After spending much time and money on improving my skin, I've decided that, although things have improved in the clarity, tone, and elasticity department, I still could use a bit more coverage than my favorite favorite beloved tinted moisturizer (chanticaille's just skin) can offer. I really can't say enough about that stuff, except that it's only SPF 15. And it's very very expensive for a TM. So off I went to the Chanel counter, naturally. The blogosphere has been abuzz for a while now about the vitalumier line and Les Beiges. I couldn't wait to try them, I even braved the xmas rush. I had my heart set on the Vitalumier creme compact for a base. The texture is heaven, it's moisturizing...the color selection, like too many of chanel's face makeup offerings, is horrible. So was the help. I picked up the lightest shade, it was too yellow. So I asked the salesgirl for the tester of beige rose. "I have red undertones," I explained. "You might not want to highlight that," was her reply. Thanks chanel girl! The point is I want the makeup to match my skintone...that is base 101 stuff. She insisted the lighter, yellower color would neutralize the redness. It didn't, of course. It just gave me a yellow cast and made me look like an alcoholic. I ignored her and continued with my experimentation. I did get my hands on the 22 (beige rose) but it was too orange. Disaster. I was so disappointed. I was very close to giving up on Chanel, I don't think I've ever seen such horrible color selections from any makeup brand, high or low end. Not to mention quality control on the sales consultants. It really does compromise a brand's credibility when I run into uneducated, pretentious, and dead-wrong consultants. I suddenly feel like the brand is trying to put one over on me and that I'm smarter than that. Anyway, in terms of bad color from Chanel, check out the Vitalumier Moisture-Rich Radience liquid in 007, i saw this online (the color on line is really really light, see Nordstrom's photo) and thought "perfect!" - an off-white shade, that is usually what ends up working for me. In the real world though, it's yellow, and darker than most of the 20's shades in the other foundation formulations. I wish I could do a side-by-side, it's grossly misleading. Why does Chanel think everyone is dark orange or dark yellow?
The diamond in the rough for me was Perfection Lumiere in shade 12 (beige rose). It took three trips to two different chanel counters to discover this little bottle of heaven, but perfection it is. Great formula, even application, I don't end up with little dots of color over my pores like with SO many foundations (Chanticaille's just skin is the only other formulation that doesn't do this, just sayin.' Even the Guerlain had to go back.). The only thing wrong is that it does contain alcohol. Not sure how I feel about that. It's the seventh ingredient, I think I can overlook it. My trusty Smashbox HD 15-hour makeup doesn't have alcohol, but Guerlain foundations do. Not sure of the insistance on this horrible ingredient, I think it helps the formula stay fluid, maintain a longer shelf life, and then dry matte. Alcohol is the number one reason I didn't even try vitalumier aqua ultra-light - it's the THIRD ingredient. And it's one of the most popular face bases around. Any comments on this from anyone?
Anyway, in terms of application, I use my bobbi brown foundation brush for the perfection lumiere and found my holy grail of powder foundation brushes in BareMinerals Precision Face Brush. It's amazing. I use it for the Les Beiges on days when I just need a light, quick, cover (hello weekends!) and the combo is magic. Les Beiges covers better than most TMs and leaves a just-shy-of-luminescent glow. That is to say there is no detectible glitter but my face still seems reflective and glowing after applying it to bare, moisturized skin. I love it. This might be a double-buy...that is one for home, one for the makeup bag.
But I'm serious about this precision face brush. I've tried others including the Shiseido perfect foundation brush, Bare Minerals is king here and I am NOT into their products, this just happened to stick out. I love the brush so much I bought the retractable one to keep in my bag for touch ups. I'm thinking of returning my Chanel powder brush cause you won't need another powder brush after you try the BM precision.