This liquid foundation with sunscreen asks: "What if a foundation could transform your skin in 4 weeks?" Sounds good to us, but it doesn't quite live up to those claims.
Teint Visionnaire is said to correct dark spots, pores, and fine lines, while the Precision Spot Corrector, which is housed in the cap, reinforces those benefits and corrects dark circles, too. To be clear, the only correcting going on comes from the makeup coverage these products provide. Neither product contains any ingredients proven to have much, if any, benefit on pores, wrinkles, or dark spots. Protecting your skin from further sun damage is what helps the most with all of those concerns (dark circles, too), but this foundation's sun protection isn't as good as it could be (SPF 30 or higher is recommended).
The Precision Spot Corrector contains a teeny-tiny amount of a form of vitamin C known as ascorbyl glucoside, but this antioxidant won't remain stable due to the concealer's packaging. Each time you flip open the cap, the creamy formula is exposed to light and air that breaks down the vitamin C.
The liquid foundation's tie-in to Lancome's Visionnaire skin-care product has to do with the company's LR-2412 ingredient, which they claim is the "active" ingredient that does all kinds of wonderful things for skin. So, what is Lancome's LR 2412 ingredient? LR 2412 is derived from the jasmine plant. Lancome maintains that this ingredient is a molecule "designed to propel through skin layers." As it does so, it "triggers a cascading series of micro-transformations." Sounds like a magic wand for your skin, doesn't it?
As it turns out, it is a relatively simple thing to "propel" ingredients through the skin because most skin-care ingredients are absorbed readily into the uppermost layers of skin. Lancome uses the term "propel" to make it sound as if the ingredients somehow can go deeper into the skin, but not all ingredients should penetrate deeply. For example, many ingredients, such as sunscreen actives, are meant for and should stay on the skin's surface; you don't want them to penetrate through multiple layers of skin because they need to protect the skin's surface.
So, lots of ingredients can "propel" through the skin and cause beneficial changes along the way, such as most antioxidants, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, ceramides, retinol, and numerous other skin-repairing ingredients whose daily use helps improve the skin's appearance and healthy functioning. In essence, Lancome's claim makes LR 2412 sound innovative, when it's really nothing new or all that exciting.
On the ingredient list for the foundation portion of this product, LR 2412 is listed as sodium tetrahydrojasmonate, which, as we mentioned, is derived from the jasmine plant. In its natural state, this ingredient is a lipid (fat) that helps the jasmine plant signal when repair is needed and that controls the life cycle of the plant's cells (Sources: Plant Physiology, April 2010, pages 1940–1950; and PLoS Biology, September 2008, page e320).
Lancome wants you to believe that this lipid, which in the jasmine plant can repair environmental damage and control cell behavior, can somehow have similar effects on your skin, such as improving wrinkles, reducing enlarged pores, and fading dark spots when applied to skin via their bioengineered LR 2412 molecule. Unfortunately, there isn't a shred of published research to support their assertion, just Lancome's marketing information. It is also important to know there are lots of plant extracts, antioxidants, and skin-repairing ingredients with abundant research showing how they improve skin, not just one ingredient, and in this case one that has no available documentation.
Getting back to the product itself, the Skin Correcting Foundation has an elegant, fluid texture that's a pleasure to blend. It sets to a natural matte finish that makes skin look fantastic: Natural, dimensional, yet still skin-like, even with the light to medium coverage this provides.
This foundation's texture and finish are excellent, which is why it's such a letdown that the sunscreen doesn't go the distance. If you decide to try this, you'll want to apply it over a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater.
The Precision Spot Corrector doesn't fare as well as the foundation, but it's not bad. It's worth pointing out that each shade of Corrector was designed to match the corresponding shade of foundation. In other words, each foundation shade has its own Corrector shade that matches the foundation exactly but provides more coverage. That means you'll still need a concealer that's a shade or two lighter if you need to lighten or brighten shadowed areas or dark circles.
Texture-wise, the Corrector is creamy, but it drags a bit over the skin, making it tricky to blend evenly. It doesn't provide as much coverage as a good concealer, but it does camouflage minor imperfections. The finish is satin imbued with subtle sparkles—and the formula is too thick and waxy for use over breakouts; however, the liquid foundation is fine for breakout-prone skin.
In typical Lancome fashion, most of the nearly two dozen shades of foundation are outstanding. There are colors for fair (but not porcelain) to dark (but not very dark) skin tones, most of which have a beautifully neutral to slight yellow undertone. Shades to consider carefully due to slight peach or rose tones include 160 Ivoire W, 310 Bisque C, and 350 Bisque C. All of the Suede shades are gorgeous for darker skin tones, as are any of the Bisque N shades.
One more comment: The foundation contains a small amount of alcohol, but likely too little to be cause for concern. Still, for all the fuss over Lancome's LR 2412 ingredient, it's interesting that the foundation contains more alcohol than it does this alleged skin transformer!
Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 7.5%. Inactive Ingredients: Water, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Sodium Tetrahydrojasmonate, Synthetic Flourphlogopite, Dipropylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Sorbitol, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone/Polyglycerin-3 Crosspolymer, Aluminum Hydroxide, Adenosine, Magnesium Sulfate, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Acrylates Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Bismuth Oxychloride, Iron Oxides, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide.
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.
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 Beautypedia Research Team.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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