I had presumed that I wouldn’t get on with Lancome’s new Teint Idole Ultra Cushion foundation; I’ve yet to be truly convinced by this huge “cushion” trend that’s hit the market. It all just seems a bit gimmicky and…unnecessary. A makeup-infused sponge that needs to be squidged at with an annoying little foamy pad and then pat-patted onto the skin…
Yes, it’s convenient to be able to carry your foundation about in a sort of all-in-one compact solution – the mirror in the lid, the product in the base and an applicator that is firmly trapped in between and will never roll about in your handbag coating everything in beige streaks – but does it work? Is it better than, say, those cream compact foundations you can get, which also have a mirror in the lid and an irritating, possibly unhygienic foamy applicator pad?
Well actually, I’d probably say that yes the cushion is better, because it allows for a greater variety in terms of the types of foundation you can use – lighter, fresher liquids as well as higher coverage offerings. Lancome’s Teint Idole Ultra belongs with the higher coverage offerings and I must say that the foundation formula is just gorgeous. It’s one of those high-powered face bases that offers it all – a youthful glow, a juicy finish and coverage so full that a proper application leaves you looking as though you’ve been given a new skin.
Behold, below, my before picture, where my face doesn’t actually look too bad, considering the dog woke me up twice to go downstairs to drink water (it was a very hot night!) and then I had a sex dream involving Richard Branson that disturbed me so much I couldn’t sleep from 5am onwards.
And then take a look at the “after” shot, which looks as though it’s been done in a studio with big lights but was, in fact, simply taken in daylight in front of my office window. I’ve added vignettes to my images (the dark shadows around the edges) to make them look a bit more polished, but there’s no camera trickery here.
Nice glow, isn’t it? But it’s more the texture, the feel of the foundation that really grabs me. It has a nourishing, bouncy quality to it that makes it apply beautifully and then sit on the skin looking nice and dewy without feeling at all greasy.
I applied using a brush, and I quite like the kabuki/flat-topped sort of foundation brush for this (see here for Real Techniques’ brush which is great – I used the Hourglass here though I’ll warn you that it’s extremely expensive) but the applicator pad that comes with the compact does an alright job. I still don’t get the whole pad thing – OK for touch-ups, but I find it a real faff to do my whole face.
Close-ups for you – before and then after…
You can see, even zoomed in, that the finish of the foundation almost makes the skin look plumper and firmer, and there’s definitely a nice glow.
I’m won over. I even prefer the cushion version of this foundation to the Teint Idole Ultra in the bottle, just because the compact-with-mirror format does make things so much more convenient and mess-free. The cushion comes in nine shades, which isn’t amazing (I used 015) as the bottled version has far more choice, but perhaps that’s something they’ll address.
In terms of value, you get 13g of foundation and a cushion compact for £30 and then refills are £19.50. The bottled version is £30 for 30ml, so you do get far less product for your money when you plump for a cushion, though I definitely feel as though I use less from the cushion than I do if I pump out the product onto the back of my hand before applying. Food for thought.
You can find the Teint Idole Ultra Cushion at House of Fraser here. Lancome have also brought out cushion blushers, but I can’t get on with those – I’ve never been so frustrated in my life. Lots of people seem to be enjoying them as the best thing since sliced bread, but I just get weird shiny cheeks and clown-like patches of colour. I’ll keep on practising and report back…