Lancôme's Teint Idole Ultra Makeup Stick SPF 21 is an impressive entry into a foundation category that has experienced something of a renaissance in recent years. Unlike the standard wax-based (read: greasy) stick foundations of the past, Teint Idole Ultra Makeup Stick is lightweight and natural-looking on skin, yet its buildable coverage can be taken from sheer to full with little effort.
Lancôme included a blend of mineral and non-mineral sunscreen actives for broad-spectrum sun protection. (Despite the fact this isn't an all-mineral formula, it didn't produce sensitivity when used around the eye area, although this can vary from person to person.) Though your makeup isn't something to rely on as your main source of sun protection—most won't apply enough to get the stated SPF on the label—it's a great boost to your regular sunscreen.
Packaged in a traditional twist-up container, this fragrance-free foundation is incredibly smooth and blends easily, whether you're using fingers, a sponge or brush. (We should mention that using fingers didn't leave as nice a finish as a brush or BeautyBlender did.) Lancôme positions this as a light, matte formula, which is accurate. Though initially creamy, it dries quickly to a powder finish that resists shine, though if you have very oily skin, you'll still need to blot as usual. Let's stick with the topic of skin type for a moment longer…
Typically, stick foundations are formulated with heavy, emollient ingredients—Lancôme departed from convention and used a blend of silicones and absorbent agents to create their Teint Idole Ultra Makeup Stick. This is an ideal choice for those with combination to oily skin types, because its matte finish is likely too absorbent for those with normal to dry skin. While those with acne-prone skin may consider experimenting with this foundation, as it lacks typically problematic waxes and heavy emollients, we should note that any solid makeup (stick or compact) could be tricky for those prone to breakouts.
With a single swipe, we found this provided an immediate medium to nearly total coverage of red marks or other uneven skin tone concerns. As we mentioned above, you can easily sheer this out, or build it up, over specific areas as needed. Once this dries, however, it lives up to Lancôme's longwearing claims. It held up easily over the course of a workday, even on staffers with very oily skin. Blotting yielded little to no transfer, even after several hours of wear. (FYI: Despite its longwearing formula, this removed easily with our regular cleanser—no special effort needed!)
As is to be expected, Lancôme's color range is superlative—20 shades from the fair to deep, and in their typical breakdown between neutral, warm and cool tones. (The letter N, W or C will follow the shade name to indicate their respective undertones.) Of course, you'll want to try this in person to find the best shade match.
Lancôme's Teint Idole Ultra Makeup Stick SPF 21 is a standout foundation for those with combination to oily skin—it's especially rare for a stick foundation to provide such a longwearing, matte finish and such great coverage. From its exceptionally natural appearance on skin to its buildable coverage, it's an excellent choice to consider and well worth checking out during your next visit to the Lancôme counter.
Note: Interestingly, Teint Idole Ultra Makeup Stick SPF 21 is identical to L'Oreal's Studio Secrets Makeup Stick, which was available only in Germany and a few other areas of Europe until being discontinued (as far as we could find out) a few years ago. Ah well, we predict it's certain to find fame this side of the Atlantic!
Note: This product was recently downgraded from 5-stars to 4-stars due to its less-than-optimal SPF rating. Although this does provide sun protection, it's less than SPF 30. The problem? Health experts and medical boards around the globe agree that SPF 30 or greater is best when it comes to providing a reliable defense against the damage the sun can do. Yes, a foundation with less than SPF 30 is acceptable if your daytime moisturizer is rated SPF 30 or greater, but we wouldn't want anyone thinking an SPF under 30 is the best for skin. See More Info below for details.
Sunscreens Rated Lower than an SPF 30: An extensive body of research and a growing number of medical organizations around the world have determined that a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater is mandatory to ensure adequate sun protection.
Although a sunscreen rated lower than 30 will provide protection at the SPF number on the label and may claim broad-spectrum protection, we always point out when it does not have a rating of SPF 30 or greater because that's so important for the health and appearance of your skin.
References for this information:
Journal of Clinical Oncology, September 2016, ePublication
Photodermatology, Photoimmunology, and Photomedicine, August 2014, pages 212–219
The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, September 2012, pages 18–23
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2008, Supplemental, pages S149–S154
Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (1.9%), Octinoxate (2%) Inactive Ingredients: Cyclohexasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Isohexadecane, Polyethylene, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Arachidyl Propionate, Tambourissa Trichophylla Leaf Extract, Perlite, Aluminum Hydroxide, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Lauroyl Lysine. May Contain: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, 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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