Best. Foundation. Ever. Chanel Vitalumiere

This is a big call. I mean, how do you choose the best of something that is so specific, and so personal? After all, it is supposed to replicate the skin you’re in. And whilst this is my Number 1, (and 2, and 3) foundation in my kit because of how it meets the demands of my work, it may not be right for you.

But I do want to tell you why I love it so. For a start, it’s nice and dewy, just like gorgeous healthy skin should be. It blends like a dream and doesn’t get dry or cakey. I use this on everyone – models on shoots, real people, for the red carpet, for the shows, straight beauty, advertising – I can hardly think of a job I DON’T use it on. You can sheer it out or beef up the coverage, go all over or just where needed, use it with a brush or a sponge or your fingers. Sigh. Can you tell I’m still enamoured after all these years?

Oh sure I’ve toyed with many other foundations – in fact I have a drawer full at home! Even other Chanel foundations don’t rock my socks off like Vitalumiere. I flirted with Teint Innocence and had a brief decamp to Pro Lumiere (too heavy for winter, doable for those who like a more matte finish), but always, always I go back to my trusty VL (I’m Australian so we abbreviate everything, even things that shouldn’t be abbreviated, like Chanel products). Anyways…

It does have its drawbacks however – if you have very oily skin it might be too glowy for you. For me it doesn’t matter because I’m always there to top up with powder to keep the shine at the right level, but equally if you live in a hot or sunny climate (Australia and the American South, I’m talking to YOU!) it’s probably going to move around too much and be a bit heavy. In which case can I recommend something lighter like MAC Face and Body, or Chantecaille’s Oil Free Future Skin?

Chanel Vitalumiere only comes in 7 shades in Europe, so it’s great for lighter skintones, not so ace for black or mixed race people – this is the only downside of this foundation for me. So I keep Bobbi Brown and Becca foundations also in my kit to cover all the bases – so to speak!

Vitalumiere gives your skin the glow it wishes it had, and every makeup artist I know has this in their kit. For me as a makeup artist, it’s the Best. Foundation. Ever.

122 Replies to “Best. Foundation. Ever. Chanel Vitalumiere”

  1. please help me!!i have a foundation dilemma!!i tried mac face and body foundation as i heard alot of celebrities wear this said it was a sheer foundation and i thought this would be great as i have good skin but just need to even out my skin tone and cover a bit of redness..but it only worked if i put concealer underneath the foundation..and i found it to be very disappointing when i took pictures…it was sooo shiny (and i have dry skin) and it was very whitey (colour C3).
    Then i brought mac satinfinish in nc30 because i like a glowy look but this too was a bit disappointing as it looked too yellow and shiney and only looked good when i put alot of powder!!
    so was wondering why isnt mac working for me?lol…maybe im not getting the right shades.
    i usually wear lancome photogenic make up which i love but it also needs alot of powder to set it in!so im going to buy this chanel one soon and see how this turns out!wish me luck!



    1. Hold off on getting the Chanel for the moment, as I think the foundations you’ve been buying are too glowy for your skin type. Don’t feel bad that the MAC foundations aren’t right on you – you aren’t the only one! Their colour range isn’t great on everyone, so I’d try another range if I were you. Foundation is such a personal thing and you have to get the colour AND the finish right for your skin, so it’s tricky without me seeing you in person, but I’m going to suggest a few to try, and then if I were you, I’d go to the counter and either ask for a sample to try at home, or at the minimum get the counter staff to put it on you so you can see it in natural daylight. It’s almost impossible to buy a foundation without trying it on, and it’s such a waste of money if it lives in a drawer instead of your makeup bag!

      The MAC face and Body is super sheer and sounds like insufficient coverage, and too me sounds like you have dry but shiny skin (sounds weird but I have the same thing, so I know it’s possible!) You want a foundation that covers redness, looks like skin but is not going to look too shiny on, so I wouldn’t recommend Chanel Vitalumiere for you – it’s going to be look greasy. I would actually try the Chantecaille Future Skin foundation (that’s what I use myself) as it doesn’t add more oil to the skin. The Armani Luminous Silk is also a nice option with a good colour range, but it may be too greasy for you as well (but worth a try if you have an Armani counter near you). You could also try the Bobbi Brown Smooth Skin foundation – I haven’t tried this one myself but it sounds good on the website for skin like yours and her colour range is fantastic. For powder I am currently loving the La Metiere de Beaute one, or as always, Laura Mercier Translucent powder. My top pick for you to try would the be Chantecaille Future Skin which you can get at Space NK. Let me know how you get on, and good luck!

  2. hmmm didnt think my skin was shiny..but maybe thats the case…i prob dont use the best powders so should change that first!!

    ooooooooooh really like the sound of chantecaille future skin and armani but i live two hours away from a armani counter!!damn

    i dont know why but im itching to try the chanel foundation ..i have a problem lol

    will def update you on my progess

    thanks for this

    1. Sorry, I must have misunderstood your question – I thought if all the glowy foundations were too shiny then perhaps your skin was already quite sheeny! But if not then the Chanel Vitalumiere would probably be OK. Do get them to test it on you at the counter first though, and go and have a coffee or something while it settles and you can decide if you like it. The Armani counter does sound like a bit of a trek! Good luck with it.

  3. Hey, would you recommend the Vitalumière for dry skin and what is your preferred method of applying it? Also, is it necessary to set with powder if I have dry skin anyway? Does it photograph well? Thanks!

    1. Yes, Vitalumiere is a great foundation for dry skin as it gives a lovely glow. I use a sponge (or sometimes a brush), to dab it on only where needed, ie patches of redness, around the nose etc. You only need to set with powder if your skin appears more shiny that you would like, and you don’t need to use the powder all over – just through the t-zone is fine. It is a good idea however to set your under-eye concealer with a powder, which I like to do with a small, fluffy brush and a nice loose translucent powder (currently either Laura Mercier Translucent or La Metier de Beaute loose powder). I love the way Vitalumiere photographs – in Europe it’s my principal foundation for photographic work. I hope that helps!

    1. To be honest I’m not big on powder foundations as I don’t particularly like their finish on the skin, so I haven’t tried that many (and the ones I have tried I haven’t liked!) However Chanel have just released the Vitalumiere in a powder version, and although I haven’t tried it I imagine it has the same glowy properties as the liquid. It might be worth a look?

  4. I just got this foundation in 20! It is lovely!! I have the weirdest thing though, I’m not sure if it’s the result of sun or what (because I NEVER sun tan). But my face is fair and pink toned, but my neck and shoulders are more yellow toned. It’s quite annoying, and I find myself leaning towards foundations with more of a yellow base to even up my neck and face. It doesn’t look unnatural because I find that there isn’t much of a tone difference but more of an undertone difference, so my body isn’t much darker than my face, just a different undertone.

    This foundation is great though, I feel like it covers and neutralises a bit of the pink in my cheeks and face, and makes me skin flawless.

    Thanks for the review! I’ll probably write a review soon too, with my own experiences!

    1. Strangely enough, bodies do tend to be more yellow than faces (I don’t know why). The Chanel Vitalumiere as a range does tend to be on the pinker side – Bobbi Brown has great foundations for yellow-er toned skin. I look forward to reading your Chanel review!

      1. Yeah what with Bobbi Browns philosophy about yellow undertones. We have the most gorgeous department store here in South Africa and the Chanel counter is right by a massive window, well the whole place is glass, so it was great to be able to see exactly how the colour looks in daylight. I think the fact that the Chanel’s aren’t too yellow is a good thing, I don’t want to completely change my undertone, but rather match it up.

        The 20 really is perfect, although they were out of stock because they said women come in there and buy it buy the crap loads, they said it’s by far their best seller.

        So I managed to get it from another department store a while later. That break was good because it allowed me to wear the foundation that they applied for a day and see if I still liked it.

        1. It’s always a good idea to wear the foundation for awhile to see if you like it (especially checking it in the light outside!) I’m glad you like the Chanel, it’s still my Number 1 foundation.

    1. I would use a little bit of MAC Face and Body foundation in White to pale it up a bit – it’s a water based foundation so it mixes well with most foundations. In future, for very pale skins I love the Becca range of foundations – they not only do pale foundations but a range of skintones within the pale range. It’s well worth looking at. I hope that helps!

  5. I really like the sound of the chanel make up. I used to wear mac for about 2 years but decided it was too heavy for my skin. I have a lot of redness and some breakouts so need good coverage but hate using anything too thick. I have tried bare minerals, dior, and estee lauder double wear which is quite good but doesnt look great. Like i said i dont have brilliant skin and it tends to become shiny during the day but dry in the morning?!? Any advice would be great!! Thanks

    1. Without actually meeting you in person it’s always hard to give makeup recs, but it sounds to me like you are on the right track of looking for a lighter foundation. With any type of problem skin, the natural inclination is to go for a heavy coverage foundation (like Estee Lauder Double Wear). Unfortunately this often looks too heavy and mask like, so I would definitely recommend something lighter. The Chanel Vitalumiere could be a good option, although I’m a bit concerned it might be too shiny if your skin tends to get shiny during the day. Get them to try it on you at the counter at Chanel and see how it wears, but another good option would be the Armani Luminous Silk foundation. It has good coverage with some sheen in it, but less than the Chanel VL. I would recommend a good oil-free moisturiser (Clinique do a good one), and only apply the foundation with a sponge where needed. Finally you will need a good palette concealer (like Becca or Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage) which you can dab on spots with a brush (MAC make good brushes that aren’t super expensive). Finally a good loose or pressed translucent powder you can apply later in the day with a powder brush will solve the shiny problem.

      I know that probably sounds like loads of products, but if you were a face in my chair, that’s what I would use. It sounds to me like you are looking for a more natural finish to your makeup, whilst covering what needs to be covered, and that’s what I would recommend to do it.

  6. Thissounds lovely, I currently use Armani Luminous Silk – but find that it has virtually disappeared by midday – also I have been using this for abotu five years – and in the meantime my skin has developed very bad pigmentation – which I feel the foundation doesnt quite cover – However I still really like to have a natural look! Am I wanting the impossible? Or do you think this foundation could be the one…?

    1. The Armani Luminous Silk is lovely, but I know other people who have had that problem. There is no guarantee that the Chanel Vitalumiere wouldn’t do the same thing on your skin, as they are both reasonably similar foundations (although the Chanel VL is a slightly heavier weight foundation).

      As you have some pigmentation issues, I would actually recommend that you invest in a good concealer (like Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage), and apply with a small brush on the affected areas. Then you could use a nice lightweight foundation just on areas that get a bit red, like the chin and around the nose I really like the Myface MyMix foundation at the moment and will be posting on it soon. It’s like a heavy tinted moisturiser, so it gives enough coverage to make your skin look radiant, without being heavy. But without the good concealer, you’ll never be able to cover your pigmentation, no foundation would be enough. A light foundation and a good concealer I think you will find will do the job.
      (The other bonus about Myface foundation is it’s twelve pounds, as opposed to thirty!)

  7. I recently bought Vitalumiere in the lightest shade available where I live: #10 Limpide. I LOVE the texture and finish of the foundation, however it is still way to dark for my pale, warm NC15 skin 🙁 Silly me, I normally do the daylight test but I was so exited to get it lol.

    I’ve read online that there is an even lighter shade called ‘Diaphane’ but none of the Chanel counters here seem to have it. Do you know if it would be a more suitable match for me and if it is available in Europe?

    Thank you!

    1. It is such a shame that Vitalumiere doesn’t come paler than Limpide – I haven’t heard of the paler shade that you speak of. However it may be an Asian exclusive, and you could try enquiring at the Chanel counter at Selfridges in London (if that’s convenient for you), as that counter is an international one, and they may stock it.

      Otherwise you could try paling up your Limpide with some MAC Face and Body in White – this will make it paler but it may still be too pink for your skin tone. Bobbi Brown’s new range of Skin foundation has a similar finish to Chanel Vitalumiere but is more on the yellow side, so that might also be an option. Foundation is one of those things that is a real trial and error process.

  8. Hello,

    I ended up ordering the lightest shade available (Diaphane 0.2) from Saks 5th Avenue. They had this lighter colour only in the reformulated version of VL available in the States called ‘Moisture-rich Radiance Fluid Makeup’. However, it not really like the ‘Satin Smoothing’ version of VL – very disappointing. Also, my skin has changed from being super dry to combination-oily so I switched to the Pro Lumiere and I am in love with it! (Although it is still a tad too dark in Limpide, I now have a tiny bit of a tan and can get away with it).

    Can you recommend me a good setting powder? I was thinking Laura Mercier or Chanel (does the poudre cristalline have actual glitter particles in it?)?

    Also, can you put powder blush directly on top of liquid foundation? I did this and it does not work that well and sometimes ends up blotchy, I am thinking it might be the quality of the blushes (MAC) or I am using the wrong brush… Could you give me some tips regarding this and do you have any favourite brand of powder blushes and blush brushes (I have quite a small face so I can’t use any big brushes).

    Thanks and I hope you don’t mind me asking all those questions!
    Anna x

    PS: Is there any chance of you starting a youtube channel?

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t happy with the Chanel Vitalumiere. The Pro Lumiere is definitely a better choice if you have oily skin. I’m glad that you’ve found a foundation that you like!

      For setting powder I would use the Laura Mercier loose translucent powder if you have oily skin. The Chanel Crystalline is good under the eyes or for people with dry or dull looking skin. If your skin is already on the oily side, the Crystalline powder will make it look shinier in the T-zone (where you want to be matte).

      In terms of blush, you can definitely use powder blush over liquid foundation, and in fact powder blush will last longer on oily skin. It sounds to me like your brush could be the problem. I would go for something with a small domed head, like the MAC 109 Small Contour brush. Then smile, and apply softly to the apples of cheeks and blend out with a clean sponge or another soft clean brush. MAC blushes are quite good, but the colour may be too strong for you if you are quite pale. Switching to a softer version of the same colour can be good. I love Chanel powder blushes, they are my favourite and come in lots of beautiful colours for us paler ladies. You can tap the brush head on the inside of your wrist first to get rid of most of the colour – it’s easier to apply a little bit and then build!

      I have been thinking more of late about a Youtube channel – can I ask what you would like me to cover if I started doing them? Thank you – your input would be most helpful! I hope all that helps.

  9. I would like to know which shadow in Vitalumiere foundation is best for someone
    who prefers subtle yellow or orange subtones, and Iam not very dark, just medium.
    Thanks for your answer

    1. Without meeting you in person it would be very difficult for me to say – I don’t know what the undertones on your skin are or what type of skin you have, as Vitalumiere is not for everyone. If you can get to a Chanel counter for them to colour match your skin that would be best, although I know that’s not always possible. In my work I tend to use Vitalumiere in 20 and 30 the most (depending on what country I’m working in). Sorry I can’t be of my help on this.

  10. I’ve found your post very helpful so thank you! I was just wondering (I have generally dry skin) you say in one of your reply’s that you recommend setting concealer with loose powder – would you always recommend this? Also the Laura Mecier translucent powder you mentioned; is it Laura Mercier loose setting powder or the compact one and what brush would you recommend?

    1. I’m glad you found the post helpful! Setting concealer with translucent powder is usually good because it helps it stay, however if you don’t seem to have trouble with it creasing and moving throughout the day (which you might find is OK if you have dry skin), then it sounds like you don’t need it. I use powder only to cut shine and to stop cream products (like concealer) moving.

      If you did want to get a powder I recommend loose if you use it at home, and a compact if you want to pop it in your handbag to use during the day (it’s a portability thing really!) For brushes I like the Ruby and Millie Enhance Brush in 10mm that comes in a short and long handle. Let me know if you have trouble finding the Ruby and Millie in your area as it’s a UK brand, and I can recommend something else. It’s my favourite though, and works well with loose and pressed powder.

  11. Hi there,

    I have just discovered your page and think it could possibly be my most fav page ever!! You explain things in such a way that everyone can understand you!

    I too love Chanel foundations and started using Mat Lumiere in 20, but have found that it is too matte for my skin, and leaves my skin looking flat rather than with a nice glow. I have oily/ combination skin and thought this would be perfect as I find it hard to find a foundation that will stay on my skin, hence why I look for long lasting foundations. I have tried every foundation under the sun at the moment I am testing out DiorSkin Forever Extreme Wear, which I am finding is quite good, but not my holy grail foundation! I would love to try Chanel VL, which Chanel foundation would you recommend for me, and which powder do you think would work best over it for my skin type?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Thank you, that’s lovely of you to say! I’m so glad you find MM helpful.

      I also find Chanel Mat Lumiere to be an incredibly matte foundation, and if I have a client with oily skin, I tend to use Chanel Pro Lumiere instead. It is not so shiny as Chanel Vitalumiere (which I wouldn’t recommend if you have oily skin) but it is definitely lighter than the Mat Lumiere. Bobbi Brown’s Natural Finish Long Lasting foundation is also good for oily skins. Using a good Oil-Free moisturiser is also key – I like Clinique’s Oil-Free moisturiser. For powder my favourites are Laura Mercier, La Metier de Beaute loose powder, and if it’s summer Shu Uemura Face Powder Matte applied with a brush (for sheer coverage), or a rolled up puff and pressed into the skin (for real staying power and shine control).

  12. Thanks for a great site – you give such a wide range of useful advice!

    I am particularly grateful for your articles on foundation. I am in my 40s and loathe wearing makeup as it just seems to give me spots 🙁 However in order not to look totally hideous I sometimes use Prescriptives tinted skin fluid as it is very light. But, horrors, my local department store has stopped doing it.

    Do you have any recommendations for older skin that needs something to make me ‘smoother’? I am pale and freckled with blue eyes. And if I use foundation do I need powder too? I usually give myself a dusting of the Benefit powder – think it’s called dandelion.

    Thanks for your time

    1. I’m so glad you find it helpful! Yes, sadly Prescriptives is no more so you will need to cast your foundation net a bit wider. The foundation I am recommending a lot at the moment, particularly for older skins and people who like light coverage, is Myface foundation (not sure if you’re in the UK though?) You can buy at it at Boots chemists in the UK, and it’s a fantastic foundation – I’m due to do a review on it very soon. It has a lightweight, silky texture and really mimics skin. Just use it on red areas or where your skin needs it, and you can easily apply with fingers.

      In terms of powder, if your skin doesn’t get shiny I wouldn’t worry too much, but you may need some in summer when the weather is hot (most people do). Benefit Dandelion although it’s called a face powder I would consider to be more of a blush, and I would recommend you use that on your cheeks as it’s a lovely blush colour, and switch your powder to Laura Mercier Loose translucent powder if you feel you get a bit shiny sometimes.

  13. hello,
    I am thinking about changing foundation (I currently use MAC studio fix liquid in NW15) as I think it is often too heavy and I am considering Chanel.
    what do you think would be the best shade for me to get? I like being pale and I NEVER tan, also I’ve heard so many reviews of Chanel not being pale enough. could you give me some advice please? thank you!

    1. I think the Chanel Vitalumiere could be a good option for you, however the palest one (10, Limpide), is not as pale as I like for my palest clients. You can mix in MAC Face and Body in White into it to pale it up a bit (but this means buying two foundations), or the other liquid foundation I like is Armani Luminous Silk, and they have a better selection in the paler colours.

  14. Hi,
    Well after reading this page I am off to the channel counter, i normally use estee lauder double wear lightweight, which is good for full coverage (i have uneven skin tone and acne scars)but when my friends come round fresh faced I sometimes feel like i have to much make up on, i have tried many other foundations, but not channel, Im looking forward to my make up counter trip, thanks to everyone on the site for questions and advice 🙂

    1. I’m glad MM has inspired you to try something new! Just make sure that the Chanel Vitalumiere is a good colour match for your skin (there are some skin tones it’s not great on, so I carry other foundations in my kit for those tones). Also if you are switching to a lighter weight foundation (like the Chanel), you might want to look into getting a heavy duty concealer to just conceal where needed, like your acne scars, as the Chanel won’t give you the heavy coverage like Double-wear does. But it will certainly make your skin look better! My favourite heavy concealer is the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, which you apply with a small brush. Have fun in the makeup hall!

  15. getting married and am looking for the right foundation.I am asian and i have a yellow undertone.i have a combination skin.i dont have any marks or blemishes to hide just few lines and uneven skin tone.I am looking for a foundation that will not crack and last for the whole day and i really want great pictures..i tried few products but the pictures are coming too white like am a giesha and i dont want to look so caked up or too shiny..please can u suggest me sumthing.

    1. It’s very difficult for me to give you a direct recommendation without meeting you and seeing your exact skintone and type, however I can point you to some makeup counters that will hopefully be able to help – you do want great pictures on your wedding day! For clients with more yellow skintones, I find Bobbi Brown is a great brand. Her whole makeup philosophy is based on the yellow tones of the skin (as opposed to the traditional pinker bases from the European houses, like Chanel and YSL). She has a lot of great foundations in her range that you could try, just make sure that you check it in daylight with a mirror to ensure it’s a good match and disappears into your skin. I would think Chanel Vitalumiere would be too pink for you. The other brand that has yellow-ish foundations is MAC in their NC range of tones. They also have a whole range of foundations. The last one is the Armani Luminous Silk foundation which I use quite a bit and have used in the past on bridal clients. Good luck!

      1. Also I don’t know where you live, or when the wedding is – climate has a lot to do with foundation choice, so that info would be useful to help you.

        1. thanks for your suggestion.i live in dubai but i will be having my wedding in december in my village which is in himalayas(middle of no where lol)so its going to be pretty cold.i wont get anything there so i have to buy or order everything well in advance.i have tried gurlain n mac studio fix foundation powders but i still look so caked up..i am going to Bangkok now so i can get hold of bobbi brown or armanifoundation so can u please suggest me what type I should exactly buy.tinted or full coverage or matte.

          1. That’s very helpful, thank you! I think the Bobbi Brown Skin foundation would be good – it’s nice and light, but you may need a concealer for under the eyes or any blemishes. Bobbi Brown have a great range of these as well. Or the Armani Luminous Silk foundation could be good also. Ask at each of the counters for either a sample, or try at the counter by putting some on your jaw, then take a mirror outside into daylight and check it. This is where you will be able to see whether the colour is right for you.

            I wouldn’t recommend a powder foundation for you based on what you have told me, so I’m not surprised you are finding them cakey, they are way too heavy and dry for your skin. And a good moisturiser first will make your skin glow!

  16. Hi, just wondering how vitalumiere compares to diorskin nude if you’ve tried it. Both seem to be marketed similarly but I can’t find a perfect colour match with Dior. I’m asian so I have quite a yellow undertone.

    1. I have only seen someone else using the Diorskin Nude, and it does seem to be pretty similar to the Chanel Vitalumiere (although in a pinch I’d say the Diorskin seems to be a slightly heavier foundation). A lot of the European prestige brands don’t do foundation for yellow undertones so well – I’d recommend you check out the Bobbi Brown counter, as she does yellow toned foundations, and also Armani Luminous Skin. I particularly like Bobbi Brown’s Skin foundation from her range at the moment.

        1. Bobbi Brown has a couple of really nice foundations for drier skin – the two I particularly like are the Moisturizing Cream Compact which is lovely for heavier coverage (and particularly in colder climates), and the Tinted Moisturizing Balm. This is one of my favourites – be warned though, it adds A LOT of moisture and glow to the skin (so it’s great for dry or mature skins, not so fab for those oilier types out there). It’s more of a lightweight balm so provides less coverage though.

  17. Hi!is VL suitable for normal/combination skin?i wanted a foundation to make my skin you think it could work for me?loved the way you described it!!

    1. This is great for giving glowy skin and is best suited to people with dry or normal skins, and best avoided if you’re oily (as it just looks a bit greasy, sadly). You do need to be careful to check that it’s a good colour match for your skin though as there are some skin tones it’s just not right for.

  18. Hi there,
    I am so impressed by the thoughtful and details replies here so I thought I would join in! I am 38 and have combination skin. i am currently using Revlon Coulorstay which is fine but not fantastic and I am looking to spend a little more and get something that will really work for me. I have some uneven pigmentation – fairskin but with redness and broken capillaries etc so am looking for reasonable coverage but definitely not something heavy. A friend recommended the Chanel to me but she has very different skin so I am wanting to make sure it will work for me as well.

    1. I haven’t tried the Colourstay foundation yet, but if you’re looking for something higher-end, I do love the Chanel Vitalumiere (but not if you have oily skin). Oilier skins do well with the Chanel Teint Innocence, or for more coverage, Chanel Pro Lumiere. You do need to keep an eye on the colour match with your skin for Chanel, as I find yellower skins are better with Armani Luminous Silk, or something from Bobbi Brown (she has lots of nice foundations). Thank you for your kind words, I do try to take time to answer everyone’s questions as best I can!

      1. PS Also if you do get shiny just on the t-zone, a light dusting of a good loose powder (like Laura Mercier) should sort that out. Use a soft fluffy brush for the best finish.

  19. Hi, firstly to say I just love your blog…so informative yet interesting – I want to read more! I was wondering however if you could please advise what foundation brushes are best as there are so many, I just get lost!

    After your glowing recommendation, I am going to head down to my local Chanel counter to try Vitalumiere but have you tried any ELF products? They are really good for the price too. Thanks again (“,) x

    1. Thank you! Foundation brushes – that’s a good question. My current favourite is the Armani foundation brush, although I have also been known to dabble with the Estee Lauder foundation brush (for thicker coverage).

      With regards to the Chanel Vitalumiere, do please check that it’s the right colour match for your skin – it isn’t for everyone! (No range of foundation is going to be great for every single person).
      With regards to ELF, I have only tried their black eyeliner which I thought was ace, but I hear good things about in the blogosphere so I’m quite keen to try more. You can’t go wrong with the price!

    2. Thank you! Foundation brushes – that’s a good question. My current favourite is the Armani foundation brush, although I have also been known to dabble with the Estee Lauder foundation brush (for thicker coverage).

      With regards to the Chanel Vitalumiere, do please check that it’s the right colour match for your skin – it isn’t for everyone! (No range of foundation is going to be great for every single person).
      With regards to ELF, I have only tried their black eyeliner which I thought was ace, but I hear good things about in the blogosphere so I’m quite keen to try more. You can’t go wrong with the price!

  20. I have fair complexion with a porcelaine and rosy hue and I usually wear ivory and/or porcelaine shades in foundations, something which I could not find at Chanel VL. I cannot use any of the VL since they are all to yelloyish/beige/warm for me… I have tried today all of them, and they make my face look like I have hepatites… On the contrary ,at Dior ( diorskin nude ), I found everything I need- many hues with the rosy and bluish nuance I need to make my skin go with my eyes and hair and natural complexion tone. I wish you could explain me a bit why you think VL is right for people with faire (ivory and porcelaine ) skin tone because from what I have seen and tried today the colour range is rather small compared to Dior and Givenchy and also is way darker… Not all blonde women have light golden complexion. Some of us need a colder nuance. I cannot understand why there is none such product within this Chanel line ….

    1. Thank you for your comment, it was really interesting. I do agree with you that Chanel Vitalumiere in the paler tones is not right for everyone, and it is certainly too dark for some of my very pale clients which is why I carry other foundations in my kit as well (including MAC Face and Body In White, Becca and Bobbi Brown, and sometimes Armani). It really has to do with the undertones of each person’s skin, which can vary considerably. I’m curious to have a proper try of the Diorskin Nude if it really “fills the gaps” in the colours of the Chanel. Perhaps you and I both explain colours differently – all I know is that I have to carry more golden toned foundation in the mid-range of shades, and I only use the pale Chanel Limpide colour when it suits the person – otherwise I mix up some Bobbi Brown and Becca to find the right shade. That’s why I really need to see someone before I can make a proper assessment of the right colour for them. It’s good that you found the right foundation for you as it can be a tricky process!

  21. Maybe it also has to do with tanning in summer . I never tan and I use every day 50+ sunscreen in summer to avoid any golden shade on my face. I guess if I ever tanned I could use the lightest Vl but since it never happens…. I also stay away from any bronzing make up. The Diorskin nude has about 3 light shades which seem more cool than warm – ivory-010,porcelaine-012,and light beige -020 and even a dareker rosy shade beige-rose -032 which still goes for a more bluish complexion. At the moment I am using Bourjois Rosy and Max Factor Pastelle which are both fine but I was looking for an “upgrade’ and thought of Chanel or Dior; I am right in the awful process of testing and judging and planing for it .:)) There is something else I would like to ask you.I was told ( long time ago) by my grandma that the best way to choose your foundation is to apply it on the jaw line, and to choose the one that blends completely with your skin tone in that particular area. On the other hand, lots of people try it on the wrist or on the back of the hand. What;s your method of choice ? Thanx in advance and, I love your blog !

    1. I think you’re right and tanning definitely has a lot to do with it – I know I have to use quite different shades in the mid-tone golden range in Australia where people get a lot more sun than in Europe. That’s good you are taking your time and researching your foundation purchase – when you find the right one you can stick with it for years! Have you looked at YSL yet? I hear their shade selection is very good (although I’m yet to try their foundations).

      Your grandmother is absolutely right about testing foundation on the jaw, and not on your wrist or hand (unless you are buying foundation for your wrist or hand!) The skin on your face is totally different, and the right foundation shade should be undetectable IN DAYLIGHT on your jawline. Will you let me know which one you end up getting? The undertones in pale skin can be very hard to match and your choice may well be something I need for my kit!

  22. Hi…
    I am really impressed with your articles.
    Can you please help me choose a right foundation. I have been using the Shiseido Foundation Stick for a while and im not very happy with it. I am an Indian(Asian) with a
    wheatish complexion but i currently live in the UK. I am 25 yrz old. Can you please suggest me a good foundation for cold as well as hot climate as i keep juggling between india and UK.


    1. This is actually a very difficult question as your choice of foundation is very much affected by the climate in which you live, and the UK and India are obviously opposite ends of the spectrum! Without meeting you in person it’s always very difficult to say as I don’t know what your skin type is or your skintone, but if you are Indian/Asian, I’m guessing you tend more to the warm, yellow skintones. In the UK for these skintones I usually use MAC Studio Sculpt, but I haven’t used it yet in a hot climate and I know it’s had mixed reviews elsewhere on the internet, so I know it can be a hit and miss foundation for some people. If I had to choose one foundation to try it would be the Becca Foundation sticks ( as it is a range that is fantastic for all different skin tones and you can use for full coverage or lightly just where needed with a brush or sponge if you want less coverage. (I also don’t know how much coverage you like a foundation to give). As it is a cream though you may find it’s too greasy for India, but in an ideal world you would have one foundation for the UK, and one for India. If you were to buy a separate one for India I would recommend an oil-free foundation to deal with the heat and humidity. Bobbi Brown has a new range of long-wear oil-free foundation which is the Natural Finish Long Lasting range, and her foundations cover all ethnicities. Good luck!

  23. I am fair with dry skin I use vitalumiere in diaphane it served me well for the spring months. Than in the summer(in New York)- present(fall in Arizona) it has been mediocre at best. The two problems that have come up are: 1) Shinyness one day after 1/2 an hour after applying the foundation I was in the car w/ my husband and he noted that I looked like Rambo. The shine factor seems to be a bit better now that I have moved to AZ but its still a bit much especially on my chin. Is this the heat? Problem 2) This is the biggest issue with the makeup….. I have developed closed comedones on my cheeks and this makeup really seems to highlight the clogged pores. I don’t think vita clogged my pores. I used the product March- June with no issues. I should note that during June I started to see an aestheticism for a couple zits and she gave me salycillic acid and all this skinceuticals stuff and since than my skin has sucked. I am going in for some diamond tip microderm plus hydrafacial treatments to hopefully get rid of the mild acne condition. While it is clearing up what do you recommend for foundation that won’t highlight the acne? A mineral makeup(never had a problem w/ it). I like vita minus the shine in the hot monthes after my condition clears up do you its worth using it or do you think that vita was part of the problem?

    1. Chanel Vitalumiere is definitely one of the “shinier” foundations, so it sounds to me in summer when it gets really hot, it’s too shiny for you. If you are having skin issues as well (which I would think it sounds more like it’s to do with what your dermatologist is doing than the Chanel Vitalumiere), if the VL is highlighting them I would put it away for awhile and come back to it. You can always try it again when the weather cools down and your skin clears up! I would recommend switching to an oil-free foundation. I don’t know your colouring so it’s hard to recommend an exact match, but Laura Mercier and Bobbie Brown both make good oil-free foundations. Please make sure you get the counter staff to test it on you properly by applying to your whole face, then check it in direct sunlight with a mirror. This is important as every foundation goes on different skin and skin surfaces differently. See if you can get a sample to take home and test for a couple of days as you don’t want anything that will aggravate your already sensitive skin. If you have blemishes you will need a good concealer (I like the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage concealer as it’s really dense), just where needed.

      In terms of mineral foundations I can’t really recommend them as personally I don’t like the finish it gives (too powdery), so I haven’t researched them. Anecdotally from other makeup artists I have heard that people like the Laura Mercier Mineral range – it seems to be very high quality. Take your time to do a bit of research on-line before you hit the counters – it’s easy to get confused by all the choices out there!

  24. Hi, i think your site is excellent, and i know you’ve had a million questions about foundation but I’d be really keen to get your advice if i may! I am very fair – porcelain / ivory, and I’ve gone through every high end brand of foundation possible! The one I liked the most was creme de la mer, treatment cream foundation, but they’ve discontinued it. It was quite thick but i liked the coverage and smooth, flawless finish. I have acne scars and regular breakouts (oily / combination skin) so need a good coverage and wear, and this was great, but very pricey and the foundation they now sell doesn’t seem to give as good a finish. I also used bare essentials, but have mixed feelings on it, not sure if the look it gives is as flawless as la mer. I was thinking of trying make up forever HD foundation, have you any views on that? Could you recommend any others? I’m looking for a smooth, flawless look, a bit dewy, but definitely don’t need any more shine! I’m in my late thirties and live in the uk. I’m just so lost as to where to go next and would really value some genuine and impartial advice!!!!!! Thanks x

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you find it useful! It sounds to me like you need an oil-free foundation, but one that isn’t too thick. I haven’t tried the MUFE HD one so I’m afraid I can’t comment on that one, but the oil-free foundations I like are Chanel Pro Lumiere, (like Vitalumiere but not as shiny), and Bobbi Brown’s Natural Finish Long Lasting foundation. I’m thinking Bobbie Brown would be the best for you as if you are quite fair, Chanel may not be fair enough. Be sure to check it in natural daylight though before you buy to make sure the colour matches your skin. I have also heard good things about the new MAC Pro Longwear foundation, but again I haven’t personally tried it. Ask for samples at the counters so you can play with it at home, and take your time with your purchase – once you get the right one you can stick with it for years!

      1. Brilliant, thank you so much, that’s great advice, will be getting down to the beauty counters at John Lewis right away!!!! I really appreciate you taking the time to come back to me and think this has to be the best beauty site I’ve come across!! Thanks again!!!

  25. Hi,

    I just discovered your page and I am confused as to which foundation is best for me. I have friends that use Chanel and which make their faces look ‘luminous’ so I thought I would check try it.

    I went to the myers counter and explained I have oily skin and needed good coverage because of my acne. She recommended vitalumiere #55. This didnt give good coverage but she said it makes your face look glowy. Can u help me find out which Chanel foundation/other products is best for me? as there are so many.

    I currently use MAC NC42 and it gives great coverage but my face still gets really oily.


    1. It sounds to me like you have oily skin, so I think Vitalumiere will be too shiny for you (as the glow of Vitalumiere looks like extra oil). If the colour was a good match for you I would probably try either their Pro Lumiere (which has a more matte finish to VL, or even their Mat Lumiere foundation, which is (as it’s name suggests, a matte foundation).

      Without meeting you in person it’s very hard for me to say exactly what type of foundation would be good, but I’d ask to try samples of both Pro and Mat Lumiere (they do samples at Chanel), and take them home and see which one works best. I also like Bobbi Brown’s Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation for a matte foundation that still looks like skin. If you live in Australia as well the hot climate means you have to be careful with glow-y foundations like Vitalumiere as it can be too shiny. Good luck!

  26. hi was going to try the vl but have tried just about every foundation and colour you can think of, some dont cover enough some too heavy i have awfull skin at 34 i have open pores, spots, red patches and normal/dry skin oh not to mention those horrible lines appering im not extreamly pale but not dark either oh and pigmentation marks which get really bad in the summer months i have spent so much money on products that im nervious about wasting more money and was wondering if ther was a high st brand that gave the same glow but good coverage with out looking cakey have tried my face and its ok but not great on me as my skin looks so dull please help x

    1. This is a hard one to answer! However I have a few suggestions that I hope will help.
      First up it sounds like you have a few different things going on with your skin, so in order to get them sorted have you thought about going to a dermatologist? They are great for sorting out skin problems at their source. If it’s not something you would do, I would use skincare that is non-inflammatory – Cetaphil face wash is a good one (recommended by many dermatologists), and I would go to a good health care shop and find a moisturiser from there as they contain far fewer skin irritants than most from department stores (a good rich natural moisturiser for the current UK weather is Weleda Skinfood).

      Then to foundation – I was going to suggest Myface, and if that one isn’t good for you, at a drugstore level I don’t really have anything else to recommend. I’m afraid without seeing your skin myself I can’t really tell you what to try, as I would hate to recommend something else that doesn’t work for you when you’ve tried so many! However it sounds like you need a richer foundation, and both Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown have pretty extensive foundation ranges for all skin types. Keep trying on those counters! But get samples and test them at home, even if you have to take in little jars to try a sample. Then a good concealer in your skin colour and taking a bit of time to apply it properly will do wonders. I like thicker ones like Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer and Becca Concealer. Then if everything is covered well with a good concealer you might find you can get away with a lighter foundation than you thought. A good luminiser (like Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector) on your cheekbones and cupid’s bow and inner eye corners can make your skin look healthier than it really is. good luck! I do sympathise as I know how difficult it is dealing with multiple skin issues.

  27. aww thank you will not get to a dermo as waiting list is ridiculous and private is so expensive but will look at what you have suggested, think i have messed my own skin up to b honest have tryed so much crap on it my poor face has been through hell, as for the pigment i was brought up in NZ and think the damage was done then. silly mum not enough sun screen lol any way thank you so much i think your right a really good concealer and a light foundation as i hate the way my creases show after an hour of heavey foundation will definatly try the laura mercier con as heard great reviews and will try the becca shimmer, will have to get both online as where i live is desolate for decent shops thanx again hun will keep in touch do you have a website with tips for beauty and makeup? think you explain things so well xx

    1. I’m glad that helped a bit! It is tricky, but if you treat your skin gently for awhile it should settle down. If you want quite light coverage (although it may be too light), the Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser plus a good concealer is a great combo, particularly if you’re finding heavier foundation is settling in your skin. I like pretty much all the Laura Mercier foundations though, they’re great quality.

      This is the only website I have, apart from my makeup work website, – to be honest one blog is enough for me! Any more questions, just shout. Good luck!

  28. hi, i like to use a foundation with a thick coverage. i use mac studio fix but that has run out so i’m looking to try a new foundation. i tried mac face and body but the coverage wasn’t thick enough. just wondering if the chanel foundation gave a thick coverage or is it quite thin like face and body?

    1. I’m not surprised that you found the MAC Face and Body too light in coverage – it’s a lovely foundation but probably the sheerest coverage available on the market! Chanel Vitalumiere has quite a bit more coverage than that, but do check that the colour is right for your skintone (it’s not great on everyone). If you like the tones of MAC foundation, the Studio Sculpt foundation is one that I quite like, and it is a mid-weight foundation as well. Again it’s always best to try before you buy!

  29. hi, i like to use a foundation with a thick coverage. i use mac studio fix but that has run out so i’m looking to try a new foundation. i tried mac face and body but the coverage wasn’t thick enough. just wondering if the chanel foundation gave a thick coverage or is it quite thin like face and body?

  30. I have been using Estee Lauder individualist foundation in Fresco for years and just found that this has been discontinued. Read some articles which suggested Vitalumiere might be a good replacement but I don’t have a Chanel make-up counter anywhere locally and was thinking of ordering over the Internet… what do you think? Is there a potential equivalent in the Chanel range?

    1. Unfortunately I haven’t used the EL Individualist foundation, and I’ve only used one range of EL foundation (Maximum Cover) with any regularity which has a very narrow range of shades so it’s difficult for me to say how this would compare with the Chanel Vitalumiere. I would hate to tell you yes and then for you to order it online and find out it’s the wrong colour or not what you wanted. I think you may need to find someone online who has tried both whether it would be a good replacement.

      Alternatively you could try buying some online and stockpiling it – I found this link
      That way you won’t have to worry about finding a replacement for a while longer!

  31. I have been using Estee Lauder individualist foundation in Fresco for years and just found that this has been discontinued. Read some articles which suggested Vitalumiere might be a good replacement but I don’t have a Chanel make-up counter anywhere locally and was thinking of ordering over the Internet… what do you think? Is there a potential equivalent in the Chanel range?

  32. Hi, I have had trouble with foundations for as long as I can remember. I’m currently using clinique repairwear and it dries my skin out so badly I can’t bear to wear it anymore. The woman on the counter suggested I try it as I suffer with dry/combination skin but it makes my face feel really tight and dry, I also tried clinique super balanced but I didn’t like how it made my skin feel. After reading the reviews about chanel vitalumiere I am desperate to try it. I also have quite bad dark circles, can you recommend a concealer which is moisturising and doesn’t dry the under eye area out? Again, I’ve tried clinique concealer and it dried my skin out.

    1. Hi there, it sounds to me like Clinique isn’t agreeing with your skin, so I would give it a miss. The Chanel Vitalumiere is good for dry skins, but PLEASE check in daylight that it is a good colour match for your skin (it’s quite a narrow range of shades, so it doesn’t suit everyone). Have you got a good moisturiser? It sounds like you need something quite rich – I like Embryolisse, which is a French moisturiser but if you Google it you can now buy it on the internet.

      In terms of good moisturising undereye concealers, I like Laura Mercier’s Secret Concealer (again, check the colour range for you first) and Benefit Erase Paste, although again check the colours as they are a bit on the pink side. You also need to powder after that one as it can get a bit creasey under the eye.

  33. Hello! I just landed on this post. I have been using Vitalumiere for years and I love it. Unfortunately my shade is no longer available (Soft Honey) and when I went to get re-matched I got ‘Naturel’. Problem is, I came home and realized it wasn’t the kind I have used for years – The ‘Satin Smoothing Fluid Makeup’ Vitalumiere. I got the ‘Moisture-Rich Radiance Fluid Makeup’. Is there *really* a difference or should I just go back and exchange for the ‘Satin Smoothing’ version. PS- I am in LOVE with the Satin Smoothing version of Vitalumiere and if this moisture rich radiance one accomplishes the same thing then perhaps it is best to keep it? Help!

    1. Gosh, I didn’t know there was a new addition to the Vitalumiere range! The one I like is the Satin Smoothing one and I haven’t tried the new VL, so I can’t tell you whether it will be the same. I would keep it and take it back to the counter and get them to explain to you (and show you!) what the difference is. Then you can make a decision. Generally with foundation I think if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  34. Hello! Thanks for the very informative lovely blog. I’ve been using Chanel Vitalumiere in 20 (clair-cameo) for a couple of years now. It is really great for my skin because I have very dry skin with flaky patches. I have an excellent moisturizer and do use a gentle exfoliator about once a week but nothing seems to really fix it. VL manages to skim over the flaky bits without clinging to them and highlighting them. It’s not perfect but it’s pretty good.

    My question is, I never use a blusher because I’m afraid the extra layer will make the flaky patches stand out again. Can you recommend a blusher to use over VL, and a way of applying it, that wont cause this problem?

    Also, I have quite dark circles under my eyes. VL isn’t thick enough to sort them out, but when I put concealer on them it always looks really unnatural and kind of ashy, as the paler colour goes over the darker purple-ish patch. What would you recommend I use under my eyes with VL, and would I apply it before or after?

    Also (last one, I promise) I never use a powder because I’m worried it will cling to the flaky bits, but the coverage of VL does wear off quite a bit during the day. Can I use a powder without making the flakiness worse?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you like my blog! OK, first thoughts are that you sound like you need a very rich moisturiser to deal with the dryness. I would recommend Weleda Skin Food or Liz Earle Superskin moisturiser. A very gentle scrub like Dermalogica’s Microfoliant used once a week only should help with flakiness as well.

      For blush I would recommend a cream as they’re less dry looking than a powder. Good ones to try would be Stila Convertible Colour, Becca Cheek creams, Revlon Creme Blush and Bobbi Brown Pot Rouges. For concealer it sounds like you need something quite peach to cut the purple undertones under your eyes. I would go to the Bobbi Brown counter and get them to help you – her Tinted Eyebrighteners are genius for just that problem and her concealers are really creamy. Finally unless you get shiny during the day I would probably avoid powder and use either blotting powder, or reapplying your foundation (if the coverage is wearing away in the afternoon).

  35. Sorry to post again! if there are products that you could recommend that are more in the myface price bracket than the chanel price bracket then that would be great. I invest in foundation because it’s so crucial, but I can’t afford to buy many expensive products.

  36. Could you please advice of some good foundations to try for my skin type please? For years I’ve tried different ones and never found anything I really liked. I have combination skin oily t zone with dry parts, my complexion is o.k. but i have large pores on my nose and to the side of it. So I would like to achieve a flawless look, that gives a radiant look. Thanks x

    1. Hi there, I’m afraid without seeing you in person I can’t tell you which ones to try – it’s so dependent on skintone and how much coverage you like. The best thing to do would be to visit a couple of different counters and try on a number of foundations. Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and Chanel all make great foundations but you really need someone to asses your skin and give you samples to try.

  37. Hi,

    I am Bobbi Brown Warm Ivory, what shade would I be in Chanel Vitalumiere? Also what in your opinion is the best under eye concealer that also works for photos. Thanks Julie

    1. Without seeing you in person it’s hard to say, but the palest Chanel VL colour is Limpide, and from comparing it in my kit it looks like it could be a pretty good match.

      For concealers you really need to find the best shade for you – there is no brand that is better for photographs, although it is best to be careful of products like YSL Touche Eclat in photos as too much can photograph white due to the light reflective particles in them. Any good normal concealer from any brand that you like should be fine.

  38. Hi, just came across your blog, and am hoping you can help. I’m getting married later this year (autumn), UK, and am already starting to think about my makeup. I’ve read that wearing an SPF is bad for photos because of the way they react with flash photography leaving a white out. But I don’t really not want to wear any.

    I’m pale, and have combination skin with a very oily T-zone that gets shiny within half an hour of doing my make up. I’ve tried oil free foundations but they’re too drying on my cheeks. At the moment I’m using stila illuminating foundation in 20 watts, and guerlain meterorites powder, but my make up doesn’t last all day. Is there a different foundation and powder I should try (which I can use with an SPF moisturiser) which will last well, with top ups from a pressed powder, please? Oh,yes, I have more of a yellow undertone than a pink one.

    Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your question! First off regarding SPF, it is products that contain titanium dioxide that flash white sometimes in photos, so look for a sunscreen that doesn’t contain this. You could also get a friend to take some photos of you before the wedding wearing your wedding makeup, just check how it photographs.

      For foundation I do think you need an oil-free one as it sounds like you do get quite shiny (Chanel Vitalumiere wouldn’t be suitable for you, it’s too much of a glowy foundation if you have oily skin.) My favourite matte foundation is Bobbi Brown’s Natural Finish Long Lasting foundation – and it has an SPF of 15. If you find your cheeks get dry, use extra moisturiser on them first. You can then top up with your pressed powder throughout the day – I like Laura Mercier’s Translucent Pressed Powder. Have a wonderful wedding!

  39. Hi, I am an NC20 in Mac and use Laura Mercier mineral foundation in REAL SAND (it’s the second palest shade with neutral to yellow undertone). The chanel counter lady suggested that I go for #20 (Can’t remember what the shade was called – something “cameo”). She tried it on me and it looked ok. But u cannot tell about foundation until u wear it on your full face fr atleast half an hour. 🙁 and she didn’t have any sample sizes. So i was wondering if you had any suggestions and if you think the shade should be ok.

    1. I think you really need to test it properly, as you said – can’t the counter lady apply it for you and then you can walk around for awhile? It is definitely on the glowy side so if your face gets oily I would recommend you try something else.

  40. Hey! Thanks for the response! I tried vita lumiere on one side and pro lumiere on one side today. Pro lumiere is definitely too matte for me (also a bit too full coverage for my liking). THing is, the counter lady always applies it on the lower cheek/jaw line which never gets oily for me ever. It’s just my nose. I think i am going to go to another counter and get her to try it on my nose and walk around for an hour before i decide. Don’t care if she thinks i am weird for wanting to apply it on my nose. 😛
    Although I do think i am tending towards getting the vitalumiere. My t-zone is under control if i use a mattifying toner and lotion before makeup. Plus while singapore is hot, i am in airconditioning for 12 hours a day! that just rips off all the moisture in my skin anyway.

    1. Definitely get her to try it on your nose – surely she could try it properly for you anyway, instead of just one bit? Your jawline is the last place you should be checking foundation (as you say it’s the T-zone you use it in!) As long as you check it in proper daylight, if you think it’s right for you get it. It’s a beautiful foundation.

  41. I am 52 with normal to dry skin and have been using Bare Minerals for years. Although I do like it I am feeling the need to try something more dewy. I have heard a lot of good about Chanel VL Ultralight. I use a medium shade currently and have pink undertones. No Chanel counter anywhere near me and looking at shades on their website is difficult. Any info about shades would be appreciated. Also, any suggestions for a companion powder appropriate for the over 50 crowd.

    1. Dewy is good as your skin gets older – it tends to need more light reflection. I haven’t tried the Chanel VL Aqua yet, although it’s supposed to be amazing. I’m afraid in terms of colours without seeing you in person it’s very hard to advise you. I know that the shade guide on their website isn’t great, and all I can suggest is that you try some of the makeup forums like and where you could ask a number of women what they think the equivalent shade for you might be (I’m not familiar with Bare Minerals so it’s hard for me to say). In terms of powder I love either Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Powder, or I also love Jurlique Rose Scented Powder – it’s super fine so removes shine without adding heavy product build up.

  42. Hi

    I’m looking for a new foundation and after reading your article I hurried straight to the Chanel counter. Tried the VL as that sounded perfect for me. Only trouble is I have very fairy skin with rosy undertones and the VL looked a bit yellowy. Are there any foundations that are like VL but more rosy?

    Thanks in advance


    1. Yes, the tones of VL aren’t right for everyone. Without meeting you it’s very hard to say, but I find that Chantecaille Future Skin tends to have pinker foundations in its range. For very fair people I tend to say check out Becca foundations as they do pale skin tones well (they have a great stick foundation), or Illamasqua has some good options for fair skin too (they even do a pure white foundation!) The other brand you could try would be YSL, as from what I hear they are quite good at doing in-between skintones that the other brands don’t cater for, although I haven’t tried their foundations so I have no idea about their performance.

  43. I was wondering what the differences in all of the Vitalumiere foundations are? The Mat, regular, Aqua, etc. I know you can’t tell me exactly which is best for my skin, but I am very pale with very dark undereye circles, an oily t-zone, and many spots on my nose I would like to cover. Thank you!

    1. Whilst I haven’t worked extensively with all the Chanel foundations, the quick version is: Chanel Vitalumiere is quite dewy, so best for drier skins, Pro Lumiere is more matte than VL, and has a slightly heavier feel to it, Matt Lumiere is their foundation for oily skins but is a heavier weight foundation as well. The new Aqua VL is a thinner version of VL, a bit like the tinted moisturiser version of it.

      If you are very pale you may find that Limpide, the palest Chanel foundation is not pale enough for you, so try before you buy. I would recommend that you look at getting the right shade for you in paler foundations (a good oil-free foundation that now comes in a paler shade is Chantecaille’s Future Skin.) You can always add an oil-absorbing primer or gel like MAC Matte to help your t-zone, and a powder afterwards. I like Bobbi Brown’s Colour Correctors and concealers for very dark circles, and a thicker concealer like Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage for spots. Good luck!

  44. I went to a salon in Hereford the other day today for a consultation and she did a patch test to determine whether I’d have an allergic reaction, yada yada, then before I left, she let me sample Lycogel uk. Well, it’s absolutely incredible. It provides amazing coverage. It doesn’t block pores and gives a dewy look so you don’t really look like you’re wearing anything. I think it is the best foundation ever!

  45. Hi there

    I am busy putting my make up kit together, it’s costly!. My core focus being shoots/filming & brides. I need to purchase my foundations and would sincerely appreciate your recommendations. Could you please tell me how you feel about the new Aqua Vitalumiere for shoots?. Also, which shades(of whichever foundation you recommend!) would you suggest that I purchase, the essentials? I’m in South Africa and most likely have very similar toned ladies as you do in Australia;). Thank you for your advice X

    1. It certainly can be expensive! I’ve not used the Vitalumiere Aqua yet – I’m really happy with the foundations I have and I’m reluctant to add another range of foundation to my kit as that stuff is heavy! I actually find in Australia people tend to me more tanned than in Europe, and thus more golden-toned. I love the Armani Luminous Silk range here, and also Bobbi Brown’s foundations are good as they tend to be more yellow (then I have Chanel VL for less yellow skin tones). With any range of foundations I usually carry about 4-5, and choose from the spectrum ranging from quite pale through to deeper colours, and having about three in the middle of the spectrum that you will end up using the most. I mix and match them though to get the right shade. For instance, I have run out of Chanel 30 so I mix Chanel 20 and 40 together and that works fine. For Armani Luminous Silk I use the 5.5 and 6.5 the most. Hope that helps!

    1. It does have good coverage (medium weight as opposed to heavy though). For darker spots on your face I would recommend a good light to mid weight foundation, and go over the darker spots with Laura Mercier’s Secret Camouflage concealer and a brush – this will give you the most flawless finish without looking heavy or masky.

    1. No, it’s not oil-free. And it has a very glowy finish, so if you have oily skin I wouldn’t recommend it. I believe Clinique have a good range of foundation with salicylic acid in it that’s good for breakouts (although I haven’t personally tried it), or Bobbi Brown has an excellent range of oil-free foundations. As ever, check the colour against your skin tone before you buy.

  46. Hi I am 46 and never worn foundation ! but I feel now i 🙁 unfortunatly I have dry , sensitive with the odd outbrake of eczema ….. Would you help ?

    1. I understand that as time goes on, sometimes you feel the need to even out your skin tone (I certainly fall in that category!) Without meeting you it’s very hard for me to suggest the right foundation as I don’t know your skin colour or undertones. However, if you have dry and sensitive skin I would suggest visiting a few counters and getting samples to try first, to see how your skin reacts. Bobbi Brown has an excellent and comprehensive range of foundations, including ones for dry and mature skin. (I particularly like her BB Cream at present, which is quite moisturising and provides a good basic level of coverage.) Chantecaille’s Future Skin will give you a bit more coverage than a BB Cream or tinted moisturiser, and a dewy finish. And if your skin is very sensitive, you could try Dr Hauschka’s Tinted Moisturiser (which I’m yet to try), but I find her products good for sensitive skins generally. But do be careful with matching it to your skin tone – each brand tends to favour different tones within the skin and it’s important to choose a brand which is right for you. Good luck!

  47. Hi there!
    How would you compare Chanel Vitalumiere to Armani Luminous Silk in terms of how they photograph?
    I was curious if Vitalumiere causes white face/flashback because of the SPF.


    1. I like both the Armani Luminous Silk and the Vitalumiere and use both in my kit. I’ve never had problems with either of them being photographed. They both have a luminous finish although I would say the Armani was a slightly heavier coverage (I often apply it with a damp sponge to make it more sheer).

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