Sunday, July 2, 2017

Lancôme's Custom Foundation: Perfection or Nightmare?

As I’ve discussed before, I have a horrible time finding a true match foundation for my skin tone. I’m SUPER pale but am a true neutral (lots of pales lean either very yellow or very cool even though they say neutral) that it makes it just tough enough to find the perfect shade. 

That’s why when Lancôme announced that they would be offering custom foundation called Le Teint Particulier I FLIPPED. I already love Lancôme foundation and I couldn’t think of anything more incredible to happen to me in the realm of makeup. 

I got even more excited when I looked into it and saw that it was quote: "long-wearing, breathable, oil-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free formula safe for sensitive complexions.” As someone with skin that easily breaks out, this seemed like a god-send foundation. Even better is that it comes without SPF, which is notorious for causing foundation flashback in photos. But where to get it?

Currently it is only offered in 11 Nordstroms around the country and I’m just lucky enough that the only one on the east coast happens to be my own hometown! Lord knowns why they picked Florida but I’m not complainin’. Apparently some bloggers are even driving down from the New York area to Florida to get their hand on some. 

So on a weekend that I was visiting home I decided to head down to the local Nordstrom to get my hands on some of that holy grail level foundation. I wore some shorts, a flowy crop top, and a bare face to prepare for the color matching. I walked up to the Lancôme counter and asked the man working it for the custom foundation. He puts me in their makeup-chair and right before he begins to scan my face he asks, “Well sweetie, do you know how much this costs?” Albeit, I was dressed much younger than I normally do but the question was just SO incredibly rude. The foundation costs eighty-dollars, while expensive it’s not out of the realm of reach- I have such a rare skin tone that it’s completely worth it to me. It started off the experience on an uncomfortable foot for me.

He taps my face with this handheld instrument that is supposed to pick up the color of my skin and average the three taps into the perfect skin tone. I asked if he could use one on my neck and he said that my neck was too pale and it would ruin the combo. Ummmm, last time I checked people like their face foundation to match their neck but since he’s the expert I figured I’d just roll with it. After the three taps on my face the machine connects to this little computer that asks if I want the formula to be for dry skin, combo, or oily. As someone who suffers from acne AND dry skin (what a joy!) I chose the dry skin option. 

This foundation is touted as being hydrating & oil-free and as someone with my skin type- that’s really hard to find. Again, another reason of why I was so pumped up for this foundation. Once I selected my formula type the cool part started. Behind a clear glass I got to see the foundation mixing machine pour in the different colors and then shake it all up. The process only took about 5-10 minutes and once it was done the guy wiped a sample on my cheek. Right away I could tell it was too yellow but I asked him what he thought. He told me it was totally perfect and my exact shade. UH HUH HONEY. I am not paying $80 buckaroonies to get lied to. 

I told him it was much too yellow and he conceded. 

He tried adding a little bit more pink to the formula but once again it wasn’t perfect. He said that the freckles on my face must have interfered with the color matching and that he would take a neck sample… A NECK SAMPLE. If only he had listened from the jump we could have saved some time with this shenanigans. 

So the process started all over again and we finally got it right. The color was absolutely a perfect match- it was incredible. He put the formula in a Lancôme bottle, printed out my name on the label, and I was on my way. I put it on the next day to wear casually around town and one of the first things I noticed when I pulled the bottle out of the packaging is that it was in a cheap light-weight bottle, not the sturdy bottle that most high-end foundations come in. While that’s a small thing, for the price I think the packaging should have matched the pricing of the product. 

(Cool label but disappointing packaging)

After a long day out I looked in the mirror and what I saw is a complete & utter hot mess. Most of the foundation had come off my face and what was left was patchy and clinging to the dryer parts of my skin. I felt embarrassed that I went around town looking like this. I’m not one to over exaggerate things but this was really bad. I thought that maybe it was a fluke day and decided to do my own little experiment.

I decided that I was going to try and wear the custom Lancôme foundation for a full day of work and then repeat with my normal Lancôme foundation Teint Idole the next day to compare the two. I was going to prep my face like I always do in the morning with my moisturizer, primer, one layer of foundation, and set with the same powder. The only thing I wasn’t going to do was put concealer over my blemishes so ya’ll could see the true coverage of the foundations.

(Top two is my normal foundation and the bottom two is the custom)

As you can tell by the photos the custom foundation just doesn’t hold up. While it’s touted as a medium-to-heavy coverage foundation I would say it’s more of a light coverage foundation. It did a poor job of covering up my acne and clinged onto my dry spots. By the end of the day it didn’t even look like I had anything on my face (not in the good Gwyneth Paltrow way just fyi). 

(Wearing it on a night out)

I decided to give it one more chance and try wearing it at night, but this time I put on two layers. With one more layer the foundation went on great. It didn’t sink into my lines and stayed on all night through sweating and everything. Alas, this was not going to be my every day foundation as I don’t like to look like a cake face in the office. That being said, it works really great in a night time setting and I’ll definitely wear it again. But will I buy it again? Not for that price tag, it’s just not worth it.

UPDATE: I wrote this blog last week and tried using this foundation during a night out in Vegas. Not sure if it's the dry air here but when I tried putting it on it wouldn't even blend in. It just sat right on top of my pores and as much as I tried with a beauty blender it just wouldn't beat in. I had to take it off and put on my normal night foundation (Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk). Do not waste your money on this foundation- YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.


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