In an industry fixated on the next big thing, Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear has stood the test of time as one of the best foundations because instead of chasing trends it is simply, resolutely itself. That is, a sophisticated, mattifying base that looks and feels as seamless on the skin as you could possibly hope for with a full-cover base.
Teint Idole is a huge seller, particularly across Europe, but that’s not to say Lancôme has just kicked back and watched the euros roll in since 1997. The formula has been incrementally improved every so often with upgraded skincare ingredients and, most recently, a vastly extended shade range, up to an impressive 45. The selection is particularly strong for the very deepest shades, which contain a special pigment to ensure they keep their true colour on the skin without going ashy.
So how does it feel? In a nutshell, not bad at all. Any wearer of high-coverage base knows these products will never have the juiciness or weightlessness of a sheer formula. That said, it does blend nicely with a decent brush, melts well into the skin and doesn’t feel unreasonably heavy or like it’s clogging the pores.
The huge shade selection helps give the product a natural appearance too, as almost anyone should find a seamless match. Once Teint Idole is blended and set down is when it really starts to pay dividends, because this stuff truly does not budge. It won’t melt on an oily T-zone, rub onto your collar or migrate into nose-to-mouth lines – nada. The only way to shift this foundation is actively deciding to remove it with a decent cleanser, warm water and a cloth.
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation Specifications
Shades and inclusivity: 45 in a full spectrum for all skin tones.
Added extras: Flexible polymers, unique pigments for darker skin tones
Who should buy it?
Anyone who finds the current vogue for barely-there BBs and tints totally inadequate. If you have very oily or acne-prone skin, tone irregularities that you prefer to completely even out, or you just like that uniform 'done' look only a full-cover base can provide, this will impress.
Teint Idole Ultra Wear also works well for specific occasions that require a certain amount of polish and a reliable base. A long work day with a big meeting after lunch, for example. I find it particularly useful for weddings, where the last thing I want to do is faff around after dinner reapplying make-up when I should be basking in vicarious romance and waving my arms to Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation Key ingredients
In another example of knowing its role and doing it well, Teint Idole Ultra Wear does not even pretend to be a skincare-make-up hybrid. Oils are the enemy of staying power, so you won’t find a great deal of those sorts of ingredients in the mix. Instead we get silica and perlite, both of which are fine, mineral powders with oil and moisture-absorbing properties.
This aside, the ingredient list keeps it pretty straightforward with flexible polymers to ensure the texture feels comfortable through the day, and SPF15, which I’ll take as an “every little helps” approach. I did find this foundation quite strongly fragranced. It’s a lovely luxurious French fragrance, bien sûr, but if you don’t like perfumed make-up then that could be a sticking point.
Coverage and lasting power
This is serious stuff, on both fronts. From the second you pump out a blob of the formula onto your hand it holds its shape in a perfect little glossy sphere instead of spreading out all over the place.
That’s not to say Teint Idole Ultra Wear is a drag to blend, as can be the case with full-coverage and mattifying foundations. It plays nicely on the skin, although I would definitely recommend using a firm brush as opposed to fingers. A brush will help you buff and push the product into the skin properly before it sets down for the day. It’s also a good idea to make sure skin is properly prepped for a base like this – you want a smooth and hydrated face to allow the formula to glide on.
Once it’s set you can expect a fairly matte finish. It isn’t chalky or powdery in any way but certainly has the polished veneer of a nicely made-up face. This is particularly true of the deeper shades, which include an ultramarine blue pigment as opposed to traditional white, yellow, red and black pigments. This helps create purity of tone in the darkest variants that lasts all day on the skin without any ashiness
Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation Packaging
Très chic. Which comes as no surprise given this is Lancôme, so we get a traditionally luxurious glass bottle with an embossed gold rose on the lid. It’s as pleasing visually as it is satisfying in the hand. The glossy black pump emits the aforementioned perfect little bubble of formula cleanly and precisely. No dribbles or mess whatsoever.
Of course classic glass bottles will never be as handbag-friendly as plastic tubes, but that’s not really an issue when there is genuinely no need to reapply throughout the day.
Celebrity make-up artist and Lancôme’s global make-up creative director recommends taking it slowly with this product…
‘A little goes a long way, allowing you to build to the ideal level of coverage for a flawless finish. I prefer using multiple, thin, and well-blended layers where needed, rather than one heavy one.’