Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet Review & Swatches

Chanel couldn’t have released their newest foundation at a better time as we are headed into Summer (although it’s still in mid 30’s Farenheit where I live!). I’ve been using it since the day it came out and I pretty much love almost everything about it! The texture is great. The finish is lovely. But there is just one small thing about it that doesn’t get along with me and I’ll tell you more about it in a moment!

Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet

The squeeze-bottle packaging is almost identical to the Vitalumière Aqua except Perfection Lumière Velvet is all-black. Pretty sleek! As with all Chanel foundations, I seem to fall in between shades. I picked up 20 Beige and 30 Beige since my perfect match seems to be somewhere between these two. If I had to pick just one, I’d go with 20 Beige because I prefer my foundation to be just a tad bit on the lighter side. A perfect match would be ideal but if forced to choose, I just think my skin looks better with half a shade lighter than darker.

Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige (L) and 30 Beige (R)
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige (L) and 30 Beige (R)

Perfection Lumière Velvet has a medium to full coverage. The formula is oil-free and specifically formulated for those with normal to oily skin. (Is combination considered normal? Because I have combination skin.) It also has SPF 15 which is pretty low and I don’t know why they even bother, but I’m sure we are all using a separate sunscreen with stronger SPF underneath anyway. The formula has a strong scent of floral and alcohol but it dissipates quickly upon application.

Shaking the bottle before use is requisite. The foundation comes out a little liquidy but not runny like the Vitalumière Aqua. The smooth texture glides on the skin effortlessly and dries down to a semi-matte, almost powdery finish. I’m not really seeing the “velvety” too much here, it’s definitely more on the “matte” side to me. And being on the matte side, it tends to cling on to dry patches and flaky areas. Skin preparation is therefore a must.

For a formula like this, I usually reach for a synthetic, semi-dense brush such as Hourglass Foundation/Blush Brush No. 2 or Real Technique Expert Face Brush. I find it to spread and blend the foundation nicely. It takes a couple minutes for the foundation to set to a near skin-like finish. I sometimes use fingers, too, when I want a lighter coverage.

One thing about this foundation is, as soon as you finish applying, and assuming you are sitting really close to the vanity mirror, your skin will appear rather flat and matte. However, if you sit back a little further away from the mirror, you will start to see a slight luminous glow that you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.

As I said, the finish is lovely. And the best part is, it wears so well, too! It just lasts and lasts on my skin and the formula controls oil like a champ! I suppose you could do without powder but being an oily girl, I always dust a light layer to set.

Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 30 Beige
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 30 Beige
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige (L) and 30 Beige (R)
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige (L) and 30 Beige (R)
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige (L) and 30 Beige (R) - blended
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige (L) and 30 Beige (R) – blended

Before and After

In the photo below, I put on 2 layers of Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige on the “After” side. As you can see, my skin appears brighter and more even. It blurs out the skin texture, giving an appearance of a smoother and younger skin. It also reduces shine and redness around my nose relatively well.

Wearing Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige (R)
Wearing Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet in 20 Beige (R)

Now for the part that I am not crazy about.

I am acne-prone and I don’t know what it is about this foundation that makes my skin itch! At the end of the day after makeup removal, I would notice a few small red bumps forming on my cheeks, chin, and temple. Some develop into acne, others are just plain itchy and red and will disappear by morning.

I did try applying it over a primer, too, hoping to reduce the skin irritation by creating a barrier between my skin and the foundation. I tried Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 and MAC Prep + Prime Natural Radiance. It seems to help a little bit, but it didn’t completely solve the problem.

Of all the reviews I’ve come across, no one has mentioned anything about skin irritation and I feel very unfortunate that this is happening to me. I just really, really wanted to love this foundation. :(

But don’t be discouraged by my experience! Skin and foundation are a very personal thing. I never take it into consideration when someone told me that a particular foundation causes them breakouts. Simply because everyone’s skin is so different. I wouldn’t want you to miss what could be the best Summer foundation for you. Perhaps you can try getting a small sample to see how your skin reacts to it before buying a full size?

Perfection Lumière Velvet and Vitalumière Aqua

Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet (L) and Vitalumière Aqua (R) in 20 Beige
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet (L) and Vitalumière Aqua (R)
  • The texture of Perfection Lumière Velvet is noticeably thicker and provides better coverage than the Vitalumière Aqua. The Vitalumière Aqua is a little more runny in comparison.
  • The smell is also different. The Perfection Lumière Velvet smells like alcohol mixed with floral perfume, while the Vitalumière Aqua smells like shampoo! :)
  • Perfection Lumière Velvet 20 Beige is very different from Vitalumière Aqua 20 Beige. It is more beige-y and less yellow toned.
  • The finish of Vitalumière Aqua is slightly dewy in contrast to semi-matte of Perfection Lumière Velvet.
  • Perfection Lumière Velvet does oxidize a tiny bit. 20 Beige may start off a little too light for my skin but as the day goes on, it “adjusts” to my skin tone perfectly. I did not notice any oxidization with the Vitalumière Aqua.
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet (L) and Vitalumière Aqua (R) in 20 Beige
Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet (L) and Vitalumière Aqua (R) in 20 Beige


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  1. says: Rachelle

    I love trying out foundations but I rarely wear them.. I tend to gravitate more towards BB Creams.. My skin has been feeling really oily recently (bad weather in Singapore, too hot!!!!) so I prefer using matte BB creams!

    1. says: Jaa

      I used to be a big BB cream fan!!! But it’s hard for me to find my perfect shade so I’ve been gravitating towards foundation a little more lately.

      We have never had a single “hot” day in the last 8 months. I’m jealous of you! I want to feel the heat. I want to sweat! I want my skin to get oily! I MISS THE HEAT OF THE SUN on my skin!!!!

      Winter SUCKS. Haha.

  2. says: popsicle13

    i found Alex from Monsiieurtalexx also have a a irritation also.
    but i really like all the pros you’ve said . … i think i will pass the being pricey price and i don’t want to risk haha my skin is not in a good mood right now .

    btw amazing review as usual thx you kub

    1. says: Jaa

      Ahh! Thanks for the info! I’ll check! :)

      Don’t write it off just yet. You never know, it could be the best Summer foundation for you!

  3. says: Sylirael

    I really love how detailed your reviews are :-) I’ve been toying for a while with trying Vitalumiere Aqua (as a dry-skin person who likes sheerer coverage), but the fact that testers in my shade don’t exist here, they’re not really big on giving out portions from the tester bottle *and* the fact that the full size is $89 a bottle has kind of kept me at bay, LOL!

      1. says: Sylirael

        Perhaps fortunately for our coronary health, Giorgio Armani makeup isn’t available here ;-) for a drugstore comparison, Revlon Colorstay is $40 a bottle.

        I also found out the other day that Guerlain rouge G lipsticks are $83 each :-D

        1. says: Sunny

          WHAT? Syl this has to be a bad joke! Do you even know why? Is it the taxes? We have 21% of VAT here and that seems bad enough as it is, but it is nothing compared with the price point there :(

        2. says: Jaa

          HOLY &^*)(*(%$$#@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          I agree with Sunny! THAT IS ABSURD! Do you know why the price is jacked up so much?! It doesn’t make any sense to me, at all.

          1. says: Sylirael

            Sadly, I think the price is jacked up over the odds under the ‘because we can, you tiny little captive market, you!’ Principle. That is the only reason I can think of why Chanel, Dior, etc stuff is twice the price, but MAC stuff is 3 times the price. It’s the reason I won’t buy MAC, actually. Chanel might twist my arm, but MAC tries to rip it off…

  4. says: Sunny

    Hahaha guess who reviewed the same foundation today? ;)

    My experience is in line with yours. I think this foundation actually looks BETTER as the day goes by, because it somehow melts into the skin more in a way. It’s definitely not something I’d recommend to dry or dehydrated skin, but for my combination skin, I know I’ll get a lot of use out of it in spring and summer.

    So sorry to hear it breaks you out! It sounds like there’s something in this foundation that your skin doesn’t like so much. It’s always a good idea to try a sample before purchasing a foundation full-size. You really never know.

    1. says: Jaa

      High five! I totally agree that the foundation looks better and better as the day progresses! I’m still very sad that my skin just doesn’t like it! :(

  5. If VA never gave you the itchies, maybe it’s the added perfume in this one that’s doing it since it sounds like they smell differently? Who knows?! Skin is so finicky! I LOVE VA – I am only MAYBE halfway through the bottle, but I know it will be repurchased. But now…maybe the PLV will get a trial run instead?! It sounds like it’s exactly what I need – minus the skin itchies! The last foundation that did that to me was CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous. I had to stop wearing it because it drove my skin bonkers! Great review as always, love!

    1. says: Jaa

      Thanks, Kristen! Yay to a new post on your blog! I’ll check it out after this!

      As for the PLV, perhaps it’s a little too matte on my dry skin right now.. I don’t know. I’m so bummed. :(

  6. says: Erin

    I can never find a match in a Chanel foundation, I’m too pale! They will go on nice but then they oxidize every time! Saved me a lot of money though :)

    1. says: Jaa

      This one does oxidize on me as well but not to the point that it completely mismatches, phew! What foundation/brand would you recommend for pale skin, Erin?

  7. says: PJ

    I read so many favorable reviews about the new “velvet”, the SA gave me a couple samples of it to try. After applying, I immediately felt the need to wash it off. It felt heavier, almost “mask like” to me after using the “aqua” formula daily for 2 months. I prefer the Chanel “aqua” for summer, as it feels lighter on skin! (also I switched recently from BB “skin” foundation)

  8. says: Jaa

    I have to say, if I were to choose a Summer foundation, I’d probably go with the Vitalumière Aqua as well. It is thinner and has a dewy finish that I prefer over matte. But I can see Perfection Lumière Velvet being a good option for oily girls who love matte finish! :)

    How do you compare BB Skin Foundation to Chanel Vitalumière Aqua?

  9. says: Piya

    It looks lovely on you!! I also just got this one 2 days ago, but I still haven’t been able to make up my mind about this one. Love the finish, how it looks on the skin and everything about it, except the fact that it just doesn’t seem to agree with flash photography. I scared myself with the pasty face photo, as if I had powdered my face with talcum powder. Perfect Halloween photo. have you had such issues with it?

    Maybe it’ll be better if I pick up a shade darker, I got Beige 40 much to SA/MUA’s disappointment since she said it was dark for me and wanted me to get no 30 instead which i think is way too light. I am NC 40+ even on my non-tanned days. Indian’s are way too obsessed with fair skin!

    It does cause tiny bumps on my skin as well ; cheeks mostly which disappear by the next day. But then again it has been two days only. Let’s see

    1. says: Jaa

      Hi Piya!

      This one has sunscreen in it and I think that’s why it’s not good for flash photography (it flashes back, hence the pasty face!).

      I usually go with my guts when it comes to selecting a foundation shade as a lot of the SA/MUA’s get it wrong for me all the time. I didn’t know that Indians are obsessed with fair skin?! Same with Thais, I guess! There are plenty and plenty of pills marketed to make your skin white and they are super popular in Thailand. I myself prefer a tan complexion, but that’s just me. :D

      Aww.. sorry to hear about those bumps. I hope they are not because of the foundation! Let me know if it continues to cause problems. It’ll be nice to know that I’m not the only one but then again, I want you to like it, also!

      1. says: Piya

        I thought as much that it was the spf; add to that a shade lighter to my skin . the effect was magical. I hadn’t heard anyone else talk about whitecast except Alex from Monsieralex so thought maybe its just me, maybe I was applying it wrong, not blending it enough.

        Oh most Indians too are obsessed with fair skin. We have creams, facewashes, powders, masks anything and everything to make you fairer. Lot of MUA’s seem to agree with this idea. I usually stick to my opinion, this time I faltered. The SA would not even show me darker shades, I literally had to walk to the section and pick up 40. They actually wanted me to pick up Vitalumiere, because I said I have combination skin, and I wanted a satiny-dewey finish. The fact that it was turning my face into a greaseball had no effect whatsoever. This is the last time I am let a SA decide

        O and the bumps are ’cause of the foundation only. I tried the foundation yesterday and they are back. Pity, because I love the finish. I was actually thinking of getting the darker shade but I think I will pass. need to start looking elsewhere. Any suggestions? BTW i love the photographs on your blog! they are amazing :)

        1. says: Jaa

          My situation is quite the opposite for me! The SAs here seem to always want to match me to a darker shade for some reason, haha!

          I don’t really get the whole fair skin obsession, though but it’s a HUGE market right now. The amount of $$ people make formulating skincare/supplement products for skin lightening is ridiculous! It especially bothers me when companies try to pass on “non-approved” products to everyday consumers who may not have educated themselves enough to learn the side effects, and the fact that this is not a permanent solution. Oh well, whatever makes you happy I guess? :D

          Thank you for the kind words on my photos!! It’s always nice to hear that hard work pays off. :D

          Right now I’ve been loving the Koh Gen Do Moisture Foundation. It’s light and so perfect for Summer but the coverage is much lighter compared to the Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet. :)

  10. says: Mariela Pena

    This foundation made me break out too. Nothing crazy but I did get little bumps on my cheeks and around my chin. I’m so disappointed because I love the finish. I also noticed that it made the skin around my mouth kinda dry. That usually only happens to me during the winter. I’m guessing maybe my skin is allergic to the fragrance or the alcohol in it?! Ugh… So sad. I’m gonna have to return it unfortunately.

    1. says: Jaa

      It’s definitely on the dry side of foundation! Chanel is notorious for their fragrant makeup so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the culprit. :-(

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