Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Test Driving the New Chanel VITALUMIÈRE AQUA

I'm venturing out of my comfort zone and test driving a brand new foundation!

I love trying new products, but I tend to get a bit skidish in experimenting with new foundations. Why?
  • I'm a bit tricky to color match. While I have fair skin, it leans very neutral. So this means that most lines are either too yellow or too pink. I actually do better when I find something with peach undertones. 
  • My skin is very sensitive. The wrong ingredients can trigger an explosion of redness or breakouts. I've learned to read the ingredient label very carefully and especially avoid particular sunscreen ingredients.
  • I'm picky about the formula. I like light to medium coverage. I stay clear of a super dewy finish, but I don't like an all matte one either. 
So now that I've expressed my foundation woes. Let's get to the new foundation, Chanel VITALUMIÈRE AQUA. It was recently released in the U.S. (it arrived in Europe and rest of world last fall). Here's a good description of the product directly from Chanel:
"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. Non-comedogenic. Oil- free."
I agree that the texture is very watery. To ensure an even pigment of color and no product separation, you need to shake the bottle well. I've tried applying with both a makeup brush and my fingers. For best results, I like applying with my fingers and then going over the areas where I need more coverage (sides of nose, chin, etc.) with a natural-fiber foundation brush. Once it's applied evenly, I'll lightly blot with a big powder puff. I do this with all of my foundation to remove any excess product.

Once on the skin, VITALUMIÈRE AQUA feels very light and comfortable. My skin breathes well and it doesn't seem like I'm even wearing a foundation. In fact, I sometimes feel that I need to go back and apply a second coat since I don't see much coverage. However, it needs to warm up on the skin to show its best side. Seriously, it tends to look better and provide some very nice coverage about an hour into wearing. And it will continue to wear well throughout the day. I don't feel like a touch up is required. I just need to be patient for the first hour!

With the introduction of this line, Chanel has changed its color numbering/product names. The foundation shades are divided into either pink or beige tones. While some have described the beige tones as more yellow-based, I find that my color match seems more beige than anything. I'm trying B10 (Beige Pastel), which is the lightest shade in the beige category. I also tried BR10 (Beige-Rose Pastel), but felt it was too pink. I found that it made my cheeks look too ruddy. But really it was a close call between the two shades. The makeup artist who matched me said that most women can wear at least two of the shades since they are so light in texture and very blendable.

So what are my initial thoughts after test driving for two weeks?
  • The texture works well on my skin. I don't feel like I'm wearing a heavy foundation that masks my own unique coloring.
  • The color match is pretty darn close. The colors of most Chanel foundations have not worked for me. The shades are either too dark or too orange. But this one is pretty spot on.
  • The fragrance is a bit unexpected, but it doesn't bother me. If you are sensitive to fragrance, you'll want to skip this product.
  • My skin feels well balanced. I don't feel like the foundation is drying or making my skin more oily. Since alcohol is listed high up in the ingredient list, I was initially concerned that it would cause issues with my normal-to-dry complexion. But no issues so far.
  • The bottle is plastic so it's very travel friendly! I've recently broken a glass foundation bottle on vacation and it was awful.
  • All in all, it's working for me right now. I prefer a lighter foundation for the warmer months and I think this will be ideal. Fingers crossed! I usually test drive my foundation for a month to experience its true side.
What about you? Have you tried the new VITALUMIÈRE AQUA? I'd love to hear your comments.

Purchase info: Chanel VITALUMIÈRE AQUA is available at Chanel counters and online. It retails for $45.00.

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