Absolue BX Makeup Absolute Replenishing Radiant Makeup SPF 18 Sunscreen
Last Updated:01.02.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

Absolue BX Makeup Absolute Replenishing Radiant Makeup SPF 18 is one of Lancome’s most expensive foundations, but at least it once again has an in-part titanium dioxide sunscreen, so you're getting this pivotal anti-aging benefit.

You don't need to spend this much for a good foundation with sunscreen but if you choose to do so, this one has an exquisite, fluid, nearly weightless texture that glides over skin. It provides medium to almost full coverage and sets to an attractive satin-matte finish that won’t make dry skin look dull (that’s assuming you’ve taken pre-makeup steps to smooth over dry patches). Lancome claims this will not settle into lines, and for the most part, that’s true. Deep wrinkles will see some settling, but this does a good job of smoothing over superficial to moderate lines.

Almost all of the shades are impressive, and there are options for fair to dark (but not very dark) skin tones. In the end, this anti-aging makeup doesn't provide much anti-aging benefit beyond its sun protection, but as a foundation for normal to dry or combination skin it has its strong points.

Face Makeup with SPF As Your Sole Source of Sunscreen: In order to keep your skin protected from damaging UV rays, a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 20 (or higher) is a critical step in your daily skin-care routine—and you need to apply it liberally. But applying your sunscreen liberally is tricky (if not undesirable) when it comes to makeup with SPF, as most people would never apply a foundation, tinted moisturizer, BB cream or powder liberally enough to get the sunscreen protection indicated on its label. Thus, we advise not relying on makeup with SPF as your sole source of sun protection unless you want to apply it liberally. Otherwise, layer it with your daytime moisturizer with SPF to ensure your skin stays protected from the aging effects of the sun.


Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 6.9930%; Titanium Dioxide 1.7169%; Inactive Ingredients: Water, Isohexadecane, Dipentaerythrityl Hexacaprylate/Hexacaprate, Isodeceyl Neopentanoate, Glycerin, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Paraffin, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Padina Pavonica Extract, Aluminum Hydroxide, Adenosine, Magnesium Sulfate, Disodium EDTA, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Propylene Carbonate, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyranytriol, Dioscorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root Extract, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Hexyldecanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Diazolidinyl Urea, Fragrance, Linalool, Limonene, Citronellol. May contain: Titanium Dioxide. Iron Oxides

Brand Overview

Lancome At-A-Glance

Strengths: Some good cleansers; well-formulated scrubs; foundations with beautiful shades for almost every skin color; great concealers; several outstanding mascaras; the Artliner liquid eyeliners perform well; impressive powder eyeshadows; some fantastic lipsticks and automatic lipliner.

Weaknesses: Expensive for what amounts to mostly mediocre to below-average skincare products; lacking in effective treatments for blemishes or lightening skin discolorations; average toners; moisturizers that are short on including state-of-the-art ingredients; jar packaging; some foundations with sunscreen do not provide complete UVA protection.

French flair, free gifts with purchase, constant magazine ads, and attractive packaging impel women to seek out the Lancome counter. Once you're there, though, unless you're captured by the enticing claims, the skin-care products are resoundingly dull, and we mean really, really dull (the makeup is a different story). With new research and developments in skin care many cosmetics companies typically improve their formulas, even if just in a small way. That’s not the case with Lancome, which tends to raise their prices while producing lackluster, ordinary formulas with little benefit for skin.

Even more shocking is that their most expensive skin-care items tend to be the most disappointing, usually for what they lack rather than for what they contain. It's startling to realize that their priciest moisturizer is remarkably similar to dozens of other Lancome creams priced more reasonably (but still too high when you consider what you're getting for the money). It seems that all it takes to justify the excessive prices is a good story based around a rare ingredient and claims of delivering a younger look. What a shame so many consumers are taken in by this kind of marketing mumbo jumbo.

L'Oreal-owned Lancome, along with L'Oreal's own skin-care products sold at the drugstore, has fallen well behind their competition. For all their lofty claims and beautiful models, many other companies leave them in the dust. Most of the Lauder companies (Clinique, Estee Lauder), along with Dove, and Olay have skin-care formularies that consistently outperform those of Lancome and L'Oreal in terms of what substantiated research has shown is necessary to have healthy, more wrinkle- and age-resistant skin. Lancome claims to understand women, and they certainly know how to entice them with pretty packaging and scientific-sounding claims. It would be far better if they had an intimate understanding of what it really takes for skin to look its best and function optimally.

The biggest improvement Lancome has made is that almost all of their sunscreens now include the right UVA-protecting ingredients. Who knows why it took them so long to get this straightened out (L'Oreal is no stranger to this issue, as they have developed and patented new UVA filters throughout the years), but it is now easier than ever to find a reliable sunscreen from Lancome. Given their prominence and presence in department stores around the world, Lancome isn't easy to ignore. Our suggestion is to look beyond most of the skin care and focus on what they do best: makeup (especially foundations and mascaras).

Note: Unless mentioned otherwise, all Lancome products contain fragrance.

For more information about Lancome, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 526-2663 or visit www.lancome.com.

Lancome Makeup

L'Oreal-owned Lancome is a stellar, French-bred collection of makeup that remains the best reason to shop this line. Because most of Lancome's skin-care products have problematic elements (be it jar packaging, insufficient sun protection, or dated formulas), it is a relief to find that, for the most part, the colorful side of their business has more than its share of innovative products. We enjoyed the fact that no matter where we shopped, Lancome's counter personnel were friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. There's a lot to keep track of, and Lancome deserves credit for keeping their salespeople so well informed.

If you're looking for a force to reckon with for foundations, Lancome is a must-see. They continue to offer some of the most elegant, silky formulas anywhere and in a color range that is overwhelmingly neutral, whether your skin is porcelain or ebony. The only troubling aspect is that most of Lancome's foundations with sunscreen do not contain adequate UVA protection or the SPF rating is too low. Lancome obviously knows about the risks with these issues (after all, they market ecamsule, their version of the UVA-protecting ingredient Mexoryl SX, and brag about its UVA range). And considering that, we are not recommending as many of their foundations as we have in previously have. Beyond this major gripe, you will discover that Lancome has a well-deserved reputation for their fantastic mascaras, and that their latest powders and eyeshadows apply with a silkiness that makes them gratifying to work with. The rest of the makeup encompasses many valid choices, but before you commit to Lancome, consider the similar options available for less from sister companies L'Oreal and Maybelline New York. Striking a balance among the best of each of these lines will give you first-class makeup that beautifies without breaking the bank.

Note: Lancome is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Lancome does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Wrong ingredients

This says it has denatured alcohol in the product but that's not what your ingredients list says. Is that a problem because I didn't think that was good for your skin?

Reviewed by
Mel S
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi there!  According to Lancome (here:  http://www.lancome-usa.com/Absolue-Bx-Makeup/1000117,default,pd.html), this product does not include alcohol, and their ingredient list matches ours.  If you have an update, are you able to take a photo of the ingredient list and e-mail it to us?  Thanks!

-Beautypedia Team

too expensive!

I have to say I would not reccomend this product simply because there are so many other excellent foundations at a much lower price point. At $68. inc.tax its simply too expensive to justify. Estee Lauder, Too faced, L'oreal, Bare essentails, Smashbox, Urban decay too mention just a few all have excellent foundations from $14.00 to $42.00. I got talked into this overpriced foundation by an aggressive sale person. Its a beautiful silky foundation but so isn't Estee lauders Resilience Lift at $42

Reviewed by
wrong ingredients

Good product. Not as moisturizring as the ingredients given would have us believe. They must have changed the formula at some point and this information about the foundation is outdated.

Reviewed by
Beautypedia Team Response

Hi, and thanks for your comments! We'll check out the ingredients on this to see if they have indeed changed, and if they have, amend the review as needed. Thanks for the heads up!

—Paula's Choice Research Team
Love this foundation!

I have used this foundation for years, but after reading this review last year, I switched over to Estee Lauder Resilience Lift foundation that Paula rated as a "Best", in part because of a better sunscreen. I settled on the closest color i could get, but was not really happy with it. Recently, I used a purse that I had not used for awhile. In it I found a small makeup bag with a small travel size sample of my old favorite Ablsolue BX replenishing foundation in the shade I adored. I used it while in my car to freshen up my makeup and was shocked at how easy it spread and set so perfectly. The color just brightened my face so beautifully. In fact this coverage is so beautiful that I don't have to buy a concealer, the foundation is enough and lasts all day! So i have put aside my Estee Lauder and bought my favorite and am just using a base of moisturizer with sunscreen (Cera, Ve AM). The cost is high, but if you factor in not buying a concealer, and my happiness, its worth it, especially for the color, a very hard thing for me to match.

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585630-IIS2 v1.0.0.431 10/9/2015 5:38:54 AM