February 28, 2011

Foundation review #26: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua

Springtime is almost here, and with it, a bunch of new foundations launched - what a horrible temptation for the foundation addict that I am.
Having heard quite a few raves about this one, I was very curious about it. I must also say that, even though I generally like Chanel foundations which are of excellent quality, I am not a fan of the original Vitalumiere. It's way too moisturizing for me, which is too bad because the dewy finish is lovely.
But I had heard the new Vitalumiere Aqua was different. In some way, though, I was expecting it to be dewy (fooled by the name Aqua, maybe?) and similar to Mac Face and Body - with a more stable formula and a smaller bottle.

Well, Vitalumiere Aqua was nothing like I expected, but I love it nevertheless and it was a pleasant surprise. 


  • You know how a lot of foundations claim to be like a second skin? I never felt they really were, but this time I am impressed because I do feel like this is it. The product feels very light on the skin yet gives medium coverage and evens out the skintone so well! It has a semi-matte finish, a bit luminous but not unnatural nor greasy. It is like my skin but better.
  • It smells very nice, which also is unusal for Chanel foundations, in my opinion (hated the smell of Pro Lumiere, in particular). Also the smell is light and disappears quickly so it shouldn't bother most users.
  • It lasts extremely well on me and I don't even powder it - easily 8-10 hours without getting shiny. Maybe it's because this is a water based foundation. I wasn't expecting it to be so long lasting and am really impressed! I also find that, like most Chanel foundations, it keeps looking better through the first hours of wear.
  • Packaging: a very compact, light plastic bottle with a nose to pour the product; that's so much better than the heavy glass packaging Chanel usually uses! Looks like the industry is realizing that we don't buy products just to prettify our vanity but need to travel with them and not to break them if they drop.


  • Although the shade selection includes warm (B) and cool (BR) shades, most retailers/countries don't stock the whole range and being able to find a match can be tricky.
  • Very important note regarding the shade: it does change a bit during the first 15-20 minutes on the skin. When finding your match, make sure you put the product on your jaw line and check it in daylight after 20 min or you might have a bad surprise.
  • It's not cheap - €39. But I do think it's worth it, really.
Little trick: you need to shake the bottle REALLY WELL before pouring the product out, or you'll get some kind of greasy water. This is normal, but shaking is thus mandatory.

I am enjoying this foundation so much at the moment that I even thing I might prefer it to Nars Sheer Glow. Not completely sure about this yet, but I like it that much. And, considering the only Cons I found are shade and price related, I'd say that if you can afford this and there's a match for you, I definitely recommend this foundation.

EDIT: you can find swatches of all the colors on Karlasugar's blog. For reference, the one I wear is B10.


  1. I made a promise to myself.. "No foundations until I finish at least ONE of the many I have" But this sounds sooo tempting!!!! And btw coz of u, I really wanna try illamasqua's foundation too!! Thanks a lot for all this temptation!! =P

    Great review! Would like to see a FOTD soon if possible plz =D

  2. That's really interesting - this is the second review of this foundation I have read recently and both reviewers loved it - one lady commenter even exclaimed that "everyone is wearing it in Paris!" which, of course, only makes me want to try it even more. Those Parisians, so chic! Thanks so much for the review, I think I might need to empty my piggy bank for this one!

  3. @ Sarah: as much as I love this foundation, I'm positive not everyone in Paris is wearing it :)

    @ Delyteful: will try and do that!

  4. Ok, another foundation for my "check it out" list! I haven't had much luck w/ Chanel foundations (they don't seem to come fair enough for me) but one day they may learn, right?

  5. Really interesting ! what shade do you wear? (coz I have about the same skintone as you so it gives me an idea where to start looking)

  6. Could you buy B10 in Belgium? I think I would be B10 or even B20 in a couple of months when I am slightly darker than now (or less fair!) but in France the color range sucks ! And I find it almost impossible to order chanel from another country online !
    and I so much want to try this foundation, but a color that matches me !

  7. @ Céline: got it in Belgium indeed!

  8. Excellent review! This foundation does not have any shades that would fit me, but this foundation seems nice.

  9. I find it very interesting that although SOME words have been changed, your review is practically WORD FOR WORD compared to http://www.makeupgeek.com/articles-reviews/reviews/review-chanel-vitalumiere-aqua-foundation/

  10. @ Anon: it's because I did the review for Makeupgeek (easy to check, there's my name and pic on there too) and used most of the material I had written on here :)

  11. Im trying to decide whether to order B10 or just stick with BR10. They don't have B10 in Canada, and so I'm a bit hesitant on ordering it via swatches seen online (since it won't be exchangeable or refundable).

    I'm 117 in MUFE HD foundation and in NARS Sheer Glow Gobi/Deauville (I mix just a small drop of Deauville cause Gobi is kinda grey-ish).

    Can anyone give me some advice?

  12. @ Anon: I haven't seen BR10 so I can't compare but I do wear B10 and I am 117 Mufe HD and Nars SG Gobi.


I love getting comments, thanks for sharing your thoughts!