Hello! Today I'm posting my review and swatches of Chanel Perfection Lumiere foundation in the shade Beige 20 (B20). I've had Perfection Lumiere for a few weeks at least. To be honest, it was not love at first swipe. I had a small struggle trying to find the right color and felt unsure about the matte finish. However, lately I've been finding myself reaching for Perfection Lumiere quite frequently.
I'll start with some general observations. Chanel Perfection Lumiere is packaged in a frosty glass bottle with a pump. I definitely appreciate the pump, after using the shake and squirt version of Vitalumiere Aqua. The glass bottle is pretty is aesthetically appealing on my counter, however it's quite impractical for travel.
I like to apply Chanel Perfection Lumiere with my fingers. Usually I use 2-3 pumps. Like Vitalumiere Aqua, it is a relatively quick drying foundation, so I find that using fingers can apply a quicker and thinner layer. I've also tried a kabuki brush and it also works well to cover large areas quickly. A sales associate I spoke with recommended a paddle type foundation brush, however I did not have much success with that technique. It layered it on quite thickly and I did end up with a few brush lines. I think the foundation is too quick drying for good blending with a foundation brush. That said, I am not a big fan of paddle-type foundation brushes in general. The coverage is good, and most discolorations on my skin are well hidden.
The finish of the foundation is matte and a little drying. Even with moisturizer beneath, I find that Perfection Lumiere can dry my skin and accentuate small flakes. I don't bother with powder. Over the course of the day, the finish improves as some oil is absorbed into the foundation. I have combination skin, not dry skin, so this was surprising to me. Perfection Lumiere might work well for ladies with very oily skin. I will have to re-evaluate this foundation in summertime when my skin produces significantly more oil. The plus side to the matte finish / dry nature is that at the end of the day my skin looks good (if not better) than the initial application. Also, the foundation feels lightweight (as should be expected of a high end foundation).
Another important note is the smell. I think the smell is supposed to be some sort of green pear/peach sort of smell. It is definitely different from the smell of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. Initially I did get a pleasant fruity smell, however the smell would fade into something quite unpleasant. The best comparison I can provide is the smell of a dentist's office. Over more time, I find that I rarely smell the pleasant smell, and the only smell I have during application is the dentist's office smell. It initially made me gag, but I've gotten used to it (sort of) after multiple uses.
On a side note, I noticed that Perfection Lumiere was featured in the makeup section of a well known Bridal magazine. It irks me because it's well known among makeup enthusiasts that sunscreen containing foundations don't photograph well. The day of your wedding is probably the most important day to be photograph ready!
The consistency of Chanel Perfection Lumiere is a smooth liquid. It's not runny. It's not clumpy like Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. It dries reasonably quickly and does not transfer very much onto clothes. In fact, it is quite difficult to wash off. I found this out when I unsuccessfully attempted to wash the swatches off my arm with soap and water. Even makeup removing face cleansers I tried (Philosophy and Lancome) were unsuccessful. Make sure you cleanse well with a cleansing oil or makeup wipe to get everything off!
Below, I'm made comparison swatches of Chanel Perfection Lumiere and Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in shades Beige (B10) and Beige 20 (B20). The swatches are thick applications of foundations. I allowed them to dry for 10-15 minutes before photographing so that you could see the dry and oxidized color. You can see from my swatches that the comparable colors of Vitalumiere Aqua (VA) and Perfection Lumiere (PL) do not correspond. It's not really a difference in lightness or darkness; it's a difference in undertone. The differences in undertone aren't necessarily consistent in each range. Chanel PL in B20 has an orange undertone while VA in B20 has a more beige undertone. The lighter shades in B10 have almost an opposite distribution of tones. Chanel VA is more peachy, while PL has a more yellow-beige undertone. I find that while both beige and orange/peach undertones look fine on my skin, I prefer more orange/peach colors. They are more brightening. For that reason, in the shade B20 I prefer Perfection Lumiere, while in B10 I prefer Vitalumiere Aqua.
I also tried Perfection Lumiere in Beige Rose 20, since I was scared by initial reviews of the Beige tones being too "yellow". However, I find that BR20 looked almost fluorescent orange on me. The Chanel SA I spoke with told me she was wearing a BR foundation, and it looked a bit unnaturally orange on her as well (that is my personal opinion, of course). For this reason, I would recommend exercising caution when choosing between the Beige and Beige Rose ranges. From the small selection of reviews I've seen on the internet, it seems that most people end up in the Beige range.
There are a number of great reviews of Chanel Perfection Lumiere out there. I've sorted the ones I've seen below by shade:
- Beige 20 (B20) - Me! and my e-twin Larie of Eye Heart It
- Beige 30 (B30) - Beauty Vigilante, Front Row Beauty, Beauty look book, Product girl
- Beige Ambre 44 (BA44) - Former Girl at Bar
- General swatches - Cafe Makeup, Karlasugar
Overall, I'm pleased with Chanel Perfection Lumiere. I find myself reaching for this foundation very often for everyday use. It's easy to use, has good coverage, and PL B20 is a good match for me at the moment. The fact that it doesn't transfer to easily onto clothes is good during winter when I'm all bundled up with sweaters, hats, and scarves potentially touching my face. I wouldn't call it an all-around holy grail type foundation because of weaknesses in smell, photography, and ability to accentuate dryness. I don't think this is the foundation for a one-foundation type of gal, especially considering the price. However, if you are a foundation connoisseur, it is worth a try.
Thanks for reading! Have you also tried Perfection Lumiere? How are the different shades working for you?