Guerlain L'Essentiel Foundation for a Naturally Flawless Finish

BY SOPHIE CHUNG

When it comes to foundations, us chatty chums rate the ones that emanate glow.

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7 JUN - 2019

Four months of trialling the Guerlain L’essentiel Foundation, in both shades 3N and 2N as my tan fades (thanks southern hemisphere winters).

I am now ready to write another foundation review. The needs from women these days for their complexion makeup are beyond demanding. We want a second-skin foundation formula that makes us look naturally glowy and healthy yet with decent coverage for a flawless finish. There’s also a growing popularity amongst 25+ year old women who also want skincare properties in their foundation to avoid congestion and breakouts.

I’m a serious lover of the Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation and wasn’t sure that it could get better than that formula! The new L’essentiel is definitely worth at least a swatch or sample the next time you see yourself in the department store. It serve the need for a natural look without compromising on performance.

I’m a serious lover of the Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation and wasn’t sure that it could get better than that formula! The new L’essentiel is definitely worth at least a swatch or sample the next time you see yourself in the department store. It serve the need for a natural look without compromising on performance.

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Guerlain L'Essentiel Foundation, NZD$108

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Guerlain L’Essentiel Foundation Launch. Image Credit: Jono Parker

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Key Ingredients

Guerlain promises a 16-hour glow with a natural finish and also claims the formula is made up of 97% natural origin ingredients with the remaining 3% comprising of artificial ingredients ‘chosen in good conscience’ to optimise the sensorial qualities, hold and shelf longevity. Considering that the L’essential is a mineral makeup formula, I'm duly impressed that it doesn’t slide off!

Red algae and tara gum extracts are included as key ingredients to protect the skin from pollution while cocoa bean extract protects the skin from blue light. These are in vitro test claims and not in vivo, so I’d take it with a grain of salt. We are complex organisms and don’t react to substances in the same way that a petri dish does.

I only use one pump of the L’essentiel foundation with the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Brush, NZD$79. I’ll use another half pump if I’ve got some crap to hide on my face… which there always is, of course. Unlike the super tacky, heavy coverage, quick-drying formulas out there, this one is silky smooth in texture, lightweight and also incredibly buildable.

The Test

The skin looks luminous and uneven texture and tone are refined exceptionally. With this formula, the primer is quite important. I know silicones are the devil for the skin, especially if you use scientific skincare that penetrates deep into the dermis, but there’s nothing quite like the YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer, NZD$93, for a smooth base. That and the brand new Sisley Blur Expert High Definition Makeup Powder, NZD$130, to set and finish complexion makeup, is a must-trial combo. The Blur Expert is a gel-to-powder formula that creates a light-diffusing veil, perfecting any uneven skin tone and texture.

When I use skincare that’s been marketed to also work as a primer, it’s usually a fail for complexion longevity. It just looks like shit by 11am. Today, however, I did my makeup at 7.15am and used my holy grail YSL Touche Eclat Blur Primer. It’s 12pm now and apart from the ever so slight sebum production on my nose, it’s looking pretty ace.

At the launch event, we were gifted the retractable brush, NZD$91, and it’s definitely an amazing fellow to have for women who like to do makeup on the go. It allows the foundation to glide over the skin with ease and the finish is super soft. It does look a bit different to the effect that a buffing or flat brush would produce. The L’essential brush and foundation go pretty well together and helps with buildability.

"It’s definitely an amazing fellow to have for women who like to do makeup on the go"

The Verdict

We can’t forget the packaging. The elegant bottle design was by Mathieu Lehanneur, one of the world’s top 100 designers and influencers. He’s a contemporary designer who dabbles in the world of architecture, art, technology and science. For this project, Lehanneur recreated the look of assembled cells by utilizing the look of suspended free forms. It symbolises balance and it looks hella good on the dressing table.

You can expect a super fresh and luminous look to last you the whole day. If you're on the oilier side, it might not work that great for you and you may get a shiny T-Zone by midday. However, with the aid of Japanese blotting paper, you'll be just fine. It doesn't come off or dry out after you blot. If your skin is dry in winter, then you'll most likely enjoy this hydrating formula.

There are 30 shades in total. However, only 10 shades are available at Smith & Caughey's, David Jones and Ballantynes department stores.

Guerlain L'Essentiel Foundation, $102; L'Essentiel Foundation Brush, $91

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