Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Skin Perfecting Base | No Wonder They Love It

This has been around for a couple of years now.  It’s been generally labeled by the brand as an ultra light foundation and it’s been hailed by a healthy number of bloggers as the sheer, tinted moistie-ish (serious vocab butchery right here) luxury base that many of them return to when in doubt.  It’s even been used a number of times for red carpet looks.  Behold the unrivaled Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua.



“The tiniest drop of this new hybrid fluid creates a fresh, natural complexion. Skin looks refined and feels refreshed, creating an exquisite makeup experience. The fluid formula has a soft, water-light texture, and comes in 10 shades that match perfectly to skin’s undertones, whether pink or beige. Dermatologist-tested. Noncomedogenic. Oil- free.

Winner of Allure magazine’s ‘Best of Beauty’ award for Best Light Coverage Foundation, 2013.” – source: Nordstrom 

The premium brand name apparently lays only partial claim on why it is well-loved.  I see and know why now.   I’ve been reaching for it constantly ever since I bought it in Duty Free HK for about $USD 51 on the way to New York last April.  I totally get it now.  CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua truly has a special quality of its very own.  It’s been reviewed nearly countless times online but who cares  it certainly deserves a spot on my blog because of how much I use it, I think I’m going to run out soon.  Read more for the full post.

It’s a runny, soft, light, oil-free consistency that glides on and dries to a fresh matte finish to the touch.  The thing is it feels softly matte to the touch once it sets but it isn’t flat looking, it has a subtle satin sheen that adds a non-annoying glow to the face without looking like that greasy sort of dewy.




Coverage is light and yet slightly buildable to medium which makes it impressive.  The most yellow toned shades in the range are B10 and B20 (20 is my shade, matches MAC NC30), but the tints are more neutral than my warm natural color in comparison.  I still have a fading tan, so my before and after is just a hair off exact, the shade might look half a shade too light for me.  Once my skin adjusts in a week it should match Chanel’s B20 perfectly again.  By the way, this isn’t fragrance-free but Mom and I are kind of hooked on how lovely this smells, it’s a non-annoying desirable floral scent with clean notes.


The low SPF level allows minimal protection but is a level safe to use as well for evenings out, just don’t set it with silica setting powder if you don’t want flashback.  A translucent matte setting powder like Make Up For Ever super matte loose or Laura Mercier Setting Powder would be better in touching up the T-zone if you’ve got oily skin.  I recommend this base for normal to dry combination skins, if your skin is troublesome or spotty you will need the aid of a concealer for proper coverage.  I love the classic, functional bottle with a nozzle to properly control application of the runny consistency.  The oil-free formula tends to separate when left for awhile so a quick shake before application is recommended.  This honestly isn’t the most affordable of bases out there (best to get it in Duty Free abroad) but it really does have a texture and quality all its own, in Rustan’s it comes to about Php2800+, if you get it in Duty Free it’s about Php2200.  Watch the following tutorial by Lisa Eldridge where she uses CHANEL Vitalumiere Aqua as a base.

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  • Well, Lisa Eldridge could sell me anything to be honest. 🙂 I’m looking into buying the Perfection Lumiere variant…


  • I got a sample of Vitalumiere Aqua last weekend from Nordstrom, B40. Though it’s one of their darker shades, it seems too light on me (I have light-medium skin and I’m using 4.25 Natural Tan from Bobbi Brown), maybe because of its rosy undertone. I like the formula but I’m not sure if I will ever get a good shade match – will probably go back to Nordstrom next weekend for more samples of other shades.

  • Lovely review. I wanted to try this one before but my attention has recently shifted to the newly released Perfection Lumiere Velvet. 🙂

  • Nina

    Hi. How does this differ from Koh Gen Do aqua?