- - you realize just how bad it was and can't fathom why you were such a fan of it, and
- - you forgot how great it was.
That's how it went with me and Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield this past week.
It was Golden Week, I was going on a trip. I needed a heavy duty sunblock. I always carry a small tube of Anessa (Shiseido's famous sun protection line) with me, but I needed something... something... more.
I forgot I bought these two last year. So it was a good excuse to finally drag them out and start using them again.
And of those two possible things, which one was true in my case?
Damn, I forgot how good this stuff was!
Four days of constant sun (one day it rained), nearly 12 hours a day outside.
Nothing! Absolutely nothing on my face.
Not a smidge of sunburn. Not even a touch of tan. Not a single zit. Not a single bump. Not a clogged pore in sight. No redness, no irritation, no oily residue, no greasy finish, no white cast. No nothing.
While ripping apart Lancome Miracle Cushion, I mentioned there and then that I was a fan of UV Expert sunblock. And today, I am still a fan.
The blurb on the tube claims 12 hours of sun protection. True. Though I did top it off with a high SPF cushion as well.
The blurb says "feather-light texture". True.
It's light and non-greasy and worked great under the cushion. I did use a touch of pressed powder to complete the look, but after 12 hours outside, my face still looked very presentable, and dare I say it, fresh?
We were walking, we were sweating, we were hot and tired. On the way back to the hotel, I finally had a chance to look at myself in the mirror. I expected to see a sorry, red mess of a face.
And what a shock!
I looked surprisingly good. So good in fact, that I wanted to stare at myself in every reflective surface all the way back to the hotel. Just to be sure I wasn't hallucinating.
Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield SPF 50 PA++++ and BB Complete are both made in Japan for Asian markets.
They claim to be "studied, tested and developed for Asian skin".
I hate such claims. Because what? Asian skin is somehow special? Bullshit.
Asian women like to believe it is, but trust me, it's not.
So the logic of major brands to release special lines exclusively for Asia baffles me. What are we, Europeans? Chopped liver?
Why do the Asians get the good stuff? What about the rest of the world? Ehhh...
When I bought them, the boxes came sealed in foil.
Inside, along with a 30ml tube of product, there was also a leaflet in multiple Asian languages: Korean, Thai, Chinese, and so on...
On the back of the box there was an additional sticker with a blurb in Japanese, along with the ingredient list:
"New Standard" says on the boxes, presumably referring to the 4-pluses PA rating.
Tubes, like tubes, nothing special here:
Flip tops! Yay! Hallelujah! See this, SK-II? Watch and learn!
The tops were sturdy enough to survive the mess of my makeup bag. Didn't accidentally open, nothing got spilled or squeezed out.
The back of the tube also had a Japanese sticker, which, of course, I promptly peeled off to see what was underneath.
The BB cream has this scary cold beige color that, while very popular in Asia, tends to terrify most Europeans.
I actually like it. It gives me that clean, fresh look that is all me, only better:
As you can see, on my skin it blends out perfectly.
The sunblock comes out white and disappears to a non-shiny finish.
I have dry skin and in my case there was no wet glow.
As you can see in the photo above - it was damn perfect.
Not near perfect, but perfect. Or rather, Perfect.
The ingredient lists are dreadful. I'm glad I bought these two before I started to obsessively read the formulations.
- Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield SPF 50 PA++++ ingredient list:
Yep, alcohol denat. in the top 10. But then again, these were meant for Asian summers. And Asian summers require certain drastic measures. One of them is alcohol in the formulations of most decent sunblocks.
- Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield BB Complete SPF 50 PA++++ ingredient list:
With the BB cream the story is much the same.
It's very close to L'Oreal RevitaLift UV Block BB SPF50 PA++++, which surprise, surprise, is also made in Japan. And which is also excellent. And a lot cheaper.
Lancome UV Expert XL-Shield was a favorite last year. And is still a favorite this year.
I honestly can't find anything to complain about here. And if you read this blog regularly, then you know how shockingly unusual that is.
They were on the pricier side, and if not for the buy 2 get a hefty discount, I don't think I would have gotten them.
But I'm glad I did. They're worth every yen.