Lancome Makeup Round-Up

Lancome 435 bisque w canyon eyeshadow gold lame eyeshadow 25 brush dual finish highlighter dazzling bronze

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

Lancome cheek and contour brush 25 review
Lancome cheek and contour brush, #25

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. 

Lancome cheek and contour brush 25 review

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, cost $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.

Dual Finish Highlighting Powder, $41

Lancome Dual Finish Highlighter Dazzling Bronze Dark Skin
Lancome 05 Dazzling Bronze

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

Lancome Color Design Eyeshadows Gold Lame and Canyon
Lancome Color Design Eyeshadows in Gold Lamé (left) and Canyon (right)

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, $43

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Stick Foundation 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W
L to R: 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W

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.

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Stick Foundation 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W swatches
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Stick Foundation (discontinued) L to R: 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W (heavy swatch, wet)
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Stick Foundation 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W swatches
Lancome Stick Foundation (discontinued) L to R: 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W (blended, dried down)

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.

Discontinued Formula

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
OCTINOXATE 2.0 %, TITANIUM DIOXIDE 1.94%
COSMETIC INGREDIENTS:
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
MAY CONTAIN:
MICA, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, IRON OXIDES, FERRIC AMMONIUM FERROCYANIDE

New 2021 Formula

INGREDIENTS
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 ●

Past Experiences

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 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 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.

 **Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

Smashbox Brushes Review

I have wanted to do a review on these brushes for a long time, but I always felt like I didn’t have enough to say about them. Then I decided to review them anyway, however concise so more people will know about these underrated brushes. Long story short: I feel like they give me the results of my natural hair brushes, but their synthetic fibers make caring for them a breeze. They are high quality with a price to match, but they are not prone to breaking, shedding, or becoming misshapen.

Smashbox Brushes Review (sheer powder, blurring foundation, angled blush, buildable cheek, precise blush, cream cheek)

Unlike natural hair brushes, you can wash them as often as you want without causing damage. I have found that they come clean easily (slight staining on the white-tipped style) and bounce back to their original shapes after washing. Smashbox runs sales often, so if you are interested in any of these, I’d suggest signing up for their loyalty program. I believe joining the loyalty program gives you a 15% off code, but if you are patient, the brand definitely runs better sales than that.

Again, although they are pricey for synthetic bristles, I have found them to be workhorse products. I’ve been using the blurring foundation, precise cheek, and buildable cheek brushes for about two and a half years without any issues. As I share the brushes, I will let you know if I have an affordable favorite that I use as an alternative.

Continue reading “Smashbox Brushes Review”

Buy High/Buy Low: Blush Brushes for Sheer Application

Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush
Smashbox Buildable Cheek Brush and Real Techniques Blush Brush

What can I say?  In my opinion, these brushes just work.  Maybe you are someone that has been intimidated by blush.  Or you’ve given up on blush because you always apply too much.  You may also just like more subtle makeup.  No matter the reason, you may want to give one of these two brushes a try for achieving a light application of blush.

Continue reading “Buy High/Buy Low: Blush Brushes for Sheer Application”