I've wanted to visit the Illamasqua store in Beak Street for quite sometime now and finally got a chance to visit it at the end of last year. The visit was fleeting but I still managed to leave with a lovely little bag which contained a slightly spur of the moment purchase - Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation. I needed a new foundation. I like to have a selection of foundations to chose from and I am more than happy to use "drugstore" brands but I do like to dabble in the high end brands too when it comes to foundation. I like a foundation I can turn to no matter what kind of day my skin is having. A foundation I can rely on to see me through the day and not turn me into and oily or flaky mess.
I have used their Rich Liquid foundation and did like it but wanted something not quite as heavy and full on. The shade of Rich Liquid foundation I use (135) is perfect for me, the best shade match I've ever had. The sales assistant recommended shade 02. Left to have a play I decided that 02 would be the best match. I didn't hang around (I was short of time!) and bought it.
How about this for a shade selection?! There is a shade for most skins, dark and light, and for me 02 matches perfectly. The foundation is fairly thick (although not as thick as their Rich Liquid foundation) but it is still buildable, although I would say it leans more towards a fuller coverage. The finish is a funny one, while I wouldn't call it matte, it definitely isn't dewy or satiny. It does have a really natural finish though, it's the kind you catch yourself looking in the mirror and thinking, "oh my skin looks nice and healthy!" The packaging is simple and lightweight - I actually quite like that it's plastic not glass, easier to carry around in a bag. The squeezy tube is quite nice as I find you can control the amount of product used better than you can if it's a pump. It lasts the day with maybe a little powder touch up halfway through the day. It doesn't slide off though and for me it withstood a barrage of weather and temperate conditions. This is will definitely be my go to foundation for nights out.
Application was a little fiddly as I felt the brush I used didn't really do the product justice. Having a play with a few foundation brushes I came to the conclusion that my (clean!) fingers gave the best application. Any recommendations for brushes that work well with this would be greatly appreciated! It has been said many a time in reviews that this is not a foundation for those with drier skin. I do actually have quite a few dry patches on my face but I have found as long as I moisturise well before hand and blend the foundation in quickly, I didn't have any trouble with it clinging to my dry bits. So to speak. With that said, throughout the day it left my t-zone looking slightly oily. Nothing that couldn't be resolved with a little bit of powder though. The application needs a little work to get right but once it's going it applies beautifully and in comparison to their Rich Liquid Foundation is a doddle to apply. This is a pleasure to use and feels like a bit of makeup luxury, and with it's £27 price tag, so it should.
I like this foundation. I love the amount of coverage and the way it feels when on my skin. My only gripe is the fact it can be a little drying and (in a weird duality) it can leave me looking a little oily towards the end of the day. I know, it makes little sense but it does and having a look at a few other reviews online I am not the only one that has experienced this. It really does act like a second skin and I do love the finish, really natural and not at all cakey.
Holy Grail status? No, but it's a bloody decent foundation. Is it worth £27? That's subjective. Would I recommend it? Yes, but get a sample first to be sure it is complimentary for your skin, it is certainly not a foundation to suit all. Will I be repurchasing? Probably not. At the end of the day if I pay £27 for a foundation I really need to love it. If I could get it a little cheaper then it's definitely a foundation I would like to have in my "collection" as it will be used.
Illamasqua Skin Base is available from Illamasqua.com and is priced at £27 for 30ml.