Skip to Content

How do chanel foundation shades work?

Foundation is arguably the most important part of any makeup routine. It evens out skin tone, covers imperfections, and provides a smooth, flawless base for the rest of your makeup. But finding the right shade match can be tricky. Chanel offers a wide range of foundation shades designed to match a diverse array of skin tones. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down how Chanel foundation shades work and provide tips for finding your perfect match.

The Chanel Foundation Shade System

Chanel foundations come in a variety of texture and coverage options, but the shade range remains consistent. There are several key things to know about Chanel’s foundation shade system:

  • They offer shades in 10 intensities from light to dark.
  • Each intensity has either a pink, beige, or golden undertone.
  • The shades are identified by a number and letter, such as 1C or 4W.
  • The numbers indicate the depth or intensity of the shade.
  • The letters indicate the undertone:
    • C = Cool, pink undertones
    • W = Warm, golden undertones
    • B = Neutral, beige undertones

This allows you to easily identify both the darkness level and undertone of each shade at a glance. Chanel also provides a Foundation Shade Finder on their website to help match your unique complexion.

How to Find Your Chanel Foundation Shade

Finding your perfect Chanel foundation match involves matching both the intensity and undertone. Here are some tips:

Determine Your Skin’s Undertone

Look at the color of your veins on the inside of your wrist. Are they blue or purple? If so, you likely have a cool undertone. Do they appear green or olive? Then you probably have a warm golden undertone. Can’t tell? You may be neutral.

You can also look at your natural hair color. Cool shades match cool hair while warm shades complement warm hair tones.

Identify Your Skin’s Intensity

Chanel shade intensities range from very fair (0) to very deep (9). To determine where you fall on the spectrum:

  • Hold shades to your face in natural lighting and look for one that disappears into your skin.
  • Have a makeup artist at a Chanel counter help color match you.
  • Use the Chanel shade finder online.

In general, paler complexions are intensities 1-3, medium are 4-5, and deeper tones are 6-9. Don’t rely solely on typical shade descriptions like “light, medium, dark” as your intensity may not align.

Understand Oxidation

Some foundations can oxidize or darken after application. Test shades on your jawline and look at the color after 10 minutes before deciding if it matches. If it darkens too much, go a shade lighter.

Check Color Matching in Different Lighting

Test shades in natural daylight, indoor lighting, and with flash photography. The perfect match will disappear into your skin in all lighting conditions.

Tips for Applying Chanel Foundation

Once you’ve found your Chanel foundation shade, use these tips for flawless application:

  • Prep skin: Moisturize and prime skin first for a smooth, even base.
  • Use a brush: Chanel makes foundation brushes designed for optimal use with their formulas.
  • Warm products: Warm liquid foundation in your hands first before applying.
  • Blend well: Buff and blend into skin starting from the center of your face outward.
  • Conceal after: Use concealer after foundation to cover any remaining imperfections.
  • Set makeup: Use a setting powder or spray to increase wear time.

Chanel Foundation Shade Reference Charts

As a quick reference, here are charts showing Chanel’s foundation shade intensities and undertones:

Intensity Description
0 Very fair with pink undertone
1 Fair with pink undertone
2 Light with pink undertone
3 Light with beige undertone
4 Medium with beige undertone
5 Medium with beige undertone
6 Medium deep with golden undertone
7 Deep with golden undertone
8 Deep with golden undertone
9 Very deep with golden undertone
Undertone Description
C Cool, pink undertones
W Warm, golden undertones
B Neutral, beige undertones

Chanel Foundation Shades by Product

While the shades are consistent across Chanel foundations, not every product is available in every shade. Here’s a look at the shade range broken down by foundation:

Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Sunscreen Makeup

Available in 30 shades from intensity 0 to intensity 9 in cool, warm, and neutral undertones.

Les Beiges Healthy Glow Foundation

Available in 18 shades from intensity 1 to intensity 7 in cool, warm, and neutral undertones.

Perfection Lumière Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup

Available in 40 shades from intensity 0 to intensity 9 in cool, warm, and neutral undertones.

Le Teint Ultrawear Flawless Foundation

Available in 50 shades from intensity 0 to intensity 9 in cool, warm, and neutral undertones.

Chanel Foundations for Different Skin Types

Chanel makes foundations optimized for different skin types and needs:

Foundation Best For
Les Beiges Normal to dry skin
Vitalumière Aqua Normal to oily skin
Perfection Lumière Velvet Normal to oily skin
Le Teint Ultrawear Oily and acne-prone skin

FAQs About Chanel Foundation Shades

How do I know if a Chanel foundation will match my skin tone?

Chanel offers an incredibly diverse range of shades across intensities and undertones. Use their shade finder, get color matched at a counter, or test shades on your jawline to find your perfect match.

What if I fall between two Chanel foundation shades?

You can blend together two neighboring shades to customize and achieve an exact match for your skin tone. Be sure to blend and test the mix on your jaw first.

Will the shade that matches me in one Chanel foundation work across all formulas?

Generally yes, you can use the same shade intensity and undertone across Chanel foundations. But always test shades first, especially if switching from one foundation type to another.

How do I make a Chanel foundation work if I get the wrong shade?

You can adjust the depth by mixing in a darker or lighter foundation to reach your desired shade. To alter undertones, add a green color corrector to neutralize redness in too-pink shades or a violet corrector to offset yellow in too-golden foundations.


Finding the perfect Chanel foundation match is well worth the effort. Their extensive range of shades makes it possible to find a shade that seamlessly blends into your unique skin tone. Follow the intensity, undertone, and application tips outlined here to get flawless, natural-looking coverage. With the right shade match, Chanel’s foundations look gorgeous on and feel weightless and comfortable to wear all day.