Vitalumiere Aqua Fresh and Hydrating Cream Compact Makeup SPF 15
Last Updated:12.02.2014
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This fragrance-free cream-to-powder makeup is definitely pricey, but it excels in almost every area, which makes the price a little easier to swallow, though you can easily find equally good, less expensive cream-to-powder foundations at the department store.

Up first is the broad-spectrum sunscreen that includes an impressive amount of titanium dioxide for reliable UVA (think anti-aging) screening, though this would be even better for solo use if it had a higher SPF, which is now the standard from most dermatology organizations around the world. This foundation's texture is smooth and creamy without feeling thick or waxy, and it blends softly without looking dry, cakey, or powdery (though it does have a satin finish that feels powdery).

Coverage goes from light to medium and it layers well for areas that need more coverage. Consider this a very good option for camouflaging an uneven skin tone or brown spots from sun damage!

Best for normal to dry skin and acceptable for breakout-prone skin, Chanel's shade range is mostly impressive. You'll find options for light (but not porcelain) to tan skin tones, with only a few colors to consider carefully: 32 Beige Rose is slightly pink, 42 Beige Rose is slightly peach, and 52 Beige Rose is noticeably peach and best avoided. The darkest shade, 60 Beige, is best for golden tan skin tones; 10 Beige, 20 Beige, and 22 Beige Rose are soft, neutral options for light skin tones.

One last comment: In terms of hydration, this provides a slight amount, but if you have dry skin or dry areas, you'll want to prep with a moisturizer -- preferably one with sunscreen given this foundation only has an SPF 15 (see More Info).

  • Provides broad-spectrum sun protection in a fragrance-free formula.
  • Smooth, creamy texture doesn't feel (or look) thick or heavy.
  • Great range of mostly neutral shades.
  • Provides good coverage while maintaining a skin-like appearance.
  • Expensive.
  • A higher SPF number is a standard most dermatology organizations around the world now recommend.

More Info:

This foundation's rating is due to its overall performance rather than its SPF rating. Due to concerns about people not applying sunscreen liberally enough to get the amount of SPF protection stated on the label, it is often recommended to look for SPFs with ratings higher than 15. If you plan to use foundation as your sole source of facial sun protection, consider using one rated SPF 20 or greater. If the foundation with sunscreen you choose is rated less than an SPF 20, we strongly advise applying it over a daytime moisturizer rated SPF 15 or greater and following it with a pressed powder rated SPF 15 or greater. That way, you're ensuring sufficient broad-spectrum protection which is essential for having and maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin at any age.


Active Ingredients: Octinoxate 4%, Titanium Dioxide 5.1%, Other Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, Dimethicone, Methyl Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, Ceresin, Glycerin, PEG-9 Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Talc, Sodium Citrate, Silica, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Tocopherol, Alumina

May Contain: Ultramarines, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide

Brand Overview

Chanel At-A-Glance

Strengths: Hmmmm… sleek and occasionally elegant packaging; the sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection; a handful of good cleansers and a topical scrub; some impressive foundations with sunscreen; an assortment of good makeup products including concealer, blush, mascara, eyeshadow and bronzer.

Weaknesses: Expensive, with an emphasis on style over substance; overpriced; overreliance on jar packaging; antioxidants in most products amount to a mere dusting; no products to successfully address sun- or hormone-induced skin discolorations with research-proven ingredients; mostly mediocre to poor eye pencils; extremely limited options for eyeshadows if you want a matte finish.

The history of this Paris-bred line is steeped in fashion, jewelry, and fragrance firsts. The image-is-everything fashion sensibility and fragrance know-how have been loosely translated to Chanel’s ever-imposing skin-care collection, now divided into several categories, although most of them have overlapping, overly exaggerated claims and over-the-top pricing. The company likes to mention its research facility, referred to as C.E.R.I.E.S. (Centre de Recherches et d'Investigations Epidermiques et Sensorielles) as a way to give credibility to its products and the formulary expertise of Chanel's team of scientists, but its studies are not necessarily the kind of independent research that shows up in medical journals.

Founded in 1991 and funded by Chanel, the goal of this research facility is "to help provide a scientific foundation for the design of skin care products and to promote public awareness of the principles underlying maintenance of healthy, attractive skin." Examining Chanel's often lengthy ingredient lists reveals that they believe healthy, attractive skin requires mostly standard, banal ingredients coupled with lots of fragrance and just a smattering of anything resembling state-of-the-art ingredients. Designing skin-care products whose purpose is to reinforce healthy skin doesn't involve strong scents, irritants such as alcohol, or sunscreens whose SPF ratings fall below the standards set by major health organizations, including the American Academy of Dermatology and corresponding international academies as well. Furthermore, their Nº 1 products claim to increase skin's oxygen uptake, something that essentially puts skin on the fast track for more free-radical damage, and no one at C.E.R.I.E.S. seems to have any idea about how to treat acne-prone skin. (Well, let's face it, acne is never fashionable.)

Just like most Chanel skin-care products, the research facility and its ties to the dermatology community make it sound more impressive than it really is. Chanel's influence on fashion and luxury accoutrements is legendary and ongoing; but their skin-care products simply cannot compete with what many other lines are doing, including Estee Lauder, Clinique, Prescriptives, Olay, Dove, Neutrogena, and many others. Considering the couture-level prices, too much of Chanel's skin care is average, and that doesn't look good on anyone.

For more information about Chanel, call (800) 550-0005 or visit www.chanel.com.

Chanel Makeup

Chanel pulls out all the stops to present their makeup in the most flattering light. Many of their products are deserving of the best status, but, frustratingly, an equal number disappoint, seeming to coast on Chanel's name and attention to upscale, designer-influenced packaging rather than providing true quality. For example, few companies have foundations with textures as varied and state-of-the-art as Chanel. However, most of their foundations with sunscreen are formulated without essential UVA-protecting ingredients, even though Chanel clearly knows about this issue, as evidenced from their numerous skin-care products that do contain avobenzone or titanium dioxide. Neglecting adequate UVA protection while going on about how the product creates younger-looking skin is not only inaccurate, it's harmful to your skin's health and appearance.

Beyond inadequate sunscreen, Chanel's eye and lip pencils have extraordinary prices, but ordinary to poor performance, and most of their "we're trying to be unique and clever" products don't do much to prove they're worthy of purchase. It's hard to ignore that much of what Chanel does well other lines do just as well (and sometimes better), and with a more realistic price range to boot. However, the overall situation is better than standard but well-dressed formulas with shamelessly affluent prices, because although it's not inexpensive, the best of Chanel's makeup is truly outstanding. What's needed to establish consistency is an overhaul of the many products that have fallen behind formula-wise. We doubt Chanel will reevaluate their pricing for the better, but given that, the least you should expect is stellar performance from everything you buy that bears the iconic double C logo!

Note: Chanel is categorized as a brand that tests on animals because its products are sold in China. Although Chanel does not conduct animal testing for its products sold elsewhere, the Chinese government requires imported cosmetics be tested on animals, so foreign companies retailing there must comply. This requirement is why some brands state that they don’t test on animals “unless required by law.” Animal rights organizations consider cosmetic companies retailed in China to be brands that test on animals, and so does the Paula’s Choice Research Team.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

Member Comments
Summary of Member Comments
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Paraben Free

Having very sensitive skin I wanted a paraben free product. The coverage is excellent and you can layer this product. You do not look over made up with this product and stays looking good all day.

Reviewed by
Zoe R
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