Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Lancome Aqua Fusion Tinted Moisturizer

The Tinted Moisturizer Challenge: Lancome Aqua Fusion

Lancome Aqua Fusion Teinte Continuous Infusing Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 ($38.50 for 1.7 oz.) is a lovely light to light-medium coverage tinted moisturizer available in four shades: Naturel 1, Sand 2, Bisque 3, and Bronze 4. The active ingredient for sun-protection is octinoxate (7.5%), which covers the UVB range, but it doesn’t get the UVA range, unfortunately, so you’ll still need a product with an ingredient like zinc oxide or avobenzone for broad spectrum coverage.

My favorite part about this tinted moisturizer is the coverage it gives. It still has an amazingly lightweight feel, but it delivers more than sheer coverage–I’d even go as far as to say light-medium (not quite medium). It covered some healing acne and post-acne marks on my face and gave me a lovely, natural finish. I also love that this moisturizer absorbs and sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave behind a dewy finish. It has a nearly matte finish, so it’s great for my oily-skinned friends, in particular.

It has a mango-ish scent–defintely fruity, but not overly sweet or tropical–and I’d say it lingers for about fifteen to twenty minutes before it fades away entirely (at least to my nose). The packaging is a slim tube, so it’s easy to apply the amount you need, plus it is travel friendly, being under 3 oz.

Even though I love, love the feel and coverage of the product, there are a few noteworthy drawbacks. If you’re pale, I don’t know if you’re going to find a good match. Surprisingly, I’m Naturel 1–the lightest shade–in Lancome’s Tinted Moisturizer. I originally tested out Sand 2, because I assumed it would work well for my medium skin tone, but it was definitely too dark on me. This is why I caution those with paler skin tones to try it at a counter first, if possible. Sand 2 would work for those who are definitely medium or medium-dark, though. I think Sand 2 might work for me after the summer, perhaps, but right now, Naturel 1 is a much better match.

I’d also prefer to see broad-spectrum protection here, because it is moisturizing enough (without being heavy or greasy) to be worn without an additional moisturizer, but since it lacks UVA protection, you’ll need to use another product to get broad-spectrum protection (like a moisturizer!). It’s not advertised as broad-spectrum, so I didn’t reduce points, but it’s certainly something I’d love to see in the future.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Fabulous coverage for those who want more than ultra sheer coverage that most tinted moisturizers provide but still has the lightweight feel of a tinted moisturizer.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Lancome Juicy Tubes
Lancome 100% Natural Juicy Tubes: Rose Pretty, Blushing Beauty

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of Lancome’s Juicy Tubes, the brand has created four shades of 100% Natural Origins Juicy Tubes. The gloss is made out of 100% natural ingredients, natural flavors and fragrances, natural coloring agents, and FSC certified 100% recyclable material carton.

It is available in four shades: Blushing Beauty (sheer pale pink), Sheerfully Sweet (sheer nude-brown), Pink Precious (soft pink), and Rose Pretty (sheer strawberry). Each retails for $18.

Juicy Tubes are certainly on the sheerer side of things, and to be honest, I’m definitely not an expert on Juicy Tubes in general. These are some of the first Juicy Tubes I’ve tried in quite awhile. I like them for a slick of gloss, but if you’re looking for color, definitely look elsewhere. I tried three of the four shades and they all looked the same on me: clear but ultra glossy.

The gloss looks slick, juicy, and incredibly glossy. It’s a moisturizing gloss with a thicker, jelly texture. I find they last around two to three hours on my lips. I don’t find these particularly sticky–I’d say marginally sticky to non-sticky–but the thicker texture may make you feel like they’re a little sticky. They taste like sweetness (likely from the honey in it) and have an overall sweet scent that’s pleasing and not overwhelming.

I think they’re nice, but since they are on the sheerer side, I don’t see the need to own all four shades–just one will do. If you have very little natural pigment in your lip, you might see a smidgen of color, but on more pigmented lips, they’re definitely going to look pretty clear.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: Those who love glossy lips with little color will like Juicy Tubes. They’re a great gloss that doesn’t dry out lips with a sweet taste and scent. If you’re more of a colored lip gloss kind of person, you may find these not to your taste.

AvailabilityNordstrom

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Monday, April 26th, 2010

Ms. Perfectly Pink

Lancome Ms. Perfectly Pink Le Vernis ($18.00) is a creamy, darkened fuchsia-bubblegum pink with a glossy shine. It applies easily and goes opaque in just two coats. The formula is thick without being goopy, and it applies evenly and smoothly without a fuss. I did find the brush itself to be a little wider than the average polish, but not quite as wide as some of the OPIs.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: This is kind of like a brightened, yet darker, version of Barbie pink, I’d say. It doesn’t seem like a particularly unique/revolutionary shade, but the formula is tops.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Lancome Pink Party Pretty Palette

Lancome Pink. Party. Pretty. Color Design Palette ($45.00 for 0.253 oz.) is a slim, summer eyeshadow palette that features six shades varying from a soft pink to a deeper black with copper shimmer.   It’s part of Lancome’s Bronze Riviera Collection for summer.

  • Flower is a soft, pearly rose-beige with white shimmer.
  • Fresh Rose is a coral-rose with a soft pink sheen.
  • Kitten Heel is a pinky-peach with golden sheen. This one was like NARS Orgasm in eyeshadow form, aka awesome.
  • Tropiques Glow is an orange-copper with a soft sheen.
  • Lounging is a warmed-up red-toned medium brown with a very satiny finish.
  • Lava is a charcoal black with gold and copper flecks of shimmer. It applies a bit sheerly, unfortunately, because it does look awfully pretty in the pan. Nonetheless, over a darker base, it’d be gorgeous (since the darker base will fill in the sheerness).

All of the shades–except Lava–had great texture and pigmentation. They were smooth, soft, and easy to blend. Lava was on the sheerer side, almost a bit chalky in the base color. Kitten Heel appealed to me the post, being this lovely shade of pink-peach–very summery and flattering, particularly on warmer skin tones.

I do think this palette is naturally more flattering on warmer skin tones, but I can still see it working on cooler skin tones. Flower, Fresh Rose, and Lava are all neutral to neutral-cool, so they can be worn with warmer shades to keep it more wearable on cooler skin tones.

Some combination ideas…

  • LID: Flower, LID: Fresh Rose, CREASE: Lava
  • LID: Kitten Heel, LID: Fresh Rose, CREASE: Lava
  • LID: Kitten Heel, LID: Tropiques Glow, CREASE: Lounging
  • LID: Fresh Rose, LID: Lounging, CREASE: Lounging
  • LID: Kitten Heel, LID: Tropiques Glow, CREASE: Lava

The packaging is gorgeous and compact. It’s a cardboard-encased plastic palette where the outside is wrapped in a metallic bronze that flashes copper-bronze when light hits it, but looks just bronze at other times (see the photos!). There’s a floral design that wraps around the outside as well–I loved that it actually wrapped around to the back of the palette.

Lancome also put quite a few eyeshadows in this palette, and the price is just right–by the ounce, the eyeshadows cost less than the majority of other high-end brands (including MAC and NARS!).

P.S. — Lancome’s Bamboo Bronzer is now available at Nordstrom! :)

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: Depending on what you already have in your stash, this palette could make a great addition. It has a balance of neutral eyeshadows paired with warmer shades you’d expect to see in the summer. There are so many color combinations waiting to be done with these, too, which is always a sign of a cohesive eyeshadow palette.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Lancome Temptingly Bronze Bamboo Bronzer

Lancome Summer Riviera:  Temptingly Bronze Bamboo Bronzer

Lancome Temptingly Bronze Bamboo Bronzer ($45.00 for 1.41 oz.) wins the award for the prettiest product of the summer. (I would say year, but I suppose that’s just a wee bit premature. But let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised…) This is a collector’s item for sure, even though the bronzer itself is certainly lovely, there’s just no way for what’s underneath the design to compete with the intricate, woven pattern you see first.

Often during the summer, Lancome releases a specially designed, limited edition bronzing compact (more like compact disc…). This is not your ordinary bronzer, because this is about five times the size of the average bronzer (which is around 0.30 oz., while Lancome’s weighs in at 1.41 oz.). The compact is about the size of a music CD and half an inch thick and in a soft-glossed bronze plastic. Inside is a large-sized mirror (goes with the territory!), and then the holy grail of overlays.

But sadly, yes, as anticipated, all of the prettiness you see is an overlay. The subtle metallic gradient is an overspray that disappears once you start working your way through the bronzer. This is why I say it truly is a collector’s item, because there is no way to salvage or preserve the gorgeous-ness that is the design if you actually intend to use it. There is still a subtle shimmer-sheen to the bronzing powder, so it’s not entirely matte underneath.

The bronzer itself is a soft, silky-smooth sheered down bronze with slight orange undertones. It’s sheer enough that it’s great for those who are new or otherwise afraid of bronzer and going overboard. You won’t end up looking like an Oompa Loompa with this one! I do like that you’ll most likely never run out of bronzer with this compact.

I’m sure some of you are going to wonder why does this product still earn high marks even though the design is an overspray–that’s because it’s a known quantity with the bronzer, it’s not supposed to. It’s like pretty packaging on the inside instead of a funky compact, whether that makes you sad or not!

Can I just say that I would have died if Lancome had made the design go all the way through? I received this one as a press sample, but I’m probably going to buy another one, just to stare at and drool over–and this is something I never do. I’ve long since gotten over “ruining” designs and the like on products, but this one, I hesitated. I snapped a zillion photos, showed the boyfriend, and then said, “In the name of all that is beauty blogging…” and went to town.  But I pouted the whole time!

Ahh!  Just dreaming about a wickedly metallic, glowy deepened bronze that faded across to a brightened gold bronzer AND went all the way through makes me sigh inside.  Who’s with me?  Tell me I’m not alone! :)

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you love bronzer and use it frequently–but want a subtle bronzer–Lancome’s ginormous bronzers aren’t a bad way to go. If you are a collector, the design on this is difficult to pass on!

Availability: Lancome

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Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Lancome Electric Pink La Laque Fever
Lancome Electric Pink La Laque Fever

The Summer Season: Lancome Electric Pink La Laque Fever

Lancome Electric Pink La Laque Fever ($26.50) is an ultra dazzling darkened fuchsia-pink with an obscene amount of glittery sparkles. There are thirteen shades available, but Electric Pink has always been my favorite, even since they first launched. (You know something is good when you loved it a year ago and are still in awe when you swatch it now!) The color is fun and dark enough to work for not just summer but beyond, but it’s still a nice pop of raspberry pink for summer nights on the beach (or wherever!). The color base itself is a raspberry pink, while it has iridescent fuchsia micro-glitter. It’s like a sophisticated, full-color version of MAC’s Dazzleglass.

Oh, but you know the best part about La Laque Fevers? They wear incredibly well for a gloss. I get a full four hours of color wear out of it, and I’d say the gloss is around two hours or so before it could use a little touch-up (you could use clear gloss as a way to add shine without adding more product). The scent seems a little fruity to me, but it’s subtle and pleasant (much less subtle in comparison to some of Lancome’s lipsticks).

Is this the right pink gloss for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →