Chanel I love you! But I am not Beige

img_1295Chanel’s latest foundation offering Sublimate Le Teint comes with foundation brush

Anyone who knows me, knows I have a bit of a thing for Chanel. It’s my spiritual brand. Something about the black and white, the quilt, the gold chain and the fact the brand was created by a gutsy hustling woman who broke with her conventions (she made the tan popular in a time when dark skin and the working class went hand in hand) and danced to the beat of her own drum, makes me love Chanel even more.

So when I heard of the new Chanel Sublimate Le Teint Foundation I was super excited. Creamy and soft and light generating for radiance. Check. 12 hours of continuous hydration. Check. It costs £98- bonkers but it’s Chanel. Check.


img_1296Chanel Sublimage Le Teint in B50- the UK’s darkest shade offering!

When I asked if it came in my shade, the answer as so often in my 15 years as a beauty journalist and consumer, has been a polite but firm ‘Non’. I was kindly sent this shade from the fab press office, which is the darkest available in the UK – Chanel Sublimate Le Teint in B50. I believe there is a B60 shade but it isn’t being sold in the UK. I haven’t seen it but unless it’s about 8 shades darker it won’t be much of a colour match to me!

Withholding the darkest shades from the UK is a marketing technique, which drives me nuts. Over the years as a journalist I have had many a heated argument with various marketing departments who have told me they weren’t bringing the darkest shades to the UK. I have been told this is because they think it ‘wouldn’t sell / they don’t have space on the shelves / insert any crap you want that doesn’t sound racist here as you wish, blah, blah, blah. The translation being darker skins aren’t worth marketing to and being catered to in their opinion. In the US you will often the same launch will have an extended shade range. Sublimage Le Teint is available in 10 shades in the US but not in the U.K. Why? Because in my opinion America would call out not having a full range for what it really is and what would Oprah say or even the first Lady Michelle Obama?

img_1297Here’s the foundation in B50 applied thick, medium and sheer and buffed in. In no way is this anywhere near my skin tone.

I love Chanel. I love Chanel make up. The pigments are always rich and deep and my make up bag is always laden with Chanel. I’m currently loving their latest Illusion D’Ombre Velvet in Rouge Contraste. Silky, matte, a day time smokey eye in a slick of your finger and this is why my heart breaks when I can’t wear any of their foundations.

Back in the day Chanel did broaden their foundation colours to my shade with their Perfection Lumiere. It was a bit orange but fuck it, I took it and was excited. It came and it went in the UK. The darkest it now offers I believe, is 80 Beige, which is nowhere close to my skin tone. I’m between a ‘traditional’ Chestnut and Espresso. I think the problem was in trying to give a nod to darker shades, just a handful of colours that would suit only Beyonce or Alek Wek were made, at the opposite ends of the darker colour spectrum and everyone in between like me gets disheartened and will even try wearing the wrong colour just to have some Chanel foundation magic.


To compare here is the Sublimate Le Teint in B50 Chanel’s darkest shade next to a rival high street brand’s darkest shade and a rival luxury brand’s darkest shade…ridiculous 

I think the foundations don’t sell and then they are pulled and it’s a weird catch 22. The same smug marketing people saying ‘I told you so,  it doesn’t sell’. However, if a major new foundation launched, with only a choice of 3 colours for fairer skin tones to represent the whole country, I think there would be an outcry. However, when 3 or so colours are available to me and women with darker skin tones, I get the feeling I am being told subliminally that I should be grateful and shut up.

I would have loved to slather my skin in the new luxurious Chanel Sublimage Le Teint foundation, it literally sings to me and my skin concerns and coverage dreams. This launch has taken me back to my feelings as a teen, when I couldn’t enjoy the products my friends could and they would tell me ‘oh that’s such a shame’ not understanding what I was going through. Well I believe that in this day and age it is shameful and I’ve had enough. I have money to spend on beauty products, I love foundation and I’m worth it. It’s 2016 please for the love of God cater to me and women like me!




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