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!
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.