Sisley Paris

Sisley Paris At-A-Glance

Strengths: Most of the sunscreens offer sufficient UVA protection; a unique lip balm; impressive foundations; good loose powder, blush, and eyeshadows; their most expensive mascara provides beautifully defined results.

Weaknesses: Exceedingly expensive, and the prices are not justified; several products contain irritating plant extracts or fragrant oils, most of which have no substantiated proof of benefit for skin; no AHA or BHA products; no products to address acne or oily skin (at least without causing irritation); jar packaging; poor concealer; standard eyeliner and brow options (at Sisley's prices, they should raise the bar); mostly average lipsticks.

Flaunting its French pedigree and self-proclaimed expertise in the field of Phytocosmetology (an unregulated term that simply means using natural extracts in beauty products, something that hundreds of cosmetics companies do), Sisley Paris offers consumers incredibly expensive products that, for the money, amount to a whole lot of nothing. More than any other line reviewed on Beautypedia, Sisley Paris makes some of the most outrageously false claims, presumably to convince their clientele that not only are they more than just a cut above the rest, but that they deserve to be on their own natural pedestal, too.

Here are some of the more far-fetched claims this company makes, with my responses in parentheses. “The Botanical Floral Mist can help skin sustain the effects of the sun.” (No way, it doesn’t even contain appreciable amounts of antioxidants.) Another claim is that their All Day All Year moisturizer, which carries a paltry SPF 8 rating, blocks “90% of UVA and UVB rays for 8 hours.” Another is that their sunscreen products protect skin while allowing a tan to develop “gently and gradually.” (We guess they don’t know or won’t acknowledge that any amount of a tan is a sign of skin damage and isn’t the least bit healthy.)

The company also claims that all of their products are subject to strict research to measure their efficacy, but of course, the results of the “research” are not available to the public, and Sisley’s counter personnel are quick to rebuff any questions about the validity of their claims. That’s not surprising, as there is no way most of the claims can be legitimately proven and, for the most part, Sisley salespeople are accustomed to well-heeled women simply believing everything they have to say about the products, pricing be damned.

What is perhaps most distressing is that the Sisley formulations are some of the most embarrassingly ordinary and insultingly overpriced we've seen. We can emphatically state that there is nothing in these products you can't find at the drugstore from lines such as Nivea, Pond's, Neutrogena, Dove, and Olay. Actually, those lines have products with far more interesting formulations than this one does. For those who prefer shopping in upscale department stores where Sisley resides, there are several other companies at the counters in those lofty areas that offer far better products than Sisley. For example, Chanel's skin-care products are assuredly expensive, but at least some of their formulas approach state-of-the-art. The Lauder-owned lines seem cheap in comparison to Sisley, yet most of the Lauder products are far more advanced and formulated with current skin-care research in mind.

You may indeed find some Sisley products to love, but those who cannot afford this line needn't worry for a second that their wrinkles are not getting the crème de la crème. In fact, most of Sisley's skin care is the equivalent of a plain doughnut, with empty calories, and nothing worth savoring.

Note: All Sisley products contain fragrance, and we mean a lot of fragrance, unless otherwise noted.

For more information about Sisley Paris, call (914) 251-0032 or visit www.sisley-cosmetics.com.

Sisley Paris Makeup

Sisley's makeup is a bit more straightforward than its skin care, at least in terms of exaggerated claims. However, the shockingly high prices are still intact. It would be nice if the prices were even a little justifiable, especially for their best products (the makeup has improved in a few key areas since its last review), but that is simply not the case. I wouldn't encourage you to consider any item in this list, unless you like to overspend for results that range from average to great (with the best products easily being replaced by considerably less-expensive options). You'll come across a lot of claims for the plant extracts in Sisley's makeup, but their contribution is minor compared to the standard, efficacious cosmetic ingredients comprising the bulk of the formulas. If you absolutely must devote a portion of your cosmetics budget to Sisley makeup, at least the reviews should prove helpful and allow you to focus on the best that this overpriced makeup collection has to offer.

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