CHANEL has recently added to the Les Beiges lineup with new foundations, blush shades, and finally … an eyeshadow palette. The premise behind this range is all about that ‘bonne mine/healthy glow’ effect that doesn’t involve an armada of products to achieve, thereby living up to Coco Chanel’s beliefs of liberating women from anything confining. Personally, with Summer’s heat (and humidity) upon us, I’m all about easy-peasy makeup that will not only look good but require the least amount of effort on my part to get there. Because I can be lazy like that (but still a little vain, if I’m being honest).
Anna Ewers for Les Beiges de CHANEL
Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation (CAN $70.00/each) | Housed in elegant beige square lacquered compacts, this is a revolutionary formula that has just elevated the ubiquitous ‘sponge foundation’ genre to a whole other level. This new aqua-gel formula consists of 56% water to provide skin with an immediate cooling effect upon application, reinforced by a ‘hygroscopic and film-forming hyaluronic acid derivative that retains the moisture naturally present in the epidermis’. Another bonus is the addition of kalanchoe extract – a succulent plant known for its ability to adapt to harsh climates – which helps to oxygenate and thereby allow skin to breathe freely, all while adding a layer of protection. Taking things a step further, the CHANEL research team developed the Healthy Glow Booster complex which is based on a specific titanium dioxide that reflects light and thus helps to create a subtle reflection upon the skin’s surface, while Soft Focus powders added to the mineral pigment help blur away imperfections and add a translucent ‘slight rosy halo’ for a complexion that looks super healthy and sun-kissed natural.
- N°40 – light tan
- N°60 – medium tan
I am a huge fan of cushion foundations, primarily because I prefer a light coverage with my products but I also like knowing that I have the option to layer it up in key areas, if need be. That said, my first thought upon opening up these two shades was that they looked rather dark, but experience has taught me that this type of foundation always appears deeper than how it applies and usually lays down much lighter along the skin. The Gel Touch Foundation is no exception to that rule, although as seen in the swatches below, N°60 leans a bit deep on me at the moment, but I suspect it will be absolutely perfect once my face has more of a tan. I played with both the included flat velvety sponge and the Retractible Foundation Brush for application, and each work beautifully; the sponge provides more of an airbrushed finish along the skin and can be manipulated along the planes & curves of the face with ease, while the brush with its uniquely tapered shape, is excellent for getting into every nook and cranny, leaving a smooth finish behind. Here’s where the magic happens: once applied, this texture seems to meld with the skin yet still manages to even everything out, while the finish (sort of dewy, but not as glistening) only seems to become better with the wearing, staying put without creasing or oxidizing until removed. It must be mentioned that as with most CHANEL products, this foundation bears the brand’s signature rose scent, and while noticeable at first, it does seem to quickly fade away. PS: shade N°40 seems to be my match at the moment seeing as how I do have slight colour on my face, although I’m usually a N°30 with most other CHANEL foundations.
I was curious to see how other Les Beiges foundations I currently own would compare to the new Gel Touch range, and apart from the fact that none of the shades are duplicated (with the possible exception of Healthy Glow Foundation N°50 that leans close to Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation N°60), the finish with each varies as well. As seen above, the new Gel Touch Foundation appears less reflective but not flat — more skin-like, if you will. Note that all have been applied heavily without any blending out.
Retractable Foundation Brush (CAN $65.00) | I am a huge fan of CHANEL’s makeup brushes and reach for them all the time, as the quality and craftsmanship is 100% there. This new brush is unique in many ways; for starters, the retractable aspect means it’s totally travel friendly and you’ll never have to worry about the actual brush becoming compromised when tossed into your makeup bag. Secondly, the kitten-soft synthetic bristles are densely packed and shaped in such a way that it makes application effortless. The centre appears almost cup-shaped and thus is able to hold more product for application to larger areas, while the tapered tip is perfect for reaching narrower and smaller parts of the face. As I haven’t cleaned it yet, I can’s speak to what that’s going to be all about, but if it’s anything like other retractible CHANEL brushes I own, I suspect it’s going to pass with flying colours. A bonus feature is that the brush retracts deeply enough into the tube that you won’t ever have to worry about any hairs getting caught in the cap which means you avoid any unnecessary kinking.
Les Beiges Healthy Glow Natural Eyeshadow Palette (CAN $70.00) | Taking the ‘radiant healthy glow’ principle behind the entire Les Beiges range and applying it to the eyes, CHANEL has now finally added eyeshadow into the lineup, and I couldn’t be happier. The shades are housed in the same beige lacquered casing as the rest of the collection, and includes 5 hues to help you create a natural look that will still work beautifully to embellish eyes. The silky ‘melt-away’ texture blends beautifully upon the skin and apart from applying these shades to eyes, you can also use them in other ways: the bottom right makes an excellent highlighter (inner eye corner, along the brow bone, cupid’s bow of the lips, and even dusted along upper cheeks), while the deeper hues may also be used along the brows. You can even amp things up by applying the shades with a dampened brush (just stick to one corner of each hue for that so you don’t compromise the entire pan), and used as liner as well. One thing to bear in mind: these are subtle and intended purposely that way, so if you’re looking for drama — keep walking. But for a more natural-looking eye, then trust me: this palette is all you’ll ever need. Or want, for that matter. STUNNING ♥ Note: Staying power (over primer) is excellent, without fading, creasing or smudging until removed.
Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick (CAN $53.00) | Blush is an absolute weakness of mine and while I often use powdered versions, the one I reach for time and again, is the Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Stick in N°21. Now, CHANEL has released 2 new shades in the range (N°24 not shown) and my heart literally skipped a beat when I saw the colour: a lush coral with ultra fine golden shimmer. Enriched with a concentration of white rose and cotton flower plant cells, calling this formula a ‘cream’ does not do it justice, as it’s so much more than that. I say that this is a super-cream, because the application defies all expectations of your run-of-the-mill cream blushes. Whether you use a densely-headed dual fibre brush or your fingers for application, the end result is the same: a natural looking flush that looks as though it’s part of the skin, as opposed to sitting at surface level. Even staying power is impressive, lasting pretty much bang-on until removed. A bonus feature is that you can also layer it up for more intensity, or applied under powder blush for extra depth. Oh, and the golden shimmer? Sublime. Note that this bears the brand’s signature rose fragrance as well, but dissipates quickly after application.
If you’ve made it down to the end of this post, then you’ve probably figured out that I truly adore every single product featured here. My ongoing love-affair with CHANEL aside, like all women, I am constantly on the hunt for that perfect foundation and I can say with all certainty that I’m sure I’ve found my Holy Grail with the new Gel Touch (until something even more innovative comes along, but still …). The only downside is that it’s not refillable so the thought of shelling out the big bucks every time I run out, stings — I’m not going to lie — but if the end result is everything I’ve been looking for, then I’ll take it. As to blushes, I sense it’s going to be a battle between N°21 and the new N°23 with regards to which one I’ll reach for more, but the beauty is that as they each bear a slightly different finish, both will get a lot of love just the same. Then there’s the eye palette; while I do love a more intense look on occasion, let’s face it: no one wants to be sitting there for 45 minutes blending out their eye makeup — especially if it’s the ‘no makeup makeup’ look you’re after. This palette takes the guesswork out of the equation, and honestly provides that your-eyes-but-better kind of effect, if that makes any sense. In other words, you need it. Hell, you probably need them all.
Available at all CHANEL beauty counters
Media samples kindly provided, all opinions are my own