CHANEL recently added a serum foundation to the Sublimage range — a product that sounds exactly like what my skin needs right now (yes, my skin ‘talks‘ to me. And since we all know that one needs to start with a proper canvas before applying makeup, what could be better than a repairing mask to get the job done? Go on … I’ll wait.
Hydra Beauty Camellia Repair Mask (CAN $85.00/50g, 1.7 oz) | Housed in a transparent acrylic jar, this mask also includes a small plastic spatula. In 1992, CHANEL began extensive research into protecting the skin barrier and discovered that the Camellia Japonica Alba Plena — this flower that was beloved of Mademoiselle Chanel and has gone on to become emblematic of the brand, also contains a plethora of ultra-hydrating ingredients that are now used in the entire Hydra Beauty range. With a balm-like texture, this repair mask contains a combination of nourishing and active ingredients to provide “360° action on hydration and the skin barrier“, including:
- Camellia Alba PFA (PolyFractioning of Active ingredients) A specific process developed by CHANEL that allows for the creation of ultra-pure cosmetic active ingredients
- Camellia Alba OFA (exclusive active ingredient, international patent application) CHANEL Research extracted an ultra-concentrated lipidic ingredient, rich in polyphenols from white camellia, which is known for its exceptional content of essential fatty acids. With its composition similar to that of the upper layer of the epidermis, it helps reinforce the integrity of the skin barrier for a visibly plumping and smoothing effect
- Camellia Wax Composed of 92% stearic acid and found naturally present in the skin’s hydrolipidic film, camellia wax is a new nourishing ingredient derived from camellia seeds. Combined with a hyaluronic acid derivative, it leaves a protective film on the face that prevents the evaporation of water and promotes a plumping effect. In parallel, it also improves the hydrating action of the Camellia Alba PFA and Camellia Alba OFA ingredients
- Panethenol, or Provitamin B5
- As with all Hydra Beauty products, this is also enriched with Blue Ginger PFA
What makes this mask unique is that with its lush creamy texture, it can be used several ways:
- As a burst of radiance: apply a generous layer of mask on the face and leave on for
10 minutes before rinsing off with warm water
- Instant cocooning: apply a thin layer of mask on the face. Leave on for
10 minutes and massage to blend in excess product. Do not rinse
- Targeted soothing action: take a small amount of product and massage gently onto dry areas of the face. This adjusted use fits perfectly into a “multi-masking” ritual, which involves the use of several masks on different areas of the face, depending on the skin’s needs
The end result is a velvety softness to the skin to go with a thoroughly nourished feel, with the added bonus of helping prep your skin for any complexion products you wish to layer on top. This effect is what I referred to above, when I spoke of preparing your “canvas” aka: your skin, because I don’t know about you, but foundation always looks so much better on hydrated skin.
Sublimage L’Essence de Teint Serum Foundation (CAN $210.00/each) | When one speaks of luxury foundation, this is hands-down what is being referred to. Housed in a glass bottle and dispensed via a pump, each also comes with its own beautifully crafted brush for application. There are 13 shades available which doesn’t exactly sound like much, but from what I can tell there’s still a good enough range to cover complexions from the fairest to very deep and as this is a ‘serum’ in texture, it has more forgiving properties with regards to colour-matching. Basically this foundation can be considered a “when skincare meets makeup” kind of deal, as it’s infused with the same hydration & anti-oxidant properties found in the Sublimage range. The texture is lightweight and won’t weigh down the skin, while “high-stability, high-fidelity” pigments are there to ensure that even after the oils and water evaporate after application, the colour stays true without any oxidation. The formula contains antioxidant Vanilla Planifolia Water, obtained by distilling green vanilla pods, to provide a natural shield against free radicals and help protect skin from external aggressors. Also in the formula is emollient Vanilla Planifolia Enfleurage Oil; this oleic infusion of dried flowers acts like an airy veil on the skin’s surface to deliver softness and comfort. With an ideal composition including plant-based glycerin and hyaluronic acid, the formula hydrates for 12 hours and provides comfort as well as making skin appear plumper. Finally, blurring & soft-focus powders are included to detract from imperfections and help in making your complexion look its optimum best.
I was sent two shades to try out and while both work on me, B30 is a perfect match (I’m usually a 30 in most CHANEL complexion products, so I was basically expecting that this one would be the best fit). Keeping an open mind, I was so totally NOT expecting how amazing this foundation would turn out to be; for starters, the included brush is phenomenal and I highly recommend using it for application. Secondly, the texture is thin but not runny, and spreads so easily along the skin without settling into fine lines or sitting at surface level. Lastly, the finish is stunning: radiant without looking greasy and so natural-looking. In fact, when I asked my daughter’s opinion, she actually couldn’t tell I had foundation on but commented on how flawless my skin looked — I call that a win.
The included brush is full sized and absolutely worth it; the dense tapered head of bristles not only helps the foundation spread evenly along the skin without overly absorbing product, but the tip is useful for getting into nooks & crannies (ie: around the nose). Seriously, this is most definitely a welcome addition to one’s beauty brush collection.
It doesn’t always have to be the ‘latest’ or ‘limited edition’ products that deserve attention, am I right? A skincare product that provides visible results is an absolute must for me, and I’m super thrilled with the positive effects I’ve experienced with this repair mask. As to the foundation, I really hoped I wouldn’t love it because of the steep price, but DAMN. This stuff is GOOOOOOOD. The only negative is that since a brush comes with each bottle, you’ll end up with several of the same brushes — I’d much rather the brush was sold separately, or a better option would be to make the foundation refillable, this way the environmental impact would be minimized. Here’s to hoping that the brand is listening …
Available at all CHANEL counters nationwide & online
Kindly provided by CHANEL for my unbiased consideration