Lancome extended their shade range a few years ago and whilst I was colour matched at the time I did not purchase a foundation. I don’t know why, but fast forward a few years and Lupita Nyong’o has not only shifted western media’s concept of beauty but she has also become an ambassador for Lancome. Lupita is not the first woman of colour to be an ambassador for the brand, Arelenis Sosa from Dominican Republic was a spokesperson for the brand in 2008 but Lupita has a much deeper skin tone and a much wider reach thanks to her Oscar win. Celebrity MUA Kay Montano did Lupita’s make up for the BAFTA’s this year using the Lancome range you can see her look here. The beauty industry like all industries is in the business of making money and for many cosmetic companies having a woman of colour represent them is perceived by financiers to be a risky choice. This means that the brand’s marketeers are validated when they decide not to hire a woman of colour to represent the brand because allegedly, the brand will not sell as much as if a Caucasian woman represented the brand. Really? Isabella Rosselini did not make me think that Lancome Definicils mascara was not for me twenty years ago. Katie Holmes did make me thing that the Bobbi Brown stick foundation was not for me earlier this year. Suffice to say, I do not agree with this position but I am not an industry insider and I am not seeking to protect my investment. I’m just a consumer that has been buying cosmetics for the past twenty five years. The only way that I can demonstrate to the industry the ridiculousness of their position is to speak through my cold hard cash – so Lupita this is for you.
The colours in the different foundation ranges vary slightly so in the Teint Idole I am shade eleven but in the Teint Visionnaire I wear a twelve. I chose Teint Visionnaire not because of the dark sport correcting Visionnaire technology that is contained within the formula. ( I would rather deal with my dark spots through skincare). I did not choose this foundation because it has SPF 20. Fab (!) but to be frank, that is not a selling point for me either. I know that SPF degrades quickly and again I would rather address sun protection through skincare. I plumped for this one as it came with a concealer that is the perfect accompaniment. So, as difficult as it is to get a foundation if you are a women of colour the majority of time that you do buy a foundation, you will find that often there is no concealer and or powder in the same range to match which is very problematic if like me you want a plastic fantastic finish.
The foundation is in a glass bottle (yipee) on top of which sits the concealer in a shiny silver container. The packaging is lovely, robust and weighty which is what I expect from a premium brand. The aesthetic is top heavy which is quite unusual but I like it. The lid of the concealer contains a mirror and the concealer pops back onto the pump of the foundation without depressing the pump.
The texture of the liquid foundation is light – with an almost gel like texture. It mixes easily with your moisturiser so you can sheer it out for a tinted moisturiser but I like to build it up around my jawline where most of my scars from spots are. It is perfumed, as all the Lancome foundations are – I don’t like the smell but in all honesty you can really smell it on the skin. I have applied with my fingers, and with both a synthetic and real hair brush. I prefer to apply it with my Louise Young Foundation brush, but I do apply it with my fingers sometimes and it works equally well.
The concealer is an EXACT match and it covers really well. It is not as full coverage as my Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage but when I am having a good skin day, this is more than enough. In addition, as I don’t really have lines under my eyes, I can use it as an under eye concealer if I feel that my dark circles are a bit more obvious than usual. this is not a concealer to highlight with. I usually apply a small amount over my scars with my fingers and then blend it in with a synthetic brush. I have also been know to use the concealer as a foundation all over my face. Yes I know I am strange, but I love a cream foundation and the concealer is just that. A touch of powder to set it and it was good all day. It wears well on the skin – not as well as my stick foundations but it survives a full day.
Teint Visionnaire is a really good liquid foundation. I don’t use it everyday because a) I have lots of other foundations in my bathroom and b) my preferred texture is a stick but every time I use it, I like it and it has been a great addition to my foundation wardrobe this summer.