Sunday, September 25, 2011

Finding My Chanel Perfection Lumière Shade (swatches, first thoughts)

Chanel has launched a new foundation called Perfection Lumière. The shade names take after last Spring's Vitalumière Aqua although the number system used is a little different and might be a little confusing. I didn't have time to have the Chanel associate put the foundation on me but she indulged me with a few samples of shades that may work. I could wear B20 or BR20 in Vitalumière Aqua. I have both yellow and pink undertones but they're on various parts of my face so I really wouldn't call myself a neutral. My impulse is always to go for the yellow over the pink. However, she did warn me that Perfection Lumière oxidizes and thus dries darker than when first applied. We shall see!

The sample packets look like this. My best candidate is 20 Beige but I asked for 22 (for undertone comparison) and 30, because I wasn't sure if I'd tanned a bit over the summer. The rest of the colors were samples in the latest issue of Allure magazine. I had emptied the packets into the little pots that I received from Nordstrom and set them side by side for comparison.

Top row: Beige Rose 22 and 32
Bottom Row: Beige 20, 30 and 60

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Swatches

I feel that the swatches are more representative of what the colors really look like. I have also swatched the group with other foundations that I use and what I've noticed is that Perfection Lumière has very strong undertones that point in one direction. It's either quite yellow or rather pink. My first impression is that if your undertone is that clearly defined, you will find a match more easily.

From left: Laura Mercier Silk Creme in Beige Ivory, Guerlain Parure Gold in 02 Beige Clair, Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in B20
The group on the right is Chanel Perfection Lumière shades 20, 22, 30, 32 and 60

I wore the Beige 20 sample yesterday and I used literally one dip of the brush into the pot for my entire face. I was satisfied with the seamless match (and actually thought it looked better than Vitalumière Aqua in B20) and the coverage. I feel that it offers more coverage than Vitalumière Aqua and thus gives you a more flawless appearance with less product. It's supposed to give light to medium coverage. I guess I agree with that. As far as first impressions go, I thought it looked very nice. I set it with the Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder. I probably didn't need to but I find that blush applies kind of splotchy if I don't so I did so anyway. It stayed on perfectly for my 9 hour day. It dries down relatively matte but even as I set it with loose powder, I've noticed that it lets shine through in roughly about an hour and a half. To an extent, that makes it look more natural than if it was just matte all the time but I did feel the need to blot with powder about 3 times during the day.

My second day experience was a little bit better as far as the shine goes. I switched to a lighter moisturizer to wear underneath it and I set it with Shiseido The Makeup Powdery Foundation SPF 15. If you get oily, maybe a mattifying lotion will keep the shine at bay. I think switching up my moisturizer and powder worked well. It looked natural and glowy, as opposed to just shiny, even after 5 hours. I used the Beige Rose 22 sample and it was little pink for my taste. I think Beige 20 was definitely the better match.

On day 3, I tried Beige 30 and while it wasn't that much darker than Beige 20, I decided that Beige 20 was the best match. I don't think that I need to bother with Beige Rose 32, although I might, just to be sure. I still like the way it applies and how little of it I need to get the coverage I want. This time, I set it with the DiorSkin Forever Wear-Extending Invisible Retouch Powder which is a touch up powder that I've noticed works wonderfully as a setting powder as well. I had a much shorter day and didn't need to retouch at all.

At this point, I think I'm going to end up buying myself  bottle of this foundation. I'll update with more comments after I use it more extensively. If I decide to plunge, I'll post the review soonest.

UPDATE 2/7/12: Read my complete review for the Chanel Perfection Lumière Long Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup SPF 10. Click here.


  1. hi there. I have recently purchased a bottle of the perfection lumiere beige rose 22. It was a great match but I felt it was too "natural" for a going out look so I am currently samplying beige 20. I am looking for a more "make up" look for my nights out so I decided to go with the yellow based range or should I go with beige rose 32 instead and keep within the pink tone for my skin? thoughts anyone ? thanks :)

    1. I'm not entirely sure what kind of foundation you're looking for but here's what I think. It might not be a matter of using a different shade to look more made up. You might be looking for heavier coverage, which is what I associate with that very flawless finish desired for formal affairs and nights out. Because I tend to use the sheerer Vitalumiere Aqua as an everyday foundation, I feel more made up in Perfection Lumiere. If Perfection Lumiere looks natural on you, you could try layering it with another product such as foundation powder instead of loose or Guerlain Meteorites. I sometimes find that changing the method of application changes the way the foundation looks as well. Using an Hourglass foundation brush gives my foundation a heavier finish compared to using the Shiseido Foundation brush, for instance. The bottomline for me is, it's not in the shade. Pick the perfect shade for you. 32 is darker than 22 and both have rosy undertones. 20 is more yellow-toned but I feel it looks lighter than 22. I could wear both but certainly not 32 as it is simply too off. Hope that helps.

  2. sooo happy i found this post although i'm a little late. i only own one foundation (chanel vitalumiere aqua b20) and went to the chanel counter yesterday since my skin has been so dry and dehydrated. the SA was so unpleasant. like you, i'm medium w/ pink/yellow undertones and she was pushing me to go for beige rose 22, which i thought was too pink for my taste (i tend to go towards yellow too). anyways, i left with nothing, but thanks to this - i'll go to nordstrom next time around and get the b20. thank you! i'll be back and often.

    1. Hey Susan! Maybe try to get a generous sample first? Perfection Lumiere can be a little drying on my skin in the long run. I have to make sure the skin underneath is very well-hydrated for this to look good all day. B20 is very yellow too. I wear it occasionally and it looks good in pictures but because you've been mentioning a little dryness, I thought I'd let you know that this made me feel a little dry.

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