Review: Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation

When I first caught word of Chanel’s new Perfection Lumiere foundation I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it – a new long wear foundation with a matte finish from Chanel? Sounds fabulous! When it came time to cash in some handy dandy AMEX points in the form of a Nordstrom gift card, I couldn’t help but treat myself to a full size bottle of this new formula from Chanel.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere in B20

While I found a few aspects of this foundation I really enjoy, my overall experience with Perfection Lumiere has been one of trial AND error. My favorite aspect of this formula is how light weight it is. It has a medium, buildable coverage that looks natural and is great for everyday use. I also love the packaging; the pump is super handy and you gotta love the iconic ‘Chanel’ emblem on the cap.

In terms of long wear, I found Perfection Lumiere to hold up for a majority of the day (about 8 hours), but this formula didn’t hold a candle to some of my other favorite long-wear formulas such as Estee Lauder Double Wear / Double Wear Light, Mac Pro Longwear and Revlon Colorstay. By the end of the day, I could see the coverage dissipating with a good amount of oil breakthrough. With that, I found the finish to be a bit tricky – what starts out as extremely matte upon first application (almost too matte) quickly becomes natural, or almost ‘dewy’ by the end of the day. As someone who typically loves a matte finish, I found the finish of Perfection Lumiere to be overly matte, almost making my face look flat and one-dimensional for the first few hours of wear. The foundation also has a fast drying time, making application a bit difficult and in the ‘high maintenance’ category. This definitely isn’t a ‘throw on and go’ foundation like Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, which seems to diminish my skin’s imperfections and make it appear healthy and radiant.

While Chanel offers 20 shades in this formula in three color families, I still had a hard time finding a color match. I had read other reviews saying the foundation oxidizes a bit, making the color appear darker over time so I chose opt for a lighter shade than I typically wear in Vitalumiere Aqua (B30) and bought B20. At first it seemed too light, however after trying a sample in B30 I confirmed B20 was a better match. While B30 was too dark, I still feel B20 makes me look a bit ghostly. Be forewarned, while the color labeling system in Perfection Lumiere and Vitalumiere Aqua are the same, the actual shades are not.

Swatch of Perfection Lumiere in B20

As a total foundation junkie I was super excited to give this new Chanel foundation a try, but I’m sad to report I think Perfection Lumiere may be going back to Nordstrom! At $55 a bottle for 1 fluid oz., I’d prefer to stick with another one of my much-loved foundations that performs better with a lower price tag (re: Mac Matchmaster below).  

As a side note, I bought Mac’s Matchmaster foundation a couple weeks before trying Perfection Lumiere and I find them to have a lot of similar properties (long wear, light weight, matte finish, etc) but I’ve much preferred the Matchmaster. In general, I found Matchmaster to have better color matching properties (designed to adjust to skin’s natural undertones), a more luminous demi-matte finish that seems to make my skin look radiant while controlling oil and longer wear (despite not being classified as a ‘long wear’ formula). At $32.50 and 1.18 fl oz. I’d definitely recommend checking out Matchmaster as a cost effective alternative to Perfection Lumiere.


Filed under Foundation, Review

3 responses to “Review: Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation

  1. Lisa M-Q

    I agree with you on Matchmaster. I love it and it is the first formulation of Mac’s that does not break me out. It is also surprisingly matte but feels very “flexible” and easy to work with. Too bad about the C. Perfection….I have Aqua VL and it has worked out wonderfully for quick and easy no fuss makeup kind of days. Chanel f’s have typically oxidized quickly on my skin but with a light hand VL works wonderfully on my combo tzone skin and it is oxidizes very little in comparison to others. Thank you for the review!

  2. Thanks $author informative as always! Love your articles. Will be bookmarking to come back for more articles for sure!
    Thanks once again!

  3. Raechel Travis

    Thanks for the review! I went to my local Chanel counter yesterday and was told that Mat Lumiere has been discontinued, and the replacement (Perfection Lumiere), isn’t available till the end of January (I’m in England). So, I’m soldiering on with my old Clinique foundation till then, but good to know what to expect when I’m finally able to buy this!

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