Chanel Mat Lumiére Review

The quest for ‘The One’ in regards to foundations in a task that has always intrigued me – from high-end to drugstore, matte to dewy, full on to natural coverage, the list of foundations I have sampled is endless. I have always waxed lyrical about the skin perfecting properties of my beloved Guerlain Lingerie De Peau foundation (for a full review click here), which still is, and will always remain my number 1 choice for foundation. However, there is a new foundation in town that is definitely giving it a run for its money – Chanel Mat Lumiére.I have often seen this foundation touted around in the beauty community, although it is sometimes shunned for Chanel’s more popular offerings of their Pro Lumiére formula (too sticky on my skin) and their newer released of the Vitalumiére Aqua (a foundation that I reserve for ‘good skin’ days). But out of all the Chanel foundations I have tried their Mat Lumiére formula is the winner for me, so I thought it was about time to crack out a full review.
First up, the hard facts! At £33 this is definitely a foundation that fits into the ‘sample before you buy’ category – let’s face it, no one wants to throw just over 30 quid down the drain. Express and interest at the Chanel counter, let the MUA colour match you, smile sweetly and they will be sure to hand over a sample. If you do decide to take the plunge, the presentation of the foundation will not disappoint! A heavy, frosted glass bottle, topped off with a sleek black lid, emblazoned with the Chanel logo, the packaging exudes a luxurious feel. OK, so it’s not the most travel-friendly bottle, but it does look bloody gorgeous on your dressing table. It’s also worth noting that the foundation comes with a pump-top which is great for control how much of the product you dispense, but due to the texture of the product this is prone to clogging and a sharp pin has to be jabbed down it every few weeks or else you will squirt foundation all over your sheets and walls (guilty). 
The description from the official Chanel site describes Mat Lumiére as “perfect for combinations skin with a tendency to shine, this oil-free formula delivers a soft, natural matte finish with maximum staying power, medium coverage looks impeccable and shine free for up to 12 hours”. Now I am split in my agreement with this statement – yes, for me it delivers a medium coverage with maximum staying power, but I have to disagree with the claim that it stays shine free for up to 12 hours – let me explain…
Firstly, it’s probably a good time to point out that my skintype is pretty normal, with the odd patch of oiliness on my t-zone during the summer months – making me a pretty good candidate for this foundation which is marketed for those with combination skin. The finish for me, on my skin is exactly what it says on the tin – matte, yet luminous. The great things that distinguishes Mat Lumiére from the other foundations on the market promising a matte finish, is that it steers clear from that drying, cakey cliche and actually delivers a natural finish. Although the base is a primarily shine-free zone, Mat Lumiére keeps a slight glow on the highlights of the face, giving it a dimensional finish. This foundation does contain SPF15, which is usually a no-no when using flash photography as the Titanium Dioxide ingredient in SPF’s has the tendency to provide a large amount of flashback – aka ‘White Face Syndrome’, however I am pleased to report that this foundation does not suffer the usual fate of SPF foundations and actually photographs beautifully – both in natural light and with flash!
I can see why this foundation gets mixed reviews. After a quick browse of reviews on MakeupAlley (where it receives a pretty average score of 3.6 out of 5), it is clear to see that people choose to ignore the ‘lumiére’ aspect of this product. If you want a flat, extremely matte base then this is not the foundation for you, give Esteé Lauder Double Wear a go 😉 But if you are looking for a more natural matte finish then you have found ‘The One’. Another gripe with this product that people seem to have is with the colour selection – with 12 shades available, it’s not the most extensive. I was lucky to find a pretty good match for my NW25 skintone in the colour Beige (40); but the colours do tend to run a little warm so it’s definitely worth getting colour matched.
Right, so how do I apply it? As with most foundations, I find I get the most easy and quick, yet airbrushed-looking application with my Sigma F80 Flat Top Kabuki brush. The technique I use can be seen in my ‘Foundation Routine‘ video; apply a dot to each cheek, forehead, nose and chin and then lightly blend in with circular motions. I find that about 2 pumps of this gives me the perfect amount of coverage without looking too heavy.
Overall, this is a great choice of foundation for those who are after one that is on the matte side of proceedings, but want a touch of glow to their base. Although Chanel market this to oily skinned ladies, I certainly wouldn’t say to give this a wide birth if your skin is drier – the ‘luminising’ properties of this foundation, make it so flattering and flexible and I could see that this is a foundation that would work for a lot of people. 


  • This is my HG foundation! I’ve had it for a year now and loving it! xx

    • Pleased to hear from another mat lumiere lover 🙂 xx

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the extensive review. I have oily skin and have been pondering this one- I am not convinced it will hold up for me, but I might have to follow your suggestion and sweet talk the SA for a sample 🙂

    • No problem hun! Not sure how this will hold up for oily skin, but like I said it’s definitely worth trying a sample 🙂 xx

  • Great review I just purchased this and I have to agree. Think it might be my HG foundation 🙂 xx

    • Great! Nice to hear from another Mat Lumiere satisfied customer 😉 xx

  • princesselfy

    I want! You were completely right about LDP being amazing so I need to try this out too. Fab review 🙂

    • Pleased you hear you are enjoying my picks hun! This is definitely worth a sample, I think you will love it! xx

  • This sounds absolutely perfect and just what I’ve been looking for! I’m definitely going to have to give this foundation a go! Thank you so much for posting this <3

    Gem x

    • No problem hun, pleased you found it helpful! Hope you like your sample as much as I do xx

  • JC

    Yes yes yes!  ITA.  I love this formula.  I use it on occasion on good skin days.  I would use it more often but it’s kind of expensive.

    • Yes I agree, this is one to leave for when you need it most due to it’s high price point! xx

  • walkinginheels1

    thanks for this, I think I may have to bite the bullet and go for it this weekend!! xxx

    • No problem hun! This is definitely worth a sample 🙂 xx

  • jessicafrench

    I got a sample of this and used it once… I think I need to try it a couple of more times before my final verdict – at the moment I am testing Estee Lauder Double Wear 🙂 xo

    • Oh yes, DW is the heavy stuff! I always found it a bit too much for my skin, but perhaps I was put off as I couldn’t find a good colour match for me. ML is definitely more of a lighter coverage. Would love to see you do a DW review 🙂 Loving your videos at the moment hun, I watch them all! xx

  • Mspurplemakeup

    This was my first high-end foundation and I absolutely love it! I love the smell the texture and the finish. Everything feels like luxury.
    The only thing that I hate about it is that the foundation clots the pump and I always have to really press down hard to get it out and then I get a big chunk of hard/old foundation and then comes the good bit.I recently purchased Vitalumiere and apparently you have to go a shade down from Mat Lumiere. I’m exactly the same shade in the Mat Lumiere and they matched me with a 30 in Vitalumiere. 

    The way I apply it is with a wet brush similar to the one you use and I buff well and then I press a wet beauty-blender look-alike to get rid of any marks..

    Brilliant review 🙂


    • Thanks Mercedes 🙂 Totally agree with the luxury feeling of it all, but the nozzle getting stuck is sometimes such a pain! I got it all over my sheets and unfortunately it stains! Nightmare! But still such an amazing foundation and even that didn’t put me off! xx

  • Great review, this is going on my wishlist now!

    • iliana Rep

      Great review! I am currently loving my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua but this might be the next I try 🙂  x

      • Oh yes, I need to write a review on the Vitalumiere Aqua too – Chanel do such amazing foundations! xx

    • Thanks hun! Pleased you found it helpful! xx

  • This sounds like an amazing foundation. I have oily skin, but matte foundations always make my skin look dull. This sounds like it does the opposite! Thanks doll!

    • No problem hun and you’ve hit the nail on the head – no dull skin round here, just very luminously looking healthy skin xx

  • hollyhhunt

    My HG!! Along with Lingerie De Peau which I whipped out today, I LOVE both, it seems we have the same foundation tastes! yay xx

    • Oh wow we have got very similar tastes! Foundation twinnies 🙂 xx

  • StyleFrost

    I’m very tempted to get this! Great, thorough review, very helpful, thanks! x

    • Thanks! Pleased you found it helpful xx

  • Sopheehanah

    Great review! defo taking a trip to my local Chanel counter for a sample!! 🙂

    • Thanks hun! Pleased you found this helpful, let us know how you get on! xx

  • This was a great review, I love how you’re always so thorough! I can’t wait until I move to London this autumn so I can have a look myself. Here in Sweden you have to pay astonishing £45 for the Chanel foundations so I’m happy that they are a bit cheaper in the UK. xx

    • Aw thanks hun, I’m pleased you like this review 🙂 Wow that’s a crazy amount – good idea to wait till you are in london hun xx

  • really great review! i think you answered every question i had about the product! its nice to see your honest and show the good and the bad sides to the foundation. thanks!xx

    • Fab – pleased to hear you liked the review hun! xx

  • xhannah21x

    What a brilliant review! You’ve really explained everything that needs to be known about this foundation – good or bad! It sounds the perfect one for me as I have combination skin too, so I may scoot along down to a Chanel counter and see if they’ll give me a sample 🙂


    • Pleased you like the review hun! I was writing it for days, cause I didn’t want to miss anything lol! Hope you like your sample xx

  • Andrea

    I just can’t abide the smell of Chanel foundations! They’re usually too dark for me anyway. Shame as this sounds great x

    • Really! I love it! Ah well, you can’t please everyone 😉 xx

  • Really want this after reading your review! I’ve never tryed any Chanel foundations xxx

    • Ah it’s definitely worth getting a sample hun! It’s a great foundation xx

  • This review has been really interesting! I’m so tempted by Chanel foundations but I’ve just found my ‘one’ in the form of No7, surprisingly! I think I’ll still give these a go though! 

    • Oh wow – that’s fab! Bet you can’t wait for those £5 off No7 vouchers to start up again can you! xx

  • Just what I needed to read as I’m taking a trip to the Chanel counter tomorrow in the hope of finding a new foundation!! Thanks so much, from another Anna! X

  • kim

    I have been using the Chanel foundation for 5 years now….I wont use anything else now, the cover is fabulous and my photos always look like I have flawless skin, this foundation gives you confidence and stays in place. Its not for really greasy skin though. I just love it!

  • Honestly, Chanel Mat Lumiere is pure chalk on my face. I have enlisted it as the most disappointing foundation I have ever tried in my 26 years. I do not care if it is Chanel, the standards are even higher for Chanel and this one is the most unnatural foundation ever. I am usually on board with you but this foundation is the only one I have bought and regretted. I keep the almost full bottle as a reminder to never make such a huge beauty mistake again!

    • leah

      I havr no idea what you are talking about. It is my favorite foundation like everybody else.

      • Obviously not everybody else 😉
        And if the ‘herd’ is an indicator of anything?
        It’s horrible in my case and I’ve wasted my money when I purchased it. You can or cannot understand that, your confusion doesn’t change my opinion which is rock solid as I’ve held it during the past 4-5 years.