I am definitely a 'skin' girl. Eyes, lips and cheeks all come second to having really beautiful skin, when I'm focusing on makeup. This is probably because I have never had naturally nice skin - I've always had some element of acne, pigmentation and now wrinkles on the go. And let's face it, we want what we can't have......
I also crave the 'no makeup' look because although it is possible to cover up every blemish under a tonne of makeup, the result tends to be massively ageing. I'm really not into the whole 7 layers of foundation, concealer, contouring, highlighter, bronzer Kardashian look. Not because I don't think she looks good, but because I simply don't have the time or expertise to apply all this stuff. Plus with my lifestyle (more washing the carpet than walking the red version) I would look like a bloody idiot. Lisa Eldridge gives a good explanation of how to achieve the natural look when applying foundation and concealer in order to cover spots and create a no makeup look (here) - although it does take a bit of time, which isn't always available with a screaming small person.
So the search for the perfect foundation - achieving the right balance between coverage, glow and 'natural' finish - has been a long one. Sigh.
I'm a big fan of Chanel makeup and was introduced to them when I had the makeup for my wedding done a few years ago. I currently use their Vitalumiere in no. 20 which I love but it is a very light coverage and I wanted something with a bit more oomph. I also have their CC cream which is an SPF 50 and I bought last summer. It is really thick and does the job but feels a bit too heavy and the colour is not quite right for me.
So I was very excited when I heard that Les Beiges Healthy Glow foundation was being released and the reviews I'd read so far were good. (Caroline Hirons review here).
I decided to go down the sample route pre purchase of foundation as I am one of those people who always feels obliged to buy a product once someone has applied it for me (sucker) regardless of whether I like it or not. Thankfully Chanel & Estée Lauder counters in Fenwick's gave me samples without a thought (God Bless ya).
I actually started with Estée Lauder Double Wear as my skin had massively broken out all over my chin and I needed some serious war paint to cover it. I have been wanting to try this for ages as it is the 'UK's best selling makeup' and it covers ANYTHING. However, I'd also always had my reservations as it is soooo heavy and I wanted to avoid the 'caked on' look (note there is a double wear maximum camouflage option as well which i didn't try but I suspect requires paint stripper to remove).
I was matched as 2N1 'desert beige' which was a reasonable colour for my skin, although maybe slightly dark. I used it sparingly and was impressed by the excellent coverage of the red, angry welts on my chin. It gave a nice look initially but after about an hour I did think I looked a bit dull and there was no glow to my skin. Overall I would say it was an excellent concealer and would use it for that rather than an all over makeup. I have actually tried the double wear concealer which I don't like as much. Weird, I know! A good one to have in the makeup kit although probably not something I am going to rush out and buy. Available here at £30 a pop.
So, on to the main event - Les beiges. I put this over the Chanel micro hydra beauty serum which I really like but probably wouldn't repurchase as cheaper products do a similar job.
It is a nice creamy texture and definitely thicker than the Vitalumiere. The colour was also a good match for my skin although initially I thought it looked slightly too light. I applied with fingers and waited for the magic to happen - I.e for me to become Giselle, who is fronting their campaign. When this transformation failed to materialise I was a bit miffed. And a bit underwhelmed. My skin looked OK but not significantly different to using the vitalumiere. I also has to go in with a bit of the double wear on my chin as it was so red (and this covered it really well).
So after a disappointing start I was a bit underwhelmed. But when I looked at my skin a bit later on the way to work it did just look "good". Really good actually. Very natural and soft but with a decent amount of coverage. It also looked good a few hours later...... and that afternoon.....and later that evening.....you get the drift. It lasted really well and importantly no caking under the eye.
There wasn't a massive amount of 'glow' going on (not as much as the Vitalumiere) but certainly a kind of healthy radiance - exactly like they said. I read that if you want a real glow you should buy the shade lighter. Personally I'm just going to chuck my Laura Mercier Radiance Primer on underneath and see if that boosts things a bit.
I have to say I do really like this. There are a couple of other foundations I want to try (Makeup Forever HD, YSL Touché Eclat Foundation,Charlotte Tillbury Magic Foundation) but I suspect I will end up going back and buying this. £36 for a magic pot (here) and well worth the price. x