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.
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…
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:
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:
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.
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?