Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua has been around since 2011 and there’s plenty of good reasons that it has maintained a space on countless best-of lists. I purchased my first bottle a couple of years ago and although I’ve used many other foundations since that time, returning to Vitalumiere Aqua is always inevitable. Not long ago, Chanel extended the shade range, with the darkest shade now occupying chocolatey territory, finally.
Here are the current deeper shades:
- 91 Caramel
- 121 Caramel
- 132 Chocolat
- 152 Chocolat
When I bought my first bottle it was in shade 70 Beige, and that was the darkest at the time. I made it work using bronzer and powder tricks but I’m quite relieved now to have a better match with 91 Caramel.
Vitalumiere Aqua is officially described by Chanel as ‘an ultra-light, hybrid fluid foundation’. Formulated with hyaluronic acid derivatives and high-definition light pigments, here are the high points of Vitalumiere Aqua:
- Formulated with SPF 15 using mineral filters.
- Ultra-light formula, easy to apply especially if you use fingers, but try to work quickly.
- Can be blended with your favourite moisturiser if you want to achieve a tinted-moisturiser finish.
- Highly portable with its small, plastic bottle packaging and perfectly sized spout.
- A small amount is needed.
- Photographs beautifully.
- Skin perfecting, ‘second-skin’ finish and comfortable to wear.
- Blends into skin easily.
- Buildable formula that can be dialled up to medium coverage.
- Provides a subtly luminous, semi-matte finish and to me, it looks better as the day progresses.
- Stays intact even when layered over a light facial oil.
- Performs well in warmer temperatures.
Of the entire Vitalumiere Aqua range, 91 Caramel with its yellow undertones is the best match for my skin. Whilst 121 Caramel and 132 Chocolat have reddish undertones, 152 Chocolat is a spot-on chocolate shade also with some red undertones. Although this foundation is not fragrance-free, any scent is quite faint and if you do get a whiff of it, it dissipates quickly.
Here are some other key points to note about Vitalumiere Aqua:
- May be a bit drying depending on your skin but as long as you hydrate sufficiently before applying it will work.
- Can emphasise textural skin issues, especially if you have new spots that are still raw or healing.
- Will not completely cancel out dark spots.
- A bit of settling into the two (sigh) laugh/frown lines at either side of my mouth happens after a couple of hours but that’s easily blotted away.
- Needs a good shake before you use it.
- I’d suggest a pouncing/bouncing/tapping motion to apply.
- This is not a full coverage foundation.
I have dry, 40-something, maturing skin but I still regard this foundation as one of the best I’ve used. While I’m extremely pleased about the addition of deeper shades, there are still gaps to be filled. Hopefully, Chanel will build out their foundation shades further to include options for olive skin tones along with further expansion/variation of the deeper shades. Plus I’d bet there are unfilled shades even at the lighter end of the spectrum.
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua offers any makeup wearer, whether novice or seasoned, an easy, non-intimidating formula with which to work. It’s worth a trip to the Chanel counter if you’re curious but want to give it a test first. Otherwise, if you’ve tried this particular formula or any of their other formulas, I’d love to know your thoughts.