Monday, April 23, 2018

Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Base SPF50+ PA++++ and Translucent Base N SPF30 PA+++

You wouldn't know it was still spring according to the calendar. The weather has been silly hot the past few days and it feels like the middle of summer already. Crazy!
That means we are bombarded daily with new sunscreen releases and it seems that there are more and more of them every season.

But today, I want to tell you about two products from last year. One of them got updated packaging and very slight ingredient changes for 2018, the other is still exactly the same (at least according to what I could find online).

It's Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE time! And no, don't ask me to pronounce it. I don't do French.

Sorry, but that name drives me up the wall. I mean, who has the time to type it out every single time? If there was ever a perfect occasion to employ ctrl+c, this is it. Definitely. "Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE" copypasta all the way to the end of this post.

Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE is known for its makeup, or rather, for the packaging and visuals of its makeup. Rose petal blush, anyone? It's NOT normally a brand that comes to mind when talking about skincare. And especially not when talking about sun protection.

But first things first.
As you can read on the company's website, Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE started as a patisserie making "edible jewelry" in Paris (hence the very French name) back in 1862. The idea was to make innovative, beautiful sweets, and the same idea was later transferred to cosmetics.
That is how we ended up with blushes shaped like rose petals packaged in gaudy plastic baubles.

It looks very impressive, but as always, looks can be deceiving. The petals are not as realistic in real life as they appear in pictures. And the packaging is nothing but cheap, tacky plastic.
Yeah, but I still regret not buying one when I was shopping duty-free at Haneda.

Last year, when I was flying to Dubai, I found myself at Haneda. I rarely fly out of Haneda. I'm a Narita kinda gal. My flight was delayed, and then delayed some more and suddenly, I had buckets of time and absolutely nothing to do. I did what every self-respecting skincare addict would do in the same situation. I went shopping.

While most big skincare and makeup brands are sold both at Narita and Haneda, some smaller names can be found only at Haneda. Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE is one such example.

The rose petals were very tempting, their price - not so much. To stay on the safe side and not blow my entire shopping budget on a plastic egg filled with pink rose shreds, I went with my usual standby option. Sun protection.

I picked up these two sunscreen bases:
  • Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Makeup Base N SPF50+ PA++++
  • Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE Translucent Makeup Base N SPF30 PA+++.

Why both of them? No idea. I was curious. And they were probably the cheapest products in the entire Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE lineup.
So, how much?
They were both conveniently priced at 3800 yen plus tax (that means 4104 yen total) for 30 ml of product.

Long, skinny boxes were hiding long, skinny tubes.

Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Makeup Base N SPF50+ PA++++ got a makeover for 2018 and currently looks like that:

The tube is shorter and bulkier, but the volume and price stayed the same. It's still 30 ml and 3800 yen (plus tax).

I admit, I was very skeptical. Les Merveilleuses something something UV protection? So when I busted the SPF50 out of its box in Dubai, I didn't expect much. In fact, I expected the opposite of much. I was ready to be disappointed and very vocal about my complaints.

And guess what?

Hot damn, I liked it.
Yeah, the scent was annoying and it lingered a bit longer than I would like, but overall, I liked it. Let me say it again... To my shock and horror, it was actually a great sunscreen base.

Here's the summary.

Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Makeup Base N SPF50+ PA++++

It's a serum-like makeup base that is incredibly light and slightly moisturizing. It goes on smoothly, gives beautiful satin finish and works with any and all skincare layers you put under it, as well as any and all makeup you put on top of it.

Though colorless, it somehow manages to give the often talked about "blur" effect obliterating pores and turning the face into the smoothest of canvas.
It does all that while being totally lightweight and feeling like there is absolutely nothing on your skin.

Of course, it's not all roses and rainbows. The major drawback is the scent. It's strong, it lingers and it can be quite irritating and annoying. Despite roses and lavenders among the ingredients, Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Makeup Base N SPF50+ PA++++ smells like vanilla and almonds with a dash of spice. You know those liquid essences you use when making cakes? This smells just like that. A bit of vanilla, a bit of almonds, and a lot of rum. If you want to smell like an overly flavored cheesecake, this one's for you.

Ingredients (old version - BEFORE 2018) - Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Makeup Base N SPF50+ PA++++

Ingredients (2018 version) - Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Makeup Base N SPF50+ PA++++
センチフォリアバラ花水 (Rosa Centifolia Flower Water)・水 (Water)・エタノール (Alcohol)・メトキシケイヒ酸エチルヘキシル (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (Octinoxate))・イソノナン酸イソトリデシル (Isotridecyl Isononanoate)・ジエチルアミノヒドロキシベンゾイル安息香酸ヘキシル (Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate (Uvinul A Plus))・ジカプリン酸PG (Propylene Glycol Dicaprate)・ポリシリコーン−15 (Polysilicone-15)・BG (Butylene Glycol)・ジメチコン (Dimethicone)・ビスエチルヘキシルオキシフェノールメトキシフェニルトリアジン (Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine (Tinosorb S))・センチフォリアバラ花エキス (Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract)・ダマスクバラ花エキス (Rosa Damascena Flower Extract)・ハチミツ (Honey)・ヒアルロン酸Na (Sodium Hyaluronate)・ラベンダー花エキス (Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract)・BHT・EDTA−2Na (Disodium EDTA)・PEG−30フィトステロール (PEG-30 Phytosterol)・PEG−5フィトステロール (PEG-5 Phytosterol)・(アクリレーツ/アクリル酸アルキル(C10−30))クロスポリマー (Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer)・(ビニルジメチコン/メチコンシルセスキオキサン)クロスポリマー (Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer)・カルボマー (Carbomer)・グリセリン (Glycerin)・ジラウロイルグルタミン酸リシンNa (Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine)・ステアリン酸グリセリル (Glyceryl Stearate)・セテアリルアルコール (Cetearyl Alcohol)・水酸化K (Potassium Hydroxide)・フェノキシエタノール (Phenoxyethanol)・メチルパラベン (Methylparaben)・香料 (Fragrance)
The translation is mine, so I do apologize for any mistakes. If you see any, let me know. That's why I'm including the Japanese list, as well. I don't trust any blogger (of unknown language skills) who posts only the ingredient translations and does not provide the original language version. That, in my opinion, is useless.

But, back to Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Makeup Base N SPF50+ PA++++.
What I loved about it the most is how it made my makeup appear absolutely flawless. Mind you, I suck at makeup. And it shows. My skin revolts at the very idea of foundation. Which sucks, because with the leftovers of my melasma, base makeup is a necessity if I want to look vaguely human.

The texture and overall condition of my skin is pretty decent these days. My only problems are pores (huge on my nose) and pigmentation. Even redness can be kept at bay with a proper skincare regimen.

Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Makeup Base N SPF50+ PA++++ took care of the pores. And I mean, literally, took care of them. As in "obliterated them". When followed with a basic foundation, my skin appeared pretty much poreless. Which is no small feat, because my pores are indeed yuuuge.

It also made my foundation (be it either liquid, cream or cushion type) last all day and look immaculate at the same time. Magic, I tell you. Simply magic.

Despite having alcohol (ethanol) high up on the ingredient list, Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Makeup Base N SPF50+ PA++++ is not drying. And trust me, I KNOW drying. And this isn't it. There were no breakouts or other unwanted skin sensations. In fact, I was reaching for this base especially on days when other products gave me pizza face.

In short, I am very pleased with this SPF50+ PA++++ sunscreen base from Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE. It's not love, because it's not a perfect product (the smell, the smell!), but all things considered, it's a very good product. So good in fact, that if I'm going to be at Haneda duty-free, I plan to pick up the new, updated 2018 release.


Now, let's take a look at its less powerful sister.

Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE Translucent Makeup Base N SPF30 PA+++

Where the SPF50+ PA++++ version was primarily a sunscreen doing magnificent double duty as a makeup base, Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE Translucent Makeup Base N SPF30 PA+++ is just that. A makeup base.

It's a basic, no frills, entry level makeup base. If you've never used a makeup base, this will be a good first intro. If you've had horrible experiences with makeup bases in the past, this is a good re-introduction to this step.

Relying on it as your only means of sun protection would be monumentally stupid. SPF30 PA+++ is not going to cut it when you're out in the sun. Don't be that (wo)man. You'll only hurt your skin. Use a sunblock with higher SPF. And then use Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE Translucent Makeup Base N SPF30 PA+++ as your makeup base. Your pores will disappear, your complexion will be evened out and your makeup will look great and stay on longer.

The downside?
The smell. Yep, it's there again. And it lingers. And lingers... And seemingly, doesn't want to go away. However, if you're into that type of scent, then you'll be in heaven.

Ingredients - Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE Translucent Makeup Base N SPF30 PA+++

This one I would not repurchase, but I can see why women may like it. It's a solid makeup base.
Again, despite the high alcohol content, this base was not drying, there was no redness, no irritation, and no breakouts. The serum-like consistency goes on like a charm and keeps the skin lightly moisturized. It gives wonderful silky finish and works with any and all skincare and any and all makeup. In other words, it does exactly what a high(er) end makeup base should do.

Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE makeup base swatches:

On the left - Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE UV Protection Makeup Base N SPF50+ PA++++
On the right - Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE Translucent Makeup Base N SPF30 PA+++

So there you have it. My first official experience with Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE. I can only hope that there will be others.

So, what do you think of Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE?
And what should I get next? Suggestions?
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