Sitting between makeup and skincare, this moisturizing foundation (loaded with natural ingredients) hydrates and smooths skin while evening out tone and imparting a luminous finish. It won't cover everything, but is a great pick for thirsty complexions in want of sheer-to-light coverage.
94% naturally derived ingredients
Skincare based foundation
Comfortable on dry skin
Delivers a skin-like finish
Available in 20 shades only
Coverage may be too light for some
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In the market for a new barely-there base? Let our Chanel N°1 de Chanel Revitalizing Foundation review tempt you. The lightweight liquid delivers a luminous, skin-like finish that makes you look fresh-faced – even when you’re not. It also contains moisturizing ingredients, making it ideal for dry and combination skin types.
Nowadays the best foundation formulas do so much more than provide even coverage and a smooth finish. Many are laced with popular skincare ingredients to boost skin quality over time, too. Take this Revitalizing Foundation from Chanel, for instance. It marries lightweight yet buildable coverage with red camellia oil to hydrate, protect and illuminate skin.
Available shades: 20
Coverage: Light-to-medium, buildable
Finish: Luminous, skin-like
Extra features: Contains red camellia oil and hydrating agents. Suitable for all skin types.
Already home to some of our favorite foundation formulas, including the innovative Les Beiges Water-Fresh Tint, we were keen to give Chanel’s recent addition a whirl. On paper, the foundation ticks all our beauty boxes. But to be sure it matches up IRL, we tested the foundation over the course of three days to bring you this honest Chanel foundation review.
Our beauty editor's Chanel Foundation review
Admittedly, I find a lot of foundation packaging off-putting. Bold colors, loud logos, and unnecessary layers can turn my attention elsewhere. But this frosted bottle from Chanel, with its black embossed lid and ruby red font, has won me over. Simplistic yet luxurious, the bottle has a touchable finish that mimics the foundation's actual finish.
Designed with sustainability in mind, the packaging for the N°1 de Chanel range is free from cellophane and paper leaflets. In the leaflet's place, you can scan a QR code printed on the box for more product information digitally. Clever! As the bottle is glass and the box is cardboard both are recyclable, which is a big tick for anyone who cares about sustainable beauty.
Sadly, the cap and air-tight pump are not recyclable – but they do keep the product fresher for longer. And as one pump is all you need for a light base layer of coverage; I suspect this foundation will last a while (despite its 30ml size). If you’re a frequent flyer, you’ll appreciate that it's travel-friendly and comes with a secure cap to prevent spillages.
The foundation formula
As someone who prefers a barely-there base over anything too ‘done’, this foundation from Chanel really pleased me. It has a silky, lightweight texture that blends effortlessly using your best foundation brushes, delivering the same sort of coverage you'd expect to find with the best tinted moisturizer. In fact, I’d say that this formula is more like a tinted moisturizer than your average foundation – not just because of its look and feel, but also because of its skincare benefits.
Its real magic lies in the skincare-laced formula that hydrates and brightens. Like the other products in the N°1 de Chanel range, this foundation contains antioxidant-rich red camellia oil to protect skin from environmental aggressors (city-dwellers, take note.) Alongside red camellia oil, the formula is jam-packed with moisturizing ingredients to hydrate skin and, as I found, prevent the foundation from clinging to dry patches over the course of the day. After a few days of wear, it’s too early to say if it noticeably improves skin – but I can say that my dry cheeks look and feel more moisturized.
How does it look and feel on skin?
As I mention in my Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation Review, the feel of a foundation is just as important as the look. And this Chanel foundation feels incredible on the skin. It’s weightless, refreshing and so imperceptible that by lunchtime, you almost forget you’re wearing it. My only reminder was that, before applying the rest of my makeup, it did transfer ever so slightly. However, this was quickly fixed with a swirl of my best setting powder (By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder, in case you’re interested).
The phrase "second-skin finish" gets thrown around a lot in the foundation field – but in the case of this Chanel foundation review, it really does apply. The lightweight base provides just enough coverage to reduce redness and create uniformity while allowing your real skin to shine through. Expect a luminous and fresh finish – essentially your skin after eight hours of slumber. If you do want to cover up spots and pigmentation, this base is too lightweight on its own. I’d recommend spot concealing using one of the best drugstore concealers (there are so many great ones out there) to build up coverage where desired.
In terms of staying power, it lasted for around eight hours before fading. I did notice that my skin, especially where it’s naturally oilier, started to ‘glow’ more and more over the course of the day. And by the evening, it erred into greasy territory. This isn’t a major issue for me as I do prefer a radiant look and usually have a setting powder on hand for afternoon touch-ups. If you're familiar with Chanel foundations, I'd say this sits somewhere in the middle of Water Fresh Tint and Les Beiges Healthy Glow Liquid Foundation in terms of coverage and texture.
CHANEL N°1 de CHANEL Revitalizing Foundation: My verdict
So, what's the verdict in my Chanel foundation review? This is by no means a heavy-duty foundation. For that, look to the best full coverage foundations. Chanel's featherweight formula is so light that you almost can’t feel it, regardless of how much you apply. The coverage is barely perceptible, but is enough to minimize redness, even out skin tone, and add a veil of radiance. The perfect off-duty base, it erases all signs of a sleepless night for a happier and healthier-looking complexion.
As well as providing instant radiance, this foundation also promises to plump up and smooth skin over time thanks to the skincare makeup formula. Arguably one of the best foundations for mature skin, it never creases or settles into fine lines and feels ultra-comfortable on dry skin. In fact, consider this an extension of your best skincare for dry skin. And while it doesn’t conceal blemishes or mask pigmentation, it does give a skin-like finish – which is perfect for those days when you just want a little coverage. Our only word of warning is that the coverage fades by evening so you may want to keep the bottle nearby for touch-ups.
This would be a great pick for anyone who likes a natural-looking base. There are, however, a couple of catches. Firstly, the price tag ($70/£55) is high for a 30ml bottle of foundation. Secondly, there are only 20 shades to choose from which is limited considering most beauty brands now offer upwards of 40 shades. If you’re shopping online, use the Chanel foundation match tool to help you find the right shade. Overall, this is a lovely lightweight base that feels moisturizing and looks luminous. Fancy a splurge? We’d highly recommend giving this base a whirl!
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Emma Stoddart is a freelance beauty journalist and self-confessed skincare aficionado with over five years’ industry experience. Emma has worked for some of the UK’s top women’s titles including Net-A-Porter, Stylist and Grazia. Her experience spans online and print as well as producing editorial shoots with some of the industry’s biggest artists, including Val Garland. Asides from working with them behind the scenes, she’s also had the chance to interview the likes of Patrick Ta, Pat McGrath, and Sam McKnight for all their insider tips and tricks.
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