Thursday, 21 July 2011

Review: Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

"The ultimate 'skin realism' foundation...." 

Shade: SB 02
Applied with: MAC 187 Duo Fibre Brush
Price: £25 for 30ml (1 Fl Oz)

For the past year my foundation of choice has been NARS Sheer Glow. I have indulged in brief flirtations with Bourjois Bio-Detox foundation, MUFE HD foundation and Illamasqua Cream Foundation; though I liked all three, none of them were able to usurp Sheer Glow as my absolute Holy Grail foundation though all three have subsequently found their way into my kit. 

After hearing numerous good reviews and words like "revolutionary" being bandied about, I headed off to Beak St. with exceptionally high hopes. Before I arrived I had already matched myself to shade SB 02 - which, excluding pure white, is the palest shade with a pink undertone, and upon arrival the MUA also matched me to this shade. There is a wide range of shades, all of which are helpfully numbered and separated into pink, yellow, pink/yellow and neutral undertones eliminating any confusion.

 L-to-R: NARS Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc; Illamasqua Skin Base in SB 02.

The foundation blends easily into the skin (a result of the 'water in silicone' formula), creating a flawless base. I tend to apply mine with a MAC 187 Duo Fibre brush though I also like the finish with the Crown Flat Bronzing brush, and buff the product into the skin. This enables me to control the level of coverage which I like to be sheer to medium in places. 

 Enough Skin Base Foundation to create full coverage on the back of my hand, ready for application.

The formulation of the foundation is creamy and a little goes a very long way. Although the foundation can look a little thick initially, it is lightweight on the skin and does not go on heavily. The foundation has a tendency to feel slightly tacky after application however a dusting of powder soon eliminates this problem, as does leaving the foundation to warm into the skin if you wish to forgo powder.

Despite Illamasqua claiming the foundation is suitable for all skin types, it certainly does not sit well with dry skin. My forehead was a little dry due to the fact it had caught the sun and the foundation only highlighted this. As a result of this, I now apply the foundation straight over my moisturiser and thankfully, it has not highlighted any dry patches since.

 Squeezy hard plastic bottle and pointed nozzle ensure you only use as much product as you need.

The lack of SPF ensures that Skin Base photographs beautifully under flash and is undetectable under a HD camera, which is music to my makeup artist ears and having to use an individual SPF under my foundation really doesn't put me out or add any time to my makeup routine.

After using this foundation every day for two weeks, here are my positives and negatives:

  • Wide range of shades which are simply named
  • Weightless feel on the skin
  • Good coverage: buildable medium to full but can be sheered out.
  • Easy to blend
  • No SPF making it undetectable with flash and HD cameras.


  • Not great for dry skin
  • More stubborn blemishes still require concealer

As you can see, for me the positives certainly outweigh the negatives and whilst this product will definitely be making its way into my kit due to the wide range of shades, the flawless finish it offers and the way it photographs, I will also be keeping it in my makeup bag.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

Vicky xoxo


  1. Like you I've been loving Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc too for the past year. How does it compare to the NARS in terms of application, wear etc?

  2. I find it as easy to apply as Sheer Glow - I know a few people think the Skin Base looks quite heavy but I think that's mostly down to application - light application and buffing are key.

    Like the Sheer Glow you only need a small amount of product so it will last for quite some time.

    Wear wise, I'd say they're pretty similar - they'll last a reasonable amount of time. The SB doesn't start to 'sit' on the skin either which is good.


  3. Which foundation are you preferring now?x

  4. I adore Nars Sheer Glow, the finish is perfect and it's the only foundation that doesn't cake or separate on me. The issue is that Mont Blanc is too dark and Siberia is too yellow. The colour of 02 in Skin Base looks ideal but I'm worried the
    finish would not be the same. How do you find the finish compared to sheer glow?? Xx