THE COUNTER-INTUITIVE thing about makeup is that you’re not supposed to look as if you’re wearing any.
And that’s exactly what the researchers at mega-cosmetic brand Lancôme were going for when they came up with their newest foundation, Le Teint Particulier. The idea behind the launch was to create a foundation that closely matches a woman’s unique skin shade, eliminating the guesswork that traditionally goes into finding a match. Like clothing, this is made-to-measure makeup, which, according to Lancôme’s assistant vice president Catherine Lai, “melts onto your skin and is more like a veil than a mask.”
A few weeks ago, I got to test it. Ushered into a luxe Hay Adams hotel suite, commandeered by the Lancôme folks for a press preview, I met my “beauty advisor”/makeup artist. She did a brief assessment of my skin, noting that it was dry (no news) and that my skin tone was even (meaning it was the same on my cheeks as my forehead and my chin). Then she held a sort of wand to those three areas, which transmitted data into a computer that analyzed the precise color of my skin into a formula consisting of exact percentages of red, yellow, black and white pigments. That formula, along with a healthy dose of moisturizer (to combat my dry skin), was then fed into an 8-pump machine (like a souped-up soda fountain pump) that blends the colors and then dispenses the personalized potion into a bottle. Voila, my custom-made teint particulier with my name, complexion ID and the batch numbers noted on the sleek, silvery gray container.
When handed the mirror after the foundation was applied to my skin, my initial reaction was that it felt light and looked natural. So, for a reality check, when I got home, I asked my husband what he thought of how my face looked. (Prompt: I got makeup applied this afternoon.) Oh, he said, “I think it would be fine if you were going on television or something.” So much for the idea that this foundation is supposed to look like a veil not a mask. But I think the fault here lies with the fact that makeup artists tend to be overzealous about their trade. I experimented with it at home and got a much less plastered result.
Le Teint Particulier will be available early to mid- August at Nordstrom Tysons Corner for $80/ounce. BTW, I also tried Lancôme’s newly introduced Juicy Shaker lip gloss (available in 20 shades). You shake the adorable cocktail shaker bottle to mix the pigments and oil. Result: Nonsticky shine and a hint of color.
— Janet Kelly
Janet Kelly is the editor of MyLittleBird. Her last post was A Good T-Shirt is Hard to Find.