My love for CHANEL is no secret, and if forced to pick a favourite range from the brand, than that award definitely goes to Les Beiges. The 2020 collection has launched in full on the US website, but sadly here in Canada only this one piece has trickled in. Thankfully, my husband scooped it up in time to gift it to me on our recent 30th Anniversary! The man knows me very, very well …
Les Beiges 390 Soleil Tan Bronze Universel (CAN $60.00) |Basically, this is a cream bronzer housed in a large flat acrylic jar. Similar in look to the original Soleil Tan de CHANEL (more on that later on), this version comes with beige exterior packaging and beige double C’s on the outer lid. The protective inner plastic lid should not be thrown away, as it preserves the integrity of the product and may help to keep it from drying out. The surface of the cream bears a raised swirled pattern (so yummy-looking, am I right? lol) while the crème-gel texture feels featherweight and comes to a velvety finish, providing a “natural sun-kissed glow“. The generous width of the jar opening means you can swirl a variety of brushes along its surface with ease; a smaller kabuki brush is perfect to target specific areas such as the bridge of the nose, forehead, temples and chin, while a larger brush (ie: dense bevelled foundation brush) makes it easy to buff the bronzer into larger areas of the face (cheeks, jawline, neck). Apart from bronzer duty, you can even use this cream to contour, or even as eyeshadow — the latter is a great tip for tying in a summery makeup look.
The original Soleil Tan de CHANEL has now been discontinued and effectively replaced by the new Les Beiges Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream. The net weight is the same as is the jar it comes in, the difference being that the colour of the outer packaging as well as the double C’s on the lid (previously they came in gold). The spiral design of the cream in the new version is more pronounced than the original, although it’s hard to tell here since my original Soleil de Tan has had quite a bit of wear — but I definitely remember how it looked when new. The colour is similar, but I’d have to say that the Les Beiges is a touch more vivid and bears a slight apricot tinge. Texture-wise, the original is slightly stiffer, but that may also be because mine is several years old now. The application is more or less the same; that said, I find the new version actually easier to spread along the skin and the finish much more realistic and natural-looking. The other main difference between the two is that the original has a matte finish as compared to the slightly more luminous finish of the 2020 version (think: slight radiance, and not glow). Lastly, even the fragrance is quite close, although the Les Beiges seems to be a touch fruitier — at least, to my nose.
A comparison shot of the ingredients list: as can be clearly seen, there are several differences with the primary one being the addition of hydrogenated coconut oil (second ingredient). I have no issue with using this form of coconut oil on my face but I understand that others may have a sensitivity to it. Personally, I trust that CHANEL has not only done extensive and thorough R&D, but has selected the best grade of this ingredient to include. Regardless, it’s something to keep in mind if you’ve had adverse reactions to this ingredient in the past.
As can clearly be seen in the above swatches, the Les Beiges version appears to not only be a few degrees lighter in tone once applied to the skin, but not as pigmented either. I feel that this difference now means that it will be easier to build up the intensity of the bronzer, as well as making it suitable even for fair complexions — an issue with the original format which was too dark/tan for paler skin tones.
There was quite a bit of chatter online when this bronzer launched, with some people stating they absolutely loved it, while others were lamenting the fact that the original had been altered. I decided to wait until I tried it for myself before voicing an opinion and it turns out that I totally LOVE it. Then again, I’m fortunate that I have both versions to play with and couldn’t be more thrilled that my husband went ahead and ordered this for me. In light of the current situation, this may well turn out to be as close to a summer tan as I’ll get.