Review: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup

CVLA Pros and Cons 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 am a big fan of Chanel Cosmetics, and was thrilled when they released Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua (CVLA) Ultra-Light Foundation many years back. I got my sister-in-law to convince her friend to bring it back for me from the States as it is cheaper there. Having read many great reviews (and some not so great reviews), I was eager to try it for myself and compare it to my current favourites: Dior Nude and YSL Touche Éclat.

Read on to see whether Chanel created the perfect foundation.


Application Method:

  1. Shake the bottle very well to allow the foundation to mix well, especially if it’s been sitting unused for extended periods
  2. Twists open the lid, squeeze the desired amount required
  3. I found the best way to apply the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua was to use my fingers
  4. I always finish off with some loose powder to set the foundation, especially on my T-zone


  1. Light weight and easy to apply
  2. Comes with SPF 15
  3. Moisturising effect
  4. Oil free
  5. Conceals light blemishes, redness and discolouration on the skin
  6. Gives a light to buildable medium coverage without being heavy on the skin
  7. Travel friendly packaging


  1. Expensive @ ~ RM 156
  2. Limited shade selections
  3. Not ideal for covering dark circles
  4. Not long lasting on my skin – ~ 6 hours in hot and humid weather
  5. The foundation tends to oxidise after a few hours of wear in hot and humid weather
  6. Very limited shade selection – not suitable for darker skin tones


I have a love hate affair with Chanel cosmetics. For the price I pay, I expect to love everything about it. Unfortunately, not every product ticks all the right boxes. Thankfully, the CVLA works reasonably well. You really need to shake the bottle vigorously (at least 15 times) to ensure that the foundation mixes well, otherwise you will squeeze out tinted water as the product separates very easily in the bottle.

Being a light weight product, it really does feel like second skin when applied. No obvious cake-y foundation here! This product is great for covering minor discolouration, redness and light blemishes on the skin. It gives a sheer satin-like coverage but can be built up to give medium coverage. I am definitely not one for building up coverage as I feel it defeats the purpose of using this ultra-light foundation. It feels like a step up from a tinted moisturiser. If you are looking for a long lasting foundation with good coverage, this is certainly not the one for you.

This product will suit ladies with normal to dry skin. For those with oily skin, either powder up or blot every now and then as it does tend to get oily around the T-zone area. With our hot and humid weather, this foundation tends to oxidise faster than usual resulting in a slight orange cast to the skin. When I was using it during spring back in Australia, the CVLA worked like a charm! I guess a lot of factors affect the efficacy of the product and we have to take our humid weather into account.

I suspect the high SPF content of my sun screen might have contributed to the oily feeling around the T-zone, though it doesn’t bother me much as I rather have sunblock on regardless of the fact that CVLA already comes SPF 15. This is definitely not adequate.

Will I repurchase this product?

Maybe. It won’t be my everyday work foundation but it will be a foundation that I go to when I plan to be out on the weekend and want something ultra-light to cover just minor discolourations. That satin-like finish is also a boon. The best way to know if the CVLA is suited to you is to go to a Chanel counter and find the perfect colour match. Ask for a sample, take it home with you and test it during daylight. Keep it on for a couple of hours and observe how it oxidises on your skin.

The CVLA is definitely not a bad foundation and you may just find that it’s perfect for you. If you’re looking for a light-weight foundation, it’ll also be wise to test out the Dior Nude and YSL Touche Éclat foundation. Those two are still my favourites!


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