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.
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.