Saturday, 29 October 2016

Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Foundation | Review


Can foundation ever be fun?

It’s one of those essential items that all but the most blessed-with-flawless-skin use, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like the most exciting of cosmetics when there are shimmering eyeshadows and glittering glosses out there to be played with.

For quite a few years, it felt like foundation as a product went a bit quiet. But now? Now, foundation has found its mojo again.

There are tonnes of exciting developments happening, mostly thanks to our friends in South Korea. Korean skincare has become a subject of national interest over the past few years, and they seem to have firmly taken over from the French as the nation we look to for guidance on our skin habits and trends.

There’s just so much to go at. Where else in the world is an eight to ten step night-time skincare routine normal?

In the UK, we place more emphasis on disguising flaws under thick layers of makeup. The Korean approach is to invest far more time, money and effort in getting the canvas right in the first place.

So the cosmetics there are less about concealment and more about enhancement.

Korean products like eye masks, sleeping packs, essences, foot peels and sheet masks have all come into the spotlight in the West recently.

And the latest item making a splash? Cushion foundations.

French skincare and beauty giant Lancome was an early adopter of this trend, with its Teint Idole Ultra Cushion formulation. I was very curious to see what a French interpretation of a Korean product would be like…



The Hype


Teint Idole Ultra is a complete departure for Lancome, who have been pretty rigid about sticking to the liquid in a bottle formulation in the past.

They haven’t necessarily needed in be wacky with delivery, because the quality of the product always spoke for itself. So for them to get behind the cushion foundation trend says a lot about this format.

This product is billed as an instant route to flawless skin. It couples a super-high coverage formula with a speedy and effortless delivery system – compact, lightweight and easy to refill.

The makeup itself is supposed to be complexion-brightening and to feel comfortable on the skin. It’s also claimed to be long-wearing, which is music to my ears – who wants to have to reapply their base at any point during the day?

Lancome has really gotten behind the cushion thing – they also do their Miracle foundation in a cushion compact, as well as the Blush Subtil range.

This comes in 18 shades, which is pretty extensive, and Lancome are renowned for producing well at the paler end of the spectrum without any of the orange undertones that plague porcelain-skinned ladies.

The compact is priced at around £30, but you can purchase the refills for around £19.00. However, I question whether you’re paying more for the ‘convenient’ format – a bottle of the Teint Idole foundation is the same price as the cushion compact, but you get almost three times as much product for the money.

It doesn’t seem as if the refills would last very long, although only time will tell if that’s true – just on the basis of pure mathematics I suspect not.


The Packaging


So, we’ve established that you are paying a premium for the cushion format. But is it actually worth paying for? Is cushion foundation really the revelation that the beauty houses would have us believe? Why are Korean women so crazy for it?

Well, one thing that can’t be disputed is that this is amazingly portable and easy to use. If you’re one of the many people who have to apply your make-up on the go – in a crowded train carriage or at the gym before work -  this is so much more user-friendly than carry around a heavy, leaking glass bottle and a messy foundation brush.

You snap open the compact, grab the application which is like a powder puff in design, pump it onto the cushion once and then apply. It couldn’t be easier, more fuss-free and less messy. For that alone I love it.

The puff itself is made of a sort of spongey material, a bit like a Beauty Blender, and I found that it does very much give that same flawless even coverage.

Putting base on using a flat puff takes a little bit of getting used to, but a simple tap-and-roll motion works well. I found I only needed one ‘click’ of the cushion to more than cover my whole face.

Visually, it looks great – a black compact with a gold metallic lid with the Lancome rose. I’d prefer it if the compact was a little less plasticky though. It feels quite flimsy and I felt as if I’d want to replace the whole thing after not too many refills.

It would be so great to have something a bit more substantial that isn’t going to need replacing at all.

The Formula


Teint Idole is a recognised big-hitter, and its great to see that the delivery system hasn’t compromised that in any way here.

The foundation itself totally lived up to the claims it made – it did give a really pretty finish, sort of a velvet demi-matte, not too chalky but definitely not shiny either.

It is definitely high coverage – a tiny amount covered my entire face very thoroughly. I feel like I used less product than I normally do with bottled foundation, because the coverage was so good, it didn’t need anything else.

Once on, it stayed firmly in place through my morning cycle journey into the office, a full day at work and on into the evening. In fact, I think I preferred the finish the later it got and the more it mellowed into my skin.

I also absolutely loved that this contains a super-high SPF. There's nothing more key to protecting your skin, and I love when foundations include skin protection - there's almost no excuse not to really. For a formula I use every day, it needs to be in there.

Teint Idole Cushion is a very high quality foundation and sort of proves my theory that base is one of those things where you get what you pay for.

The Performance




This looked so good on, and I was very pleased with its wear time and its appearance. I guess I’ve been a bit sceptical about cushion foundations so I really enjoyed having the chance to try this -  its proved me wrong.

I do think ‘Western’ cushion foundations (much like our BB creams) are a world away from the Korean originals though. I don’t think theirs are at all as heavy -  I understand they are supposed to be extremely light and dewy. This is definitely not like that – it’s a strong coverage.

If you like that though, and ‘compact’ foundation formulas have often let you down in the past, then this could be the one to change your mind.

It’s a high quality formulation that treads the line between being high coverage and avoiding that dull, mask-like finish really well.

The Verdict



Despite my initial reservations about this product being all style over substance, Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Cushion is a total winner.

The delivery system is smooth and easy to use, the coverage really is flawless and comfortable to wear. The format is very new, yes, but it really benefits from being pared with such a high-quality, tried and tested foundation formula.

Teint Idole Ultra Cushion is seamless, easy to use, and gives great results. A little goes a really long way, and for anyone with a busy lifestyle who travels a lot or is always on the go, this couldn’t be more fuss-free.

I’m a convert, as anything that saves me time in the mornings without compromising on quality is a total hero. The puff application gives really high quality application so there’s no need to pack a separate brush, and it can easily be washed or sanitised with a squirt of brush cleaner.

A classy product for grown-ups on the go. This is what true innovation looks like.

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