We suspected it wouldn't be too long before Lancome launched its version of their parent company's L'Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother. The L'Oreal version is sold in drugstores and costs $26, while Lancome's Visionnaire version costs nearly three times as much for a very similar formula, with the same type of ingredients that create this product's super-smoooth texture. The only notable difference is that Lancome's version contains a tiny amount of anti-aging ingredients like antioxidant vitamins C and E, and also has fragrance, which isn't good for skin (L'Oreal's version is fragrance-free).
Otherwise, this foundation primer is said to instantly erase the look of wrinkles, lines, and pores. Not to burst anyone's bubble, but it doesn't work all that well. Owing to silicone technology that creates a soft, spackle-like texture, this ultra-silky yet thick gel smoothes over skin and slightly (we do mean slightly) fills in superficial lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores. How long the effect lasts depends on the other products you use, how oily your skin is, and whether or not you keep your expectations realistic—this doesn't erase signs of aging or large pores so completely that you'll go from looking 50 to 40 in the blink of an eye!
The super-silky finish this leaves does serve as a good base for makeup, although not all liquid foundations will be compatible with this type of product; so, if you like the results it provides you may need to switch foundations. Also, we advise applying only a thin layer of this primer; overdoing it can impede rather than enhance makeup application. It is suitable for use around the eyes.
Although this can make a noticeable difference in skin's appearance, it's not worth rating above AVERAGE because the formula contains a potentially problematic amount of alcohol. Of course, you can just use a well-formulated anti-aging serum instead of foundation primer in order to get the best of both products!
- Improves skin texture and enhances makeup application.
- Temporarily blurs the look of large pores and fine lines.
- Formula isn't compatible with every type of liquid foundation unless applied sparingly.
- Overpriced given that L'Oreal's version is functionally similar.
A new lightweight, oil-free skin-finisher that in just 60 seconds reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Dimethicone, Aqua / Water / Eau, Glycerin, Isononyl Isononanoate, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Alcohol Denat., Butylene Glycol, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Boron Nitride, Ci 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, Ci 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, Ci 77491 / Iron Oxides, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Magnesium Sulfate, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Silica Silylate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Caprylyl Glycol, Capryloyl Salicylic Acid, Chrysin, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Retinyl Palmitate, Citronellol, Aluminum Hydroxide, Parfum / Fragrance, Chlorhexidine Digluconate
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. My 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.
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 previous editions of this book. 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.