I have a bit of a soft spot for Anne Hathaway. She is lovely looking, obviously. And she’s hard-working and sincere without being too goody-two-shoes. I have to admit, though, she seems an improbable cat woman in The Dark Knight Rises. Under the kitty mask, she is said to wear Chanel’s Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation ($45).

Chanel’s priority with Vitalumiere was to make a foundation that glides over the skin, feels imperceptible to the point of ephemeral, while doing what you really want from a foundation - covering up the bad bits. The problem is that this accentuated by bad bits by making me breakout (curiosity got the better of me and I tried a free sample).

I blame the fragrance, an undefined chemical on the ingredients list and certainly responsible for the artificial fruity smell that reminded me of chewing gum. Or it could have been the chemical sunscreen, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, which also has the unpleasant side effect of producing excess reactive oxygen species. Another pro-oxidant is aluminum hydroxide. And then there’s talc, which has been linked to cancer.

Although Chanel boasts that there are skin conditioning ingredients, once you get past the numerous silicones, there are really only two in Vitalumiere and they are way down towards the end of the ingredients list. Sodium hyaluronate is effective at moisture retention and antioxidant laminaria digitata, a kelp with lots of iodine. Of course, these do not in any way compensate for such a horrible formula.

Anne Hathaway once described her beauty secrets and sleep, water and sex. She’d certainly be better off ditching her Chanel foundation in favor of making out.

Ingredients:  Aqua (Water), Methyl Trimethicone, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Titanium Dioxide, Alcohol, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Talc, Butylene Glycol, Isododecane, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone/PEG-10/15 Crosspolymer, Alumina, Aluminum Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, C9-15 Fluoroalcohol Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Parfum (Fragrance), Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Water, Methylparaben, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Silica, Tocopheryl Acetate, Dipropylene Glycol, Polyurethane-15, BHT, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Tocopherol, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben.  May contain:  Ultramarines, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Mica.