Saturday, November 29, 2014

Shake to Activate

Despite having about 10 bases open presently, I made sure during my trip to Japan to finally purchase a foundation that's been on my wishlist for literally years: Chanel Vitalumière Aqua. I have a pretty imprudent habit of never asking for samples and buying foundations blind (except replace "foundations" with "basically every makeup item ever"), so I wasn't quite sure how it would perform on my skin. I figured even if it were a complete flop, at least I'd never be left wondering whether such a popular, highly rated foundation worked for me or not.

l-r: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in 118, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua in B20, NARS Sheer Glow in Fiji

Straight off the bat, I love this foundation.

It's become my newest go-to base in the mornings, replacing NARS Sheer Glow. I find Sheer Glow provides more coverage and is more powerfully illuminating, but has a thicker consistency and gets oily faster. Sheer Glow has always been a foundation that I find more suitable for evenings or special occasions as the finish is so flattering and radiance-boosting. However, if not blended in perfectly or if you use a tad too much, it can be obvious you're wearing makeup.

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua is a foundation that is perfect for everyday wear. Granted, my skin has been cooperating recently after a long stretch of being awful, so my enthusiasm for Vitalumière Aqua may be in part due to not having any major skin issues at the moment. This past week, I've returned to using the luxuriously pampering Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm in the mornings, moisturising with one pump of Trilogy Balancing Face Lotion, then applying a smallish amount of Vitalumière Aqua (after at least 15 seconds of vigorous shaking) to my face with my Real Techniques Multi Task Brush.

The result is skin that is naturally perfected, but still looks like skin. The effect is almost undetectable but still transformative. I'd read reviews mentioning that this foundation might be problematic for dry skin, but I haven't had issues with it emphasising dry patches or being difficult to work with (unlike Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation). The watery, ultra-light consistency spreads easily and blends seamlessly into the skin. The coverage isn't amazing (you will need to go in with a concealer to erase any blemishes or darkness under the eyes), but in a way, that's what I like about it. It's not a heavy duty foundation that you paint on. It's still slightly transparent but very effective for the coverage it does provide. The finish isn't exactly glowing or super illuminating, but it's soft focus and semi-matte.

Another aspect of Vitalumière Aqua that I was pleasantly surprised by is the oil control. Perhaps because it's water-based, it's impressively transfer-proof and keeps my T-zone more shine-free than most of my other foundations. I still regularly blot at about the 3 hour mark, but there definitely isn't as much oiliness coming through. Paired with a primer like Benefit POREfessional or Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, there's even less. Lasting power does diminish during the day, but only in the sense that coverage fades slightly. It's not one of those foundations that just melts off your face at the end of the day and leaves it looking worse for wear.

B20 is more or less a spot on shade for me and very similar to Make Up For Ever HD Foundation in 118, probably the closest match to my skin tone I've found. I've read reviews that Vitalumière Aqua oxidises after a while, but thankfully I haven't experienced any issues with the shade match.

I haven't been this happy with a foundation for a very long time. If you're looking for an incredibly lightweight, natural-looking, daily base that wears well and doesn't devolve into an oily mess, Vitalumière Aqua ticks the boxes. Definitely worth the hype.


  1. I love my MAC Face and Body and because to me it sounds more like the "Chanel" version of that I haven't bothered getting this! Looks incredible on your skin might give it a shot soon! :-)


  2. I honestly feel like running out and buying it- thanks Lena! Damn, it sounds amazing. I tried a sample thanks to a friend who was working the Chanel counter at a local DJs and it was amazing- I've finished my stash of Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum so if I'm feeling spendy I might splurge on this in the name of entering the workplace for an internship... just maybe? GAH it sounds amazing.

    1. Just saw my atrocious use of the adj amazing- how embarrassing. I have other words in my arsenal too!

    2. What, you actually finished the whole Bourjois foundation? What an accomplishment! :D Haha, if you've even tried the sample and liked it, then why not purchase the Chanel? :)

      Oooh, what internship? Totally valid excuse to buy a new foundation!

      I didn't even notice any repetition of "amazing" until you pointed it out - haha, just goes to show that it was very organically incorporated (or I similarly overuse the word).

  3. Thanks for the review Lena! I've always wondered if it would suit my skin but I'm thinking I'll go have it applied at a counter and see how it fairs. I love how it looks on your skin - so so so so natural!

    Sarah | More Than Adored

  4. I'm glad I'm not the only one that blind buys things half the time, it's a terrible habit that I should break but my lack of impulse control usually faults for that. It's a thing I need to break - I know.
    Anyway, I've been wanting to try this foundation for years, but after breaking out into a mess every time after a Bourjois foundation and knowing that it's from the same company as Chanel, I don't think I'd risk to spend that much money on something that'll probably break me out.....And well, we both know that I'm probably not going to ask for a sample. I'll be forever left wondering I suppose :P xxx

    Daphne | subgenre of a dream | bloglovin

  5. Glad you love it after the rather disappointing encounter with Koh Gen Do, at least this one was not a fail purchase ^^ Judging from your pict above, no wonder you love the foundation, the finish is so natural and flawless on you! But I guess you also have good bare skin to begin with :)
    I have tried a deluxe sample of this one but it is unfortunately not for me. I feel like the coverage is too sheer and the finish is a tad too natural for my liking. But I am in general just not really a fan with Chanel base products :/
    I do like the other version of the vitalumiere foundation though, which is the one in black bottle.

  6. Great Review. This is one of the foundations I have been lemming to try too. Love how it looks on you so flawless and natural. May have to get a sample :)

  7. I tried a sample of this and I'm always thinking about her....I really want a new foundation and I don't know what to get. I want something that makes my skin look pretty but isn't too strong. There's also the oily skin issue. I'm thinking about getting maybe one from Clinique, but I don't know. Maybe I'll check this one. I have a good arsenal of heavy-duty concealers at the moment - MAC studio finish and Aritaum Full Cover Liquid concealer - so a heavy coverage foundation is out of the equation...
    Take care*

  8. This sounds and looks amazing! I've been wondering if I should get this one or the velvet formula but my skin really isn't oily anymore and I suffer more from sweating once I get worked up walking around! I love how this looks on you and we should be the same shade so I totally need to go and swatch this in store! Thanks for the review, it really sounds sooo promising!

  9. Awesome review! I have a sample of Sheer Glow and while I love it, I have to agree that it can sometimes be a bit obvious. I've heard so many raves about this foundation and I'm glad to hear that it lives up to them! Definitely one on my wishlist.

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  10. I am loving the more "fluid-y" foundation and Chanel Vita Lumiere is one of my favs. Just love that natural glow effect. Tempting to try the Chanel vita lumiere mat. Think it would be great for the summer.

  11. i want to try like al of the foundations that you've mentioned lol they're all on my list but this one has gone straight to the top

    Stephanie's Look

  12. I love this for the same reasons that you cited - it's just perfect for everyday and looks so natural x

    Evelyn @ We Were Raised By Wolves

  13. I love this base as well. I too bought this one blind, but it turned out to be a very fast favorite. My skin has been very cooperative as well, so I'm enjoying that illusion as long as I can that I have perfect skin! The effects of this base are indeed subtle, but very powerful. Such an amazing. base! I'm happy to have added it to my everyday routine as well as to my collection.
    Carolyn | Blog

  14. I hated this foundation for a really long time, it just never worked on my oily skin. But now my skin is on the dryer side, I decided to try it again, and viola, amazing. I may have to re-review this one haha.
    Beauty Challenged

  15. I love this foundation! I finished my bottle a few months ago and have since been trying to finish some others off...but I may go back to this- nothing has been as good!

  16. This was my first foundation that I bought, and I LOVED it. :) Definitely worth!


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