Sunday, 3 July 2011

REVIEW: Illamasqua Skin Base

I've had a bit of a scout around the interwebs and can't seem to find many reviews of this product.

I appear to be hopping on a band wagon early for a change, something that has surprised me given the level of hype in the blogosphere about this product.

This stuff is AMA-ZING.

I'm still working through the best way to apply etc, but that is because my skin doesn't like anything on first try and is being especially difficult in the humid weather we're experiencing here at the moment. But, that is my skin and not the product.

For the record, I have on the dry side pale skin which is acne prone. I have large pores on my cheeks near my nose. I don't really suffer from dark circles.

The Blurb: Illamasqua's Skin Base has been touted as the first UK version of an Asian Beauty Balm. Illamasqua claim to have studied the ingredients of these coveted potions and made one themselves, omitting only the SPF (to give people the opportunity to avoid SPF white out in photos) and the skin lightening ingredients (which are frankly a scary thing to be putting on your face). The effect is touted as 'the ultimate Skin Realism' all set to rival HD foundations from the likes of MUFE and co.

Application: When I was colour matched, Felix used a longish haired brush, similar to a MAC224 but with a fatter head. When I put it on on Monday, I used my trusty Ruby and Millie foundation brush. Which I didn't think worked that well. Today I decided to try my MAC 130, the foundation brush I never use... It appears this brush works really well. The conclusion I draw from this is that this base requires something a bit more fluffy than a regular foundation brush.
It goes on smoothly and starts sinking in fairly quickly. You need a small squeeze (about the size of a pea) to do your whole face and that is it.

Coverage: Medium to full but buildable (or sheerable if you mixed it with moisturiser). The pea sized blob did my face wonderfully, with no need to add extra. Even though it is a foundation, its concealing properties are fab and I only have the need for the tiniest smidgen of concealer where my spots and scars are at their worst.

Colour: There are 18 shades for this foundation, which should mean that there is one to suit everyone, or thereabouts. The shades can be mixed to create a custom colour if necessary. My colour match was Shade 3, which is yellow toned and pale - somewhat of a turn up for the books after I've been using NW15 for a little while! But I've never been convinced by the colours of either NC15 or NW15 in MAC's Studio Sculpt for a while, and I find the colour thing in MAC so confusing!! This was easy, we started out at 2, went to 5 and then just jumped down until we found the right one. I think I could get away with Shade 4 as well, but I preferred the look of Shade 3.
L-R: MAC Studio Sculpt NC15, Illamasqua Skin Base SB3, MAC Studio Sculpt NW15

Longevity: Today I have put this foundation through its biggest test - 8 hours of events in the blazing hot sunshine. I am pleased to report that the Skin Base looked as amazing when I got home as I did when I left the house. I can also report that this stuff is light as air. I cannot feel it on.

Price/Where to buy: £25 for 30ml, available from, Illamasqua counters and

All in all, I am so so happy that I have found this product. It is 100% the best foundation I have ever used. Natural, wearable colour that is light and long lasting. No cakiness at all. Just glowy, wonderful looking skin.

Here is me at the end of the night:

Foundation set with MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder and finished with MAC Prep & Prime Translucent Finishing Powder and Fix+.


  1. REALLY want to try this, just need to get myself to a counter! You look gorgeous in that pic at the end :)

    Loveaudrey xXx

  2. Thank you! I'm pretty impressed by the longevity of this stuff, it is a force to be reckoned with I think. Definitely worth bearing in mind for your nuptials!

  3. Ohh, I must try this. Their palest Light Liquid Foundation is the only liquid I've found that's pale enough and wearable on my repellent skin!

  4. Hi, I love your posts, you and I seem to have really similar skin, pale with the yellow. You look lovely in that photo at the end, I love your hair as well. I was wondering if this foundation is drying compared to the studio sculpt that you have also reviewed, as I have slightly dry skin. I'm using Mac studio sculpt at the moment, I love it but find that the nc15 is slightly too pink for my skin tone and am keen to try the illamasqua in 03, which seems to be the same shade but slightly yellower. How do you find these compare in terms of dryness? Thank you for your helpful posts. Love from Mel. Xxoo

    1. Hi! The Skin Base is very similar in texture to the Studio Sculpt - I'd say it is a little bit lighter but it is not drying in comparison. It does contain mineral oil but it isn't overly greasy either. My skin is also on the dry side, and it felt lovely on my skin.


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