Base Makeup

My Search For a New Foundation Love: Part 2

February 12, 2011

My foundation sampling experiences Part 2 with Chanel Pro Lumiere, Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Makeup SPF 10, Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation, Laura Mercier Crème Smooth, Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment, Make Up Forever Face & Body Liquid Makeup & Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua. Click read more to see the details on each.

Chanel Pro Lumiere Professional Finish Makeup SPF 15 ($54) This is an oil-free liquid foundation that provides a medium-to-full coverage with a semi-matte finish. I was matched best to Beige 40.

  • Pros: The texture is a slightly thicker than normal liquid foundation. Comes with a pump. I have gone through a full bottle but couldn’t remember why I never repurchased. I got another sample recently to see if I could figure why. The upside is you can easily control coverage depending on how much you layer. The finish is just as described “semi-matte” but you do need to set with powder.
  • Cons: I found this heavily scented, can’t quite put my finger on the smell, but it’s sweet which is something I wasn’t a huge fan of. Although this is described as medium to full, I found it more on the full side. I also found it a bit too heavy on the skin. If you have medium to dry with fuller coverage then I think this is a formula you will like. I found it too full and a bit fake looking even after blending it out with a sponge.

Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Makeup SPF 10 ($46) Described on containing, “40% Active Mineralized water, this fluid foundation offers a fresh and hydrating finish.” I’ve heard non-stop raves about this one so I decided I had to try it.

  • Pros: Lightweight, flawless finish, nice liquid texture, lasts all day. No allergic reaction. Blends easily to cover the skin naturally. Feels amazing. Softly scented but not overpowering. Keeps skin non-oily. What’s not to love?
  • Cons: Color selection is odd. I’ve tried 20, 21 and 30 – all of which are slightly off. The benefit of the natural coverage is that I’ve been able to get away with both 20 and 21 – but I think my perfect match would be if I custom blended 20+21+30 (and not in equal proportions). I love everything except the color selection. I’ve found this typical of other Dior Tinted Moisturizers and Foundations. Perhaps I just need to sit down with my artist and try all the shades.

Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation ($59) I do not have immediate in person access to Dolce & Gabbana. Those who have read my Dolce & Gabbana posts know I can’t rave enough about Nikki from Saks Houston. She matched me over the phone when I told her my Chanel shade. PERFECT match! I used 140 Tan in the summer and currently use 100 Warm.

  • Pros: Full but natural velvety coverage. It’s truly versatile. I apply with the sponge (dry) over foundation or with a brush to set my liquid foundation. I can apply alone over my serum/primer. I can use for touchups during the day. Long lasting and no detectable scent. Comes with a separate bottom compartment to store the sponge. This is my new holy grail powder foundation twin to Chanel’s DPF.
  • Cons: Hard to find any, but the price tag of $59 is pretty steep. The gold packaging gets fingerprints and can get messy looking easily but it’s sturdy and after a while it’s not something I notice.

Laura Mercier CrΓ¨me Smooth ($50) I received a sample at a Nordstrom Trend Show in Sunny Beige and Vanilla Beige. They were featuring this one with a hard sell describing it as the perfect lightweight cream that has full coverage “without visibly settling into fine lines”(quoted exactly!) The model looked flawless so practically EVERYONE in the crowd was intrigued (screaming with excitement is a better description).

  • Pros: Great color selection. I tried several and there were several shades I could have gone with. Provides natural finish and looks great … for 1 hour. It has a nice texture and blends well on the skin. I wish I could have loved this one. It’s thicker and creamy like in a pot. The amount of product you get for the price seems generous in my opinion.
  • Cons: I equate this to Armani’s Luminous Silk Foundation which looks great right after the application. Makes me look glowing and flawless but after 1-2 hours, I end up a greasey mess. It did settle into the fine lines in my face (and I don’t have many wrinkles yet). Definitely not long lasting. Perhaps just too heavy for my skin type. I know many have raved about it. If you like Chantecaille’s Future Skin (which I did not) then try this LM out.

Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment ($125) This is perhaps one of the most raved about miracle-workers for tinted moisturizers/face treatments. I was eager to try this out as I have not read a single bad review. I tried this in both shades on numerous occasions (in early July, mid-July, early September, and November).

  • Pros: The only upside I could find is that it has a luminous finish which gives an all over glow. Oh, it also comes with a pump. The packaging isn’t bad either.
  • Cons: I may be the only one who hasn’t liked this. Everyone I’ve spoken to loves this, but it made my skin worse. The texture dried to a thick uneven finish. It didn’t blend well on my face. I found the luminous quality too luminous and sparkly. Gave me reddish areas on the face with bumps around the hairline. Felt really difficult to clean off – it’s the type of product I had to slather cleansing oil all over, wash, then use my regular cleanser +rinse twice, and then use my toner to really feel clean. Perhaps it’s just not made for 29-year old normal-sensitive skin. Anyone else try this? Please share your experiences!

Make Up Forever Face & Body Liquid Makeup ($38) Another much-raved-about foundation. I loved the MAC Face & Body Foundation finish (so lovely) but within 2 days I developed cystic acne. I decided to try the MUFE version from Sephora. I was matched by a Sephora rep and I am disappointed to say I feel like I was unprofessionally matched. She just grabbed a random shade and said, “This looks good.” I asked her if she knew what the difference was between MUFE’s foundations and she said “they’re all matte, but this one is the most matte, I just LOVE this foundation.” Say what? How could this be the most matte when there is another one called Mat Velvet? I’ll keep my negative thoughts about Sephora reps to myself. There are definitely plenty of good things about Sephora.

  • Pros: Natural gel like finish. The one she used on me looked liquidy and felt a little like jelly. I wasn’t sure if it was just the tester or the real product, but it felt nice on the skin. It looked natural and felt slightly dewy.
  • Cons: I found the coverage too sheer and this foundation is simply too heavily scented for me. I couldn’t stand the smell. My skin developed a bumpy rash (odd because there was no red, just lots of bumps) within 30 minutes. I tried this several times at home to see if perhaps I didn’t have properly prepped skin. No luck. Don’t write this off – if you can try it at Sephora, I still recommend looking into it. They have a wide color selection. Chances are you’ll have to find a good match on your own though.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (to be released in March in the US) I was lucky to get a couple sample packets included in Japanese magazines. This is supposed to replace the Teint Innocence Liquid. I was a bit skeptical but I did have a little bit of faith in Chanel. With the discontinuation of Teint Innocence Liquid (big mistake in my mind), this will be the THIRD time Chanel has discontinued my Holy Grail Foundation (Teint Fluide Universel and the original DPF powder have both been long discontinued).

  • Pros: Thin texture allows a little to go a long way. This is less dewy than Teint Innocence but gives a similar flawless naturally soft finish. Coverage is sheer to medium (more on the medium side). I think I have found my new Holy Grail!!! It’s like if Lift Lumiere and Teint Innocence had a baby with a slightly thinner texture. Coverage is perfect in my opinion. I’ve set with powder but I think you could get away without using powder on top. LOVE!!!
  • Cons: Not sure if I can find any. I got samples of #20 which I found a tad too light, but still looked pretty good in undertone. I hope it’s not too pricey (as in please be under $50). I’m still very VERY VERY sad Teint Innocence is being pulled from their product lineup.
If you’ve tried any of these – please chime in with your experiences! I will be doing a comprehensive review of the brands and formulas I’ve tried in Part 3. I would like to kindly ask if you have a suggestion for something that I didn’t list above – please save it for Part 3. I think it will help readers (and myself) sort through your suggestions, thoughts and experiences if they are all in one spot. Thanks πŸ™‚

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  • Hey Sabrina, I believe Vitalumiere Aqua will be retailing for $45 USD for 30 ml/1 fl.oz. Glad you found a keeper! πŸ™‚

  • They seem to push MUFE a lot at Sephora, at least I get that impression. Sorry to hear that it broke you out, I love the face and body foundation. The dior skinnude is a favourite of mine too. The chanel sounds lovely, I really want to try that one. Sounds like you're like me and try a ton of foundations! πŸ™‚

  • Luxlady

    I love the peau vierge!!!! I didn't love it at first because I was using a primer under it and (bad girl) not always using my face cream when I was in a rush. I was told by and SA to not use a primer and always use my face cream and now Im in love this has taken some old acne scars off my cheek to! I got to say I love it! but I do mix it with foundation when I'm going out.

  • Loci

    I'm just like you in terms of foundation. Armani Lasting Silk is my current HG and I used up 3 bottles already, I agree its fairly expensive, but I've tried even more expensive ones like CDP or la prairie or La Mer, none as good for my oily skin.

    Canadians are lucky that we get to have Chanel Vita Aqua a bit earliar, and I like it too. I'm GA Lasting silk in 6.5, I got 20 in Chanel Aqua and yeah a bit light but passable since its not cakey. The lasting power is not as good (slides off my nose after a few hours that needs touchups) but if I only need under 4~5hrs of makeup than Chanel Aqua is good enough. It does have strong yellow undertone though.

  • Thanks for such a thorough update!! My personal to-try list of foundations is Lancome Mineral foundation, Suqqu Liquid foundation & Chanel Aqualumiere.. but samples are unavailable in places like Australia *sniff*

  • I thought I liked Peau Vierge but I don't. It is not the miracle product LMdB claims it to be. My complexion did not clear up but got red and bumpy. I once tried MAC's Face and Body and experienced what you did with MuFE's – big zits. I currently use GA Luminous Silk and it was so nice in the beginning, but now sometimes – not all the time – it slides off my face. Weird.

  • Eileen

    Peau Vierge in the light to medium tint was way too dark on me. Consequently, it was a no-go without even taking into consideration my greater concern regarding the use of retinoids during the day.

    There's quite a controversy brewing about Peau Vierge. Those of us who take an interest in the science behind good skin care know that retinoids degrade when exposed to sunlight. They also make the skin more sensitive and susceptible to sunburn. That's why dermatologists always recommend using retinoids at night and using a good sunscreen during the day. That being said, Peau Vierge doesn't make sense if you're using it as a make-up option. As for the SPF in the product, no one would ever use enough of the product–especially given it's outrageous price– to get good sun protection. If you want to use it as a skin treatment product and apply it at night, that's fine but then the tint and SPF are superfluous. If you want to use it as a make-up option, you'd still need to use a much better sunscreen. In many of the rave reviews I've read about it, the bloggers usually mention that they often use another make-up product and/or sunscreen in conjunction with Peau Vierge. That kind of defeats the purpose if you ask me.

    All considered, I find it a very confused product. I think LMdB would have been better to have simply marketed it as a skin care product in which case it is, by all accounts, a very good one.

  • thanks for the update sabrina .. it feels like i'm going through the same journey =) the LM Creme Smooth was launched in Australia this week ($80A) and had a color match along my jaw line and unfortunately – completely broke out with little red bumps – which is weird because i usually don't react to 'new' products. now i'm terrified to try anything else for a while. so these reviews are ESPECIALLY helpful. xo

  • I too think Chanel Vita Acqualumire is my new holy grail foundation. I got 20 – Beige Tendre, it's a touch too light but i think 30 was too dark for me.

  • Anonymous

    I have 43-year old sensitive skin and I also had a reaction to Le Metier Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment – it made patches of my skin dry, red and a little flaky. As a foundation it looked great but after a week or so my skin really didn't like it. I'm guessing it was the retinol and/or the sunscreen.

  • I love your foundation series! It's so helpful to have descriptions from someone who's not trying to sell you stuff. My skin is pretty sensitive to different formulations too, I once tried a Laura Mercier concealer and that gave me cystic acne. I'm always scared to try new formulas because of things like that, but this series gives me new hope!

  • I tried Laura Mercier. It made me look a bit too "done".

    My friend tried Chanel and liked it. But I don't remember which one.

    Do keep us updated on which one you pick.

  • I have tried TONS of foundations, I might be slightly addicted πŸ™‚ I have reviewed over 20 on my blog in the course of 1,5 years! Feel free to browse them…

    I would recommend that you try Nars Sheer Glow. It's extremely similar to the Burberry one but hopefully, it won't break you out the same way.
    I have also heard of a new Shiseido foundation coming out next month that is similar too but in a packaging similar to Vitalumiere Aqua, which is practical.
    I love DIorskin Nude a lot but am not surprised you can't find a match since I wear 20 and our skintones are VERY different.
    I've heard Pro Lumiere is going to be discontinued, so don't fall in love with that one! Plus, on the long term, I find it quite heavy and not suitable for all times of the year.

    Hope this helps a bit πŸ™‚

  • I have tried the Dior one and really like the texture but agree that the colour selection isn't the best – ideally I would have to mix 2 together to get the right shade. It's a shame as they do some lovely foundations. The Forever liquid is also good as it's quite lightweight but has good coverage foundation although with this I cannot get a good colour match at all.

  • Cristina

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful post of foundations! It helps so much:) Does the Vitalumiere Aqua give as much coverage as Teint Innocence or Lift Lumiere?thank again and I hope Vita Aqua ends up being your holy grail….I can't wait to try it! Take care:)

  • DJ

    I used a sample of the new Chanel and loved it. my new bottle of it will be here today (with my husband who was somewhere it was being sold). I was using a chanel compact creme foundation (I forget which one, it is round) but it was a little to orange on me.

    For evening I use Nars Sheer Glow (in Deauville).

    love this series, even though it is highly personal. thank you for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous

    My favorite foundation is Chantecaille's Future skin. It has a gel like texture and last for whole day with medium coverage.

  • Thanks for the review! I'll definitely be picking up some samples of these. I just can't seem to find my HG. It's so frustrating! As for suggestions, I've heard raves about YSL teint resist and Nars Sheer glow

  • These post(s) came at the perfect time! As soon as my Pro Lumiere is done I need to switch! I liked it intially for the full coverage when my skin was having an acne moment. But my skin is better now, and I feel like it is suffocating!
    I was quite inspired by your analysis on Diorskin Nude-I would like to try and find my color match. As you know, I am fascinated with trying Cle de Peau as well.
    Great post!

  • I really appreciate this series! I have newly "good" skin and so I no longer need my full-coverage foundations. But I'm also very sensitive, so I'm wary of trying new formulas. Your reports of adverse effects (though I'm really sorry you had to suffer them!) are so very valuable to me.

  • as for me. la Matier de Beaute works perfect. I use at as a base under powder and it helps to keep the face nice and radiant the whole day. I'm in love with this foundation.

  • Thanks for your honest opinion on the Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment. I have been wanting to try it but haven't wanted to throw down the 125 for it. Now I think I can skip it.

    My favorite foundation right now is the Le Metier Classic Foundation, omg seriously I love it more than my Chanel Vitalumiere, the only problem is my color #5 I guess is pretty popular, I ran out and can not find a bottle of it ANYWHERE.

    I haven't liked any of the MUFE foundations not the HD and not the Face & Body Foundation. I just don't think they do anything for me.

    I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has a zillion foundations! I have so many but only like a few and love only 2.

  • Can't wait to try Chanel vitalumiere aqua. I really like teinte innocence. I'm sad they are discontinuing them. i've had similar bad experiences at sephora too, that is why I only shop at their .com and just go to the store to swatch. The staff is terribly rude and many don't know what they are talking about.( not all some are very nice and educated) I think the main problem is that some times they have poorly trained newer reps and skincare specialists doing makeup. πŸ™ Anyway, thank God for sephora for letting us swatch and play with makeup.

  • wendy lieberman

    hi!!! i found you through and i wanted you to know i absolutely love your website!!! it is fabulous!!! i live in cincinnati, ohio…usa. i have no idea where you are…my eyes get tired on the computer, i should look further on your website. anyway, i want to recommend a foundation to you. i'm obsessed wiyh chanel and guerlain and other high end brands but, i deal with alot of skin issues like you. please, you must try jane iredale's amazing base. it is fabulous!!!! it's not cheap either!! this is very high end but, you usually see this cosmetic brand at a dermatologist or plastic surgeon's office or go to her if you tell them who you are you're bound to get free samples. this is from a girl who's tried everything. i really think you should look into this!!!

  • Thanks so much for these reviews, which are so helpful for those of us who are forever on the hunt for the perfect foundation!! I often use just powder foundation to save time in the mornings and look forward to trying out Dolce & Gabanna's. πŸ™‚

  • I adore LMdB peau vierge. It's my everyday foundation and it's luminous without me looking sweaty or looking like a wax figurine. My skin has improved so much thanks to this. I don't use primer, or use any other sunscreen/other skincare product (aside from my cleanser and moisturizer).

    That sucks that it didn't work out for you, because for me it's worth the $.

  • I can't believe they are discontinuing Teint Innocence! Like you, my previous HG was the discontinued Teint Fluide Universal as well…but glad you found the new replacement long as the colors are still good, I should be fine…

  • We seem to be foundation twins! I went to the Dior counter today and was matched as a #22 in the Dior Nude foundation. Sephora didn't carry this color in the store and the SA at Macy's said that the even #'ed colors tend to have just a touch of warmth to them and a bit less yellow. The 22 was a good color match. In Chanel TI, I am also a 30 if that helps!

  • I just got a sample of the Dior Nude foundation, and decided to look online to see what other people had to say. I'm so glad to hear that you liked this foundation, because I've had NO luck with any of the other Dior products! I think we are pretty similar in skintone, so I hope my #21 will be a decent match.

    However, Vitalumiere Aqua is my current HG foundation as well. Glad to hear that you loved it too . . . it makes me sad to read the mixed reviews from other places.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting about the Peau de Vierge…I happen to love it. I found out about it via my dermatologist, who uses/loves it and invited the Neiman Marcus LMDB rep to her client/holiday party. $125 is a LOT to throw down for any ONE skin product, but given the fact that it worked as tinted sun protection (my derm said it has physical sunscreen properties ie titanioum dioxide/zinc oxide which is what she recommends but is hard to find in a non-whitening, non-greasy rendition with a bit of color), had a luminous finish but no mica (I'm sensitive to it) and the retinol properties, I decided it was multi-tasking enough to justify trying it. I use Retin-A every other night, so i was pleased when the PDV appeared to boost the retinol effect without additional peeling. In the AM,I use a bit of Neutrogena SPF 50 Pure & Free Liquid mixed with some Cerave moisturizer (drug store products, ladies!!) on my neck & face first, then a squirt & 1/2 of PDV & a bit of setting powder & my face makeup is done. I feel like it is a time-saving HG; the only element I dislike is the packaging since I'm sure it is a pricey percentage of the true cost and you can't see when you're almost out of product.