Base Makeup Chanel

Chanel Vitalumière Aqua vs. Teint Innocence

March 3, 2011

Chanel has officially released the new Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup SPF 15 ($45) in the US to replace their Teint Innocence Naturally Luminous Fluid Makeup SPF 12 ($47). Long-time readers know that Teint Innocence is my holy grail of foundations and much to my dismay, I discovered it was soon to be discontinued earlier this year.

I completed an extensive foundation review last month in search for a holy grail replacement (linked below at the bottom of this post). After testing a few sample packets of the Vitalumière Aqua, I crowned it as one of my holy grail replacements, but did not have an update on my color selection since counters did not yet have the product in stock. After further testing, here are my thoughts:

Color Selection – I am normally a Chanel Shell 30 in Teint Innocence but am slightly lighter in skin color, although not quite fair enough to be a Cameo 1.0. My best match right now is Chanel’s Lift Lumiere in Cendre 30 (which runs a bit lighter than Teint Innocence). For the Vitalumière Aqua, I tested B20 Beige Tendre and B30 Beige Sable. I could have gone with either shade, but decided on the B20 Beige Tendre shade. The colors with BR have more pink, while the B shades have yellow undertones. I’ve swatched the shades I use below, note that while they are all different swatched heavily, the different formulas blend differently on the skin. Also note, I mix the two Armani shades to get a custom-matched color (so many times I’m in between shades).

* Also note, my forearm is paler than the rest of my sun-exposed areas

Texture – Vitalumière Aqua is thinner and more liquidy while the Teint Innocence is thicker but still very fluid. It is recommended that you always shake your Vitalumière Aqua bottle just like the Base Lumière (also by Chanel).

Product Packaging, Amount, Size – The packaging is a bit deceiving because at first glance, one would assume that Teint Innocence contains a lot more product. However, both contain the same amount of 30 ml/1 fl oz. Vitalumière Aqua comes in a plastic container that requires shaking. The difference can be seen below. I do believe ALL the Vitalumière Aqua shades have the same beige color for the packaging – at the counter, I could not see any difference in the plastic container for the lighter or darker shades (but it could have been something I just did not notice). While the Vitalumière Aqua is more compact and sleek, I prefer the Teint Innocence glass bottle.

Finish – Vitalumière Aqua has a quick setting formula with a slightly matte finish. I find that it needs to be blended with short quick strokes because it dries quickly and can darken in spots if not blended evenly. Teint Innocence is more dewy and more moisturizing.

Coverage – Both have super natural but noticeable coverage, however I find the Teint Innocence more forgiving and a bit more transparent with a more natural look. Neither are as sheer as a tinted moisturizer and both provide decent coverage. I like to apply both with a sponge (just my personal preference). I always set with a powder.

Overall Thoughts – Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua is a beautiful foundation, but it’s still no replacement for Teint Innocence which will always have my heart. I have purchased 3 back up bottles, although I don’t know the exact shelf life of an unopened bottle of foundation. I know my sister has several back ups accumulated by now. About a dozen women have e-mailed me with cries of despair that their favorite holy grail foundation is now gone. To sum up my thoughts: Vitalumière Aqua is thinner and has a semi-matte finish that’s less see thru, Teint Innocence is not as thin and more dewy with a slightly transparent finish. If you liked TI you will most likely like VA.

Recommendations – If you’re still pining over Teint Innocence, BACK UP NOW! My local Nordstroms only carry two shades at the counters now, all others have been pulled and sent back to who-knows-where. If you’re interested in Vitalumière Aqua and are exact match to Chanel Shell 30, I think your match will be B30 Beige Sable. If you’re slightly lighter than Shell but not quite Cameo, B20 Beige Tendre will be a good match. I do recommend getting a few sample packets to test if you can (Nordstrom counters should have plenty now) and let it sit on the skin to see how it wears after a few minutes. If you’ve tried this foundation and it looks ashy on you, you’ve been matched to the wrong color!

Amy from Café Makeup and Karlasugar have swatched the colors on their skin, both are lighter than me, and I believe I am more olive/yellow than both of them.

Recap & links for your reference below …

  • Foundation Search Part 1: Bobbi Brown Natural Finish Long Lasting Foundation SPF 15, Burberry Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation, Chanel Mat Lumiere Long Lasting Luminous Matte Fluid Makeup, Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Invisible Skin Foundation
  • Foundation Search Part 2: Chanel Pro Lumiere, Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Hydrating Makeup SPF 10, Dolce & Gabbana Powder Foundation, Laura Mercier Crème Smooth, Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment, Make Up Forever Face & Body Liquid Makeup & Chanel Vitalumière Aqua
  • Foundation Search Part 3: Summary

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  • Your back-ups should be fine for a couple of year as long as they're unopened and store in a dark cool place that's not humid either.

  • Thank you for the review ! After trying the Vitalumière the other day I pretty much came to the same conclusion, except even harsher: it's too thick for my taste.

    My husband said I looked "waxy" and that it emphasized the smallest imperfections (like dilated pores – isn't that precisely what you want a foundation to hide ?). I was careful to moisturize with a light moisturizer beforehand, and applied it with a brush – so I really didn't overdo it. It just has an almost "sticky" texture, with a too matte finish.

    All in all, it was way too heavy for me. I was really expecting something a lot lighter, with a dewy finish – especially with a name like Vitalumière (lumière means light in French).

    I believe it's the kind of foundation that would look amazing in a photo, but definitely not in real life.

    I really wanted to like this !

  • Good foundations will last many years if unopened and stored in a cool, dry place. I stocked up on Armani's Hydra Glow years ago when it was discontinued, and I am still using it. It's fine.

    Do not refrigerate unless you live in the tropics!

  • It's so hard to replace a treasured foundation. You're probably wondering the same thing, but it seems to me that Teint Innocence was a very popular product by Chanel. Why did they discontinue it?

    The finish of Vitalumiere Aqua in photos looks divine. I've checked for a match for NW20-25 and there is not a good one for someone with a peachy-pink undertone. I'll stick with NARS Sheer Glow in Sante Fe.

    Maybe in the next year or so, something else will come along for you. A gal has to keep her options open.

    Take care of that injured hand, and the other one too!

  • Eileen

    I'm a Chanel fan and really wanted to like this new foundation, but unfortunately, it is not suited to those of us with mature or dry complexions. Since some of your readers are senior citizens like me, Sabrina, I'd like to offer my perspective. Like many reviewers, I originally thought I was in-between shades, but after trying out B10 and BR10, it was obvious that my perfect match was B10 (very light, neutral beige). I mention this because this is one of those foundations that adjusts to skin tone as it dries. So, to avoid color disappointment, it's important to actually visit a Chanel counter for shade selection. Now, to the foundation itself.

    The good news first: It's "finger paint" and can be easily applied with just the fingers, but women my age will need a bit of brush work in areas where pores are enlarged. Once set, it imparts a long-wearing, translucent finish that looks like velvet. It's very concentrated and takes just a little bit to create a sheer, natural coverage. It can be easily built up under the eyes, around the nose, etc. It doesn't settle in fine lines and creases.

    Now, the bad news: It is very watery and must be shaken well to evenly distribute and blend the pigments. If you forget, you'll end up with a watery mess with pigment floating in it. Once applied, it doesn't provide much coverage for sunspots, surface capillaries, and the like. It can be built up, but because it is not moisturizing, it will look chalky unless you have a very good moisturizer on under it. Now, here comes my biggest criticism. No matter how much care I took with blending it (fingers, brush, or sponge), it grabbed onto my skin unevenly and looked like it was just sitting on the surface rather than merging with my skin. I use Chanel's SPF 50 as my final prep step, so there shouldn't have been any compatibility issues.

    Bottom line: I think this would be nice for someone with oily skin who isn't looking for much coverage. This definitely won't be replacing my Edward Bess and Armani

  • I think I'll try this out 🙂 I'm trying to move up to nicer products by brand names rather than CVS stuff 😉 I get a lot out of your blog.

  • I just wanted to let you know my personal experience with Teint Innocence. After I've read your many posts on it, I decided to get it before they pull it off the shelves. It sounded great and like it would fit my combination skin. It's left me puzzled though because it doesn't sit well on my skin, and contrary to what many other people say how the foundation gets better throughout the day (apparently all Chanel ones do), it only gets worse on me. Just for reference, the foundations that I love and have repurchased before are NARS Sheer Glow and MUFE Face & Body. I'm not sure if I've found the right foundation for those hotter months though.

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to exchange Teint Innocence for something else. I was hoping it could be Vitalumiere Aqua but it doesn't sound like it would work for for me. I will try to get a sample 🙂

  • Agree with you on the Aqua.. it didn't wow me at all. It was awkward for such a runny shade to have a semi matte finish.. plus I used to be shade 20, but in Aqua it looks off-beige..

  • Gail

    I tried Vita Aqua and did not care for it as it made my skin look dry and irritated my rosacea. I don't tolerate anything with high alcohol content, so no surprise. I will stick with my Chante Future Skin. The shade range is also very limited and those with very pale skin or dark skin will not be able to find a match.

  • Did you try the Lancome "Teint Miracle" foundation?
    I am as well in love with Chanel Teint Innocence, but Lancome Teint Miracle has been a good sustitute for me. Chanel shade 30 amd Lancome shade 3. Perfect matches.

    • Anonymous

      Lancôme Teint Miracle is the best foundation I have used. I am trying Chanel's Vitalumiere Teint. I don't like the bottle. When I tried to get a drop, too much came out at one time. What a waist.

  • I hated it. No more Chanel foundation for me in a while.

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, I too hated it. It's runny and the finish is strange. It doesn't cover slight imperfections and for dry skin it's a no-no. Maybe in the future Chanel will bring back a moisturizing foundation that is as good – or better!- than the innocence.

  • Anonymous

    Aqua is too drying for me and gives me a dull appearance – not even matte – just dull. I LOVED Innocence and didn't get a chance to stock up on my Soft Bisque before it was gone. Now I'm searching for another brand to replace it. Huge bummer!

  • Anonymous

    I have been using the new one for a few months….and I don't like it 🙁

    How can we get them to bring it back? The "waxy" comment is dead-on. It's too thick. The original was really light and fresh–people would come up to me and compliment me on it.

    What can we do to encourage them to bring it back?


  • Anonymous

    Are you sure it has been discontinued? I bought 30- shell , today. I am in Vancouver, BC, don't know if that makes a difference.

  • Dina Howling

    Love all your reviews.

    Sabrina, your HG Teint Innocent is still available in the UK (maybe good for future reference??)

  • Anonymous

    Vitalumière is aweful. I keep trying to convince myself its the same, but the color match is off (the lady at the counter didnt make me try it and now I'm stuck with a darker, yellower tone that makes me look like I've been standing in steam) I'm really really disapointed. 🙁

  • Anonymous

    Vitalumiere really sucks. I will never understand why lines discontinue popular products.

  • Anonymous

    I've just used the last of my backup Teint Innocence in 30 Shell. I have tried the Vitalumière but do not like it at all! Chanel what were you thinking! I'm now in search of another brand that suits my 50+ skin.

  • I'm lucky to have a colour match in Vitalumiere, but there are some days where my skin just doesn't like the foundation at all, and it just make me look quite dry! I have a couple of bottles of Teint Innocence left, but one is a shade too light and another too dark! Looks like I'll be blending away until I finish them both! 🙁

  • Thanks for this! I LOVED Teint Innocence and was devastated at its discontinuation.

  • Anonymous

    I'm reading this now and still missing the teint innocence!!! 🙁