Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour powders have finally arrived in the US ($57.50 for 12 g/0.42 oz). There are seven shades available in the powder. Each come encased in a black pouch and a beige colored square compact. The Les Beiges Powders come with a half-moon domed-shaped brush, but there is also a separate Les Beiges Retractable Kabuki Brush ($70) that has been released as well specifically for use with the Les Beiges powders. The compacts for Les Beiges are the same size as the now discontinued Poudre Douce, but with slightly less product. I was able to preview and test Les Beiges last month at a Chanel event. The artist used the shade in N° 20 all over as a soft finishing powder over the Vitalumière Aqua Compact Foundation in B30 (a full coverage foundation), then used N° 40 as a face contouring powder to add definition. The result was a flawless glow.
The Les Beiges powders are very finely milled powders with a sheer translucent finish. The colors I picked out have a subtle glow in the compact but the shimmer is not really visible on the skin except for N° 30 which has visible glow particles (at least on me). There are a number of ways to use these powders. My local Chanel counter had some useful sheets to explain how the powders are meant to be used. You can enhance the skin by using as a setting powder. Add a glow with a color that is one shade darker. Or use as a bronzer with an even darker shade by layering.
More ideas on how to use the powders:
The colors I picked: N° 20, 30 and 40
Each color side by side:
Since each color is very sheer, I tried to do a heavy swipe to show the color.
Swatched with a brush with a heavy hand:
Comparisons to come in the next post, but for now I'll share my thoughts on how these powders performed. I've tested these several ways over the past few days. Overall these are very sheer even when buffed heavily into the skin. I've tested with several different brushes that Chanel recommended. Each brush will give a slightly different effect although no matter how you use these shades, the result is a similar soft glow. The Les Beiges create the same soft sheer effect as a loose setting powder but in pressed form.
The recommended brushes (and thoughts below). Les Beiges Retractable Kabuki Brush, Touch-Up Brush and the Half Moon Brush that comes with the Les Beiges powders.
Uses/methods tried and thoughts on the shades:
1) Dusted over a full coverage foundation with the Retractable Kabuki or Touch Up Brush creates the best effect for me. There is a big gap between N° 20 and 30 and unfortunately I fall in that range. If I could only pick one, right now the N° 20 works best for me when dusted lightly over foundation. I've found mixing both N° 20 + 30 gives the best color finish even though the powders are sheer.
2) Buffed over a sheer foundation or tinted moisturizer needs a denser brush like the Retractable Kabuki. My skin is not good enough to just wear a sheer tinted moisturizer and sheer powder. I need something with more coverage. Dipping the brush into the powder and buffing the color into the skin helps create a heavier coverage but it's still a bit too sheer for my taste.
3) Buffed over bare but moisturized skin (like in Lisa Eldridge's video). I tried this over Chanel Le Jour de Chanel mixed with a bit of Chanel Sublimage Le Fluide (small sample). I used the same buffing method that Lisa demonstrated. This would work best with those who have near flawless skin. This method did give a lovely sheer glow with soft coverage however my skin isn't in the best condition right now and in need of something with more pigment. If you have any imperfections you need to hide this method won't cover them.
4) Used as a dark contour with the darker shades. N° 30 isn't dark enough for me to use as a contour, but anything darker like N° 40 work perfectly. There's enough warmth in these to look natural on the skin but not too much brown so that these look like a bronzer (at least on me). N° 30 does work to add warmth by dusting it over the cheeks and temples but in a very subtle way.
5) Used as a touch-up powder with the half moon brush. I will probably need to test this more, but I found that the half moon brush did not pick up enough color to do much of anything. It's made well with high quality bristles and cut for a compact, but the bristles are not dense enough for me to pick up much color to deposit on the face. If you've had luck trying it I'd love to hear about your experiences.
Overall the Les Beiges act as a good setting powder if you want a sheer soft finish (emphasis on the sheer). It has less coverage but a more matte finish compared to the Poudre Douce (discontinued). I'll have a separate post with more details on how it compares to other powders from Chanel. In general with the Les Beiges I found the biggest downside to be the color selection. There are gaps in the middle shade range where I think many women fall (like myself). I tried N° 20 in the evening and photographed with a flash and it did leave a white cast. I haven't photographed N°20+30 or N°30 alone with a flash so it could just be that N° 20 is a tad too pale for me as it is. I do think these are good high quality powders with a decent price of $57.50. If you are one who prefers heavier coverage then using this as a setting powder might not be the best option for you. You can still get a good finish when buffed over a fuller-coverage foundation but again, these powders are very sheer.
Les Beiges powders should be at all Chanel counters now. I found mine in store at Nordstrom. You can also find on Nordstrom.com, Chanel.com, Neimanmarcus.com and Bloomingdales.com.