Zelens developed by Dr Marko Lens, an internationally renowned authority in the field of skin aging, skin cancer and for his excellent skincare products. His deep knowledge of skincare also includes the study of traditional Japanese Kampo medicine. Whilst his skincare has been widely raved and approved by many skincare authorities (likes of Caroline Hirons), his makeup is lesser known and reviewed. So, recently I was gifted one of his foundations to try, by Calissa (one of brand’s online stockist). Without further ado, diving straight into it:
The foundation itself is packaged in standard Zelens skincare packaging, slim tall frosted glass bottle with a pump. Reminds me a little of Chanel-esque packaging with frosted glass so feels tad luxe. Pump action is effortless and dispenses just right. Now bear in mind I’m not a heavy or full coverage foundation wearer so one pump or one and half pump is more than sufficient for my face and neck. Good control over pump action too, where I can dispense half a pump.
Onto the formulation, typically I wouldn’t delve into foundation formulation but given this is from a skincare whizz, it needs to be talked about. Some ingredients that have been given special mention in the formulation and why they’re special:
- Uyaku – a natural molecule extracted from the Japanese evergreen spicebush – this unique ingredient helps synchronise circadian rhythms, which are easily upset by ageing, stress and seasonal transitions. In the afternoon and evening, these molecules stimulate protection, cell division and DNA repair, whilst late at night and early in the morning they encourage cell renewal, so skin quickly becomes clearer, brighter and more even with increased elasticity and strength.
- Sesame protein has an instant ‘tightening’ effect, Hyaluronic acid plumps and hydrates, Shiso leaf provides protection from the elements, Vegetable polyglycerides exhibit exceptional skin conditioning benefits, Cutting-edge diamond spheres then work to convert invisible UV light to blue light (photo-luminescence), creating a flattering, soft focus effect and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, shadows and discolouration, for skin that looks younger and exudes an enviable vitality.
Inci List – Aqua (Water), Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dextrin Palmitate, Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides, Hyaluronic Acid, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Lindera Strychnifolia Root Extract (Uyaku), Hydrolyzed Pearl, Perilla Frutescens Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silanetriol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Polyethylene, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Sodium Chloride, Boron Nitride, Glycerin, Silica, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Carbonate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Pectin, Xanthan Gum, PVP, Parfum (Fragrance), Sorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Linalool, [+/- (May Contain) CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides)].
Onto the texture and feel, it smells very similar to their Z Luminous Brightening Serum, which is pleasant and much like french skincare. I can’t seem to specifically pinpoint any fragrance notes in the serum. The texture itself is like serum cream but with foundation pigment. I apply with fingers and effortlessly blends and settles in skin. I’ve tried with brush too, but I feel with such expensive product, the brush absorbs tad much. Unlike mainstream foundations, I really don’t feel this one warrants buffing in with a brush. Perfect for someone like me, “finger slap dash application” method (very technical).
The finish is light to sheer coverage, you’d definitely need concealer for dark circles or any spots you’d want to cover. Personally I prefer this method, as it lets my skin, just be skin, let it breathe and pack on coverage only where I need. Plus it looks incredibly natural in broad daylight or even in the judgy office lights. The dewy finish is my preferred finish however if set with powder it can be matte finish too (which sets well). For me, this has been my go to perfect everyday foundation, as it wears particularly well over sunscreen too. It wore well through the day with and without a primer but I always have some kinda moisturizer or primer on my skin (any makeup just performs better). Skin appears plump and not like prune by the end of day. Perhaps that can be attributed to some of glorious inci inclusions too.
After my endless gushing, one would question what’s not so good? Well a very limited shade range (all of five shades, of which predominantly focused on fairer paler skins, more pinkish undertones, no availability for warm undertones, could possibly fit in shade called Tan (haven’t tried that) but not nearly adequate. In doing so, eliminated a large demographic. Also trying before buying is very tricky as samples and swatches are mainly online (depending on your location, unless you have a SpaceNK near you). In addition, very limited accessibility. And the biggest downside, the exorbitant price tag (£62.00 for 30ml) Zelens Foundation comes with….. brings a tear to my eye. Whereas Chanel Vitalumiere is £40.00 for 30ml, so you see the tear is justifiable.
All in all, this is an excellent foundation and I personally would purchase it however, there is no hiding from the fact that it is indulgence at its finest. I cannot see anyone ‘needing’ this foundation as similar finishes can also be achieved with more inexpensive options. So stalking for some deals or sales is worth the wait on this one.
Next up is the Extreme Velvet Lipstick in Nude Pink. Claims to be “a moisturising highly-
pigmented lipstick infused with a unique blend of active ingredients providing treatment benefits. Helps to plump lip volume, reshape contours, reduce the appearance of vertical lines and restore suppleness. Delivers rich long-wearing colour with a velvety, soft matte finish.”
Well this is a tricky one, this is a lipstick and works and functions like a lipstick! I haven’t noticed any reshaping contours, reduction in appearance of lines. Yes it is smooth application, properly pigmented with just one swipe. Feels velvety on lips, and stays put. Doesn’t creep into fine lines around crevices of my mouth and stays put nicely. The shade I have here is Nude Pink and on my pigmented lips appears more cooler toned pink than warm beigey nude pink. I guess one could say, the line overall is catered to more fairer, cooler toned population. Not saying it cannot work for medium toned folks, but not an instant match. The beautiful thing is this works wonderfully as cream blush too, blends effortlessly and nice stain on cheeks.
Overall, I would still think Zelens first and foremost for skincare but wouldn’t entirely discount the skin and base products. Of course at a price of indulgence.
** Products Gifted by Calissa