Showing posts with label Foundation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Foundation. Show all posts

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet | Smooth-Effect Makeup

Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet ($45 for 30 ml/1 fl oz) is the latest foundation formula from Chanel. It's described as a lightweight, oil-free fluid foundation that provides a long-lasting matte-velvet finish. It has what Chanel calls "soft-focus pigments" which smooth and perfect the skin for a flawless look that lasts all day. It comes in a sleek black bottle. I was matched to 30 Beige (I'm usually either a 20 Beige or 30 Beige for Chanel). According to the Chanel rep I spoke with at Nordstrom the new Perfection Lumière Velvet is going to replace the Mat Lumière.

The Perfection Lumière Velvet is indeed a lightweight foundation with medium coverage. It has enough pigment to even out the skin but not quite as full coverage as the regular Perfection Lumière. This new velvet formula is designed for those normal to oily skin.

At the counter the Chanel artist prepped my skin by cleaning first with the Creamy Cleansing Milk and then followed with the Hydra Beauty Creme. She tested 20 and 30 on my skin. We decided to go with 30 which was a perfect match. She applied the Perfection Lumière Velvet with the foundation brush and then finished with a light dusting of Les Beiges in No. 20 to set. I loved how the foundation blended on the skin with a smooth no-makeup feel. The Perfection Lumière Velvet adheres well to the skin but still lets it breathe. On my normal/combination this lasted all day long and the smooth velvety finish remained the same from the time it was applied well into the late evening. I like that it's not a full-matte finish which prevents it from looking too flat.

Chanel had some amazing matte foundations back in the early 2000's which they discontinued and replaced with Mat Lumiere (which I hated, I found it did not blend well and caked a bit on my skin). I've since tried to find a good matte-finish replacement, the closest is By Terry's Hyaluronic Face Glow but it still doesn't have the same velvety finish as the older Chanels. This new Perfection Lumière Velvet is a must- have foundation for those looking for a long-lasting natural makeup with a slight matte finish. I find it has been released at the perfect time of year as we start getting warmer weather. The color stays put on the skin without oxidizing. Below you can see how well it blends into the skin and evens out the texture:

I've been using this over a number of moisturizers, I like it right now over Le Jour de Chanel and set with the Les Beiges powder.

Here are some swatches for comparisons: By Terry Hyaluronic Face Glow No 2, By Terry Cover-Expert in 9 Honey Beige, Tom Ford Foundation Stick Bisque 04 (review here), Chanel Vitalumière Aqua in B20 and B30, Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet 30 Beige, Chanel Perfection Lumière 30 Beige, NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland.

In terms of formula comparisons to the new Perfection Lumière Velvet to other Chanel foundations:
  • Chanel Vitalumière Aqua is sheerer and more lightweight in color. The new Perfection Lumière Velvet goes on smoother onto the skin and also is more fluid in texture. I found it much easier to squeeze out of the tube.
  • Chanel Perfection Lumière is heavier in texture and has more full coverage, I find the Velvet version to work better with my skin, the Regular version was a bit too heavy for me.
Packaging comparisons:

I've been testing this for a week and I've been really pleased with the results. I've always been a huge fan of Chanel foundations (except for a couple formulas) and I highly recommend you check out the Perfection Lumière Velvet foundation. I've had no issues with breakouts or clogged pores with this formula. It blends well, lasts all day and doesn't change color. The velvety finish is natural but still matte-looking.

The new Perfection Lumière Velvet foundations should be at all counters now. Check out Natural N Chic Makeup for swatches of all shades. I purchased mine at Nordstrom. It's also available at Bloomingdales, Saks and

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick | Bisque 04 and Natural 05

Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Sticks ($78 each for .5 oz/15g) are a twist up cream foundation that comes in twelve different shades. I've been using this for over a year in Natural 05 and more recently Bisque 04. For me, this is an exceptional product. I tested this on three different occasions at the Tom Ford counters before deciding to purchase. Each time I had the Traceless Foundation Stick on one half of my face with the Traceless Foundation (liquid) on the other. I worked with a few different artists. I asked if they could pick only one which one would they recommend and all of them recommended the stick.

The Traceless Foundation Sticks are a medium to full coverage foundation. It is a creamy kind of stick but blends out to a flawless streakless coverage. The Tom Ford Cream Foundation Blush is amazing with this in that it buffs out the foundation to a perfect finish without any visible streaks. For me anytime I use a foundation brush I end up having to blend a little with a sponge to erase any streaks or lines. The brush + foundation is really phenomenal and worth every penny. It's on the more emollient side but a little goes a long way and it blends out to a perfect finish for my normal/combination skin. I even like to use it under the eyes as an alternate to concealer. It is a bit too emollient to use as a regular concealer but the coverage can be layered to have a similar effect.

Natural 05 is a lighter color than Bisque 04. Both are neutrals with Natural being a bit more olive/yellow. Natural used to be a perfect match but I got a bit of a tan so the artists matched me to the next darkest shade which is Bisque 04. I'm usually the 3rd or 4th color in foundation lines: Chanel B30/NARS Groenland. It's been over a decade since I've used a MAC foundation (they don't work well with my skin), but I've typically been in between NC30 and NC35. (See all shades swatched at The Beauty Professor.)


I use the foundation stick two ways. One is all over the face mixing both Natural 05 and Bisque 04 together. Sometimes I use the darker color Bisque in the center of my face and blend outwards and use Natural around the edges and blend inwards. Other times I just mix the two and blend. On good skin days I use a tinted moisturizer and then the foundation stick for extra coverage in certain spots.

Here are swatch comparisons to other foundations I have in rotation. Note that a couple of the shades are too light for me now but I still had some left over since I went to the next shade up.

Left to right: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B20 and B30, Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick in Bisque and Natural, Chanel Perfection Lumiere 30 Beige, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Compact 30 Beige, NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Groenland.

Indoor lighting without flash:

Outdoors at dusk, with flash:

Overall I find the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Sticks to be a workhorse staple in my weekly beauty routine. If I were to compare this to other foundations I've tried, most foundation sticks I've tested during makeovers and at the counter left me feeling extremely greasy and oily after a few hours. The Tom Ford lasts longer without getting greasy. I would say it's similar to the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Compact but works better for my skin with a flawless finish, more controllable coverage. For me I cannot wear the Chanel compact foundation for more than two days in a row because it breaks out my skin.

This is extremely pricey but a little bit goes a very long way. I've been using the Natural 05 for over a year and have not used it up with regular use. Comparing the two Tom Ford foundations, I found the stick to have more coverage and be less dewy once blended. I still really liked the liquid and may eventually purchase once I've used up my other liquid foundations (probably not for a while).

If you've tried Tom Ford foundations - what did you think? If you can share what shades you use to help other readers who can't get to a counter pick out their match I'm sure everyone would be incredibly grateful for your input and advice.

You can find the Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick for $78 each at Tom Ford Beauty counters. Online at Saks, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Edward Bess Black Sea Mousse Foundation with Brush - Light 02 and Medium 03

Press Sample        

Edward Bess fans like myself were ecstatic to learn he had his first debut on QVC this past Friday on the Lisa Robertson Show where he launched his new Black Sea Mousse Foundation with Expert Blending Brush (exclusive to I caught the end of his appearance on TV Friday night and by that time, Fair and Light had already sold out. Edward was kind enough to send me samples to try and I was beyond thrilled. Some product information along with my testing experience, thoughts on the formula and color selection.

The Black Sea Mousse Foundation is a breakthrough mousse foundation formulated with anti-aging ingredients inspired by the Black Sea to help reduce the appearance of the visible signs of aging. It has an innovative air-whipped mousse texture that floats on the skin for the feel of wearing no makeup at all, while still providing full coverage with its pigment-rich formula for a flawless complexion in an instant. QVC set comes in five shades, Fair, Light Medium, Tan and Deep (1.5 oz) with the Expert Blending Foundation Brush (prices online at QVC subject to change). In case you missed the segment, you can watch the Video online (click below, models are wearing Light and Medium, Edward demonstrated application of Fair):

I've been lucky to have really good experiences with his Compact Foundation (I use Beige) and his new Complexion Cream (I use Medium, reviewed here). Foundation is one of the trickiest makeup items to find because of color/skintype/coverage matching preferences. I almost never buy foundation without trying first. Since this was a gift from Edward (sight unseen), as I opened my package I kept my fingers crossed.

Color thoughts: When I opened up Medium 03 first and was surprised at how dark it appeared. The next shade down Light 02 also appeared quite dark. I tested both, each on separate days all over the face to see how the color looked. I was relieved to find that these blend out on the skin beautifully and once blended don't look as dark as they do in the pots.

Light is an exact match for my skin, although sometimes that exact match ends up looking a bit too light when applied and blended all over. This can sometimes be fixed by mixing in something darker or setting with a darker powder. Medium is visibly dark on my skin when swiped, but blended out for a pretty good match as well. I wore this and it looked just slightly too dark. So what's my color? I would say I'm in between, but closer to Light which is a 95% good match on me right now. I was happy to find that it does warm up on the skin slightly but doesn't darken or oxidize.

Formula thoughts: The formula is really incredible. Years ago one of my holy grail matte-finish foundations was Chanel's Double Perfection (the one that came in the black squeeze tube). I literally had a meltdown when they discontinued it and was sad they never re-released it. Edward Bess's Black Sea Complexion Correcting Mousse Foundation is the closest thing I've found but better in terms of wear, texture, blendability. The video segment on QVC will show you how well this foundation covers. It's lightweight but gives full natural coverage and dries to a semi-matte finish. You don't need to set with any powder. On the 2.5 days I've tried this I found it lasted well into the afternoon without requiring any touchups. I like that it's full coverage but not heavy.

Brush thoughts: I applied the foundation with the Expert Blending Brush and it really provided perfect streak-free application.

Photos of Light and Medium below, they look really dark in the pots:

I swatched them along my jawline on a bare face, swatched heavily, blended only a little bit. Light 02 might be a bit hard to see because it matches closely. Note this photo was taken under artificial light which makes my skin look more yellow than it is in real life.

Since it can be hard to gauge the colors, I highly recommend you look at QVC's color chart. I debated what other foundations to compare these to. Formulas and textures can impact the color and blending will affect how certain colors mesh with one's skintone. I picked a few to show, it's not as comprehensive as I'd like, but foundations are difficult for me to photograph accurately. They tend to dry and darken if I don't photograph right away.

I picked the other foundations I have that are creamy pot formulas. Dolce & Gabbana's Perfect Creamy Foundation has a wider color selection but a more dewy finish while the Edward Bess is matte. I've always been in between shades for Dolce & Gabbana and currently mix Warm 100 and Natural Beige 120 (see the Dolce & Gabbana review/swatches here).

I only swatched the Dolce & Gabbana Warm, but added Edward Bess's Complexion Cream in Medium for comparison purposes (that review is here).

I'm overall very pleased with Edward's new Black Sea Mousse foundation. The formula is really best in class with the coverage, texture and blendability. Huge thumbs up. The color selection however is limited, leaning towards the darker side. The formula is melds with your skin so it is possible that you don't need an exact match (these days I've been buying 2 shades in NARS, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana anyways). I do think fairer skin ladies with yellow or olive tones might find it challenging to get a good match. Right now the foundations are exclusive to and the lightest shades are on waitlist. I hope that Edward might consider extending the color options in the future. I was really lucky to find a good match in Light.

Did you watch Edward on QVC last Friday? Have you had a chance to try the foundation? If so please share what color and perhaps other brands/shades you use to help the rest of us who are debating whether or not to try.

This post contains a press sample provided without charge for review. For more information please see the About/FAQ section.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation

Dolce & Gabbana has released a new cream foundation called the Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation ($66 for 30 ml/1.0 fl oz, made in Italy). I was hesitant to try this since I was convinced that there could be nothing better than their Powder Foundation (my holy grail). Plus I've never had good luck with cream foundations in the past (creams in a tub tend to be too rich or to cakey for my taste). Nikki from Saks Houston kindly sent me a few sample pots telling me she knew I would fall in love with it ... and I did.

Dolce & Gabbana boasts that the Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation gives the perfect airbrushed finish that gives the skin a radiant glow that gives flawless full coverage with a lightweight texture. I couldn't agree more. Here are my thoughts ...

Texture: This is described as a lightweight foundation and it does feel light on the skin, but not entirely lightweight. Compared to most creamy full coverage foundations it is indeed very lightweight. When you dip your brush or fingers into the product it feels semi-heavy but blends out nicely and very smoothly on the skin.

Finish: I find the finish to be more on the full coverage side but there is a slight transparency to it so your skin shows through. It's difficult to explain, but I find it gives full natural coverage without looking fake. I also found that I did not need to set with any powder (although most of the time I do). The finish is natural, slightly satiny-matte, but not a full matte.

Application: I received the new Dolce & Gabbana Foundation Brush as a gift with purchase from one of Saks Houston's gwp events (not sure which event it was, perhaps beauty week or EGC?, they do have awesome GWPs in store, I recommend you get on the call list). I find the brush to be great at applying the cream foundation with minimal streaking. It's very soft with a tapered head. I find it a bit skinner in width than most other foundation brushes but thicker in depth. I've also been applying with a sponge but prefer the brush since it soaks up less product. I'm not a fan of using the fingers to apply. I find it gets messy. I highly recommend you visit Swide to see Pat McGrath's application video.

Color selection: I played with 4 different shades for a week before deciding on 120 Natural Beige (very olive) although 100 Natural Glow was almost an exact match but just the slightest bit too light. For colors I found that what you see in the tub is a bit darker than what applies on the skin. When I looked at all the samples I was sent I thought they would all be too dark for me. Also let the foundation sit for a minute after application. It doesn't oxidize/darken but rather letting it sit allows the product to adjust to the warmth of your skin which makes the color change or set slightly. I definitely recommend you see if your local Saks carries the brand and try at least 3 shades on your jawbone to see which one matches best. RaeViewer has a beautiful tutorial on this foundation.

Here is Natural Beige 120

Here are the samples I received and swatches plus a scan and photo of the card swatches (sorry they are off b/c of the glare on the card):

How does it compare to other foundations I've tried? It's really quite different. I rank foundations by three main categories:
  1. first based on formula (liquid, tinted moisturizer, cream, compact, powder)
  2. then by coverage (sheer, medium, full)
  3. then by finish (dewy, satiny, matte)
The Dolce & Gabbana is a cream, full, satin finish foundation - probably the only that I've tried that fit these 3 criteria. Other cream foundations I've tried felt too greasy or darkened significantly on the skin. The Dolce & Gabbana Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation is creamy and full coverage but natural feeling and non-greasy. It lasts all day with or without a setting powder. Is this a must-have? I would say it depends on your skintype, but for me (normal, slightly oily T-zone and sensitive) I would say yes for now, in the summer months this may become too heavy but it's perfect for fall/winter right now and I adore this. Do note that when it comes to foundations I like variety in textures and finishes and alternate frequently each week.

Overall: I really love this foundation. Finding a good color match might be a bit trickier than most since the what you see in the glass bottle is a bit deceiving compared to what goes on and blends out. I find the packaging slightly bulky and not the most user friendly. I definitely would not take it traveling with me anywhere. Still it is functional. Bottom line is that I highly recommend.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chanel Perfection Lumière Foundation in Beige 30

This is the year of new foundations and I love all the different formulas, textures and finishes companies have developed and released this year. After my trusty Teint Innocence was discontinued I've been searching for my new holy grail replacement for a liquid/cream formula. I don't know that I've found a replacement for it, but I have fallen in love with different formulas, textures and brands. What I've discovered this year: Koh Gen Do's Aqua Foundation, Dolce & Gabbana's Perfect Finish Creamy Foundation (review coming soon), Edward Bess Compact Sheer Satin Cream Compact Foundation (review coming soon, but I've already used up one compact), Guerlain Lingerie de Peau and the latest, Chanel's new Perfection Lumière.

Perfection Lumière ($55) is a long-wear fluid foundation with SPF10. It applies beautifully with a brush or a sponge with a medium-to-full coverage flawless satin-matte finish. Originally I thought it would be replacing the recently discontinued Pro Lumière but Perfection Lumière is actually quite different (it's not as moist or heavy-feeling on the skin). I found the detailed reviews from RaeViewer and Cafe Makeup to be tremendously useful and I urge you to visit their blogs. I am darker in skintone than Cafe Makeup but lighter than RaeViewer. Here are my personal thoughts:

Application: Perfection Lumière comes with a convenient pump and applies with smooth even coverage. I found application with the Chanel Foundation Brushes (Original and New Versions in the US) was easy and goof-proof. I do however prefer a sponge, but since sponges soak up more foundation product faster, I've started to apply foundation with the brush and then smooth out any streaks or uneven areas with the sponge.

Finish: The finish of Perfection Lumière is matte but not quite a full matte. I find it a bit more satiny with a dry finish. Powder is not needed at all. I still always finish with a powder or powder foundation, but I did wear the new Perfection Lumière without powder on several occasions and it lasted all day. I agree with others that as your skin warms up and the foundation sets that it becomes slightly less matte compared to when you first apply.

Coverage: I would rate this as a medium-full coverage foundation, leaning more towards the full side. It really evens out the skin completely - it's like magic. It's not quite as thick as concealer, but the closest thing I think I've found - without looking too fake or cakey. I feel that I need a bit more of a moisturized base to get the best application. I actually like layering it over Koh Gen Do's Aqua Foundation for areas that need a bit more coverage.

Color Selection: I'm always in the Beige range for Chanel. I swiped Beige 30 and 40 on the back of my hand and felt there was a bit of a gap. If I were to pick my perfect shade I would be right in between. I went with Beige 30 because as my skin warms up it adjusts and darkens slightly. Also with summer over I know my skin will lighten in the next few months. Beige 30 seemed to be the best choice for me.

Overall thoughts: Even though I couldn't get an exact match, Beige 30 is still very close to my skintone. Overall I give this a huge thumbs up. I love that you don't need powder to set and that it truly lasts all day while still feeling weightless on the skin. Even though the coverage is full your skin can still breathe. I didn't experience any breakouts, irritation or sliding off the face. I love that Chanel released three different color families this time. I think more women will have a better chance of finding a good match.

A few packaging and shade comparisons within the Chanel Foundation line. Although the shades look quite different, they all are good matches once blended out on the skin. I do feel that Teint Innocence in Shell is a bit dark for me these days though so I've been mixing it with Cameo.

Have you tried the new Chanel Perfection Lumière Foundation? Did you find that your usual Chanel shade was a good choice in this formula?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation in OC-2

In the past few months I've been testing out new skincare, powders and foundations from Koh Gen Do, Le Metier de Beaute, Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana. Even though I've been getting regular use out of Guerlain's Lingerie de Peau, Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua and Chanel's discontinued Teint Innocence, I've still been on the hunt for new foundations to try. I'll be writing a review on each item in the upcoming weeks. First up is my experience with Koh Gen Do's Aqua Foundation in OC-2 ($62) from Barneys New York.
I first read about Koh Gen Do's Aqua Foundation ($62 for 1.01 fl oz.30 ml) on Into The Gloss earlier this year and noticed it was featured again on her Top Shelf series this past July. When she described it as "foundation heaven" I knew I had to try it. I've heard nothing but raves about Koh Gen Do and having fallen in love with their face masks, cleansing water and natural light loose powder, I had the Koh Gen Do foundation on my list of things to check out.

Back in August, I was in LA and stopped by Barneys Beverly Hills. The Koh Gen Do artists recommended that I try the Aqua Foundation for my skin type (normal, fairly clear, slightly oily in the T-zone in warm weather, but overall normal). They swatched OC-1 and OC-2 on my jawline and after seeing them side-by-side I was shocked at the difference. There's quite a big jump in between shades. OC-1 was definitely too pale, OC-2 looked like it would be too dark but on the skin blended well with my skin. Ideally I would have liked something right in between the two colors and at $62 a bottle I wasn't really keen on buying both to custom mix my own shade. OC-2 was a pretty good match and with the combination of the Moisture Milk, Aqua Foundation and Natural Finish Powder, my skin never looked so naturally flawless I was sold.

The Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation is a liquid formula and comes with a pump. It's rather pricey at $62 but the finish is naturally beautiful. It evens out the skin and has a slightly dewy finish but it's not too dewy like some tinted moisturizers. If you read the details on Koh Gen Do you will learn that they designed this with something they call "the golden ratio" which consists of 45% water, 35% emollients, and 20% powder to balance perfectly with one's skin. The finish is sheer to medium and slightly transparent so the skin shows through. It's not a pearly finish foundation but not completely matte either. I would say it's somewhere in between the texture and finish of Chanel's Teint Innocence Liquid foundation and Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer.

Here is OC-2 pumped next to Edward Bess Beige, Guerlain Lingerie de Peau 03 and Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B20 and B30. I was initially matched to Chanel B20 but is now clearly too light for me (will have to save for winter). I did not blend these out because I could not photograph them fast enough before the liquids dried and then darkened on my arm. Two things to take into consideration: 1) the inside of my arm is lighter than my face and 2) my skin is weird because so many different colors of foundation work on my skin (as long as it doesn't have a pinkish base).

Here on the back of my hand (which is closer in color to my face) you can see it blends out to disappear but give a dewy finish. This was the sharpest photograph I could get while still showing the slight sheen. Clearer photos make the hand look like it's nothing but bare skin.

I've been using this foundation for a month and a half now and have overall been pleased with the results.  No irritation, no break outs, no streaking or darkening. It lasts all day but I found that it works best when layered of the Macro Vintage Royal Massage Milk (see more on I received a small sample that lasted me about 1 week of daily morning use. It's an amazing product and made my skin look and feel like baby's skin. I haven't caved to purchase this since I just bought a cream from Le Metier but it is definitely on my watch list for the future.

For use right now I apply over Le Metier's day cream and then use Cle de Peau's concealer in Beige on areas that need more coverage. Sometimes I will finish with Koh Gen Do's powder, other days I will finish with Chanel or D&G's powder foundations.

My only wish is that the foundation came in more shades. Since it is a sheer formula, the colors are slightly more forgiving if you can't find an exact match. Since I am a bit more tanned right now OC-2 works well for me, but just barely. If I become even 1/2 a shade lighter I know this will be too dark, yet OC-1 will definitely be too pale. For more information, a list of ingredients and list of shades, I highly recommend you check out Koh Gen Do's Website. They have detailed diagrams and descriptions of each product (all of which I find extremely informative, useful and non-gimmicky).

Have you tried Koh Gen Do's foundations? Which formula did you try and what were your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation

Dolce & Gabbana's Powder Foundation has reached holy grail status for me ($59 for 15 g / 0.53 oz). When the line first launched in NYC mid-2009, I immediately e-mailed a few NY friends for their thoughts. It was only available at a select few counters (none near me) so I relied on several for their keen eye and exquisite taste. Two things that were constantly raved about included the Dolce & Gabbana mascara and powder foundation. Not having local access to the brand, I was hesitant to try this sight unseen. With the exception of the Dolce & Gabbana I have never purchased a foundation without testing it in person first. Many thanks to Nikki at Saks Houston who was kind enough to match me over the phone. I told her a few foundation shades I used, "Chanel Teint Innocence Liquid in Shell and I'm in between Armani's Lasting Silk 5.5 and 6.5" and the kind soul that she is, she swiped the Chanel on her hand to find my perfect match to Tan #140. Since discovering this my skin has lightened a bit. When I Tan became too dark, I told her "I'm now 1.5 shades lighter, not quite a full two shades down, but almost." She matched me perfectly again to Warm #100 (I'm not sure why there's such a huge jump, but I suspect other shades in between either have more peach or pink or yellow).

The powder foundation comes in a gold double tiered mirrored compact. The bottom compartment will hold a square sponge for application but I prefer to apply with a brush. The texture is smooth and silky with full but natural coverage. It makes the skin look velvety smooth but not in an overdone way. The finish is truly flawless for me.

Dolce & Gabbana Warm Powder Foundation:

There's no detectable scent. Applying with a sponge works well for touch-ups but I prefer to use a brush. Even though it's a powder foundation and doesn't require liquid foundation underneath, I like to use it as a setting powder. I tend to use sheerer lighter weight liquid foundations (which are more forgiving when the color isn't a 100% exact match) and always layer with some kind of powder on top (loose, pressed or powder foundation). It lasts well into the afternoon without changing color as your skin gets oily. Touch ups are easy to do with a swipe of the sponge. With this powder, I rarely ever need concealer if I have redness.

Chanel's Double Perfection Powder Foundation ($50 for 13 g / .45 oz) has been a long time favorite of mine. Both have similar soft smooth textures with very similar coverage. I feel that the Dolce & Gabbana is slightly more versatile in the sense you can control coverage better, but both are similar in finish and quality. I can't pick my favorite out of the two because I adore them both.

Swatching these on the arm seems futile since it will end up blending into my skin. I've featured it here compared to the Chanel shades I alternate between for Tender Bisque and Medium Beige. I hope this helps a bit. The Tender Bisque is close to Warm, the Chanel has slightly more peach while the Dolce & Gabbana has more yellow. Two views since it might be hard to tell how they compare from the lighting.

Overall I love this. I've used up two compacts already and this is my third. It's pricey and while I had luck being matched over the phone, I don't recommend trying the same. There's no substitute for trying foundation on in person and I believe it's one of the things you need an exact match for your undertone. Makeupalley does have some reviews which might help you guess what shade you are if you can't get to a counter in person.

Have you tried Dolce & Gabbana's powder foundation? What's your current holy grail or are you still searching?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua vs. Teint Innocence

Chanel has officially released the new Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15 ($45) in the US to replace their Teint Innocence Naturally Luminous Fluid Makeup SPF 12 ($47). Long-time readers know that Teint Innocence is my holy grail of foundations and much to my dismay, I discovered it was soon to be discontinued earlier this year.

I completed an extensive foundation review last month in search for a holy grail replacement (linked below at the bottom of this post). After testing a few sample packets of the Vitalumière Aqua, I crowned it as one of my holy grail replacements, but did not have an update on my color selection since counters did not yet have the product in stock. After further testing, here are my thoughts:

Color Selection - I am normally a Chanel Shell 30 in Teint Innocence but am slightly lighter in skin color, although not quite fair enough to be a Cameo 1.0. My best match right now is Chanel's Lift Lumiere in Cendre 30 (which runs a bit lighter than Teint Innocence). For the Vitalumière Aqua, I tested B20 Beige Tendre and B30 Beige Sable. I could have gone with either shade, but decided on the B20 Beige Tendre shade. The colors with BR have more pink, while the B shades have yellow undertones. I've swatched the shades I use below, note that while they are all different swatched heavily, the different formulas blend differently on the skin. Also note, I mix the two Armani shades to get a custom-matched color (so many times I'm in between shades).

* Also note, my forearm is paler than the rest of my sun-exposed areas

Texture - Vitalumière Aqua is thinner and more liquidy while the Teint Innocence is thicker but still very fluid. It is recommended that you always shake your Vitalumière Aqua bottle just like the Base Lumière (also by Chanel).

Product Packaging, Amount, Size - The packaging is a bit deceiving because at first glance, one would assume that Teint Innocence contains a lot more product. However, both contain the same amount of 30 ml/1 fl oz. Vitalumière Aqua comes in a plastic container that requires shaking. The difference can be seen below. I do believe ALL the Vitalumière Aqua shades have the same beige color for the packaging - at the counter, I could not see any difference in the plastic container for the lighter or darker shades (but it could have been something I just did not notice). While the Vitalumière Aqua is more compact and sleek, I prefer the Teint Innocence glass bottle.

Finish - Vitalumière Aqua has a quick setting formula with a slightly matte finish. I find that it needs to be blended with short quick strokes because it dries quickly and can darken in spots if not blended evenly. Teint Innocence is more dewy and more moisturizing.

Coverage - Both have super natural but noticeable coverage, however I find the Teint Innocence more forgiving and a bit more transparent with a more natural look. Neither are as sheer as a tinted moisturizer and both provide decent coverage. I like to apply both with a sponge (just my personal preference). I always set with a powder.

Overall Thoughts - Chanel's Vitalumière Aqua is a beautiful foundation, but it's still no replacement for Teint Innocence which will always have my heart. I have purchased 3 back up bottles, although I don't know the exact shelf life of an unopened bottle of foundation. I know my sister has several back ups accumulated by now. About a dozen women have e-mailed me with cries of despair that their favorite holy grail foundation is now gone. To sum up my thoughts: Vitalumière Aqua is thinner and has a semi-matte finish that's less see thru, Teint Innocence is not as thin and more dewy with a slightly transparent finish. If you liked TI you will most likely like VA.

Recommendations - If you're still pining over Teint Innocence, BACK UP NOW! My local Nordstroms only carry two shades at the counters now, all others have been pulled and sent back to who-knows-where. If you're interested in Vitalumière Aqua and are exact match to Chanel Shell 30, I think your match will be B30 Beige Sable. If you're slightly lighter than Shell but not quite Cameo, B20 Beige Tendre will be a good match. I do recommend getting a few sample packets to test if you can (Nordstrom counters should have plenty now) and let it sit on the skin to see how it wears after a few minutes. If you've tried this foundation and it looks ashy on you, you've been matched to the wrong color!

Amy from Café Makeup and Karlasugar have swatched the colors on their skin, both are lighter than me, and I believe I am more olive/yellow than both of them.

Recap & links for your reference below ...
  • Foundation Search Part 1: Bobbi Brown Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation SPF 15, Burberry Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation, Chanel Mat Lumiere Long Lasting Luminous Matte Fluid Makeup, Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Invisible Skin Foundation
  • Foundation Search Part 2: Chanel Pro Lumiere, Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Makeup SPF 10, Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation, Laura Mercier Crème Smooth, Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment, Make Up Forever Face & Body Liquid Makeup & Chanel Vitalumière Aqua
  • Foundation Search Part 3: Summary

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