This fab foundation and concealer pairing – OH, excuse me, 'skin perfecting duo' - was released in 2013, and I don't think has ever gotten the love it deserves.
I first came across it in a blog post by the fab Zoe Foster Blake, in which she described it as being for mature skins aka "will give radiance and glow and fill in lines". Though I was only in my 20s at the time, this really spoke to me. I'd been trying to watch my budget and stick to some much cheaper foundations, but was finding glow was exactly what I was missing. And not that I probably really had much in the way of lines to fill in but the kind of foundation I was choosing sat on my face like a mask, and really did nothing for me.
Let me be super clear - there are incredible foundations out there at any price, but five years is an aeon in the land of beauty and products develop in leaps and bounds in that time. Long wear budget foundation in 2013 was simply not what it is in 2018. Not to mention that back then I wasn't as aware of my options then as I am now (i.e. spent less time obsessively researching on the interwebs) and really picked much more long wearing and full coverage foundations than I needed.
Anyway, back to Lancome. I'm sure you remember when their Visionnaire serum first launched – it was one of those products that everyone was clamouring for. Princess Kate was meant to have been given preview bottles and the wait lists had climbed into the stratosphere. For what it's worth, I actually do really enjoy that serum, but that's for another post. I don't really rely on my makeup to help my skin. Having acne, I look more for a 'do no harm' approach than expecting foundation to actively bring anything to the table. So it wasn't the inclusion of (what I presume were tiny amounts anyway of) their serum that spoke to me, but the fact it was medium coverage and came with a matching concealer. It's actually still a pretty novel concept, that for some reason not many brands have followed through with, and I'm not sure why. Including two products that are exactly the same shade, just in a different consistency, makes adding different layers of coverage so easy, and represents really good value.
The foundation itself is in a glass pump bottle and I only ever needed one full pump, often less, which was fairly easy to control thanks to a fine pump. It gives a medium coverage, dewy finish and blends very easily. The concealer sits in its own little pot, complete with flip up mirror, that attaches securely to the top of the foundation bottle. (So yes, you need to take it off to access the foundation, but I do think most people wouldn't be using one product without the other so it's no big inconvenience). The concealer is what I'd call a 'useful' consistency; creamy and buildable, it was enough for under the eye coverage and for all but the absolute reddest of spots. (That is, for day to day wear I'd use it on spots, but if I had a really special occasion I might go in with something heavier on top.) As those who really rely on concealer will know, we all dread applying it in a way that makes the concealer itself more obvious than what we're trying to use it to cover! So to have a shade that is a perfect match to the foundation underneath really goes a tremendous way to alleviating that problem.
While not 'long wear', both the foundation and concealer had very good staying power. When I was using both products regularly my skin was on the oilier side, and I didn't have any issues with it disappearing, except maybe in high summer. I should say, though, that I'm a lazy makeup wearer, and would put on the least I could get away with, without primer, powder or touch ups, and go out into 40 degree heat, so I don't know that you can expect much more from a face product unless you're applying something with a trowel!
So in short (ha!) - you may well have never heard of this foundation, but do consider giving it a try. It's lovely, and does the job you want your foundation to do, without being too sheer or just too much. Plus the matching concealer really takes it over the edge in terms of both (a) allowing you to have some areas of your face be more natural while also (b) being easily able to cover what you want to cover. Even for a high end department store brand, this is much better value than buying separate foundation and concealer. A true winner!