Thank You For Being A Friend: Exploring Lancôme Skincare

Published on October 14, 2016 by   ·   No Comments

Golden 01

So I’ve done more than my fair share of bagging on Lancôme – after all, they may have some quality products, but they aren’t exactly what anyone would call young or hip.  Lancôme and Estee Lauder are the brands that every rich white grandma rushes out to buy during gift with purchase time.  Estee Lauder has recently tried to appeal to younger consumers by going into Sephora and releasing a new line of products call the Estee Edit.  Lancôme, however, is resting on their laurels.  I remember when I went into my local Sephora and the girl behind the counter was super excited to tell me that they’d be doing away with their nail bar in favor of a Lancôme display.  80-year-old vaginas across the Red River Valley moistened; I was unimpressed.

Golden Girls

But as much as I might bag on a brand, I’m not afraid to give it a shot and see if the products deserve my ridicule and scorn…as long as the price is right.  And during a recent gift with purchase event, the price was definitely right: for the purchase of a bottle of Tresor Midnight Rose perfume I was able to get a cleanser and toner duo (the pinks) and a skincare set (the purples) that included a day cream, night cream, and eye cream.  Then recently Sephora had a gift with purchase available to VIB with another cleanser and toner duo (the blues).  With these 7 products, I holed up in my hotel in Seattle to see if Lancôme could win me over to their “old lady” brand image…or if it would be off to Shady Pines forever!


Lancome Face 03

Crème Mousse Confort – Comforting Creamy Foaming Cleanser, Dry Skin
Tonique Confort – Re-Hydrating Comforting Toner, Dry Skin

These were the first ones I tried, and they were the ones that made me the most nervous.  I tend to be an oily beast, and anything that says it’s formulated for dry skin tends to sit on my skin like Vaseline.  Gawd forbid I actually sweat; I turn into a walking grease trap!  The cleanser was rather thick and was kind of hard to squeeze out of the tube.  It didn’t have much of a smell, sort of that generic “Hey, I’m a skincare product!” kind of smell – you know what I mean.  It didn’t smell like natural ingredients, and it didn’t smell totally like a bunch of chemicals.  Sort of a fresh smell, but one that’s obviously being created by a fragrance.  I lathered it in my hands and the lather was extremely thick – it didn’t really foam or anything, but as I was rubbing it on my face it definitely pulled a little.  The next time I used it, I made sure my hands were wetter and wet my face first, and it still had more thickness than I like.  After washing my face it felt…clean?  There was nothing wrong with it, but nothing special or particularly impressive that made me think I needed to run out and buy more.

Picture It

The toner was a weird consistency as well – I’m not going to lie, when I poured some out onto my cotton round, it sat on top like a pinkish puddle of…well, something I wouldn’t normally rub all over my face.  It didn’t sink into the cotton right away and needed a moment to settle.  When I finally rubbed it all over my face (rubbing in an upward motion, of course!) it tingled a little and it generally felt nice but when I pulled the cotton away from my face, it was barely stained.  The first time I used it, it was at the end of a long day and even with cleansing I expected to see a pretty generous amount of sebum on the pad, but nothing there.  The pinks were my least favorite products of the three groups – luckily they didn’t leaving me feeling oily or gross, but I didn’t feel particularly cleansed or like my skin had benefitted all that much from the effort.


Lancome Face 02

Crème Radiance – Cream-To-Foam Cleanser, Normal/Combination Skin
Tonique Radiance – Clarifying Exfoliating Toner, Normal/Combination Skin

In many ways, the blues felt like a rerun of the pinks, but with some key differences.  In terms of the cleansers, the only difference I could note was that when it squeezed out, it was sort of a shimmery goop, instead of just white goop like the other cleanser.  The smell was the same, the lather was the same, and the feeling of my skin was the same.  This one is for Normal/Combination skin, but I honestly didn’t notice a difference between how my face felt after using this one versus the other.  So maybe that shimmer had something to offer and I was just too dense to notice?  Hard to say…


As for the toner, it was a more liquid formula, and I generally liked it.  When I applied it using a cotton round, it tingled almost like an astringent.  I used to use a ton of astringent on my face in my acne-prone youth and so it was a nice familiar feeling, and it always leaves my face feeling much more deeply cleansed.  The smell was just sort of a generic astringent smell – nothing special to really recommend it.  Overall good, but not great.


Lancome Face

Renergie Lift Multi-Action – Lifting and Firming Cream, All Skin Types
Renergie Lift Multi-Action Night – Lifting and Firming Night Cream
Renergie Lift Multi-Action Eye – Lifting and Firming Eye Cream

The purple set of moisturizing creams were the winners of the three groups.  They were all formulated for “all skin types” though I do think they were still a little bit heavy for anyone who is really oily.  I definitely felt the day cream on throughout the day and if there was a day I got a little sweaty it was a little bit gross and slick, but generally it left my face feeling firmed and moisturized.  The night cream was my favorite – I loved slathering this on before bed, and this is the only one that I actually used to the bottom of the jar on my trip.  I would wake up feeling like it had really been working overnight.  The eye cream was also better used at night; there were a couple of times where I put it on with the day cream and if I itched or wiped near my eyes, it would get in my eye and cause a really uncomfortable burning sensation.  I also noticed that I never woke up with those crusty eye boogers when I used it; I don’t know how or why that would be connected, and I should say that I don’t wake up with them every single day, but it’s just something I noticed.  Don’t judge me.


So after all of this experimentation, I have to say that while I still find Lancôme’s line not very compelling, and I think Sephora could have better improved its selection by picking up more smaller displays of great on-the-rise indie brands instead of just another brand that’s already available at Macy’s and other old school department stores, I did find a couple of the products that I didn’t hate.  That’s the thing about skincare – with a few exceptions (like products that tell you that you should exfoliate every day – STAHP!) you really can’t go too far wrong.  It might not do exactly what you want and it may feel a little heavy on the skin, but most products will have something beneficial for your skin, and it’s better to use something with good ingredients in it than nothing at all.

But will I ever love Lancôme the way I love my Golden Girls? Thank you for being a friend, but no thanks.

Now Go Forth & Get Painted!

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