"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Beaute: Brown Skin Illuminated

"Brown skin, you know I love your brown skin...
Apparently your skin has been kissed by the sun."
- India Arie

As you know, I love the look of a healthy, glowing 'naked' face. During my last three trips to Paris, the vast majority of Parisiennes I saw wore this look to la perfection. In my humble opinion, lots of goop caked on a face, with clown colors piled on top of it, makes a woman's face look older than her years. And on a 40 something woman - it just magnifies all of our flaws - EEK! Of course the 'naked' face is not actually 'naked' (makeup free). The basis of this look is a good Luminizer [(also known as Illuminator) -for a great explantion what a Luminizer is, what it does, and how to use it, go here].

Soleil Tan de Chanel Illuminating Fluid ($48)

"Luminizer is a loose term for...products with ground up mica and other shiny materials in them. The mineral dust refracts light, so when its applied to your skin, it helps soften problem spots and highlights the areas the light hits" (Source: Bellasugar). It is the primary foundational ingredient to a 'naked' face. Use it correctly, and a luminizer gives you a healthy, sun kissed glow that camouflages a whole host of flaws - I love this stuff! But had yet to find one that truly matches my skintone and needs. Until...

Amy's Illuminator Swatch

One of the many things I like about Cafe Makeup (I first blogged about it here) is that Amy is as obsessed with Luminators as I am. And since Amy is my trusted guide, through this 'new' world of high-end cosmetics, I was thrilled when I came across this February review of 6 different Illuminators. The Soleil Tan de Chanel swatch looked perfect. I dug a little deeper and came across her original 2009 review of Soleil. I was intrigued and decided to take a chance and order it. 

This comes in only one shade: sunkissed

Amy's detailed reivews and 'swatches' are pretty amazing, but I was still very nervous about this adventure. First of all, 1oz. costs $48! Second, maybe you've noticed that Amy's skintone is about 30 shades lighter than mine. So my fingers trembled a little when I clicked 'submit order' at Chanel's 'site.

The packaging and bottle are gorgeous (no surprise, it is Chanel after all). I was slightly alarmed at the illuminator's very light color, but also very encouraged with it's beautiful yellow undertone(s). First I 'swatched' it on my own hand:

Soleil on my hand, beneath my extended index finger, barely rubbed in (see the glow?)

Okay, so far so good. Next, I applied it to my freshly cleansed face, with my fingertips. This illuminator is very thin and fine. I made sure to apply it in bright natural light so that I didn't inadvertently put on too much. Don't be afraid to blend well and/or experiment - to find the right look for you. 

This stuff glides on like silk and left my skin feeling SO soft - like I had put on moisturizer (I like that). While it doesn't cover flaws like discoloration(s), it does give my face a soft glow that minimizes what I want it too (my lines and, limitedly, the darkness beneath my eyes). I used my beloved Revlon Colorstay Undereye Concealer on my undereye area and to cover my spots (chin, bottom creases of my nose, smile lines, and sparingly my cheek spots - sigh) - et voila!

No foundation, only Soleil Tan de Chanel Illuminator and Revlon Colorstay Undereye Concealer. I'm also rocking my Dior "Flash" gloss.

Soleil Tan de Chanel Illuminator gives me a gorgeous, soft overall sunkissed glow that does not look or feel like I've got a mask on. In fact, other than super soft skin, you can't feel Soleil at all. Believe it or not, even Brown skinned girls get pasty from lack of sun. Soleil works with the pasty (as oppossed to trying to cover it, or make it darker) and transforms the pasty into a healthy glow.

With my soul-sistah E.
And Soleil wears very well
- one application is all you need

It turns out that I had nothing to worry about. Yes, Soleil costs $48 for 1oz. but that's actually a very generous amount - especially considering that a very little goes a very long way. And the color and undertone is very friendly for Brown skintones. Then again, Chanel was one of the first high end cosmetic companies who deliberately began adding Brown skintone shades to every one of their lines - their foundation palette is the most extensive I've ever seen. I don't know if it will work for my darker Sistahs, but I think that it will, it's that sheer and easily buildable. Sistahs please let me know and I'll update (send a photo for me to add). I love everything about Soleil Tan de Chanel and this pretty little glass bottle will occupy a permenant place on my vanity.


Drumroll please: I've found the perfect concealer to compliment Soleil. Chanel Correcteur Perfection. To read my full review, see here.

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!


With the most beautiful woman I've ever seen:
ma mere divine - Dorothy

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