It’s not often that I look at my reflection and catch myself out, thinking, who in God’s name is THAT? Actually, that’s an utter lie: I catch myself out on an almost daily basis, glancing in the mirror and wondering why my own face has been exchanged for that of an eight hundred year-old witch who has managed to survive multiple (harrowing) expeditions on the ducking stool and who lives in a mouldering shack made from twigs.
But it’s certainly not often that I catch myself out and think hey up! Who’s that flawless fox? which is precisely what happened to me last week when I was sitting having my hair done by the brilliant Samantha Cusick. Usually I look like a blood-drained zombie when I have my hair done – there’s something about your face being framed by packets of foil and wads of cotton wool and bits of cling-film that just doesn’t present it in its best light – but I happened to glance up and check my visage in the mirror and…
…it was as though my skin had been put through one of those Snapchat filters that people use but pretend they don’t use. Do you know the ones I mean? The filters that sort of “melt” the skin into a weird, smooth, almost featureless stretch of perfectly-toned beige? That’s what my skin looked like. In a good way.
I was wearing Lingerie de Peau, the new “second skin” “natural look” foundation from luxury beauty brand Guerlain. Guerlain say that “the formula offers the right balance between truth and idealisation, showcasing [skin] without transforming, creating the impression of naturally beautiful skin”.
I say “if anyone has skin this good naturally, I’ll eat my own newly-highlighted hair.” And also “if this isn’t transforming then I don’t know what is.”
There’s nothing wrong with transforming, and Guerlain’s newly reformulated Lingerie de Peau really does transform: what it doesn’t do, and they are welcome to amend their press materials and give me a small credit in the bottom left-hand corner, is mask. I can see what they are trying to say – that this foundation brings out the best in your own skin without plastering over its personality, but really, it’s far better than that. It takes a look at your skin, grimaces like a couturier who’s been asked to dress someone with boobs and then proceeds to completely overhaul it – adding radiance, disguising discolourations, smoothing over lumps and bumps. This is “lingerie for the skin” – it gives nothing near the full overcoat coverage of a heavier foundation – but it’s a corset, slimming pants and balconette bra sort of lingerie, not a flimsy wisp of lace kind of affair.
Here’s my face before the ultra-light, second-skin-effect Lingerie de Peau has been applied:
And here it is afterwards.
You can see that it’s not the fullest coverage in the world but it delivers in so many other ways. Like lots of other very clever face bases these days, it manages to produce a flawless finish without completely masking the skin – it’s as though there’s a suspended veil hovering over the surface that you can just about see through but that gives everything a wonderful soft focus effect.
Close-ups, now, and here’s the before with the usual bits of redness and a few blemishes:
Followed by the after, where you can see that the imperfections are muted down but not altogether covered:
In an unprecedented move, I’m going to show you an “extra” shot, because I really think that this foundation comes into its own when the daylight hits it at full pelt. Unforgiving, unfiltered, broad daylight.
See that? It’s almost as if the more light you chuck at this foundation, the better it performs. It’s rather soft focus, this pic, because it was taken on my iPhone and the lens was probably smeared with nappy cream and face oil and whatever else gets all over it, but you can see how glowy and flawless the skin looks. Lingerie de Peau uses special correcting pigments and powders to get this flawless finish – I’ve said this about a few other foundations recently, but it really is the sign of a classy product when it can give such a uniform and perfected look without massively heavy coverage.
Longevity-wise, this lasts well on me – as you know, I tend to take my foundation off as soon as I’m finished with my day, so I haven’t worn it for more than about twelve hours, but it does A-OK with a full “work day” of wear. I don’t powder it, just add some neutral blush or a pale bronzer (pictured above is Nude Nuance from Lauder, sadly discontinued) but if you were incredibly oily then a good primer might be sensible to help with wear and finish. I almost think it’s a shame to powder over the top!
So. A beautifully light, glowy-finish, skin-perfecting foundation with a lighter coverage than you’d expect – perfect for those who don’t want to look overtly made-up. It’s a sort of “wow, your skin looks amazing” sort of face base rather than a “what IS that foundation you’re wearing, it’s amazing” one. If that makes any sense whatsoever. You notice flawless skin, not flawless foundation. There are 18 shades with three different undertones – cool, neutral and warm – so quite an extensive range. I wear shade 02N, which, if anything, is very slightly on the yellow side, if that helps anyone with their tone choice!
You can find Lingerie de Peau at Escentual here – it’s £35.10, slightly less than the RRP of £39.