This is #2 in my foundation review series. The first I reviewed was the Mat Velvet + by Make Up For Ever. That foundation, I loved and still use it quite frequently.
This is Chanel's Mat Lumiere Foundation, and it's probably one of the most expensive items I own, beauty wise (that's in comparison to amount/function of similar products). For 1 fl. oz you pay $54, which is $20 more than the Mat Velvet. Obviously, Chanel foundation isn't a must for people - it is for sure a luxury item and something I consciously saved up for.
I first saw it on the Pixiwoo girls channel, because they use Chanel foundations all the time. It really wasn't something that I thought I needed, but always something I had wanted to try out. They both rarely use this foundation because they both have dry skin, but have recommended that those with oilier skins use this because "it sits so matte on the skin".
That's probably why I assumed that this foundation was going to be a completely matte finish, even though it has "lumiere" in the name.
My color is 20 Clair. I'm an NC25/NC30 in Mac, and I was 140 for the Mat Velvet +. I have medium skin with yellow undertones, and I have very oily skin, particularly in the T-Zone.
Because of my oily skin, I always look for the next great matte foundation. I really don't like touching up my makeup during the day because I've found that I don't have time, and it's just not convenient for me to carry around powder... I work at a pool and there's no place for me to keep makeup in a reachable place or a place where I can apply it.
So, when the Pixiwoo girls said that it finishes quite matte, I assumed along the lines of Mat Velvet +. That's incorrect. It really doesn't. And it says so in the description of the foundation on Nordstrom and Chanel's sites, that it doesn't. I just assumed (and they're not responsible for my assumptions, so I'm not blaming them for anything) that it would because they're professionals.
With all that said, the finish of Mat Lumiere is a more natural finish. It's not matte at all really. It gives a nice glowy finish but doesn't make your skin more oily. The term "soft matte" is loosely correct (as it says on the box). I noticed my skin looked healthy, evened out, and slightly dewy, especially on the T-Zone, right after application.
Throughout the day, it started to get a little oily, but that could also be because the pool is indoors and it's very very humid in there. It's how I test the true longevity of makeup - I test products out on days I know I'm going to be in there from the morning through to the evening.
It actually holds up pretty well after a full day. I did notice it started to fade in my T-Zone area, especially after the couple longer, hotter days I tested it on. I used it both set with a powder (once with Laura Mercier Translucent, once with Bobbi Brown Pale Yellow, once with my Studio Fix by Mac) and it fared better after powdering than without powdering. I also noticed it fares better when using a primer before applying.
The foundation applies very smoothly onto the skin, and has the same drying time as Mat Velvet + and Studio Fix Fluid by Mac, which are both matte foundations from each company. It's easy to use, both with fingers and a brush, although I found that it seems to work better with a brush because when applying with fingers, a lot tends to stay on the fingers.
It can be applied with one coat of a medium coverage and can be built up to quite a full coverage.
I love that it has an SPF in it. That doesn't hinder the foundation's photographic ability though. A lot of products that have SPF in it tend to reflect back to camera flashes and hence, the white face look in photos. This one is pretty safe.
There isn't a noticeable scent to it, like Mac's Studio Fix Fluid.
The pump on the foundation makes it very sanitary to use. I found that aesthetically Chanel looks much nicer and much more expensive because it comes in a frosted bottle. Mat Velvet + comes in a plastic squeeze tube, and MUFE's HD Foundation comes in a thick plastic bottle. I do expect the foundation to at least look nice though if I'm paying $54 for it.
One thing about the pump, and Pixiwoo mentioned this as well, the pump tends to clog, and if you're not careful it'll randomly spew out in a weird direction. I got it on random parts of my desk once, so be sure to clean off the pump once in a while.
It can be purchased anywhere Chanel makeup is sold, including Nordstrom and Nordstrom online, which is where I got mine.
Overall, I do like the foundation. I reach for it once in a while to layer over some foundations or to mix with some foundations if I find that my skin is looking a little more warm one day or a little more cool. I also like to mix it in for the added coverage and SPF.
Is it a completely necessary product to have? No. It's not my holy grail product, although I certainly was hoping it would be. It's a nice luxury to have though - it's a pretty solid foundation that would work great for those who a) have the money to spend b) have more of a combination skin and c) have time to retouch during the day.