I was so excited about this foundation that I saved a gift card from Christmas to buy it… and do you have any idea how hard it is for a beauty blogger to save a mall gift card for 3 months? Just about impossible. I can’t say Vitalumiere Aqua lives up to all my expectations, but I think it will be useful.
Since I started using a prescription retinoid in December, my skin has improved significantly. I’m no longer completely ashamed to show my bare face on the internets. I have some redness on my cheeks, across my nose, and on my chin, plus some acne scarring in the chin area that needs covering. Basically I just need a foundation that will even things out a bit, not completely cover significant discoloration.
In the after picture you can see that Vitalumiere Aqua covered the surface redness on my cheeks and some of the discoloration on my chin. It definitely does not cover my undereye circles (which look slightly worse in the after picture because of the angle), so you will need a separate concealer. It also layers well if you just need a bit more coverage in some areas.
I like the feeling of Vitalumiere Aqua, which is almost like a mousse. It dries quickly (probably because alcohol is the third ingredient) so I found it necessary to work in sections. The finish is slightly powdery but doesn’t suck all the life out of my face, so I guess that would make it semi-matte? I expected a much more luminous finish. It does give my skin a lovely, even texture, though.
So far everything is good, and after a bit of powder and blush here’s how it ends up:
At this point I really love how the foundation looks and feels (weightless), and especially that it contains sunscreen. The only issue I have is that after a few hours I tend to look pretty shiny. This was worst when I set the foundation with MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural and best when I switched to Laura Mercier’s setting powder. And even with a good setting powder, Vitalumiere Aqua looked terrible in flash photography. Every single picture made me look like an oil slick even though my face looked fine in person.
I bought shade B10 Pastel, which is the lightest yellow-toned shade (B is for Beige). The pink-toned shades are labeled BR for Beige Rose. Both the B and BR lines go up to level 50, though the darkest shades is probably only medium-dark at best. I found that like most Chanel foundations, B10 was still a bit too dark on my face. I’d also say it’s much more peachy than beige or yellow. It looks much too dark on the inside of my arm, but I wanted to show the texture.
The most controversial aspect of this foundation has been the packaging. All other Chanel foundations come in glass bottles, and Vitalumiere Aqua comes in a plastic squeeze bottle. It does look a lot smaller than the other foundations, but it contains the same amount of product. Personally, I love the squeeze tube. It doesn’t look as expensive, but it makes Vitalumiere Aqua perfect for travel. Who needs clunky glass bottles taking up space in their liquids bag? Not to mention the danger of carrying around a breakable glass container. The only problem I have with the packaging is that all the bottles are the same shade of peachy-beige plastic regardless of the foundation shade inside. Chanel should have color-coded the bottles or made them translucent.
Part of the reason I waited so long to review was that I wanted to make sure the foundation didn’t cause any skin issues, and that usually takes a few weeks. So far, so good! My mother has also been using this foundation in shade B20 and loves it. I’m not jazzed about alcohol being so high on the ingredients list, and I wish they could have used a different silicone, but otherwise it looks okay to me.
Recommendation: This is a good foundation for people who want a light finish that looks natural. The packaging makes it great for travel, and the added sunscreen will eliminate a step from your morning routine.