Showing posts with label Lancome. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lancome. Show all posts

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Primers and Smoothers


I've been testing out a few new primers and smoothing products and thought I'd share my favorite staple primers along with some new discoveries. I'm not typically a primer kind of person. I've found most that I've tried don't really do much to extend the wear of makeup and end up adding an extra layer of product on my face that I don't really need. I've tried dozens of primers at makeover events and from tiny sample packets. There are so may different options on the market these days it can be a bit overwhelming. Different products offer a multitude of effects. Some will smooth the overall look of your skin, add a glow, give a matte look and then there are some that are just basic primers to help the application of your foundation. I have normal and sensitive skin. For your reference I've broken down my primer picks into two main different categories:

  • Tom Ford Illuminating Primer ($72 for 1 fl oz) is one of the best glow primers I've ever tried. I tested this on numerous occasions each time I was able to visit a Tom Ford counter under both the foundation stick and liquid formula. The counters kindly made a few small samples for me to test before I caved and purchased the full size (I'm still in price shock). The Tom Ford primer is packaged with a clever twist pump dispenser. It has a soothing fresh scent with a slight herbal undertone. What I like about this one is that has a more yellow-like pearly glow which I found perfect for my needs (most I've seen have a pinkish glow). It helps extend the wear of makeup and adds a glow without making you greasy. It helps smooth the skin and adds an all over glow to prevent your makeup from looking flat. Be aware that this is on the dewy side, if you're oily I wouldn't recommend this one. I also found this one works best with the Tom Ford Foundations. See The Convenient Beauty's review.
  • NARS Pro-Prime Radiance Enhancing Primer ($34 for 1.1 oz) is the next best alternative to Tom Ford's primer at a more affordable price. It has a reflective pearl quality that is the perfect mix of opal, gold and champagne. It has SPF 15 and a little goes a long way. I find this one photographs well with a flash. It has a creamy but thin and easy to blend texture to give an all over glow without being too glowy. Lasting power is better than average for me but it won't make your makeup last all day long (you will need a touch up in the afternoon). I really like this for the effect it gives and how it helps makeup look smoother.
  • MAC Strobe Liquid ($32 for 1.7 fl oz) isn't really a traditional primer, but I like to use it as one over moisturizer and underneath liquid or powder makeup. It's another great smoothing glow product with a super thin liquid texture. It dries well to help makeup stay in place and prevents it from sliding around - but note you only need a tiny bit on the face. It's on the more glowy side so I would recommend topping with a regular powder or foundation. This one is also good for mixing in with foundations to add a glow without making you look white. It has a more opal/blueish sheen.
  • Chanel Base Lumiere Illuminating Makeup Base ($45 for 1 fl oz) is one of the most fluid primer/bases I've ever tried. (I've repurchased this multiple times.) It has a blueish violet sheen but it disppears into a clear finish on the skin. The key to using this is to make sure you use a thinner lightweight moisturizer underneath otherwise it will make the skin oily. If you're a serum + moisturizer kind of person, I would recommend skipping one of the items before using this one. I like this best with Chanel foundations as it helps prime the skin with a subtle glow and also helps extend the wear of foundation. Make sure you use as little as possible - if you overdo it it will be too heavy and feel thick on the skin.

  • Lancome Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur ($55 for 1 fl oz) is currently available at Sephora locations in the US. I received a press sample of this (hence the white lab tube). It's a skin smoother/finisher designed to smooth the skin, erase imperfections and pores. It has a creamy neutral colored texture that disappears on the skin. This video has a good visual of what this will do for the skin. I suggest testing at the store if you can, reviews indicate this is either a hit or miss. I saw a noticeable difference in my skin texture when using this and used it under a liquid foundation (tested with Chanel and NARS). I loved the results for the overall look and it truly erased any signs of pores on my face. It helped my makeup last all day long (quite impressive) well through the evening. There is a very light fragrance to this which I found on the subtle side. The only thing I didn't like about this was that I could actually feel the layer of product on my face - not necessarily a bad thing, but I tend to prefer face makeup that is more weightless and thinner in texture.
  • Clinique Superprimer Color Correcting ($27 for 1 oz) I bought this at Sephora after reading rave reviews about the Superprimers. I was a bit overwhelmed with the color options and honestly have no idea if I picked the right one for me. I decided to go with the peach color corrector since traditional white ones are often too pale and white for my olive skin. I didn't notice any color correcting quality with this one but the color matched my skin pretty well once blended. It has a thicker airy creamy texture that has a velvety feel on the skin. The result: long lasting makeup all day long from morning until late at night (around 11ish before I took it off). The peach color disappeared and gave the skin a smooth matte look. If you test any of the options at the store you will see a noticeable difference on the back of your hand. I like that the primer didn't change the color of my foundation even though it has a peach tint. I'm not sure I picked the right option, if you've tried the any of the Clinique primers I'd love to hear your thoughts.
  • Dior Pore Minimizer Skin Refining Matte Primer ($42 for 1 oz) is a primer that wins for most innovative packaging. It's a tube with a pump dispenser. I have not purchased this after testing a couple counter-made samples but wanted to share my thoughts. This offers the most matte finish that I've ever seen. It smooths the skin out similar to the Lancome but has a thicker feel on the skin (at least for me). I found this blended well on the skin and provided a lovely smooth look. There was a huge noticeable difference. I felt it was too dry for my normal/combination skin even though it didn't look dry at all. I suspect if you have skin that is on the oily side, the Dior Matte Primer will work wonders for you.
Packaging and dispenser details:




My top three picks:
  1. For the best glow, I like Tom Ford's Illuminating Primer
  2. For the price and performance I like Clinique's Superprimer
  3. For the most visible smoothing result, Lancome Visionnaire 1-Minute Blur is a winner
Do you have any favorite primers, smoothing products or glowy bases? I'd love to hear about your thoughts and experiences for what has worked on your skin tone or skin type.
 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lancome Eau Fraîche Douceur (Micellar Cleansing Water Face, Eyes, Lips)

I've tried a number of cleansing waters in the past from lines like Shiseido Pureness, Shu Uemura and Dior. Unfortunately the ones I fell in love with have been discontinued or reformulated and have been looking for another love for quite some time. I tried Lancome Eau Fraîche Douceur, a cleanser-toner, somewhat by accident. It was one of those weeks when I ran out of all my basics for skincare all at the same time. Not having time to shop and replenish that week, I dug into my sample drawer of unused minis from gifts-with-purchases. Lancome's Cleansing Water seemed to fit the bill for a quick-fix to tone and cleanse in one step. It was a last-resort kind of thing and I'm glad I tried it. It's done wonders for my skin and has reached the status of one of those life-changer beauty products for me.


Product Description: "Pamper and purify your skin with this refreshing cleansing water that instantly removes face, lip and eye makeup in one easy step. This magic formula with gentle Micellar Technology cleansing agents and soothing Rose de France, lifts and removes makeup and impurities, even waterproof and long-wear formulas, with no need to rinse."

This Lancome Cleansing Water currently retails for $35 for 6.8 fl oz (see more details on Lancome.com). It's a gentle makeup remover for the entire face and comes in a sleek clear bottle with a well-designed pump.  The packaging is sturdy and easy to use. The pump dispenses just the right amount so nothing is wasted by over-pouring. Although it's designed as a makeup remover, I use this more as a purifying toner/cleanser.

Two pumps spritzed onto the cotton square is enough to cover the entire face. At $35 I find it fairly expensive for a makeup remover, but for a toner it seems to be decent priced. It will remove mascara and eyeliner, but not 100% for those long-wear formulas. For makeup removal in the evenings, I typically soak a cotton pad with a dual-formula makeup remover (something inexpensive like Neutrogena) to remove the eyeliner and mascara. I then cleanse the face completely with soap and water and dry. Next I tone. This is the point where I will sometimes use Lancome's Eau Fraîche Douceur instead of toner just to make sure any remnants of makeup left on the skin are completely removed.


For those who haven't read my skincare posts before, I have relatively normal but extremely sensitive skin.  I get red bumps or irritation from quite a few products. With this Lancome Cleansing Water, there was no irritation or drying from daily use of this product. There is a very faint scent which I would describe as "clean." I was amazed at how much extra makeup was removed from my face even after cleansing the skin with my regular Clinique Foaming Facial Cleanser. It clarifies the skin to make it feel clean but not dry. Some cleansing waters are too rich for my taste leaving a slightly sticky feel leaving a thin film on the surface of the skin. The Lancome leaves no film.



I've been using this since around March/April. I do not use it everyday, but alternate with my La Mer and Paul & Joe Toners. Since using this, combined with Chanel's Ultra Lift Concentrate (previously reviewed here, update to come soon), my skin has improved tremendously. It feels cleaner, there are fewer breakouts and it overall just looks and feels clearer. The mini 1.7 fl oz lasted quite a long time for me. Since using it up, I've kept the little bottle and refilled it for travel.

Overall: Highly recommend.

Side note, my current skincare routine includes:
  • Cleanse with La Mer Cleansing Gel
  • Tone with La Mer The Tonic, Paul & Joe Refreshing Skin Toner or Lancome's Eau Fraîche Douceur
  • Moisturize at day only with Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Sculpting Firming Concentrate or La Mer The Moisturizing Lotion

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Inside My Makeup Bag


My makeup bag started this week with only 4 items (EB Daydream, Lancome Juicy Tube, mini blush brush, Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine), but since Monday it's accumulated quite a few more things this long work-week. Today, what is inside my Laura Mercier zebra print makeup bag:
  1. NARS Tzarine Eyeshadow Duo
  2. MAC Blonde MSF (limited edition from January 2009)
  3. Burberry Misty Blush (new for spring, review to come soon)
  4. Chanel Boy Rouge Coco Shine
  5. Laura Mercier Mini Double Sided Brush
  6. MAC Wolf Pearlglide (limited edition from 2008ish)
  7. Lancôme Yayoi Kusama Edition Juicy Tube in Dot Apricot (now at Nordstrom)
  8. Edward Bess Daydream Bronzer (my holy grail bronzer, reviewed numerous times here)
  9. Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss Ibiza
  10. Le Métier de Beauté Sheer Brilliance Lip Gloss Captiva
  11. Shu Uemura ME Black 990
  12. Bobbi Brown Mini Blush Brush
Close Ups Labeled:


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lancome Le Gris L'Wren 021

I'm sure you've already seen the previews of the holiday colors from The Lancome Blog. One can never really tell what to expect from backstage or runway photos. I was expecting a steel grey with a hint of blue but what arrived was a blue with slight grey tones in a metallic finish. The red shade Le Rouge L'Wren 020 (reviewed last week here) seems more holiday-appropriate but the blue shade is still lovely nevertheless and it is indeed swoon-worthy.



Here it is with 2 coats, no base or top coat:




I was prepared to do a full comparison to steely greys but since it's definitely more blue, I searched through my stash for blue-greys. Here it is compared to a few other blueish shades, l to r: NARS Full Metal Jacket, Rescue Beauty Lounge Stormy*, Lancome Le Gris L'Wren 021, MAC Blue India



* The Nars & RBL shades were previously featured here.




Overall thoughts:
Lovely color but I prefer the red one released in the holiday collection. In terms of the finish/texture Le Gris L'Wren gives full coverage with 2 coats but I found it slightly goopy making it a bit difficult to apply evenly. Do note that I am a bit clumsy when it comes to self application of nail polish. Not everyone will find this hard to work with. The metallic finish makes it a bit streaky if not applied with a steady hand. To me, Le Gris L'Wren seems like a pearl version of MAC Blue India. Still Lancome has caught my attention and I hope they will continue to release more shades in the US.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lancome Mini Vernis in 020 Le Rouge L’Wren


Lancome and stylist L’Wren Scott have released two mini nail polishes for the holiday collection in Le Rouge L'Wren 020 (deep sparkling red) and Le Gris L'Wren 021 (shimmery steel blue-grey). Both are indeed swoon-worthy and I opted for the red one today since there's nothing like a good red nail polish to make a woman feel like a woman.


Le Rouge L'Wren is a deep wine red with tiny red micro-sparkles that are slightly brighter than the base. From arm's length you can't really see the shimmer but the finish is glossy and the red is uber sophisticated. It has just the right amount of red to prevent it from being too vampy. I know I have similar shades in my nail polish stash - I just haven't pulled any to compare. Off the top of my head I don't think any have the same red sparkle quality. Now if I could only find a lipgloss the same color ...



The holiday nail polishes ($14.50 for 6 ml) come in a mini version of the full size ($18 for 10 ml). It has the same style packaging but comes with a black twist off cap instead of silver. They are too cute!


Here is Le Rouge L'Wren in action:


Applying Bobbi Brown's Kir Sugar Lipgloss over MAC's VGVI Lipstick:


Getting ready to go out:


Just posing:


I did get the blue-grey one too. That color will be reviewed soon.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lancome Erika F Eyeshadow

I was finally able to jump on the Lancome Erika F bandwagon which was possible thanks to my UK blogger contact (thank you a million times over again). It is even more gorgeous than I had imagined. I've seen it described a number of ways - so I was really curious to see what it looked like in real life. I've read it described as a lovely taupe - but to me, it's more of a silvery greenish shade rather than a taupe. To me it's a complex silvery green sparkle with maybe the slightest hint of taupe. Maybe it's just my skintone, but I find Stila's Diamond Lil to be green and I know many disagree with me.

The Lancome Erika F is very unique and the pigment is superb. I haven't been a huge fan of Lancome eyeshadows, but this one has definitely changed my mind. Now if only they would release this formula & packaging in the US!


I pulled out my other greenish-taupe-silver shadows to see how it compared. Here it is compared to Benefit Where's the Smoke, MAC Greensmoke, Paul & Joe #18, Bobbi Brown Pewter Chrome & Stila Diamond Lil. I feel that the Lancome Erika F is truly unique!


Swatches on bare skin (note again, please take swatches with a grain of salt, I have a light-medium complexion, if your skintone is different from mine, of course this will look different on you, and also, I'd like to point out again that my swatches are not the best):


Two more views of swatches, same order, different lighting:



Anyone else have this shade? What other colors do you use to compliment this color? I need inspirational ideas!

I want to thank you again for everyone who submitted feedback in my recent survey. Next week I will be doing a series on reader requests, focusing particularly the topics that received at least 3 or more mentions.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lancome Pop Petrol Le Vernis Nail Polish

I just received a package from London, thanks to one of my favorite UK bloggers who was so kind to arrange a custom purchase for me. I was ecstatic to be able to get my hands on the Lancome Pop Petrol 014 Le Vernis Nail Color and immediately ran out to get a manicure.

How would I describe it? It's not quite as teal as the promo pictures showed, but it's still stunningly gorgeous. I'd describe it as a complex murky deep ocean blue-green. In natural light, it looks dark and almost black, but when the sunlight shines on it, the color flashes smokey greenish blue.

I took quite a few photos to try and show you how it looks at different angles and with different lighting. I hope this gives you an idea of how the color looks.

Please do not republish these photos, thanks!



With flash:

No flash:

With flash against Balenciaga First in Anthracite (2007 s/s):

Without flash against Balenciaga First (2007 s/s):

I did another post on some other teal-greenish nail polishes here. The closest color I have is Lippmann's Don't Tell Mama. They are extremely close to each other, the Lippmann is just greener and Lancome has a more smokey finish.



Overall thoughts: I love the color. It's a beautiful unique smokey green. The formula itself isn't easy to work with, but it's no different from other dark greens which seem to have a very sheer/streaky blackish base. Like all the other greens I have, the first coat looks horrid, but after the 2nd and 3rd coats you get the full frost finish. The salon put on 2 thick coats which took really long for it to dry. I would have rather had her apply 3 thinner coats, but was in a rush for a meeting. Overall, huge thumbs up. I'll try and update in a few days after I see how it wears.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lancome Chris & Tell L'Absolu Rouge Lipcolor by Chris Benz

Lancome is one of those brands I've never really ventured into because of the heavily fragranced lipsticks and glosses. I do have a few of their blushes which I love and recently added the new spring Pop N' Cheeks in Coral Flirt to my stash.

The newest addition in the US to the Lancome line is their Limited Edition Chris & Tell L'Absolu Rouge Lipcolor by Chris Benz. This purchase was enabled thanks to the amazing Karlasugar (thank you!). I loved the way it looked on Joeybunny in her review here at Pink Sith.

I hear this sold out really fast due to its exclusivity and I've been searching everywhere for actual pictures of it versus the stock photos. I assumed since there was so much buzz about this before it was released that there would be a lot more reviews, swatches and blog posts on this. If you have any links, please let me know! I'd love to see how other people are wearing it.

*UPDATE* The lovely Martha posted in the comments that she reviewed it on her blog Planet Martha. (TY!) Check out her blog linked here for her review and photos.

The photos and swatches:



* Note the flash makes this look a bit lighter than it does in real life

* Note the flash makes this look lighter than it does in real life


This is the brightest lipstick I have. Josie warned me that it was bright. From the stock photos and looks from backstage, I had a feeling it would be on the brighter side, yet I still was willing to take the risk and had myself put on a waitlist for it. We both discussed our thoughts on this new lipstick and I think we both agree that while it's nice, it's borderline unflattering.

I applied it with a medium hand and sure enough - it's a vibrant coral pinkish peach that made me feel kinda hoorish. I think Martha from Planet Martha described it perfectly (check out her review to read her thoughts). Perhaps this is why I haven't been able to find more reviews on this. I think blondes will be able to pull this color off better. Not that I'm saying they are hoorish in anyway - it's just my blonde friends have the ability to pull off these brighter corals better than me.

The texture is smooth, soft and creamy. I'm a bit worried it might break at the base. When I applied it, the lipstick moved around a bit so now there are scuff marks from the inside of the lipstick tube on the actual lipstick. The product smells kinda like a potpourri/playdo combination and tastes terrible. Luckily the scent fades after a while.

So - if you bought this and tried it, what's your verdict? I'm going to have to play around with it more by blotting it, topping it with a paler gloss, etc. In a high flash photo, on me it looks exactly like it did on Ashley Greene (see her photo on Karlasugar's blog here) - BUT that's only when the flash is high to wash out the color a bit. It will probably suit my coloring better if I apply it with a lighter hand or just blot it down or just sheered out a bit.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lancome Pop N' Cheeks in Coral Flirt from Spring 2010

I haven't tried much from Lancome with the exception of their blushes and Bifacil makeup remover, so I'm not really familiar with the line. I assume their product launches are similar to Dior where they release different items in different countries. I know for holiday, Asia got that pretty pink cherub highlighter while the US only got the golden bronzey one. It appears there are 2 versions of the Pop N'Cheeks Gentle & Lasting Color Powder Blush as well, I only saw 01 Coral Flirt at Nordstrom, but the Asian catalogs show another pretty peach/pink blush 02. I believe I saw a few different glosses that are not shown in these previews as well (the ones in the round tubes).



Someone please correct me if I'm am wrong. I would be THRILLED to know if the 02 blush is available in the US anywhere! (There's one more scan a few posts down from January 1.)

The new tester unit caught my eye as I was browsing through Nordstrom. I am sorry to say I can't remember anything else I saw, although I wish I had paid more attention. I only remember looking at the glosses thinking they were too sparkley for my taste and then moved on.

The Coral Flirt Blush is designed in an abstract rose pattern. The gold is only an overspray. The tester I saw had no gold left on the product, so I got to swirl it with my fingers. It gives a very sheer soft peach blush. If you're familiar with Benefit Coralista & Georgia, I would say the new Lancome is in between those 2 shades once brushed on your cheeks.


Close up with flash

Close up in natural sunlight

Since I know many of you insist on swatches, even though I hate mine, here it is swatched on three fingers. The first finger has the gold sparkle, the second and third have progressively less overspray-sparkle, but it's a bit hard to see. I highly recommend testing in person.


Overall a nice soft and sheer peach. You'd probably get more pigment with MAC Pinch O Peach (also more pink) or Laura Mercier Orange Blossom blush. It's good for a natural cheek and the bonus for me is that there is no detectable scent on the product.
 

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