Monday, April 18, 2011

Lancôme L'Absolu Nu Lipstick in Rose Veil

Lancôme has come out with a new lipstick formulation called L'Absolu Nu Replenishing & Enhancing Lipcolor (Bare-Lip Sensation).

 At $29 each, there are 16 colors in the collection grouped into browns-neutrals, pinks-berries, and red-corals. The new lipsticks are supposed to restore moisture to the lips for up to 8 hours.

I purchased 346 Rose Veil from the pinks-berries group ... you know, the one that goes so well with Kate Winslet's white sheet as she lolls on the floor absolument nu.

For the video, I had read that Kate's makeup artist layered Rose Veil over Lancôme's Sheer Raspberry lip pencil, so I purchased that, as well. The color looked so gorgeous, and I wanted to reproduce it on myself. I am fairly certain I am not the only one who wished for that.

When I first slid the floral-embellished cap off the tube, I saw a clear, warm rose with a hint of coral that would be perfect for Summer. It reminded me of the redbud (Cercis canadensis) blossoms that are just now emerging on trees up here in the Northeast.

Upon closer inspection, I was initially disappointed that the product appeared matte and chalky, but perhaps there was an overspray because the moment I swatched the lipstick on the back of my hand, I could feel how silky it was. Sephora calls the L'Absolu Nu colors vivid, and I agree. Somehow this lipstick manages to be sheer and pigmented at the same time. The formulation contains pearl microparticles, which create a light-reflective, lip-plumping effect.

The photo below was taking in natural light on an overcast day with no flash. 346 Rose Veil is in the center, with a swatch of Sheer Raspberry lip pencil on the left and Rose Veil lipstick over Sheer Raspberry pencil on the right.

To my eye, Rose Veil looks like a slightly warm-leaning coral pink.

As for comfort, L'Absolu Nu is very slick and silky; it reminds me of the sheer Rouge d'Armani lipsticks. There is the slightest hint of a tingle, as well. Over the Sheer Raspberry pencil, the color stayed put for about 4 hours, but on its own, it lasts an hour and it fades from the center outward, so I am left with slightly disconcerting dark edges and a bit of pearl glitter on my lips. There is almost no traction with this lipstick, so lips might get 8 hours of continuous moisture, as Lancôme claims, but they do not get 8 hours of continuous color. The texture, pigment, and durability remind me of Make Up For Ever Fascinating Lip Gloss (which appears to have been recently discontinued).

I thought Rose Veil might be similar to Edward Bess Forever Yours, but as you can see from the following swatches, it is not. Rose Veil is more clear, more bright, and it contains no brown:

I also wondered if the color might be similar to Rouge d'Armani 606, so I compared the two on the back of my hand. They are closer in color, but the Rouge d'Armani is deeper, and I actually prefer it on my medium-pigmented rosy-mauve lips.

Based on a few days of testing, I like the new Rouge L'Absolu Nu, but it does not seem that unique. I have plenty of other lipsticks that deliver as good or better moisture to my lips, and I like my lipstick to last more than an hour, but the color is very pretty.

Bottom line: I give this lipstick a solid B for comfort and color. It loses a grade for wearing off too quickly, but that's a reasonable tradeoff for a moisturizing lipstick that feels so good to apply.

L'Absolu Nu lipsticks are sold on Lancôme's Web site and at Sephora (limited color range). They might also be available at Lancôme retail counters by now, as well.

All photos mine except for stock photo from


  1. You take such wonderful pics and do such a thorough review!

  2. Fantastic review and really helpful swatch pics! Love that.

  3. I saw an ad in a magazine about these new Lancome lippies- the nude range really looks appealing to me. I have been consistently impressed with Lancome the past few months- I have loved everything I have purchased. I'm really smitten with their kohl liners (black coffee and gris noir) they are fantastic colors.

    Lovely blog you have here!
    Adding you to my blog roll straight away!

  4. Thank you, Jeanie! I have read everything you have written about Julie Hewett. So few people blog about her, so you have been an excellent resource. :)

  5. LOL- well you can blame your friend (and mine Ammie) for the Julie Hewett *issue* I have ;O)

    I wish Julie would get busy and debut some new pretties but I bet she's busy making movies!
    x jeanie

  6. Ha! She got me started, too, though I blame you and Olivia42 for many of my purchases. Ammie once sent me swatches of all her JH products on a card.

  7. I got this shade as a half size sample in my glossybox this month...which is a good thing as it looks nothing like kate's lips in the ad (as they never do) and pulls so coral on me it's really quite nasty...

  8. Munichjoolz, what a shame! Good thing it was just a sample. Rose Veil shows up as pink on me, but it absolutely requires the lip pencil to come anywhere close to what Kate's lips look like. Plus, I am sure her skin has been aibrushed (or whatever they do on moving film) and her lip color has surely been enhanced as well. It's not real. No way is she that flawless and porcelain--at least not since she was 16 in the film Heavenly Creatures. But that ad sure sold a lot of lipsticks.

    As an interesting aside, I suspect lots of people wanted her lips. Even though there aren't tons of comments on this post, it is the most viewed post on my blog's entire (short) history.

  9. Interesting. I don't find her that appealing, but I know that in Britain certainly there is a lot of interest in her life and looks, the whole 'ordinary girl makes good' story still going strong this many years on from Titanic, so I wouldn't have bought this on the strength of the ad, just as I didn't buy Chanel's 'Mademoiselle' rouge coco because of Vanessa Paradis.

    Having said that, I am human so I think one actress that could influence me in that way would be Sienna Miller. I think she's beautiful.


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