I’d had the good fortune of trying out the Chanel Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale Ultimate Redefining Concentrate for about a month prior to learning a little more about it in Hong Kong.
In a way, I appreciated this, because I had the opportunity to figure it out for myself first, before learning about what makes it tick.
The story behind the L’Essence Fondamentale is an involved one, that encompasses over 8 years of research, and hundreds of thousands of tons of solidago flowers, which form the heart of this serum. You can read about its story in my overview post, which is far more comprehensive.
Today, I’m going to tell you instead about my experience with one of the two new serums from Chanel – the very exclusive (and pricey) Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale Ultimate Redefining Concentrate.
Who is the Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale serum targeted at?
I’m going to peg this as being for someone 35 or even 40 years and upwards. The reason is multi-fold.
The texture for one. The texture is rather thick, rather like a creamy emulsion, as opposed to a light serum. While it is very light on skin, the ingredients and how it feels may not appeal so widely to someone with younger skin. Also, when you have younger, more supple skin, this is just overkill :P
The purpose of the Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale is to refine, smooth, redensify, and plump up skin. Basically, you need to have a problem first to see any results LOL! :D
So, the target audience will be older, more matured people, with thinner, more lined and perhaps even more sagging skin. People in this age bracket often are willing to try something new that promises smoother, more plumped up skin. They are also often (not always, but often) willing to splurge.
Opportunely, I do fall into this category of people :D
How do I like the Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale?
I like the texture. While it feels creamy when pumped out of the bottle, it is very lightweight, and absorbs quite easily into the skin with little to no residue.
The packaging of course, is sublimely luxurious, with its gold cap and beautiful glass bottle. It comes housed in a gold box, similar to other items in the premium Sublimage range.
I had been working off the initial press release when first trying it out, so I used it both day and night for the first week. As it is a serum, I do layer with a moisturiser. For this time, I was quite diligent, only using this product.
What I found was that the almost instant results you get after a day or two of regular use, is noticeably and perceptibly smoother skin. Running my fingers over my face especially when washing it in the mornings, was a pleasure.
I did not notice any extra radiance (I use Vitamin C serums usually, so I usually depend on those for radiance) but I did notice that my skin felt a wee bit denser. It’s easy to discount it as anecdotal, which is what blog reviews are basically – few of us have scientific equipment at home to measure things :P But that’s how it felt to me.
The problem for me arose after about a week of twice daily use. I noticed little breakouts on my skin. Nothing too major, but I’m very in tune with my skin so something like this rang alarm bells.
I then stopped using this serum for a while and treated my skin to a touch of Lotion P50 till the spots went away. Then, I came back to it. This time, I used it once a day, at night (when I use all my anti-aging products) on alternate days. I also switched to a lighter moisturiser to layer over. The Sublimage L’Extrait de Creme was obviously overkill for me LOL! :D
I learnt in Hong Kong during the presentation, that while you can layer the L’Extrait de Creme over, it is a bit too much, as on its own, that cream is very intensive. So, pick instead a more basic moisturiser. If you want something complementary in the Sublimage range, that would be the Sublimage La Creme. I just went with my favourite moisturiser for now, The Inkey List Turmeric moisturiser. Talk about mixing and matching! LOL! :D
I could attribute my little breakouts to the fact that it might be just too rich. The serum contains shea butter which doesn’t usually bother me, but perhaps the concentration was a little higher in this one. Or it could be due to the fragrance. Light, but present.
Used once a day, on alternate days, the results are naturally less perceptible, but over a period of time, present.
The results, as I have noted in the earlier overview that goes into detail about how the ingredients work, reminds me a lot of how retinol works. I will admit that it is less potent than using straight retinol, and granted, you could just use retinol – as many have noted, it is more affordable an ingredient :P
That said, what I have learnt is that not everyone takes kindly to Vitamin A or retinol as an ingredient, and well, some people just like trying something new! For those people, perhaps this forms an alternative for them. Chanel’s Scientific people have said also, when I asked this question about retinol, is that this serum offers a more “global approach”.
This is actually repeated on their box – ‘Soin Global Ultime / Ultimate Complete Skincare’ which relates more to how the products works in a complete manner.
Granted also, there is a lot of marketing speak involved LOL! ;)
All I’d say is this.
The Chanel Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale is a luxurious and premium product that will appeal to some, and not to others. The price will make your jaw drop but I’m not surprised because it sits in the Chanel Sublimage range, which is the top tier of Chanel skincare. Some may sneer at it, but I say, let people enjoy their things. Sometimes, that’s all there is to it :)
IN A NUTSHELL
The Chanel Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale is a new serum from Chanel in the luxurious, top tier Sublimage range. The serum is lightweight and sinks into skin without leaving residue, but might feel heavy for someone with oilier skin. I find that with regular use, you can expect perceptibly smoother skin that feels a little more dense and firmer. I do however find that I cannot use it everyday, as I will experience minor breakouts. I therefore use this once a day, on alternate days.
Lightweight texture feels comfortable on skin
Results are perceptible especially for smoother skin
Breaks me out a little if used too regularly
WHO WILL LIKE THIS: Anyone who is already using Chanel Sublimage skincare, Anyone who wants to try something new and can afford the asking price
PRICE: RM1,867 | US$425 for 40ml
WHERE TO BUY: Chanel beauty counters and beauty boutiques
Here is the ingredient list off the box for the Chanel Sublimage L’Essence Fondamentale.
I noticed Lactic Acid as an ingredient, and raised it during the interview with Chanel’s International Scientific Director. Because Lactic Acid is an AHA, albeit in milder form, might this be what resurfaces the skin and would they recommend this serum for use only in the night.
The answer I received was that the Lactic Acid was there in a fairly low quantity, as a preservative. So, it would not matter if you choose to use it in the day as well (although I know you’re already wearing sunscreen daily right? :P ) if you are going to use this serum together with the upcoming L’Essence Lumiere, then this one goes at night to repair the skin.
Hands up if this serum intrigues you, or are you still searching for your jaw after looking at the price tag?
I know everyone is going to exclaim over that, so come on, let’s get it over already! ;) I’m not even going to talk about worth, because it is very subjective. But I will say that it isn’t for everyone, but there is something out there for everyone! ;)