If Chanel did facials…

If Chanel did facials, the treatment room would be a softly lit and fragranced with beautiful candles and mountains of fresh white flowers. As you waited for your appointment, there’d be gorgeous edibles; a Guava smoothie packed full of vitamins to drink and tiny macaroons to nibble on.

You’d be seen by an amazing facialist. Somebody like…oooh, I don’t know, let’s say Sarah Chapman. She’d spend over an hour massaging life back into your face, waking up the muscles and lifting the skin. She’d be so incredible that you’d start drifting off, dreaming that you were in Paris, dreaming that…

Oh hold on! Chanel did do a facial – on me! I went last week to experience the new ‘Hydra Beauty’ products in the best possible way that you can ever imagine! Boy was I pampered. Sorry if this all sounds a bit smug, but as I write it I am sitting in what can only be described as a BOX in Hamburg, hunched over the tiniest desk in the universe, so I need to relive the memories…

Chanel really had thought of everything when it came to a full beauty experience – there was a desk with a magic Chanel makeup mirror (daylight, candle-light, all kinds of light) and a selection of classic and limited edition makeup products so that I could re-do my maquillage before stepping back outside into the cruel world.

I couldn’t really bear to put any makeup on, though, because Sarah had coaxed my skin into a brilliantly polished and plumped version of itself. My face was glowing like some kind of beacon!

Sarah used all three of the new ‘Hydra Beauty’ products during the facial – there’s a Serum, a Gel Creme and a richer Creme. The products contain Camellia and Blue Ginger for their hydrating and protective properties and have been formulated to give the skin a dewy and plumped-up look. My skin certainly looked plumped-up (I mean seriously plumped!) but it also felt fresh and clean. Sometimes I exit from a facial feeling that my skin is moisturised but a bit ‘heavy’ with rich products, but this time it felt light and rejuvenated.

I can hear you saying “yes, but the products were bound to feel amazing if you had an amazing facialist performing magic with them!” and so I’ll tell you how I got on with the Hydra Beauty range at home. (Actually, abroad, but who’s checking?)

The range seems to work on dehydration rather than dryness – so adding water rather than oils. It follows, then, that the textures are all very light – after applying the serum followed by the gel creme, I almost felt as though there was nothing on my skin. There was no residue or slick finish – everything absorbed straight in. But whereas some lighter products just seem – frankly – ineffective, these did appear to hydrate and plump. Using them on alternate nights to my Alpha-H Liquid Gold, I found that in the morning my skin looked really fresh and perky.

The Serum and Gel Creme (and even, in fact, the richer Creme) have an almost cooling effect on the skin, so I can imagine that they’ll be a hit during the summer and in countries with hot, humid climates. The range has a simple aim, which is to hydrate the skin, and the ingredients are pretty simple too, but for those looking for a luxury moisture fix, the Hydra products provide a chic and fragrant option! (I know that some of you love fragranced products, but lots of you hate them, so it’s important to mention the fragrance!)

Anyway, I’ll definitely be using the Hydra serum and gel creme on holiday after I’ve been out in the sun – maybe I’ll even remember to “pop them in the fridge” (that old chestnut) for an extra-chilly sensation!

The Hydra Beauty range launched today, with prices from £50 at Selfridges.com and Chanel counters nationwide.

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. May 18, 2012 / 3:28 pm

    I’ve used the hydra serum a few months back. Best hydrating serum I’ve ever tried, but sadly so high in price too. It’s an amazing hydrating serum yes, but the price is painful.

    • Ruth
      May 18, 2012 / 3:38 pm

      @Phil really? Was it the Hydramax one? The new one literally just came out, I thought… Unless they re-formulated? x

      • May 18, 2012 / 11:42 pm

        Oh I just checked, it was the hydramax + active serum. They looked so similar and now I want to try the new one too..

        • Ruth
          May 19, 2012 / 10:29 am

          @Phil yes, they look almost identical, I just googled! xx

  2. Romina Elorrieta
    May 18, 2012 / 3:31 pm

    So I was given a tiny sample of the gel creme, and it was spectacular. The scent was very subtle, very gentle, and it wasn’t annoying at all, I definitely loved it!. I am saving up to acquire both gel creme and serum as well, because while I was using the sample size, I can say it really, REALLY worked. I used it with the Beauté Initiale creme, which I really am looking for EVERYWHERE and they always tell me it’s been sold out, and i think my skin has never felt any more luxurious, pampered, refreshed and hydrated than using both products at the same time. Just amazing…

    Also, Ruth, am I allowed to send you an email?. I have got a couple questions I’d like to ask you, but I don’t know how, and I am not quite sure if I should be posting them publicly. What do you think?.


    • Ruth
      May 18, 2012 / 3:37 pm

      @Romina oh, nice! I’ll bet the sample lasted a while though? I find it very spreadable! Beaute Initiale has been discontinued, I think – I’ll double check! x

  3. Julia
    May 18, 2012 / 4:07 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    I have a question about your skincare rutine. Do you use Liquid Gold the frist night, then the Liquid Gold serum the other night and on the third night you used Chanel products? Thanks

    • Ruth
      May 18, 2012 / 4:09 pm

      @Julia not necessarily. I always use SOME form of Liquid Gold every two or three nights, but the products in between vary vastly! I’ll do an updated skincare routine very soon! x

      • Julia
        May 18, 2012 / 9:57 pm

        Yes, please!!! That would be great!

      • aaliea
        May 19, 2012 / 5:41 am

        cant wait for your updated skin care routine.

  4. May 18, 2012 / 5:21 pm

    Sounds divine! And I understand what you mean by hydration vs dryness. Trust Chanel to come up with a formula that hydrates without leaving your skin feeling weighed down by product.

    I love Chanel, but I do have one tiny complaint about them; I wish the counters weren’t so mean about sampling. They tend to sample with purchase only, and then you have to prompt them. I don’t know if that’s counter policy or just the consultant.

    • Ruth
      May 18, 2012 / 6:32 pm

      @Ali I’d be interested to know! It would be great also if they did a GWP now and again – that would be totally un-Chanel, but I do love my mini products! x

  5. Kaitlyn
    May 18, 2012 / 6:39 pm

    The serum is incredible! It’s so moisturizing, after applying you can skip moisturizer! (During the day, and depending on what skin type you have o course.)

  6. madii
    May 18, 2012 / 9:26 pm

    I love reading these kinds of posts of yours – it’s like, I know I will never have a Chanel facial because it’s just out of my reach in this life time, but it’s so nice to read about what the world has to offer anyway and great to get your feedback on it! You are one lucky girl! Hugs! :)

    • Ruth
      May 18, 2012 / 10:03 pm

      They don’t actually DO facials, this was just for the launch of the Hydra Beauty. So extra-amazing! xx

  7. Ayla
    May 19, 2012 / 7:39 am

    Hi Ruth,
    I have a question(nothing to do with this post)- I have been using the Filorga sleep and peel every other night for the last month. Do you think it’s ok that I don’t feel tingling once it’s applied? The exp.date is 03/14. I have used glycolic acid 10% in the past, and I remember a slight tingle every time I used it.

    Thank you:-)

    • Ruth
      May 19, 2012 / 10:26 am

      @Ayla you’re probably just used to it! I don’t feel SO much of a tingle with this because the pH is higher – it’s in a cream formula, so it takes away some of the tingle, I think! x

    • Darina
      May 19, 2012 / 10:45 pm

      Hey Ayla, where did you buy your sleep n peel? and how much was it? I’m 22, wanted to try it, dunno if worth it. xx

  8. ZenGarden
    May 19, 2012 / 8:43 am

    Cool! They’re soleil identité précision self-tanner is nice too!xx

  9. yasmine choudhry
    May 19, 2012 / 11:23 am

    Hi Ruth,
    Sounds like a great facial,lucky you
    i know you have combination skin like me some parts oily and dry would the hydramax be suitable for my skin
    would love your great expertise
    have a great time shooting your mystery modelling campaign will you be able to say what you were modelling for in the future or is it a top secret
    thank you

    • Ruth
      May 20, 2012 / 11:09 pm

      Hi Yasmine, yes the Hydra (NOT Hydramax, that’s being phased out and is different) would be suitable. It IS top secret, but I shall let you know as soon as I’m allowed! September I think.. x

  10. Emma
    May 19, 2012 / 2:09 pm

    I bought the Rouge Coco Baume today and they gave me a decent 5ml sample of the serum :)

    • Ruth
      May 19, 2012 / 2:44 pm

      Oh that’s pretty good, really! Enough for a good try, anyway! x

  11. monica
    May 19, 2012 / 8:33 pm

    I like Chanel makeup however never tried their skincare because to me it has so much fragrance and I have Rosacea so I m very sensitive I get acne and breakout with about anything,but Birchbox sent me in my box this month a sample of Dr. Jart water fuse BB CREAM OMG! I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT HAS IN IT BUT MY SKIN IS LOVING IT I PUT THAT ON WITHOUT PRIMER NOR FOUNDATION JUST THE BB CREAM WITH POWDER OVER IT AND MY SKIN LOVES IT !!

    • Ruth
      May 19, 2012 / 9:20 pm

      @Monica yes, you’re very right about fragrance and rosacea – also alcohol in formulas doesn’t help! x

  12. Dolly
    May 19, 2012 / 8:35 pm

    Hello Ruth, where did you have this facial done? In the UK? and if so, how do you go about booking? Thanks!

    • Ruth
      May 19, 2012 / 9:20 pm

      @Dolly no, they don’t do them! That’s why it’s called “If Chanel did Facials”! Sorry if that’s not clear! It was a press launch for the new range x

  13. Sophiabencks
    May 20, 2012 / 9:53 pm

    It sounds a bit like the Darphin Hydraskin range (which is fantastic by the way, you should try it if you haven’t)…

  14. Liz
    May 22, 2012 / 5:07 am

    I’ve been using the Hydranax serene for the past few months and was surprised to find I loved it! I went back to the Chanel counter to restock as I’ve almost finished my bottle. I found they have re-formulated it. The consultant at the counter told me it was essentially the same with the addition of blue ginger. I have rosacea and have had no issues with this line whatsoever. I’m afraid, very afraid I’ll have to try the moisturizer next.

    • Ruth
      May 22, 2012 / 9:28 am

      @Liz that’s good to know! x

  15. May 28, 2012 / 9:40 pm

    I’ve just got the Hydra Beauty Sérum!! It’s amazing! Thanks for the suggestion and review! Also getting the liquid gold! Do you leave the liquid gold on over night?? I left a similar product on over before and my skin peeled so bad! Not nice! Any suggestions??

    • Ruth
      May 29, 2012 / 10:42 am

      Michael you do leave it on overnight. It does exfoliate so you might
      get a bit of flakiness at first but just as a reaction to a new
      product.. Ease yourself in gradually with it!

      • May 29, 2012 / 4:00 pm

        Hi Ruth!

        Thanks for your quick reply!

        Sounds Ok! Thanks for the advice!

  16. Veronica
    May 29, 2012 / 5:18 pm

    Hello Ruth
    I am so sorry for lots of my questions but I will be the happiest person ever if you can answer my questions
    I do want to try out the serum do you know if it gives you a dewy glow? Because my skin is so dull and doesnt look fresh or shiny at all. Do you think I need a golden liquid? How about creme embryolisse? My skin is normal to dry. I am 23. I also have freckles too..should I also have a chemical peel I have been searching for it but I guess theres no solution for that. Thank you A LOT. and thanks for your efforts making us informed about all of this precious information.

    • Ruth
      May 29, 2012 / 9:00 pm

      @Veronica the Liquid Gold is exactly what you need for dullness and it has the action of a chemical peel but isn’t too harsh or aggressive. If you just want a plump dewiness then the Chanel serum could be nice, or you could try the Sarah Chapman Hydrating Booster serum – I’ve been testing this recently and it’s also great! xx

  17. Veronica
    May 30, 2012 / 2:56 pm

    Thank you so much Ruth. What you are doing is really amazing I appreciate it so much!

  18. Jothi
    July 8, 2012 / 4:34 pm

    I’ve literally just purchased the Hydra Beauty Serum, so wish me luck! Also, I was wondering if I could wear it under my foundation?

    • Ruth
      July 9, 2012 / 7:49 am

      Yep! xx

  19. Vanessa
    August 17, 2012 / 10:19 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    I live in the Caribbean. I was told by a dermatologist that I have acne prone, combination , snesitive skin. I go for facials weekly but my facialsit says I simply have comination to oily skin. I don’t really have bad skin but I have very very fine pimples . Can I use the Hydra Beauty Serum? Is it formulated for persons with oily acne prone skin who live in a hot climate? My dermatologist said I should put nothing on my skin not even sun block becasue it is causing me to break out more in fine pimples and in the occassional zit.. I did as he said and it worked but now Im in the predicament where Im exposed to the hot sun!! And you know its hotttt in Trinidad! What do you think?

    • Ruth
      August 20, 2012 / 9:58 am

      What are you cleansing with? To be honest, I’m not sure the Chanel range would be the best thing for you.. It’s lovely, but it sounds as though you need to be careful, and the Chanel products are quite fragranced. Have you tried Anthelios suncare from La Roche Posay? They are pretty non-clogging and OK for acne-prone.. xx

      • Vanessa
        August 21, 2012 / 6:47 pm

        Presently, I alternate cleansing with oil of olay blackhead clearing scrub (recommended by my cosmetologist) and cetaphil gentle cleanser (recommended by my dermatologist). I probably should have mentioned that I got a sample of the Chanel Hydra beauty serum and its absolutely amazing under my makeup (I got so many compliments) but I used it very sparingly so I didn’t want to spend all the money to buy it for everyday use and then get a different result (Ive had the experience where at first a product works well and then eventually it just does nothing for my skin or even worsens it). I used the La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel and Toner and their moisutirser for sensitivre skin and it was a disaster. My skin was perenially oily and very fine bumps appeared where there was nonne before.. Perhaps I’ll try the anthelios since its for acne prone skin. Would you recommend another cleanser and toner for me? I tone with the Oil of Olay oil minismising toner as well. I am yet to find a reliable skin care line that works for my skin. Thank you Ruth for your time and advice.

        • Ruth
          August 22, 2012 / 9:36 am

          Yes, you could try the Alpha-H cleansers (see reviews on here). I’m not convinced that toners are at all necessary if you use a good cleanser! Readers have also had good results with Ultrasun products, and there’s one called Invisible Zinc that can be quite good for acne-prone skin? x

  20. Naaz
    October 13, 2012 / 1:19 am

    Is there alcohol in Hydra rich creme, Ruth…? awesome review by the way ;)

  21. Katrina
    November 24, 2012 / 5:25 am

    Hello Ruth, just stumbled upon your page while searching for Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme. I bought the serum a few months back in August but haven’t used it yet because I’m finishing the Hydramax + Active one. Anyways, sounds like a lot of people opt for either the serum or the gel creme, do you think I should get both or is the serum enough? I always thought that you’d put on the serum then the gel creme?

    • Ella Thomas
      April 8, 2013 / 10:27 pm

      Hello, i saw your comment and wanted to offer this tibit of knowledge, today while i was at the chanel counter the assistant talked me out of just buying the serum and buying the rich moisturiser instead as you either need a moisturiser or both, the serum does not work on its own as it is designed to work under the moisturiser

      Hope this helped

  22. Melissa Hayes
    September 21, 2017 / 8:15 pm

    I love this product line. It’s perfect for my dry skin. I use Retin-A, which is great for blemishes, fine lines, and pigmentation, but leaves my skin parched. My favorite product from this line in Hydra Beauty Flash, a lightweight balm meant to be used as primer. Prepares my skin perfectly for make-up. Because it contains no SPF (and the SPF content of most foundations is inadequate), I add a few drops of Chanel’s UV Essentiel sunblock to it. They play very well together. Great line, my new favorite.

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