Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15

Where's the glow? By now, I'm sure most of you have read reviews of Chanel Le Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 ($57.50) elsewhere. Some of you may have purchased one - maybe two. It was introduced in other countries before it made its way to the United States. Most reviewers have followed the Chanel line, describing the "custom glow" the powder offers.

Seven effortless shades of this versatile powder let you create a custom glow for any season, any occasion. The sheer, lightweight color can be worn alone or over foundation for natural radiance each day.

A skin-perfecting powder, Les Beiges is light and natural, as advertised, offering a transparent, smooth, soft and natural, easy-to-apply powder. Chanel loses me with the "translucent sheen" it's supposed to have. There are seven shades available in the U.S., so the powders can serve as bronzers, contouring powders, or finishing powders.

A hybrid powder (depending on your skin tone and the shade selected), Les Beiges were inspired by Gabrielle Chanel’s passion for freedom - a new makeup approach for “simple, intuitive, and natural beauty.”

The ingredients are said to include a purifying protective cream containing white roses and a cotton composite plant cell extract that will protect the skin from environmental pollution while soothing and calming the skin. Shea butter will offer softness, while the UVA and UVB factors will help prevent fine lines and sun spots. The powders are lightly scented with Chanel's iconic gardenia - very lightly. I like parts of its description. The more UVA and UVB sun protection, the better in my mind.

I have a very large sample in N°10, given to me at Neiman Marcus (probably the same samples Chanel sent out). The color is perfect for my skin. I'm not looking for a bronzer; I have way too many of them.

I think Les Beiges Healthy Glow is a nice pressed powder. It adds a matte, not glowing, finish to my skin. It's great for "powdering my nose" mid-day. I've tried it as a setting powder, and it worked moderately well. It offers no coverage of note, so I could never use it alone, without foundation beneath. The coverage is way too sheer to expect coverage.

I've tried everything I know to do to find the glow that other bloggers have reported. I've applied it with a sponge and brush. I've swept my finger across the surface to get a good look at a concentrated sample of the powder. I've examined the powder's surface in the little compact. I can't find the glow or sheen!

I have concluded that the marketing strategy for Chanel's Les Beiges was brilliant. They managed to make me - and perhaps others - think there was something magical to the product, when, it's simply just another pressed powder - a nice one, but not award-winning. That luminous glow? Let me know if you can find it.

Photo courtesy of Chanel

43 comments:

natassha68 said...

Nicely said, I also wanted to have a look at it and browsed the counter at Nordstroms, loved the texture, didn't see a glow, halo effect, or anything else but flat matte sheer color, I loved the packaging , but passed on it when I realized that at a 57.00 price point they still use BHT in their products, come on Chanel, find another ingredient to use.

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Natassha,

I'm so glad to hear that someone else saw flat matte!

bisbee said...

I also don't really see a "glow", but I do have to say that a few times, I've used only the powder without foundation. I bought No. 10, perfect match for me. My skin isn't perfect, but it's pretty good, and sometimes I really don't want or need coverage. On those days, I've prepped my skin, used concealer, and then the powder. I use the Chanel Kabuki brush, and buff in circular motions. It gives "just" enough coverage to even out the tone, which is enough for some days, especially on the weekend!

Ann said...

I agree with you. I think it is just a matte pressed powder with spf.

Eileen said...

Oh, my goodness! What a conundrum! I apply it and definitely see a soft diffuse glow! I wear #10 as a finishing powder which I apply with my Tom Ford bronzer brush (large, densely packed, and soft). I found the little half-moon brush that comes with it to be totally useless. It's way too soft and floppy and just doesn't pick up enough product. I think that's a pretty good indication that how well Les Beiges is going to apply is brush dependent.

Like Bisbee, on low maintenance days, I just buff #10 over my Chanel SPF or my Guerlain primer and my skin looks smooth, soft, and radiant. When I wear it over my La Mer foundation, my skin looks virtually flawless. Either way, Les Beiges has never looked flat or matte on me.

I think Chanel made a mistake in promoting this powder as being everything for everyone. There was a lot of confusion because of what Chanel said the powder could do versus how people were actually able to effectively use it. But, as time goes by, I think people are reaching a concensus that Les Beiges' strength is as a finishing powder. Yes, the darker shades on my NC15 complexion can function as contour or bronzer, but the effect is much more subtle than I'd get from using a dedicated product. As for coverage? Fahgettabouit! That Chanel video in which Lisa Eldridge buffs Les Beiges on like a mineral foundation is a bit deceptive. I think that led some people to believe that Les Beiges would offer coverage similar to a product like Bare Minerals. It doesn't.

In my opinion, Les Beiges simply provides a translucent tinted veil with a satin-matte finish that subtly diffuses the light. I don't expect it to be anything more than the ultra-fine finishing powder that it is. And, by the way, Les Beiges photographs beautifully. There is no flashback, sparkle, or shine--just a soft-focus glow that makes the skin look smooth.

So, what does all this mean? It means different products are meant for different people :-) Aren't we lucky that we have such an abundance from which to choose? If one thing isn't our cup o' tea, there are so many other options available to us. I think the divergence over Les Beiges is a good example of why it's important to try things out for ourselves.

Charleston Girl said...

Tee hee, Eileen, you must be earlier to "glow up" than I am. I've tried every brush I have. It's still matte on me.

I'll stick with my Guerlain finishing powders. :)

Charleston Girl said...

Thanks, Ann, for letting us know.

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Bisbee,

I tried to use it like that, but didn't get any real coverage. I like my BB creams for that light makeup look.

Eileen said...

Oh, "glow up" Charlestongirl! LOL :-)

Anonymous said...

I thought it was just me, so glad to know it's not.

Beth

Rosemary said...

CG, I have been trying to get to a Chanel counter to look at these as I'm confused by everything I've read online.

Chanel woman that I am, and as lovely as the Les Beiges compact looks, I am in love with my Guerlain meteorites when it comes to a finishing powder. Am I missing something here?

I'm determined to get to a Chanel counter within the next two weeks to play with these. I'm thinking of stepping my toe into contouring waters (no, I've never tried it on myself as I'm so pale I'm afraid of the "Snickers Bar Effect")and feel the Les Beiges might be the product for that. Otherwise, I feel it may be a pass for me.

Eileen, I agree with what you said regarding the way Chanel promoted this product as being everything to everyone. It has resulted in a lot of confusion.

Rosemary

Barbara said...

Eileen, I’m with you. Les Beiges definitely is not a matte powder. Check the ingredients list. There is mica in it. Also check your face after application in a magnifying mirror, you will see small particles of mica.
I think it all depends what “glow” means for someone? For me this powder gives very subtle and natural glow to my face. I don’t like highlighters because most of them are too obvious and they give strong sheen, not a healthy glow to my face.
I’m using #10 of Les Beiges as a finishing powder. On everyday I use it only with concealer and I love the effect.
The formula is great and high tech as it perfectly plays with a light and gives so natural effect.
As for now, it was my best purchase in 2013

Nemo said...

Couldn't agree more. My SA called me to come up and scout the Les Beiges. I did. Left empty-handed, which almost never happens with me. I think this could easily be CHANEL's most disappointing product, and I knew it would be. Ugly colors, with a feel like cornstarch. Yup, cornstarch. No glow, no color, just ugly, ugly, ugly. And no real way to use them. I'll be spending my $ on Tom Ford and whatever new stuff LMDB launches for fall.

Charleston Girl said...

Hi Barbara,

Many matte powders have mica in them. that doesn't guarantee a crystal glow.

I'm glad you were happy with your purchase! That's what matters. :)

Charleston Girl said...

Hey Nemo,

I don't have much intel, but you'll have plenty of LMdB to purchase.

Rads said...

Oh...that's interesting! :D I guess the finish and texture is probably different with different shades. I have No. 30 and it definitely has shimmer in it. I can see it when I look up close in the mirror (but not seen at all in the pan), but it is very very very fine shimmer. I bought it to use as a setting powder, but it's pretty useless that way for me. I already have oily skin, and this makes it all the more oily/glowy/sheeny..but I love using it on it's own buffed into the skin with a kabuki brush. I don't have perfect skin at all, but sometimes I just don't want to put on any makeup and this feels perfect for those times. Still, it is a mostly unnecessary product for me.

Charleston Girl said...

Rads, I have read on a blog that No.30 is different from the others. Weird, but apparently true.

virginiaisforluvrs said...

How is No 30 different? I definitely want to know! I just got my 20 last night, and I'm liking it so far. Maybe a bit glow or blurred effect, but not much.

Charleston Girl said...

Virginiaisforluvers,

Here is where I read about No.30.

http://www.thebeautylookbook.com/2013/08/chanel-les-beiges-healthy-glow-sheer.html

Charleston Girl said...

Let us know, Rosemary, what you think!

ommorphiabeautybar.com said...

Like you mentioned, other countries did indeed receive these powders before the US did (never would have expected that!), and here in Canada, I've had the chance to enjoy these powders since March. I picked up #20 & #30, along with the Kabuki brush (which I love) and I've used both in many ways; alone (very sheer, you're so right about that), over foundation, mixed together, etc and while initially I may not notice any specific glow, I definitely see something once the powder begins to meld with my own skin and its natural oils - don't think "glow" as in shine, but glow as in "the glow of health". It's almost one of those can't-put-your-finger-on-it kind of things, but one that makes you (and others) notice how, well, healthy your skin looks.
Could be that because you're so fair to begin with, that glow the CHANEL marketing folks talked about, is even less apparent. In any case, I'd rather not look like a Twilight extra, but more along the lines of "I've just come in from a brisk walk" look - which is exactly what I get by using these.

Even with my light-medium Mediterranean colouring, I was still able to use #30 as a totally believable bronzing powder - something not often seen with other bronzers. Another option you can look at, is buffing the colour/powder in with the Kabuki brush - it really does make all the difference in the world!

Melanie said...

I think that it's a case of weak translation. In French, it's called « poudre belle mine »; « avoir bonne mine » means to look well, healthy. Glow, in a literal sense, has nothing to do with it. I had heard that one could use the powder in a darker shade to achieve that “healthy” look. But the marketing is all confusing: setting powder, bronzer, sculpting powder were uses that it were described to me. Could that not be the case with any powder?

Natassha68: I am with you. I vet Chanel’s ingredients before I buy now as well and wonder when they will get with it.

LoveSugarBabyDoll said...

Well now that's settled. The Tom Ford Bronzer brush will be the first purchase at the Neiman's event in September. :)
(and then on to She wolf, but I digress)

Shall I add the Chanel Kabuki brush? I want to do my own brush comparison.

I just got No.10. Haven't even opened it. Still in the bag. I'll play with it tomorrow morning, who am I kidding, I'll play with it tonight.

Eileen said...

Hi Ommorphiabeauty,

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it was glow as in the type of reflective quality you seen in smooth, healthy skin. It's that real-skin glow that is being promoted. "Bonne mine" says it all :-)

You also bring up a good point about these being good bronzers for the über pale. I'm fair (NC15), but not nearly as light as some of Charlestongirl's other readers. When I first went to try these, the Chanel MA used #10 as a finishing powder and #30 as a bronzer. I loved the seamless effect. It added some warmth but looked perfectly natural. It didn't register as bronzer; rather it looked as if I had spent a bit of time outdoors. Very pretty.

Sara said...

Hi CG,
I purchased #30 and my usual color is 20 in Chanel products. When I had it applied in store, there was something I couldn't explain, but my skin looked glowing! Maybe this was a coincidence but 2 people commented on how good my skin looked that day. I am enjoying it as a finishing powder- I had wanted to look at the kabuki brush but my counter did not have it. By the way, I did sign up at the last minute for the LMDB subscription box- first box was really nice. - Sara

virginiaisforluvrs said...

Thanks for posting the link! I might have to try N30 as well as I must have the same coloring as the Beauty Look book blogger (in between 20 and 30).

Barbara said...

Hello,

Crystal glow is what many highlighters give me and I don’t like that effect. I must correct my previous entry. We have different kind of micas. Les Beiges contains the sparkly kind of mica, which you can see on the skin, but the effect is very subtle. To be honest if powder described as matte contains sparkly particles in it, it is not matte to me anymore. Matte + sparkly is like oxymoron for me.
It is so great we have so many options, however sometimes I do have a problem with too many options and testing:)

Barbara said...

Natassha68: As a chemist I can assure you there is nothing wrong with BHT. It is really helpful ingredient use also in medicine. I’m sure Chanel used it in correct and perfectly safe concentration. That ingredient was also approved by very strict EU commission.

Paige said...

I agree with Eileen. There's a soft diffuse glow to the powder although I think it's very hard to see it in the powder directly. Prior to using Les Beiges, I've been using Shu Uemura setting powder which has a matte finish. When I had switched to using Les Beiges, I have been noticing that my face looks a little more radiant, and the makeup (I use it over Nars tinted moisturizer) looks smoother somehow. These reasons let me believe that Les Beiges is not really a matte powder.

Kim said...

There was also a cream released with this collection: Les Beiges All-In-One Healthy Glow Cream - SPF 30.
I wonder if this is the "glow" part of this collection?

http://www.chanel.com/en_SG/fragrance-beauty/Makeup-Base-LES-BEIGES-152025

Kim

natassha68 said...

Barbara,

As a "chemist" then I'm sure you can agree that a company like Chanel doesn't need to use it ...period....it's just a cheap & easy longer shelf life additive to use, there are many MANY other ingredients to use that are far better for the skin. Chanel is looking to make the highest profit for the packaging and skimping on the product (again, a pressed powder at 57.00 price point? lets get real) I just posted my opinion, I didn't want a debate, just a fair opinion, that's what is great about this blog.... Everyone is entitled to their opinion, usually I don't post at all but noticed that " Charleston Girl had a very similair opinion, I decided I'd like to share mine.

Amy said...

I agree with ommorphiabeautybar.com and Eileen. According to the Chanel boutique at 31 Rue Cambon, the powder gives a 'healthy glow' particularly if you buy it in a slightly more bronzed shade that your natural skin color. The sales professional and I got into a French-type tussle about it--I was reluctant to believe her at first that my NC15 skin requires the Chanel #30 power. Finally, after I hit myself on the head in a "I could've had a V8 kind of way," it finally sunk in. This is a "bonne mine" powder, which gives the skin a very sheer wash of summer-washed color. It looks good if you wear a lot of zinc sunscreen, but it even looks good as my regular color.

It helps my face match my body in the summer (since I wear so much sunscreen on my face) and (like the Guerlain Terracotta tinted moisturizers that are released every year) are supposed to be worn a shade or two deeper than your natural skin.

They don't 'bronze' per se, as they are sheer. They just give a soft wash of "I was in the sun a few days ago" and now the skin looks sort of healthy look. Hope this helps! :)

Charleston Girl said...

Here is the abstract on BHT from the International Journal of Toxicology. While decreed safe at low concentrations, it should be a warning that other ingredients might be a better choice. Natassha has reason for her concerns, and we should all respect her choice. Read on...

Final report on the safety assessment of BHT(1).
Lanigan RS, Yamarik TA.
Abstract

BHT is the recognized name in the cosmetics industry for butylated hydroxytoluene. BHT is used in a wide range of cosmetic formulations as an antioxidant at concentrations from 0.0002% to 0.5%. BHT does penetrate the skin, but the relatively low amount absorbed remains primarily in the skin. Oral studies demonstrate that BHT is metabolized. The major metabolites appear as the carboxylic acid of BHT and its glucuronide in urine. At acute doses of 0.5 to 1.0 g/kg, some renal and hepatic damage was seen in male rats. Short-term repeated exposure to comparable doses produced hepatic toxic effects in male and female rats. Subchronic feeding and intraperitoneal studies in rats with BHT at lower doses produced increased liver weight, and decreased activity of several hepatic enzymes. In addition to liver and kidney effects, BHT applied to the skin was associated with toxic effects in lung tissue. BHT was not a reproductive or developmental toxin in animals. BHT has been found to enhance and to inhibit the humoral immune response in animals. BHT itself was not generally considered genotoxic, although it did modify the genotoxicity of other agents. BHT has been associated with hepatocellular and pulmonary adenomas in animals, but was not considered carcinogenic and actually was associated with a decreased incidence of neoplasms. BHT has been shown to have tumor promotion effects, to be anticarcinogenic, and to have no effect on other carcinogenic agents, depending on the target organ, exposure parameters, the carcinogen, and the animal tested. Various mechanism studies suggested that BHT toxicity is related to an electrophillic metabolite. In a predictive clinical test, 100% BHT was a mild irritant and a moderate sensitizer. In provocative skin tests, BHT (in the 1% to 2% concentration range) produced positive reactions in a small number of patients. Clinical testing did not find any depigmentation associated with dermal exposure to BHT, although a few case reports of depigmentation were found. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel recognized that oral exposure to BHT was associated with toxic effects in some studies and was negative in others. BHT applied to the skin, however, appears to remain in the skin or pass through only slowly and does not produce systemic exposures to BHT or its metabolites seen with oral exposures. Although there were only limited studies that evaluated the effect of BHT on the skin, the available studies, along with the case literature, demonstrate no significant irritation, sensitization, or photosensitization. Recognizing the low concentration at which this ingredient is currently used in cosmetic formulations, it was concluded that BHT is safe as used in cosmetic formulations.

Charleston Girl said...

Kim,

I'm really looking forward to trying that cream.

Charleston Girl said...

One more thing about ingredients. While lead is widely acknowledged to be in lipsticks, particularly dark colors, and no level of lead is safe, we have been duly warned not to apply our lipsticks more than 2-3 times/day. Yikes, I need double that! So, lead is in many of our lipsticks, and my question is, "Why?" The New York Times had a good article on this subject in yesterday's Science section.

natassha68 said...

Thanks for all the ingredient updates Charleston Girl, I will also be reading the article in the New York Times, thank you kindly for the heads up on it, and yes, it is crazy as to why in this day and age and the knowledge they have (wished I'd had all this info 30 years ago) to still be using lead..... Shame on them

Anonymous said...

I'm so relieved to find other people who did not instantly love Les Beiges. I have every other Chanel powder and I love all the others way more than this one. I don't see the glow (I much prefer the $42 Hourglass Dim version). I'm terribly disappointed. Of course I adore the beautiful compact and may keep it in my purse for that reason. But in my heart $60+ is a lot to pay for something that isn't truly a wow factor. Enjoy your blog daily!!

ahhhsoNeo said...

I have to admit to wanting to buy this just to have the compact but not necessarily the powder. I too saw a matte powder, and my SA actually told me to stick with my Soleil Tan de Chanel in Desert Bronze if I wanted to "glow". Then she told me that line was being discontinued so I guess I need to stock up quick!

Clarisse said...

I'm late on this post, but I thought I'd let you know I found "Les Beiges" an utter disappointment too...so many artcles written before they were launched made a lot of people want to try them but there was much disappointment: my Sephora SA told me: do try it well before any definitive move since I'm not sure you're going to want it....and she was right...no glow at all (I prefered the Dior compact)

Claire said...

Hi CG, sorry I'm also late to the party. You nailed it when you said that Les Beiges is the brilliance of Chanel's marketing. SO well said!! I have dry skin so I rarely powder. I have a big, huge, tub of Paul and Joe loose powder that I bought since 2008 in NY that I haven't finished and yet I managed to get sucked into the whole Les Beiges mania. Thankfully, I didn't cave in, and thanks to Eileen, I discovered an old love from Chantecaille Poudre Naturelle SPF 46 for sun protection. In any case, I couldn't agree more with some of the ladies here who chimed in their disappointment on Les Beiges.

Mary E. said...

Thanks for the review! I also got B10, and it's very ho-hum. I can see some iridescence when I look at the pan from an angle, but nothing on my face. I tried it as a setting powder and didn't like it - I much prefer Chanel's loose powder for that. As for a glowy pressed powder, I definitely prefer the pressed meteorites. I've been using the Les Beiges on my cheeks and temples on top of my loose powder and bronzer...I'm telling myself that it's blending everything out, but I honestly don't notice a difference.

sunnyItaly said...

I've had a couple of months. The scent is lovely but that's all I can say that's special. Difficult to find a match an din Italy we start from 30, so fairer skins can only use it as a bronzer or wait for a tan. Money wasted in my opinion. It is just so beautiful to look at. The brush is useless as it picks far too little product.

Yelena Nezhdanova said...

Gosh, i WISH this was more matte because there is DEFINITELY a sheen. Very subtle, like Ambient powder in Dim by Hourglass. I actually cannot apply it all over my face due to an oily t-zone. I just wish this powder did not have any shea butter in it..