Monday, October 17, 2011

Lancôme Swatches + Reviews

Yesterday at work, I stopped at the Lancome counter because they are in the middle of their gift with purchase promotion. I got a Color Design lipstick in Studded ($22) and a Color Fever Gloss in Metallic Sunburst ($26). I've looked at high-end cosmetic brands before, but never really purchased any; I don't think I've ever paid more than, I don't know, $12 for a lipstick before. But now that I'm writing a weekly blog about makeup, I feel like I owe it to myself and to my readers to broaden my horizons. Initially I had been considering buying their eyeshadow base, but I happened to see these lip colors and once I saw the tester tubes swatched I really didn't have a choice. I've mentioned my quest for the perfect orange lipstick here before, and I thought Studded was absolutely gorgeous.  I had a Maybelline Wetshine Diamonds shade about six years ago that I really liked, and more recently took a shining to Palladio's Toasted Orange lipstick (link to swatches above, or you can search for "Palladio".) I walk by the Lancome counter pretty much every day at work, but haven't really stopped and taken a good look at the products. I can't believe with as many times as I've walked by those lipsticks that I never noticed that pretty golden-orange! The gift with purchase at our counter right now is your choice of six trial-size products (out of a pre-selected assortment) with your choice of a pink of black bag. I picked the black bag, a Blush Subtil compact in Aplum, two Hypnôse Drama mascaras in Excessive Black, a Black Coffee eyeliner pencil, a Juicy Tubes lipgloss in Beach Plum, and a Rénergie Lift Volumetry moisturizer.  I also got a free sample of the Cils Booster XL, because my representative is awesome.  So here are some swatches of everything except the moisturizer!


The Color Design lipstick is not completely opaque, so it take some layering to get the color built up.  I like being able to wear something sheer or opaque, though, so I see that as a plus.  It is really smooth on the lips, it doesn't feather, and it isn't drying.  This feels noticeably nicer on my lips than other brands I've tried.  It would be a great standalone lippie; however, it also looks gorgeous with Metallic Sunburst layered over the top.  I think I will be wearing this frequently.


Metallic Sunburst is a build-able sheer, very shimmery gloss with sort of a medium thickness that is neither slick nor sticky.  It also smells nice.  Since it's a little on the thicker side, it stays put well.  I prefer a slick lipgloss, so I'm not sure how often I will wear this on its own, but I do love it layered over Studded and I will probably use them together often.


The Juicy Tubes in Beach Plum is a thick, sticky, semi-opaque lipgloss.  Because of it formulation, it is somewhat difficult to apply evenly directly from the tube.  I kept ending up with blotchy color and had to smooth it over with my finger.  The color is really quite dark; I couldn't capture it in the photos for some reason.  I'm not sure how often I will wear this, but it is a pretty color and it smells nice.


The thing I was probably least impressed with was the mascara samples.  They did make my lashes look fuller (and longer, which is not an advertised feature for this particular mascara) from far away, but to me, they seemed spidery up close.  And the primer only heightened the spider effect.  The primer retails at $22.00 for a full-size tube, and the mascara goes for $25.00 for a full-size, but I honestly think my Cover Girl LashBlast Volume coats and separates my individual lashes better and gives me volume without spider lashes at a much better price.  I would be willing to try other Lancôme mascaras, but this one wasn't a good fit for me.  I did like the eyeliner, which is also shown in these photos, but it doesn't seem any nicer than any other kohl pencils I've used that retail for a few bucks.  I liked the color, but I really don't see myself paying $24.50 for an eyeliner pencil.

Hypnôse Drama mascara
Hypnôse Drama mascara over lashes primed with Cils Booster XL

I was pleasantly surprised by the Blush Subtil in Aplum, as it looks very dark and plummy in the compact.  It's actually - just as the name suggests - very subtle; use just a little, and you can barely tell it's on.  Build it up and you have a nice, natural-looking blush.   This is something I haven't seen a lot with cheaper blushes; in fact, it's the reason I don't wear blush very frequently.  Many of the inexpensive blushes I've tried go on heavy right away, which I hate.   I'm naturally a heavy blusher, so I love love love the subtlety of this. I almost didn't choose this as part of my gift, but I picked it at the recommendation of my rep, and I'm glad I did.  It retails for $29.50 in a full-size compact, but I can tell that even the trial size will last me a long time before needing to be replaced.  I feel comfortable with that price knowing how long the product will last.


And last but not least, I will tell you about the Rénergie Lift Volumetry.  A little bit went a loooong way (and it was tingly when I put it on), and now my skin is soft and supple, not greasy as I've experienced with some other brands.  Dry skin is a huge issue for me this time of year, as we're heading into winter in the Midwest.  It gets very cold and very dry here, which takes its toll on my skin.  However, I'm a super low-maintenance girl in "real life", and I won't do any sort of morning regimen with my face most of the time.  So while I like the moisturizer for the harsh winter weather, I think a fair portion of it would go unused if I got a full-size.  It would be wonderful for those of you who do maintain a morning facial regimen and would use a whole jar without any going to waste.

So overall, I'm really happy with my purchase.  I love the items I purchased, and got some items I really liked for free.  I can definitely see myself buying more of the Color Design lipsticks and the Color Fever Glosses in the future if I find more colors I like, and I will probably buy a Blush Subtil compact when mine runs out.  And if I can snag another little jar of the Rénergie Lift Volumetry or another eyeliner pencil in another gift, you bet I will.  For me, the lash primer and mascara fell flat, but I know others who love them.  So there you go, my lovelies!  Have you tried Lancome products?  If so, what are your favorites?

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