Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Fresh and Hydrating Cream Compact Makeup SPF 15

I am very picky about foundation - maybe you are too. I wasn't prepared to love Chanel's new Vitalumière Aqua Fresh and Hydrating Cream Compact Makeup SPF 15 ($58), but I do. I'll be wearing it every day, as I have for the last few days.

Following the success of Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15, Vitalumière Aqua Fresh and Hydrating Cream Compact Makeup SPF 15 is the "next-generation compact foundation." The water-based formula blends effortlessly and offers the lightness and radiance of a fluid with the ease and convenience of a compact format. It's available in 10 shades. There's one that should perfectly match your skin's undertones, whether pink or beige. More on that below.

The coverage is light to medium. The finish is natural - satin, not matte - which I like. I feared it might look flat on my dry skin - the reason I wasn't prepared to love it - but it looks very natural and pretty.

The water-based formula and melt-into-the-skin texture impart a uniquely fresh and light feel upon application. Moisture-rich emollients immediately hydrate the skin, and the comfortable feeling lasts all day. Soft-focus pigments and silicone powder even the skin. It blurs my sun spots and evens my skin tone. The coverage is buildable. I like the fact that I can apply only one swipe to my entire face and then go back and apply a bit more in the center of my face where my skin can be red. I also like to take it along with me during the day and touch up after lunch. I can be ruthless with a napkin.

Chanel supplies a sponge with the compact and recommends that you apply Vitalumière Aqua Fresh and Hydrating Cream with a sponge.  When I was testing shades, Loyd Cassler at Saks Chevy Chase used a brush. The brush provided a very light application - too light, I thought. I prefer a sponge and use one each morning - not Chanel's round one, but my own wedge-shaped sponge, which I prefer. It's easier to work around my nose and under my eyes.

Don't buy this makeup without testing the colors first. I almost purchased Vitalumière Aqua Fresh and Hydrating Cream Compact Makeup online, where it looked like #10, Beige, would be the best shade for me. I usually wear the lightest shade of foundations. Beige is the shade I had asked Loyd to apply so that I could see whether I liked it. I didn't. It was way too yellow. Even though I like yellow-based foundations, #10 made me look "off" - almost sick. My first reaction was that I didn't like Vitalumière Aqua. Then I asked Loyd what other light shades I might try, and he reached for #22, Beige Rosé. Bingo! As soon as he applied it to just part of my face, I knew it was the shade for me. It does not look pink in the compact. It was designed for skin with pink undertones. There's a big difference.

Loyd used his fingers and applied a thick swipe of each shade to a face chart. Beige is on the left, and Beige Rosé is on the right. Because of the blinding white background on the sheet, I was not able to get a better photo. I can see the difference in shades; I hope you can too.

If you like foundations that feel light as a feather, but are hydrating, and coverage that is light, but can be built seamlessly to medium, take a look at Vitalumière Aqua Fresh and Hydrating Cream Compact Makeup. It's available at all Chanel counters and also Chanel's Web site. Just make sure you know your perfect shade.

Photo at top courtesy of Chanel; other photos by Best Things in Beauty


M.Fay said...

Did you try the Vitalumiere Aqua? If so, were you a B10? The reason I ask is I'm wondering if I was matched to V.A if it translates to the same shade in the new compact formulation? Better be safe and buy this at a counter ;)

Eileen said...

I've been wearing this awesome moisturizing foundation for a couple weeks now and have been singing it's praises every chance I get. The original liquid Aqualumière formula was a complete fail for those of us with dry and/or mature skin, but this new compact cream is absolute perfection. I love how it blends into the skin and creates a smooth, even looking complexion that has that "real skin" soft glow to it. It also wears very well throughout the day without oxidizing or settling into my nooks and cranies :-) For application, I like either a wedge sponge or Tom Ford's ultra soft but dense cream foundation brush. The wedge sponge provides better coverage, but the TF brush creates an airbrushed effect which I prefer for daily wear. I also like to apply a very light dusting of Météorites as a final touch, but that is a personal preference and certainly isn't necessary.

So, who wouldn't like this creamy new foundation? Anyone who has oily skin or who lives in a hot climate.

Hi M. Fay,

On the blog, The Raeviewer, Rae has some comparison pictures towards the end of her review. One is of the liquid in B30 and the cream in B30. The colors are different! Definitely go to the counter for a color match.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi M. Fay,

Eileen is correct. The shades are not the same. I did try the liquid, but didn't like it.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Eileen. Since the foundation is water-based, even oily skins should try it, I think.

What color are you?

Eileen said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

I'm on the border of 22 Beige Rosé right now, but will probably slip into 32 Beige Rosé once summer is fully upon us. I never tan, but I do go in for bronzer as the weather warms up here in sunny SoCal. By June, I've thoroughly embraced the sun kissed look :-)

Unknown said...

I was so excited about trying this but if shade 22 is the lightest rose shade then I fear I'm out of luck. Why can't there be a shade 12. :-(

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen,

I stay the same color year round - I just swap out what I use over my base foundation. I know, though, that wouldn't work in SoCal.

Charlestongirl said...

PP, it's very light. I'm very light. It's also sheer, which makes it perfect for various light skin tones. You really need to try it in person.

kellinicole86 said...

Do you think this would be good for oily skinned gals or would the liquid version be better? Also, does t have a strong scent? I'm very sensitive to highly fragranced products as they cause headache. For example, Guerlain face products are too strong for me. Is this scented comparably?

LoveSugarBabyDoll said...

i definitely plan to make it to the chanel counter this week- this has me quite intrigued. my skin is dry- so i have not even bothered with Aqualumiere- but i see this works for dry and/or mature skin.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi kellinicole86!

It has almost no scent. Very good in that respect. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Try it, LSBD! I was impressed once we got the right shade on my face.

Eileen said...

Hi Kellinicole86,

The liquid Aqualumière was originally marketed towards younger women with oily to normal skin and didn't do well on those of us with dry and/or mature skin. The cream formula; however, is being marketed to women with normal to dry skin and, although it is oil free, it is very creamy and moisturizing.

Suggestion: Go to your Chanel counter wearing your regular skin care prep and suncreen. Don't let the SA "clean" your face or add other skin prep products because you want to see how the foundations are going to wear over the products you usually use. Ask the SA to apply the liquid on one side and the cream on the other. If you usually use a finishing powder, apply that, too; then go about your day and see how well the foundations wear. I think you'll find, depending on just how oily your skin actually is, that one of the foundations will emerge the clear winner.

kellinicole86 said...

Thanks Eileen, I'll def. have to try that.

Anonymous said...

In all the color examples online I have seen for this foundation B10 looks so much lighter than B22. I know Chanel has been 'going yellow' for many years now and so I doubt B10 would work for me. I am a light neutral. How much darker is B22 than B10?

sunnlitt said...

hi, anon--
I was just at my Chanel counter today and tried B10 on one side of my face and B22 on the other side.
They did not look much different in lightness, but B22 was pinker and, on me, looked a bit more vibrant and alive.
My SA brushed a bit of Malice on my cheeks and I went home to give it all a test drive.
It's pretty, but I have used a liquid foundation for so many years that I am hesitant to buy this right now.
It is very nice--I am just not sure yet what I am going to decide.
Hope that helps.

Eileen said...

Hi Anonymous,

Numbers ending in 0 are yellow based (Beige) and numbers ending in 2 are pink based (Beige Rosé) so not only is B22 going to be a bit darker, but it is going to have a pink undertone as Sunnlitt noted. B10 is definitely the lightest of all the foundation shades and is followed by B20, B30, B40, etc. BR22 is the lightest of the pink based shades and is followed by BR32, BR42, etc.

Walls said...

Another beauty product that is going to be added to my to-buy list! I have been using LMdB tinted moisturizer and Peau Vierge concealer everyday for the last few couple of months. I like the feeling of not wearing foundation, but this Chanel product seems to combine the best of both worlds: hydration and subtle, weightless coverage. Thanks for such a thorough review, Charlestongirl!

Me said...

This compact looks really nice. I wonder how it compares to Vincent Longo's Water Canvas. I imagine Chanel contains more humectants.

I'd never in a million years think I could pull of B22. I wondered why the colors jumped so abruptly, skipping over the 12 that Perilously Pale wished for. I am adding this to my list for my next Chanel counter visit.

Thanks for the great review. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Zuzu, I am very fair, and I can wear B22. Give it a try.

Rebekah said...

First off, I LOVE your blog!! Growing up in a large city, I always had access to most of the cosmetics I wanted to purchase just a skip down the road...but in my early 30's my career took me to a tiny town in SW Virginia where even the nearest Sephora is over 2 hours away! (We won't talk about the fact that my beloved Chanel's nearest counter is over 150 miles away). The result? My full blown beauty product obsession has to be sated via Internet testers or MA's in sight :(. I now rely on countless blogs such as yours to help in choosing shades/colors...and you are always my most reliable source! We share similar tastes in makeup, and you kept me from making a whopper of a mistake with this particular foundation! The BR22 looks wonderful! Thank you!!

chris said...

I just bought this 3 weeks ago after I had a makeover at the Chanel counter to get ready for a fabulous gala. I had so many comments at the party and I really did feel like Cinderella. However, within 3 days I turned back into a pumpkin! I began to break out, even thought the foundation was water-based. As a last ditch effort to see if the foundation was the culprit. I used my regular foundation on the left side of my face and the new Chanel compact makeup on the right. Sure enough, I only had pimples on the right side of my face. My daughter is now using my Chanel on her perfectly balanced 17-year-old complexion. I am so very sad that it didn't work for me. I have always been very acnes prone so there must be some ingredient in this foundation that doesn't agree with my skin): At least got to go to the ball and look great for one night!