Chanel Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint review: a light quenching base with class

Curious about Chanel Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint? Here's everything you need to know

Chanel les beiges water fresh tint
(Image credit: Chanel)
Woman & Home Verdict

A uniquely hydrating base with sheer, dewy coverage. If you’re relatively skin confident and seeking serious glow, this is one of the best foundations you could ask for.

Reasons to buy
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    Ultra-hydrating formula

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    Fresh, glowy finish

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    Adaptable pigment

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    Glamorous, hygienic packaging

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Reasons to avoid
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    Limited shade range

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It’s a very rare woman who would read the name of this product without thinking, ooh, I’d like to give that a try. For one thing, it’s Chanel. As well as ensuring Grade A glamour factor in every product it beings to market, this brand also has a very strong reputation when it comes to creating the best foundation formulas. 

Chanel will tell you this isn’t actually a foundation at all, it’s a tint. And in a sense they are right. Chanel Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint is as far away from the paste-thick substances that give foundation a bad rep as it’s possible to be. This unique formula is made with 75% water and micro-droplets of pigment. These burst onto the skin along with some juicy active ingredients to leave a glowing wash over unevenness, without masking your real skin.

Add to this ultra-sophisticated packaging and very forgiving pigment that adapts to meet your skin tone and you’ve got yourself a corker of a sheer base. Naturally this comes at a price, and even for Chanel this water tint is on the steep side, although it does include a handy little buffing brush which helps things along a bit.

As luxury make-up goes, this promises a lot and truly delivers. 

Chanel Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint Specifications 

Price: £48
Coverage: Sheer, dewy
Shades and inclusivity: 8 shades from light to deep. Adaptable pigment means each shade works on many skin tones 
Added extras: Tamarind seed extract and a subtle neroli fragrance 

Who should buy it? 

Anyone with a bit of cash to flash who wants a deeply moisturising, sheer base. Due to that light coverage Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint is better suited to those who are reasonably happy with their skin and don’t need a foundation to do much heavy lifting. If you have a lot of pigmentation, rosacea, acne or anything else that means you prefer to use medium or full-cover bases this probably isn’t for you. 

For me, the Water Fresh Tint really comes into its own for holidays, sunny days and Sundays. Those days when the last thing you feel like doing is wearing heavy make-up, but you look in the mirror and reckon you could do with a little pick-me-up. A couple of pumps of this, spread on with hands takes about 30 seconds and makes sapped skin look glowy, healthy and even. 

Chanel Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint Key ingredients 

Drops of foundation in various shades

(Image credit: Getty images)

You guessed it – water. The formulation is 75% H2O, then the second ingredient on the list is glycerin, a solid moisture-binding molecule used widely in skincare creams and serums. 

Tamarind seed extract is undoubtedly the superstar ingredient here. It’s an excellent hydrator, packed with polysaccharides that draw moisture into the skin and keep it there. In  fact, tamarind seed works in much the same way as the much-lauded active hyaluronic acid, and has been shown in some studies to outperform HA in hydration duties. It’s also high in antioxidants, which help the skin protect itself against pollution and UV damage. 

Ingredients-wise, pigment is much the same across most foundation formulas, but here it is uniquely delivered via little micro-droplets suspended in the watery formula. As well as looking very attractive through the transparent packaging, these little droplets are pumped out along with all their skincare friends and effectively ‘burst’ onto the skin. This makes for a very spreadable texture that’s happy to be applied with the hands. Although Chanel does include a very cute little brush to be used alongside, which if you prefer using tools [LINK once live] to apply will do a lovely job of buffing it in. 

Coverage and lasting power

This is a light-coverage base, but that’s not to say non-existent. Think of it as a wash or a veil and you’ll be there. It’s enough to lightly even out any mild redness, or mild pigmentation, mottled cheeks or discrepancies in the skin tone.

Once the Water Fresh Tint is spread on, the immediate effect is of glowing and plumped skin, which lasts easily as long as any good hydrating skincare does. For normal skin types  that would be most of the day. 

If you are very dry or dehydrated and your skin tends to drink make-up then you can expect less glow time, perhaps four hours or so. Ditto if your skin is very oily and/or you are in a very hot and sunny environment. If you do need to top up you can do so very faff-free without worrying about cakiness or build-up thanks to that light water-based formulation. 

Now would be a good time to address the shade range, which at eight is significantly lower than the majority of foundations, particularly now brands are finally wising up to the make-up needs of women of colour. In Les Beiges Eau de Teint Water Fresh Tint’s defence this is an adaptable formula, meaning each shade will cover a multitude of different skin tones. For example I have very fair Celtic skin, but was able to wear the Light, Medium light and Medium shades for either a perfect match or to warm my skin up a little. None of them looked unnatural or mask-like. 

That said, we can always do better and I think a few more shades within the medium-deep to very deep spectrum would not go amiss.

Chanel Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint Packaging

Beautiful, glamorous and fun to look at too. The transparent bottle shows all the little bubbles of pigment inside, plus you can always see how much you have left, The pump action is very hygienic and ensures you’ll get every last drop out. And those interlocking Cs on the lid? Well they’ll make you smile every time you use it, and make your friends jealous if they spy the bottle on your dressing table. 

Application tips 

Chanel global creative make-up designer and colour director Lucia Pica recommends the following three ways to use this base: 

1. Primer

"For a more luminous make-up result, apply Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint all over as a primer, then follow with Chanel foundation.

2 Make-up

For a natural-looking bare-skin effect, apply Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint all over, starting at the centre of the face, working outward.

3. Touch-up

To even out and refresh the complexion, lightly apply Les Beiges Water Fresh Tint over Chanel foundation any time of day."

Fiona McKim
Beauty Editor,

 As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.