didn’t even want to open the ones that I owned in the past. I also think the packaging of their liquid Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation ($47)** is quite nice, although the formula didn’t work out for me when I tried it. And taking it way back, I did like the packaging and included brush for the Audacity in Paris eyeshadow palette ($68).
So there you have it. As it turns out Lancome just isn’t a good fit for me personally. I do think they excel at formulating great makeup, and that for some people, it will surely tick all the boxes. For me, however, it just doesn’t live up to the price tag. I also think that someone who hasn’t tried as many products as I have over the years, would have a totally different take on the brand. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this brand, but for now, I’m done buying from it.
What are your thoughts on Lancome? Let me know in the comments below.
Oh and last thing. If you are a Lancome fan, or have your eye on something, they have a 25% off sale on the website that ends at 1:59 PM PT February 12, 2021.
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