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Tinted moisturizers used to make me feel like the child in The Emperor’s New Clothes; everyone lauded their unmatched magical powers of hydration, color and convenience, but it seemed to me that by trying to do everything, they did nothing well. They don’t moisturize as well as moisturizers, and they don’t cover as well as foundations (which I hated and didn’t need anyway).
So what’s the point if it’s just another product to add on? Then I reached my 30s. Oh, my naïve young self. Older skin, it turns out, needs extra hydration and at least a little sheer color to help balance out unevenness. And some help adding a glow is always welcome, too. Enter tinted moisturizers, tinted creams, BB creams, CC creams, and others in the vast array of products hoping to address skin care and skin coverage needs in one product.
“Older skin, it turns out, needs extra hydration and at least a little sheer color to help balance out unevenness.”
Lancôme Imanance Tinted Day Crème is one of these creams. Imanance (which appears to be a word that Lancôme made up, perhaps based on “immanence”, meaning divine presence) appears to be the lightest of Lancôme’s three tinted moisturizers. The description claims that the “ultra-light, tinted crème adds just a hint of sheer, luminous color while protecting your complexion from environmental conditions.”
After testing the product, I absolutely agree with the first half of the claim (just a hint of sheer, luminous color). The texture is creamy, more so than many foundations, but the coverage is light, natural and dewy. Though it’s not heavy enough to cover prominent blemishes or bright redness (but you can use concealer underneath for that), it gives the best possible amount of even coverage in order for the make-up itself to remain almost invisible.
What really sold me is that it’s the most luminous of any tinted moisturizer or foundation I’ve ever used. Try it on and give it a few minutes – you will see the glow. That wonderful glow made me buy it. An easy choice over any of the other tinted products I tried. But note that if you have oily skin, it may be too much for you. This is not an oil-free product.
Now the second half of the claim (while protecting your complexion from environmental conditions). I’m more dubious about this part. The sales rep didn’t know what creates the supposed barrier or what the antioxidants were, so I called Lancôme’s Consumer Affairs department. They explained the creme contains one antioxidant (Vitamin E) and the anti-pollution barrier is based on rosa canina fruit oil and palm oil. It’s not clear to me that those ingredients would necessarily protect your skin from environmental damage. But even if those ingredients create an anti-pollution barrier, it’s worth including that the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database rates this product a 7/10 hazard based on retinyl palmitate, fragrance, and various parabens (note: the rating is based on the 2007 formulation, but I compared the ingredients to the current formulation).
You can apply it as you would foundation, either with your fingers or a foundation sponge or brush. For me, it goes on just right with the Sephora Pro Airbrush #55. Using a small amount of primer first will keep it from becoming oily as the day goes on. Many people use a little powder on top as well. I don’t find it to be hydrating at all, so I always use moisturizer first. And needless to say, most people will need more than SPF 15, so don’t depend on this product to provide all your sun protection if you plan to be outside.
After using the product a few times and comparing the results to other products, it has beat out every other face make-up for me. I love that it gives you such a glow and evens your skin tone without looking like you are wearing any make-up. It’s an effect unlike any other product. But because of the ingredients, I only want to use it occasionally.
“I love that it gives you such a glow and evens your skin tone without looking like you are wearing any make-up. It’s an effect unlike any other product.”
While it only comes in four colors, the product is sheer enough that one color will suit several different shades of skin. The “Tawny” (medium) color was the right color for both for me and the sales rep who assisted me, though our skin shades look very different.
Overall, while I think this product might exaggerate its claims as a “healthy” product, if you are willing to use a product with parabens on occasion, it’s worth trying, especially if you are a person that has always hated the cakey, heavy look of foundation. You can always stop by the Lancome counter and try it on with no risk.