I'm glad to finally get the chance to sit down and write this review. Chanel's Perfection Lumière Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Foundation made a really good impression on me when I tested it out 6 months ago, after the launch. Finding my shade was a painless process (to read about this, click here) as I ended up with the same shade that I wear in the Vitalumière Aqua Foundation that was released in the spring. A lot of my initial thoughts about the foundation continue to hold true although with east coast weather changes, I learned more about the appropriate times to wear this foundation and when it may not be the best option.
First up, color. This foundation comes in 20 shades in varying undertones. That in itself should make it more accessible to a wider variety of skin tones. Beige 20 has a mildly darker color when it dries and although it's more yellow-toned than the Vitalumière Aqua in B20 (look at the comparison picture in my previous post), I feel that I can wear it just as well. The foundation sets reasonably quickly so blend it out at once. It does not change color throughout the day. If you're trying it out in the store, give it a about an hour to react with your skin so you'll see what the shade really looks like or just ask to take home a sample.
Coverage is mild to medium and the SPF is really low. This doesn't factor much in pictures (no white cast). It has more coverage than Vitalumière Aqua but it's not a mask. You can build on spots that require more coverage or leave on the lightest coat for a more natural finish. As far as that goes, the finish is more of a semi-matte. It's matte enough that you could get away without setting powder. However, I've found that as the months wore on and the weather got colder, this foundation was drying. I got this very early in the fall and I remember even complaining that it made me shiny in less than two hours. And not that I haven't been moisturizing to death since winter set in. It's just that if I'm going to use Perfection Lumière, I need to slap on even more moisturizer or it looks dry in spots. Dry like, if I smile, it emphasizes laugh lines that I didn't even think were that bad. At first, I thought it was my imagination. A later consultation with one Chanel associate confirmed my thoughts. She had the same issue with it. I was advised to add a layer of Hydramax + Active Nourishing Cream for Dry Skin on the dryer parts of my face before using Perfection Lumiere and that seemed to solve the issue. But I'll say, that's a lot of moisturizer!
If you don't find the semi-matte finish the peak of hotness, a nice pick me up for the winter would be to mix in a luminizer. I use two pumps of Perfection Lumière with a tiny pea-sized drop of a highlighting fluid and carefully mix the two on the back of my hand. I tend to not use that much foundation on a regular basis so there will be about half this concoction left over but I would rather mix extra on my hand than have to go back in with another batch. Another way to go about it would be to use an illuminating primer before putting on Perfection Lumière. I'd go easy in warmer weather and in the daytime but the added luminosity looks pretty at night.
Overall, I think Chanel has made a very nice foundation in an impressive array of shades. I like it enough to keep the bottle I've purchased but still prefer Vitalumière Aqua for everyday. I'm not one to need a tremendous amount of coverage for daily use and I like the dewiness of Vitalumière Aqua over the semi-matte look of Perfection Lumière. If that's your game, if it's worth a try.