Beauty product of the week: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation
This is my go-to foundation for all seasons and for everyday.
With all the amazing and highly publicised products by Tarte, Marc Jacobs, Too Faced and other Insta-famous brands out there, it's easy to overlook an old favourite. Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua foundation is a discovery I made a few years ago and it has not left my makeup bag since.
I was reading an old interview with a makeup artist from the OC (remember that show? I do) and they explained that they used a certain Chanel foundation. It was chosen to even out skin tones but not completely cover the cute freckles and summer tans of the show's stars. This particular product was an early version of the Vitalumiere. In the quest for Marissa-Cooper-looking skin, I bought some the very same day.
The quick verdict
Why is it good? It's a colour-correcting, light-coverage foundation that look like a second skin. Zero cake face.
How much is it? $78
This product certainly did not disappoint. It's a water-based formula so it's very light and sheer. Which is exactly how I like my foundations. Heavy foundations look exactly that, heavy. This formula is light and blends seamlessly into your skin. And when you take your time to blend it in properly with a beauty blender or good brush, you wouldn't even know you were wearing foundation. Your skin just looks fresh and bright. It also provides a good quality base to layer under-eye concealer, allowing the concealer to blend effortlessly into the rest of your face.
Out of all the sheer foundations I've tried, this one does a top job of colour-correcting redness and dark marks. But it still allows small imperfections like freckles to show through, so your skin still looks like skin! Heavier foundations often require adding a lot more product to bring colour and shape back into your face, but this one still allows your natural contours and colour to shine through. It's the perfect product to achieve that fresh, beachy look. I love it with just a tiny bit of cheek tint and mascara.
You can build this product to get a heavier coverage, but you never get that truly heavy, stage-makeup look. Some might see this as a downside, but for me, it just means that even if I accidentally put on too much, I will never look cakey. Despite the sheerness of the product, Vitalumiere has an SPF which is very important to me. I like all my products to come with sun protection.
One element I'm a little on the fence about is the high alcohol content. Long term, this can be quite drying for your skin. But it also kills the bacteria that cause massive pimples. I combat the drying effect by layering a hyaluronic acid serum by The Ordinary underneath.
The one true downside I can see from this product is the shade range. There are only seven shades on the Chanel website and with my medium-dark skin, I am wearing the second darkest shade. Most of the shades offered are for medium skin; there aren't very many dark or fair options which is a little disappointing. You can always try lightening and darkening drops to change the colour of your closest shade, but hopefully Chanel will just eventually extend the shade range. If you're after something with a wide range of shades, there are actually plenty of brands that do cater to different skin which you can see here.
This is certainly not the product for anyone who loves a heavy, totally flawless foundation. But if you're after a product that makes your skin look like a better version or your actual skin, try Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua.
This foundation retails for $78 depending on the store. It's not a cheap foundation by any means, but I feel perfectly comfortable spending that on this foundation. I believe the price is fair.
Where to buy?
You can buy Chanel beauty at lots of stores including Myer and David Jones. I prefer to shop at David Jones but also Catch - I like Catch because it's a deals site with great prices that sells authentic products.
You can also buy this foundation at StrawberryNET or Cosme De. Full disclosure, I have heard tales about these sites potentially selling some counterfeit product, so just be wary if you choose to shop there.