Foundation Review: Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Cushion

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Foundation Review

Well this is an interesting one. I can’t decide whether Chanel’s Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation should be classified as a foundation, a tinted moisturiser or a complexion enhancer. The best way I think I can describe it is that it feels like a glossy top coat. The coverage is quite sheer, but it does the trick on minor blemishes and areas of redness and so on; the finish, however, is almost indecently glowy. I’d use the word “dewy” but – quite honestly – my skin looked as though it had been sort of laminated more than anything else. And I mean that in a good way. I think.

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Cushion foundation review

It’s a game of two halves, this foundation. The relative lack of coverage means that it’s one for people with skin that they are happy to leave virtually bare, but at the same time it offers something that I haven’t really found in any other foundation. That intense, deep-down glow that’s not anything to do with light reflection but more to do with physical shine on the surface of the skin. I mean it’s really quite noticeable, especially if you apply a matte or powder product over the top and note the contrast between the finishes. This hi-shine isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste, but it’s definitely something a bit new. At least, I can’t think of anything else I’ve tried that’s felt quite the same…

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Foundation Review

The Healthy Glow Gel Touch foundation feels fresh and light to apply – I do find that I have to repeatedly check that I am in fact applying any product, because it sometimes seems as if nothing is coming off on the brush at all! As is always the case with these cushion foundations, I prefer a stubby buffing brush to apply rather than the sponge applicator – I just hate the squeaky sort of feeling I get from the pads they include, even if that is the traditional application method. Dab dab, pat pat, was (sort of) the original cushion foundation mantra, I believe. You do get slightly more of that “laminated” shine if you pat with the foam, rather than buff with a brush, but I’m impatient and I find brushing it on much quicker.

Here are the before and after pics for Chanel’s Les Beiges Gel Touch foundation:

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Foundation Review

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Foundation Review

You can see that dark circles and little blemishes have been dialled down a notch; the skin just looks altogether more even in tone and, well, healthier. I feel as though the coverage in the photographs looks a lot more comprehensive than it does “in real life”, but I said that with the Hourglass Immaculate foundation last week, so perhaps my eyes are just starting to fail me and it takes a computer screen to show me what I can’t see.

What you definitely can’t see here, so clearly, is the hi-shine effect. So let me zoom in for more before and after photos:

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Foundation Review

Chanel Les Beiges Gel Touch Foundation Review

It’s actually hard to tell, because my skin looks as though it has a bit of a sheen on it pre-foundation, but I hope that you can spot the increase in that more perfected, juicy look. It’s incredibly low-key, but the whole of Chanel’s Les Beiges range is low-key; it’s supposed to be that wonderful kind of effortless, undone makeup that can be thrown on at the weekend without too much of a hullabaloo.

Read: Chanel Les Beiges Foundation Review…

Surprisingly, the longevity with Les Beiges Gel Touch Cushion is rather good – it survived admirably well in the heat the other week and needed minimal touching-up, not that touch-ups would be a problem anyway – cushion foundations are so portable and convenient. (It’s actually more of a “mesh” foundation, really, than a cushion – you press down on the stretched fabric inside the compact and out comes the product – but the idea is generally the same.) At any rate, the sheer finish means that you don’t get any patchiness or what have you, as the day goes on – and you can top it up layer on layer without it looking claggy.

In terms of completing your “skin routine”, I’d say that you’ll need a separate concealer if you have anything other than mild dark circles beneath your eyes, and I’d recommend a touch of powder for the centre of the forehead and on the chin if you don’t want to look all-over-shiny.

Talking of shiny, this is possibly not one for the oilier-skinned amongst us – nobody wants to add shine to an already uncontrollably shiny face – but if you have normal to dry skin and want a very sheer and glowy look then this is a quick and easy fix. If you need more coverage, then I’m still of the opinion that Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet is one of the best foundations out there – it’s as light and as fresh to apply, looks radiant and costs far less than the Healthy Glow Gel Touch Cushion. It doesn’t have the dewy finish though – swings and roundabouts! I could suggest the Guerlain Lingerie de Peau (review here) if you were after better coverage but it still doesn’t have the “gloss” that the Gel Touch Cushion gives to the skin. I need to do a big chart of foundations, with degrees of coverage and dewiness and longevity, but I feel it would be a lifelong project…

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Cushion is  £43 at John Lewis here* – note that the shades seem to come up far paler in comparison to other Chanel foundations. I used a 30 for the pictures in this review, though the product image shows a 20. I’m usually a 20 in my favourite Perfection Velvet foundation, which is £34 here*.

You get just 11g of product in the cushion, which is pretty sparse in comparison to the 30ml you get in the bottled foundations – to buy the equivalent amount in cushion form you’d be looking at nearly £130! Something to ponder, if you’re thinking of dipping a toe into the world of cushiony makeup – you tend to get far less for your money. I wonder how long it will be before you can buy empty cushions and fill them with your own foundation?

© 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. Denise frost
    July 19, 2017 / 8:50 am

    I have actually seen a cushion compact kit on amazon you could fill with your own foundation. Wasn’t too expensive either about a fiver.

  2. Susan Curci
    July 19, 2017 / 8:54 am

    You CAN buy empty cushion cases and sponges and fill them with any foundation or combination foundation, SPF, serum, highlighter, etc you like. You’re limited only by your own creativity. See!

      • Gaya
        July 21, 2017 / 12:01 pm

        Yes I also saw that on Gothamista’s youtube channel (a DIY cushion foundation tutorial)! She uses the brand “it’s my cushion” I think. x

  3. July 19, 2017 / 10:23 am

    Not sure about this one, a bit like yourself can’t tell whether I like it or not!

  4. Sarah
    July 19, 2017 / 11:06 am

    As far as cushions go, which do you prefer- Chanel or YSL?

  5. July 19, 2017 / 11:21 am

    This is one of my current favourites and I agree with everything you said about it, the fact that the shades come out a lot paler is mainly due to the sheer formula, but I’m glad because I usually can’t find my perfect match in the Chanel foundation range, but the shade 10 is perfect for me with this one! Sometimes I almost think of it as a skincare product or as an illuminator, it’s such a strange foundation in a way and it shouldn’t work, but I think it does because, as you said, it still covers a little bit and it is quite long-lasting considering it’s a super glowy foundation!

  6. NIN
    July 19, 2017 / 4:12 pm

    i don’t like that cushion trend that goes around lately…
    is there a technical reason that they all have SO little product in them?
    it is rediculous to give 40+ e for 11gr, thinking that half of them will stuck on the cushion or the brush… really, it seems all marketing to me, i feel like i m buying the cushion alone. where is the product??? special size samples have more product than cuchions!
    it doesn’ t look hygienic too. needless to say i won’t buy,,

    i just got the les beige in the bottle though (nice glass bottle, with a pupm,30 g), which i like very much.
    the same light feeling that you described , it really becomes a second skin, medium coverage, very well adapted to the skin ( i use 20), but with a subtle glow, which is not oily, neither glittery (of course).
    my skin is combo, a little oily in summer. i ve read a lot of reviews saying that it is drying, not suited for dry or normal skin. i can’t see why. it stands on the dewy side on me and i can easilly imagine it being great for drier complexion, too.

  7. July 19, 2017 / 7:19 pm

    wow this looks so natural on the skin, you look lovely xx

  8. Elizabeth
    July 19, 2017 / 10:55 pm

    Thanks for the review! Wondering if there is added fragrance in this? (All the Chanel foundations I’ve tried I’ve had irritation from the fragrance.)

  9. Kasia
    July 20, 2017 / 12:19 am

    I know in Korea you can buy empty cushions, but apparently a big reason why you shouldn’t do that is the foundations are formulated differently for cushions to not dry out in the packaging (as the containers are not as airtight as what you get in bottles). It may just be a conspiracy but I read that it is more prone to bacteria growing in it as a result.

  10. July 20, 2017 / 9:06 am

    Like most of the cushion foundations not one I would go for.
    And I have heard as well that self made cushions do dry out more quickly, but I never tried it myself.

  11. July 20, 2017 / 5:11 pm

    The glowy-ness is so pretty! It does look like a pretty light coverage but for summer it looks like a really good natural option

  12. July 20, 2017 / 6:40 pm

    I was SO disappointed with Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet.
    I had a Boots gift card for Christmas and after much deliberation and mulling over the reviews on here I thought I can’t go wrong with it …. however it’s the worst foundation I have ever used…. I can’t blend it at all it looks patchy no matter what I do I was so disappointed.

    • July 20, 2017 / 8:03 pm

      That’s odd! I wonder if there’s something wrong with it? x

  13. Kelsey
    July 30, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    Can you possibly do a review of the new Estée Lauder double wear nude water foundation Ruth?? I trust your reviews completely and I do not get on with the original double wear at all as I have slightly dry skin.

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