Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 Powders N° 20, 30 and 40

August 18, 2013

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour powders have finally arrived in the US ($57.50 for 12 g/0.42 oz). There are seven shades available in the powder. Each come encased in a black pouch and a beige colored square compact. The Les Beiges Powders come with a half-moon domed-shaped brush, but there is also a separate Les Beiges Retractable Kabuki Brush ($70) that has been released as well specifically for use with the Les Beiges powders. The compacts for Les Beiges are the same size as the now discontinued Poudre Douce, but with slightly less product. I was able to preview and test Les Beiges last month at a Chanel event. The artist used the shade in N° 20 all over as a soft finishing powder over the Vitalumière Aqua Compact Foundation in B30 (a full coverage foundation), then used N° 40 as a face contouring powder to add definition. The result was a flawless glow.

The Les Beiges powders are very finely milled powders with a sheer
translucent finish. The colors I picked out have a subtle glow in the
compact but the shimmer is not really visible on the skin except for N° 30 which has visible glow particles (at least on me). There are a number of ways to use these powders. My local Chanel
counter had some useful sheets to explain how the powders are meant to
be used. You can enhance the skin by using as a setting powder. Add a glow with a color that is one shade darker. Or use as a bronzer with an even darker shade by layering.

More ideas on how to use the powders:

The colors I picked: N° 20, 30 and 40

Each color side by side:

Since each color is very sheer, I tried to do a heavy swipe to show the color.

Swatched with a brush with a heavy hand:

Comparisons to come in the next post, but for now I’ll share my thoughts on how these powders performed. I’ve tested these several ways over the past few days. Overall these are very sheer even when buffed heavily into the skin. I’ve tested with several different brushes that Chanel recommended. Each brush will give a slightly different effect although no matter how you use these shades, the result is a similar soft glow. The Les Beiges create the same soft sheer effect as a loose setting powder but in pressed form.
The recommended brushes (and thoughts below). Les Beiges Retractable Kabuki Brush, Touch-Up Brush and the Half Moon Brush that comes with the Les Beiges powders.

Uses/methods tried and thoughts on the shades:

1) Dusted over a full coverage foundation with the Retractable Kabuki or Touch Up Brush creates the best effect for me. There is a big gap between N° 20 and 30 and unfortunately I fall in that range. If I could only pick one, right now the N° 20 works best for me when dusted lightly over foundation. I’ve found mixing both N° 20 + 30 gives the best color finish even though the powders are sheer.

2) Buffed over a sheer foundation or tinted moisturizer needs a denser brush like the Retractable Kabuki. My skin is not good enough to just wear a sheer tinted moisturizer and sheer powder. I need something with more coverage. Dipping the brush into the powder and buffing the color into the skin helps create a heavier coverage but it’s still a bit too sheer for my taste.

3) Buffed over bare but moisturized skin (like in Lisa Eldridge’s video). I tried this over Chanel Le Jour de Chanel mixed with a bit of Chanel Sublimage Le Fluide (small sample). I used the same buffing method that Lisa demonstrated. This would work best with those who have near flawless skin. This method did give a lovely sheer glow with soft coverage however my skin isn’t in the best condition right now and in need of something with more pigment. If you have any imperfections you need to hide this method won’t cover them.

4) Used as a dark contour with the darker shades. N° 30 isn’t dark enough for me to use as a contour, but anything darker like N° 40 work perfectly. There’s enough warmth in these to look natural on the skin but not too much brown so that these look like a bronzer (at least on me). N° 30 does work to add warmth by dusting it over the cheeks and temples but in a very subtle way.

5) Used as a touch-up powder with the half moon brush. I will probably need to test this more, but I found that the half moon brush did not pick up enough color to do much of anything. It’s made well with high quality bristles and cut for a compact, but the bristles are not dense enough for me to pick up much color to deposit on the face. If you’ve had luck trying it I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Overall the Les Beiges act as a good setting powder if you want a sheer soft finish (emphasis on the sheer). It has less coverage but a more matte finish compared to the Poudre Douce (discontinued). I’ll have a separate post with more details on how it compares to other powders from Chanel. In general with the Les Beiges I found the biggest downside to be the color selection. There are gaps in the middle shade range where I think many women fall (like myself). I tried N° 20 in the evening and photographed with a flash and it did leave a white cast. I haven’t photographed N°20+30 or N°30 alone with a flash so it could just be that N° 20 is a tad too pale for me as it is. I do think these are good high quality powders with a decent price of $57.50. If you are one who prefers heavier coverage then using this as a setting powder might not be the best option for you. You can still get a good finish when buffed over a fuller-coverage foundation but again, these powders are very sheer.

Les Beiges powders should be at all Chanel counters now. I found mine in store at Nordstrom. You can also find these online at Nordstrom, Chanel.com, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales.

You Might Also Like

  • I have had Les Beiges #20 for a few months now (it was released earlier in Europe) and I absolutely love it as a touch up powder through the day. So it's in my bag and comes along with me everywhere, plus the compact is so pretty and I like the smell.
    But on its own it doesn't do anything for me, even though I have quite good skin. It has no coverage whatsoever, I don't see how could wear this alone unless they're a 20 years old with perfect skin and 10 hours of sleep every night!

  • Great in-depth review as always, thank you.
    I hit the pan with my Les Beiges powder around a month ago. It is in shade 20 and a perfect match for me NC20-25 complexion. I used to dust it over Guerlain BB creme which became my go-to base. I almost always used the retractable Kabuki brush for that because, as you already noted, with the half moon brush I needed like half a hour to get enough amount of the powder. Later on I washed the Kabuki brush (with Brush cleanser and let it dry upside down) but I find it was never the same again. I wonder, have you washed you Kabuki? How do you do that? Does it dry ? (Mine took 2 days to dry).

    • Hi Sara – I haven't washed my Kabuki brush yet, it's only been used a few times. I will report what happens when I wash it. Now you have me a bit nervous!

    • Hi Sabrina.
      Please don't be. The Kabukis in US might be another quality. In Germany they were cheaper (which is very unusual) and I suspect the quality was different (I remember paying around 40€ if I am not mistaken…)

  • Hi Sabrina,

    Amazing review! I felt like I was living the Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour experience whilst reading! The packaging is a such cool twist on the classic Chanel compact packaging, and the powder certainly sounds versatile! I would definitely have picked one up if my skin was able to tolerate sunscreen.

  • Oh I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who falls between N°20 & N°30 and since I can't get two, I passed. 🙁

  • I agree that there's quite a jump between N°20 and N°30. Luckily, N°20 suits my current NC25ish skin color just fine as summer/sunlight has been very mild this year (consequently I am not as tan as I usually expect during the summer).

    I was going to pass this powder up because the setting powder I was using worked just fine. However, a recent trip to the Chanel counter convinced me to give Les Beiges a try–and I'm glad I did. There is something in this powder that makes my face look much better than using my former setting powder–the powder looks well blended in with my face and it seems to last longer too. Btw, I'm using this over NARS tinted moisturizer. I didn't buy the retractable kabuki brush as I find my Shu Uemura retractable face brush works just fine.

  • Anonymous

    What are some of your fave powders at the moment? I seem to have skin like yours and am searching for good coverage without the cakey

  • I've been so very pleased with my Les Beiges. I have it in #10 and use it as a finishing powder. I'd describe it as light-diffusing more than anything else. I use my Tom Ford bronzer brush to lightly dust #10 all over my face, neck, and décolletté. It adds a healthy, real-skin glow that is subtle and natural. I even like how it looks when it is simply applied on top of my Guerlain primer in Les Ors. On low maintenance days, it is a combination that makes my foundation superfluous. When I do use it over my La Mer foundation; however, the result is absolutely flawless. It also photographs beautifully–no flashback, no sparkle, no shine–just a soft radiance created by the ultra fine, satin-matte finish. Les Beiges is definitely giving my beloved Météorites a run for the money 🙂

    I think the Lisa Eldridge video for Chanel in which she buffs on Les Beiges like a mineral foundation, probably confused a lot of people because Les Beiges is definitely not a mineral foundation and it doesn't offer coverage. Anyone expecting something along the lines of Bare Minerals is going to be in for a huge disappointment. Les Beiges just evens things out by diffusing light and providing a soft, realistic glow which is why it excels as a finishing powder. Depending on how light your complexion is and what shade you choose, you can get some color but it's not going to be as pronounced as what you'd get from using a dedicated bronzer or contouring powder. Personally, I like this more refined and delicate aspect of Les Beiges better because it is so natural looking.

    I was lucky in that #10 is perfect on me, but there definitely needs to be more choices in intensity and undertone. I'm really not sure why Chanel didn't offer a larger selection that would correspond to their foundation shades. That oversight will mean a lot of women will give Les Beiges a pass and that's a shame. At least we got seven shades. I can imagine the frustration in countries where they only got five.

  • The compact itself is so pretty!

  • Szeliger

    I use it for three months, use nothing under it only a little moisturizer. I'm over 40 and it has a really fine finish alone. Don't be nervous about the cleaning of the Kabuki, I wash out mine with a simple soap and water. To tell the truth, I make it not so often, because it needs min.2 days to be dry.
    I really love your blog! Bests from Europe! Edit

  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Les Beiges. I bought #20 sight unseen. My skin is roughly NC20–but much more neutral/less yellow–and unfortunately #20 lends more warmth than I like. I had been hoping to use it as a finishing powder (over a tinted moisturizer for a natural look) but it noticeably alters my skin tone. I guess #10 would have been a better choice, but I was afraid it would be too light. As the powder irritates my skin somewhat, I won't be trying it in the lighter shade. (I should note that most Chanel foundations bother my skin, so perhaps it's not surprising the powder does, too; I would imagine that anyone who gets on well with their foundations would not have a problem with the powder.)

    In terms of that half-moon brush, I read on a blog (sorry, forgot which one) that using the brush in a way that seems upside down works best. That is, sweep the powder using the brush with the Chanel logo facing downward (toward the powder), then apply. I agree with whoever that blogger was: I get more powder and a better experience that way. I mean, it's still quite sheer, but at least I feel like I'm getting some powder on my face. I'd love to know if you notice a difference with that approach or if I'm just imagining it!

    All that said, for someone who finds a good color match and isn't irritated by the powder, I think Les Beiges would be a lovely finishing powder. Gorgeous case, too.

  • The colours are beautiful xxx


  • These powders really remind me of Hourglass Ambient powders just on a warmer side. I bought # 10 and it reminds me of the Dim Light. Since i have the Dim light already, I'm thinking about returning this since there's no reason to keep both products. However i have a question, has anyone here with oily or combo skin use thid? Did the shea butter in this product make your skin greasy?

  • This article was so helpful as I am about to get this LES BEIGE powder! I use Vitalumiere Aqua in #30 and do not use #20 powder like you had done, but thinking to get LES BEIGE powder in #40 to use as a contouring powder over my foundation #30. Do you think it will work? Or would you recommend to go one shade darker in LES BEIGE? Thanks!