Serge Lutens is perfectionist, and as such he has a very clear idea of how he wants our faces to look. His ideal is porcelain-like and perfectly even. His compact foundation is one way to achieve the look, and adding his Quant a Soi primer will give you the full effect.
The elegant black pot of Serge Lutens primer is pretty small and looks more like the size of an eye primer. But it's not, and as a matter of fact I don't think it's particularly effective for priming the lids (it very creamy and has too much slip). Don't let that scare you, though, because you only need to dot the tiniest amount of the makeup base on your face to achieve an incredible smoothness. Quant a Soi does more than just provide makeup with a good grounding base. It also brightens and helps achieve a better coverage. The makeup artist at Barneys who sold me the primer showed me how it can also be used over foundation in areas you want to brighten subtly without using a light reflecting product. She touched my under eye area with just a hint of Quant a Soi-- barely anything, really, just enough to give the sunken pit of despair a little lift.
Serge Lutens makeup base is meant to be applied with your fingers. I guess we should all be grateful that dear Uncle Serge doesn't require us to also buy a line of brushes made of magical unicorn hair and priced accordingly. There's actually something nice (if less hygienic than I prefer) in smoothing and sculpting the face with one's hands and fingers. The primer seems to melt into your face, feels very comfortable and does its work perfectly: foundations hold onto it nicely and stay put. I tested Quant a Soi in oppressive humidity and it performed very well for a full day.
Bottom Line: It works.
Serge Lutens Makeup Base Quant a Soi Primer ($80) is available from Barneys and sergelutens.com.
Art: Serge Lutens, 1997.