In one of the early scenes in Bridesmaids, Kristen Wiig’s character slips out of Jon Hamm’s bed, leaving him to slumber as she applies a few cosmetics so she can “wake up” beside him looking radiant. The marvelous makeup item I met today would have been ideal — and it’s the only thing Wiig would have needed to fake a natural afterglow.
Chanel Le Blanc de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Base ($50 at Holt Renfrew, The Bay, and Murale) nearly blew my mind when I saw it in action via Canada’s Chanel makeup pro Julie Cusson. It’s white. Like milk. Looks daunting in the bottle, like it might give you ghost-face. But a small amount smoothed onto skin is a revelation.
It’s sometimes called a primer, but it isn’t quite — at least not in a heavy silicone-y way (as Kahani noted in the comments, it does contain silicone, but doesn’t feel like it at all). It’s not quite a highlighter either — at least not in a shimmery way. And it’s not quite a colour corrector — at least not in a green or next-generation-bb-cream* kind of way.
Le Blanc de Chanel is, however, quite ingenious. A white, milky fluid with zero shimmer or iridescence, it gives skin the kind of looks-natural dewy luminosity that comes from the perfect hydration few of us ever achieve. A tiny bit goes a long way (which helps given the price tag) and feels like nothing on skin. And it’s quite the multitasker:
- a bit applied with a foundation brush and worn alone makes skin look younger, softer, smoother and more even — you might not need foundation
- just a bit blended over redness tones it down to a soft, healthy glow
- just a bit blended over large pores makes them look more discreet — and stands up to oily skin
- a tiny bit blended over dark circles before concealer can make the concealer seem more effective — and you’ll need less
- a couple of drops mixed with a few drops of foundation makes for a sheer, radiant tint
- a tiny bit tapped onto brow bones, cheekbones, down the centre of the nose, and on the bow of the lips illuminates the planes of the face without looking like you’ve put any makeup on at all (works under foundation and over it, too)
- a very small amount well blended as a base under sheer-to-medium-coverage foundation can give skin a from-within glow
And don’t be afraid if you have olive, medium or medium-dark skin tones –as you’ll see here on a site called Weekend Ramblings, Le Blanc de Chanel will give your skin a natural healthy gleam too, without looking the least bit ashy.
Note: if you’re paraben-wary, Le Blanc has ’em. I’d say just use this stuff for special occasions if you’re leery, but of course, it’s up to you.
Also note: the wide-mouthed bottle comes with a spatula. In the event you misplace it, you’ll want to use a Q-tip to get the fluid from the bottle to the back of your hand or fingertips. If you tip the bottle and it comes out in a rush, Le Blanc de Chanel will be spilled milk you’ll definitely cry over.
Have you ever tried Le Blanc? How was your experience?
*By next-generation bb cream I mean cc cream — the cc stands for colour corrector (Chanel actually makes one, but it’s only sold in Asia). Essentially, cc creams are bb creams with a titch more in the way of skincare benefits and coverage. More to come on that in another post.