Chanel recently released their new BOY DE CHANEL men’s makeup line, and The WALK is here to provide you with all the details you need to know about it. I am not a regular makeup user, so I asked my good friend Sarah Llewellyn, Web Director, to help me out with what differences and similarities to look for along with what should be critiqued. The luxury BOY DE CHANEL collection consists of a foundation, eyebrow pencil, and a lip balm. Here, we review BOY DE CHANEL foundation and eyebrow pencil and contrast it with drugstore makeup: L’Oréal true match foundation and the Maybelline Brow precise micro pencil. Let’s get into it!
Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “Why create a whole separate makeup line for men? Is men’s skin really that different? Or is this just feeding into the concept of fragile masculinity?” and trust me, we’ll get into this later after the review.
To start off, let’s compare the foundations. I used the L’Oréal true match, caramel beige W7, and BOY DE CHANEL NO°70-Medium Deep. I know in the picture it looks like these aren’t my shades at all, but Sarah and I agreed it looked way better on me in person.
Before we go any further, let’s talk shade range… BOY DE CHANEL has 8 shades, which is a little on the narrow range for foundation shades. L’Oréal true match, in CVS (this is different on the L’Oréal website where they have way more), had three different undertones: cool, neutral, and warm; and they had 7 different shades for each undertone for a total of 21 different shades (yasss L’Oréal, living for that thicc shade range!!) Another issue was that there was no skin swatches online for BOY DE CHANEL which made it hard for me to pick out my actual shade. However, one simple google search leads to many pictures of skin swatches for True Match.
- L’Oréal True Match SPF 17 Foundation (1.0 fl oz.; 30 mL)– $11.49
- Chanel BOY DE CHANEL SPF 25 Foundation (1.0 fl oz.; 30 mL)– $65.00 (yike, someone take away my wallet)
Packaging: Chanel obviously has A M A Z I N G packaging. The dark navy blue container is everything!! And the simple, bold font on the Chanel foundation is so aesthetically pleasing. The true match foundation has a simple and unpleasing face front, but of course you’re not gonna the luxury impact you get from Chanel because of the price difference. A main difference between the two from the start is that Chanel has a dispensing pump while L’Oreal doesn’t.
Product/formula: On the Chanel box, the instructions say that we can apply using either our finger or a brush. Trying to stick to what most guys would use (also what I would use on a daily basis because I’m running late to everything and this is faster), I applied the makeup using my finger. On the right side of my face (left side for the viewer), I applied the BOY DE CHANEL foundation and on the left side of my face (right side for the viewer) I applied the True Match foundation. Scroll down to the bottom to see how it turned out with my eyebrows done, as well!
First off, the product smell is COMPLETELY different. The Chanel foundation smells d i v i n e, no chemical-ly makeup smell, at all! However, the L’Oreal foundation did have that gag inducing chemical-ly makeup smell, but it wasn’t completely overwhelming. Next, both applied very easily and both blended very nicely using my fingertips. The L’Oreal foundation matched my undertone better than the Chanel (which I owe to the fact that there were no skin swatches available for BOY DE CHANEL), but the Chanel foundation had a more blurring effect, which I really liked.
One concern I had was that Chanel would make this foundation too sheer, considering that they geared this makeup collection toward men. However, that was not the case! It had medium coverage that looked a bit matte, and when fully applied it did not look cakey or like I was wearing makeup, at all! It definitely felt heavier than my normal facial moisturizer cream, though, which is to be expected considering this is foundation.
The L’Oreal foundation felt heavier on my skin than the Chanel foundation, but I applied a light amount that still allowed for it to look natural and not cakey. This did not have the same blurring effect, but the fact that it matched my undertone better made it look more natural compared to the Chanel foundation. Overall, this foundation’s formula did not feel too much different than the BOY DE CHANEL foundation, but definitely looked different (see below!).
After wearing this for about an hour, I went to work out with all of this still on and tested its lasting power. After my hour long workout, I was drenched in sweat and was dying to see which foundation held on better, and which one ran more. I don’t have pictures to show you guys (because I looked so gross, lol sorry!), but they did both run a bit. The L’Oréal foundation had slightly superior lasting power.
Which formula reigned supreme?: In the end, only one foundation can be the champ, and this is a tough call. After much deliberation, the BOY DE CHANEL foundation won this round! While I enjoyed the more natural look I got from the L’Oréal foundation and while it matched my undertone better, I loved the blurring, matte effect I got from Chanel. Seriously, my pores were way less noticeable after applying it. Also, now that I know that the shade from Chanel isn’t perfect for me, I can buy one that’ll better match me. Hopefully they’ll do swatches soon, though. HOWEVER, the L’Oréal true foundation was a strong competitor and deserves recognition! Their shade range made it easy for me pick a foundation that was right for me, and it was also natural looking and didn’t look cake-y at all. But that makeup smell and heavier feel to it was its ultimate downfall.
Now it’s time to compare the eyebrow pencils!
- Maybelline Brow precise micro pencil (0.002 oz; 60mg)—$9.29
- Chanel BOY DE CHANEL eyebrow pencil (0.009 oz; 270mg)—$40.00
When comparing dollar per ounce, Chanel BOY DE CHANEL is actually cheaper than the Maybelline Brow precise micro pencil. I know, right? Let’s get into the review!
Packaging: Again, Chanel won the packaging game, hands down. And considering the price is cheaper for the BOY DE CHANEL eyebrow pencil, you definitely get more bang for your buck in this department. The Maybelline pencil was definitely much slimmer and smaller compared to the Chanel pencil, and easier to hold in your hand.
Product/formula: One of the most important and noticeable difference between the two was the spoolie brush. For those who don’t know, the spoolie brush is used to brush your eyebrows into place before filling in, and then you use it after to soften any harsh markings. The Maybelline spoolie was so much smaller, the bristles were not as soft, and the bristle density was not commendable. The Chanel spoolie was way longer and wider, this spoolie had way more bristles, and this one brushed my eyebrows way better.
Next, the Chanel eyebrow pencil had a bit more of a subtle color compared to the Maybelline eyebrow pencil which helped give it a more natural and soft look. The Chanel eyebrow pencil also had a better shape that allowed for better filling in.
Which formula reigned supreme?: Both these pencils had their pros, but, alas, only one eyebrow pencil can be the winner. In the end, the BOY DE CHANEL eyebrow pencil won my heart. The shape allowed for better filling in, the color allowed for a more subtle effect, and I was living for the spoolie!
You’re probably wondering about the lip balm… The lip balm is priced at $38 and honestly no lip balm can be possibly worth that insane price. The lip balm would need to also have some sort of anti-aging component to make me want to pay that much. I have used Burt’s Bees Lip Balm (twin pack—$7.59) since high school and my lips always feel hydrated and amazing.
Now, let’s talk about the “necessity” for a men’s makeup line. A huge comment I’ve been seeing is if men’s skin is really so different that they need their own type of makeup or is this just feeding into fragile masculinity that men need to have a label on their makeup to make it acceptable for them to wear it. Now remember, most “women’s” makeup doesn’t specify the gender on the label by saying “women’s makeup.” In my opinion, I think it’s really cool of Chanel to release this collection that is advertised for men. It begins to normalize makeup for men, they push the message “beauty knows no gender” and their tutorial videos (scroll down on the website) are great intros for people who don’t know how to apply or use these type of products. I don’t think it was necessary to it to be specifically gendered, especially considering that women could use this makeup, as well. Nevertheless, most men that are doing makeup right now (think Jeffree Star, James Charles, Patrick Starrr, etc.) are known for their over-the-top, out there makeup, not that there’s anything wrong with this, but some guys might not feel like they can or are able to do subtle, everyday makeup. Again, Chanel does do an amazing job of normalizing guys doing everyday makeup.