Monthly Archives

September 2011

Brushes and Tools Chanel Foundation

Chanel New Foundation Brush #6

September 30, 2011

With the release of Chanel’s new Perfection Lumiere Foundation (swatched here and here), Chanel released a single Foundation Brush ($45) (#6) (Chanel Brush/ Les Pinceaux de Chanel Pinceau Fond de Teint).  Some stores have not yet received these in stock, mine was purchased from

According to some sales associates whom I’ve interrogated (yes, Cafe Makeup brings it when we visit a makeup counter, and sometimes we feel a little bad about that), Chanel’s brush redesign should be completely up for sale around Spring ’12.  Please note that “Spring ’12” in the makeup world means “late December ’11.”  We’ll have to see what actually happens, because none of this information is official and may have been obtained under duress.

The brush is just over 6 inches long.  As you can see, Chanel has dramatically changed the brush head into three colors, which if inspected closely have three different textures.

For lack of a better word, I’ve come to think of this as a “tri-fiber” brush  head.  Chanel’s former international (non-U.S.) foundation brush was somewhat similar.  The fiber closest to the ferrule is very stiff, so that the brush head holds its shape when wet with liquid foundation, and pressed against all of the different parts of the face.  The center portion (the dark brown) has more flexibility and seems quite absorbent to hold the liquid well.  The bristle tips are soft and feathery, which is a good brush texture for blending an airbrushed finish.  The ends taper to a very fine point.

The handle has the same feel as Chanel’s former international (non-U.S.) brushes–it feels like wood (or a wood composite), which is not too heavy but sufficiently substantial to give you a good grip.

The text on the back is simple–only the brush number (#6) and brush name (“Foundation”) are printed there.  Curiously, I did not see the country of origin stamped on the brush.  This is true even on the ferrule, where Chanel had previously stamped its country of origin.  Like Chanel’s now-discontinued brush, this new one is made in China:

Some of my former Chanel brusheswere made in China have held up very well for years, and perform extremely well.  I would not have noted this at all, except that I occasionally get questions.

Comparison of three foundation brushes–my well-worn Chanel now-discontinued foundation brush (#16), Shiseido’s new Perfect Foundation Brush (reviewed here) and Chanel’s new foundation brush:

I liked the brush head of the new Chanel Foundation Brush (#6), better than the discontinued Chanel foundation brush (#16).  The feathery tip helps me get a flawless look with fewer brushstrokes.  The finish that I can achieve with the new foundation brush and Perfection Lumiere has drawn compliments (it does look better, in my opinion).

If you are choosing between Shiseido’s Perfect Foundation Brush and Chanel’s new Foundation Brush #6, here are my thoughts:

  • As you can see, the brush head shape of either is remarkably different;
  • The Shiseido brush tends to be faster, because the flat head absorbs and deposits foundation very quickly;
  • If you are inexperienced or rushed, the Shiseido will give you a slightly heavier coverage (those with more experience or care can work well with either);
  • The Chanel brush shape is a classic shape used for layering foundation–it’s more intuitive for light coverage that is then “built up” only where needed;
  • Shiseido’s compact size is perfect for travel and less expensive;
  • Chanel’s seems to be easier and faster to clean (this isn’t really a performance issue I thought I’d point it out).
  • Bottom line, if you are choosing between them you cannot go “wrong” with either one–really, it’s going to come down to your personal foundation style and use preference.

Overall, the new Chanel Foundation Brush is a positive step forward.  I far prefer it to the older Chanel foundation brush–the smaller size, the feathery bristle ends, and the tapered top deliver a better product.  To get The Beauty Look Book’s views, see her review here.

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Chanel Foundation

More Chanel Perfection Lumiere Swatches

September 29, 2011

Lovely readers, after thinking about Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation ($55) (full swatches are here), I was curious about some color comparisons.  I thought I’d create a little sketchbook with the pictures to share.

First, I wanted to check Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere against my other foundation shades.  Here is a comparison of:

  • Chanel Vitalumiere Fluid 20 Clair/Cameo
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere B10
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere B20
  • Chanel Perfection Lumiere B30
  • Chanel Tient Innocence Fluid in 20 Clair/Cameo (discontinued)
  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B10
  • Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B20
  • Chanel Lift Lumiere 15 Ivoire
  • Chanel Pro Lumiere 20 Claire Cameo
You’ll notice considerable variation among these.  In shade with flash:
In sun with flash:
This one compares the Perfection Lumiere Beige Rose 32 both wet and dry.  I want to emphasize that a quick arm swatches must dry down.  On the left is a freshly applied swatch of Perfection Lumiere BR 32 that has not dried at all.  On the far right is the same foundation that has dried down for a good 20 minutes, maybe longer–what a difference in color that dry down makes.  In the center is a swatch of Vitalumiere Aqua in Beige Rose 30, which is darker and different tonally.
Finally, I wanted to compare a medium skin tone color across all of the different color tones.  Here are swatches of Beige Rose’s deepest shade,  Perfection Lumiere in Beige Rose 52.  Also, there is Perfection Lumiere in Beige 60, Perfection Lumiere in Beige Ambre 64 and Ambre 94:
It’s so interesting to me that numerically, the first three shades toward the left of this picture are all near 60.  But the undertones are so very, very different.  Beige Ambre is so warm, it’s really an amber in the true sense of the word.  Even the “Beige Rose” does not seem very pink to me. The shade range in this release is certainly enormous for Chanel.  Even if you don’t find your perfect match, it may be that you get much closer than with any previous Chanel release.  It’s certainly good to see a very high end luxury line take notice of the wide range of color shades of women. This is available with free ship online at
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Chanel Foundation

Chanel Perfection Lumiere Swatches

September 28, 2011

Chanel has just released a new foundation, Perfection Lumiere ($55), which I’m currently testing. In the meantime, I thought it useful to post swatches of nearly all of the shades for my readers. Just a quick note–although Chanel’s Pro Lumiere has been discontinued at the same time that Perfection Lumiere has been released, they are not similar. Although the names echo each other, the finish of Perfection Lumiere is far more matte, and much less “glowy” than Pro Lumiere. I’ll report more on the formula, wear time and finish after more testing.

The foundation comes in a glass pump bottle:

Ingredient list (click to enlarge):

As you can see, there is some sunscreen (titanium dioxide/ SPF 10) in the product.

The biggest change that is immediately noticeable is the large shade range. Perfection Lumiere includes twenty (20) shades (19 are swatched here), which is both unprecedented and welcome from Chanel. I’m so pleased to see very light to dark shades.

The shades are grouped according to undertone. As you will see, some of the darker shades have incorporated reds and blues, and lighter shades have a wide range of available undertones. Like other recent Chanel foundation releases, if possible try before you buy. It takes at least five (5) minutes (or longer) before the shade will “settle” into its true color on your skin. Also, you will notice the texture shifts during this time. These swatches were taken with at least 15 minutes of dry time each.

I’ve only tried the foundation once, but my first experience shows that the foundation goes on dry and powdery for the first few minutes. After 1/2 hour, the foundation looked much more natural, less matte and more like real skin. Normally I wear a warm-toned Chanel Cameo/Ivoire (MAC NC15 leaning a bit toward NC20 rather than lighter).

The Beige shades are light to medium in tone:

The Beige Rose Shades are light to medium in tone. These shades are very slightly pinker than the Beige shades:

Here is a comparison of Beige 20 and Beige 22 so that you can see the undertone difference:

Beige Ambre (which translates to “Amber Beige”), which are very warm and run in the medium skin tone range:

The Ambre shades (except for Ambre 114, which was not yet in stock):

Many thanks to the wonderful associates at Nordstrom Beauty, who filled little tiny sample jars so that we could have this as a reference. I always get great service there.  More comparison swatches are posted here on Cafe Makeup.

Please do not reproduce or hotlink these images. Taking content and bandwidth isn’t pretty.

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Guerlain Powder

Guerlain Meteorites in Perles de Nuit for Holiday 2011

September 27, 2011

Guerlain’s Holiday 2011 collection includes a new Meteorites Perles de Nuit ($56 / 1.05 oz.).  As with the other recent Meteorites releases, these are packaged in a beautifully designed metal container in shades of deep midnight blue.  It’s safe to say that these are limited edition.

Here’s the bottom label:

 Inside, the powder pearls are shades of pink, gold, orange and silver pearls to illuminate without whitening.

All the pearls:

I’ve worn these for two days, and absolutely love them.  They seem to mattify and give a pearl glow at the same time.  Unlike last year’s holiday meteorites Perles D’Or (reviewed here) which have a warm rosy gold glow, Perles de Nuit is a more neutral pearl effect which works well on both warm and cool skin tones.  These meteorites are gorgeous.  By the way, these are currently for sale on

Guerlain sent this product to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration and review.

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Bobbi Brown Burberry Dior Lipstick

Fall Nude Rose Lipsticks

September 27, 2011

This recent story about Chanel’s Peter Philips’ work backstage at Jil Sander emphasizes that a modern look incorporates nudes. Above, Philips used foundation on the lips to simulate a nude lip. Unlike Fall seasons past, I’m definitely feeling nudes during 2011. This includes nails, including Rococo Nail Apparel’s Nude Wardrobe over at The Beauty Look Book and RGB’s nail collection seen here at Planete Beaute.

Some Fall lipsticks also have a nude vibe.  Like many women, I cannot wear a completely nude lip without looking a bit lifeless. Instead, this Fall I’ve been rotating some nude roses that give some color to lips (but not much). One was previously reviewed here, Burberry Lip Mist in Nude Rose.

This is in Burberry’s Lip Mist formula, which is both sheer and moisturizing. On Liz:

Another one that I’m enjoying is Dior Rouge Dior in Pisanelle Pink ($32/#428), released with this Fall’s Blue Tie Collection:

When this was released, I went back to look at it several times trying to decide whether I needed this one.  I decided that I did, and I’v been wearing it very frequently.  It’s one of those lipsticks that you can keep in your purse constantly to refresh during the day.  It looks good with a wide range of other looks, and adds a glowing look that is very polished.  On Liz:

Dior’s formula is very moisturizing–this feels like a balm to me. Keep in mind, the formula is a bit soft. Several of the testers that I saw were broken. I’ve carried mine around in my purse, and been careful during application, which seems to have worked to preserve the bullet of this very soft formula.

Bobbi Brown’s Rich Lip Color in Soft Nude ($22/ #18) is a rosy brown nude:

On Liz:

Bobbi Brown’s Soft Nude is the deepest and most opaque of this group, easily covering my pigmented lips.  Bobbi Brown’s tended to look creamier than the others, which have a more luminous finish.  I’m having trouble locating this color for sale online–this may have been limited edition or is simply sold out.

Here is a comparison of the three:

I have to admit, it is nice to have a Fall season where deep reds are not required. I’m enjoying the ease and wearability of these colors. You can always smoke out the eyes, if you’d like emphasis. I’m declaring Fall 2011 the season of nude makeup.

Bobbi Brown Rich Color Lipstick in Soft Nude was sent to Cafe Makeup without charge for consideration and review.

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