Friday, February 10, 2012

Review: Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua vs. Chanel Perfection Lumiere

Chanel Counters & Stores
VLA Price: $45
PL Price: $55

Let's talk Chanel. This iconic fashion house is the epitome of timeless style and class, but many buyers are easily intimidated by their posh reputation and even more so by their sky high prices. Is it really worth an arm and a leg??? In my opinion, you'll never know until you try it out. The best thing about purchasing high end cosmetics is that you can get professionally color matched and swatch things in person before you buy. And if the product doesn't work out for you, you can just return/exchange it! Okay, I've rambled on for long enough, on to the review!

I'll be doing a sort of....double-whammy foundation face-off, featuring two of Chanel's newest foundation releases: Vitalumiere Aqua and Perfection Lumiere. VLA is a lightweight water-based liquid with light to medium coverage and a dewey skin-like finish. It is a buildable formula, but it is very important to SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE before building. Because of its water-based formulation, this foundation will separate into a watery layer and a pigment layer, in order to maximize the coverage and blendability , you need to shake it well before application. I usually do two thin layers on my face and just spot conceal my trouble areas. The finish is so natural and healthy looking, it's like a second layer of perfect skin. I do set this lightly with a loose powder in the T-zone to prolong the wear, but I still only get about 6 hours before it starts disappearing. It also contains SPF 15, which makes this foundation ideal for day wear. The color match isn't bad, I might repurchase one shade up for the summer months, the Chanel MUA actually matched me to both B20 and B30 because it blends out so well, the B30 does give me a slightly tanner look while the B20 gives me a luminous glow. Another important thing to note is the fragrance, which is a light, fresh floral that I personally love. If you are sensitive, make sure you give it a whiff before you whip out the $45!

Perfection Lumiere is the dull, lackluster sister of Vitalumiere Aqua. It is advertised as a long wearing, flawless finish makeup. I feel that neither of those claims are true. First of all, what is their definition of "flawless"? The finish on this foundation is a very flat matte with a medium to full coverage. You need to be very careful to exfoliate, moisturize, and maybe even slap on a primer before application. This liquid will grab on to every single imperfect texture on your skin and congregate there like some diabolical clump of mockery. So not Chanel-esque, right? So yes, unless you have perfectly smooth skin, you must do the necessary prep work before wearing. Second of all, I find the wear time on this foundation quite average. I usually don't set this with powder because it already looks so matte, it lasts about 5-6 hours in ideal conditions. I did powder it once or twice and got the same longevity. Like the VLA, I was matched to a B20, which I believe is too light for me now (I am currently an NC25). I will definitely NOT repurchase this one to wear for the summer, but I'll finish the bottle during the Fall/Winter, since I'll be paler then. This one also has a fragrance, its a stronger floral perfume that I don't like as much as the fragrance of the VLA, but I don't mind it either. Overall, I would expect a bit better quality for a $55 foundation.

So obviously, I prefer one of these over the other. Just because something is expensive doesn't mean its awesome, but it doesn't mean you should be afraid to try it anyway. Just keep in mind to do your research and maybe even ask for a few samples before making the big commitment.

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