Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation

I've been eyeing up the Illamasqua cream foundation for a while now. I wasn't sure about the liquid simply based on reviews I'd read. Sometimes you have to really puzzle over reviews to figure them out. Sometimes you get some good info, other times not so much. But lovely Phyrra convinced me to give the Rich Liquid Foundation a try.

stock image courtesty Illamasqua, shade 100

Sephora offered one of the two shades I wanted to try: RF105 but not RF115. RF105 is a white with pink undertone shade. RF115 is "for very light skin with neutral undertones". Sephora did offer RF120 for light skin with pink/rosy undertones, but frankly, the swatches on both Sephora's site and the Illamasqua site - which did not look at all the same, btw - didn't look right. I went with the RF105.

Sephora's price is $34 for 1 fluid oz, Illamasqua's is £21 (about $33.40 currently). Their blurb - "Lock away your inhibitions and bring your confidence to the fore. Loved by professional make-up artists, Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation provides maximum, long-lasting coverage without feeling or looking heavy. It blends easily and hides problem areas perfectly. Create your canvas, then paint your work of art."

The original swatch photos from this blog post have been lost, but I've added some later photos in you may find helpful for color comparison. 

The Feel - this really is "RICH" - it's quite thick, much thicker than most traditional liquids. I gave it a good shake, and had to squeeze to get a drop out of the bottle. It didn't feel greasy on my skin, but keep in mind my skin is exceptionally dry. While I didn't think the LORAC Breakthrough Performance foundation felt greasy either, in comparision, the LORAC does feel a bit oilier to me. When I apply the LORAC using a makeup wedge, it glides right over my skin. With this Rich Liquid Foundation, it required more effort to evenly apply with the wedge, but that's not a bad thing to me. It's definitely a heavier/thicker formula, but again, did not feel at all greasy/oily to me. It also gives my skin a matte look.

Note this foundation DOES NOT have any sunscreen protection in it. I use a separate sunscreen daily, never relying on protection from my foundation. Sunscreen may give your face a slight sheen - some of mine do.

The Color
- RF105 is white with pink undertones. Illamasqua offers 16 shades, Sephora carries 9 of them. If you plan to order online, definitely use Illamasqua's color chart. Roll over the shade and you'll get a picture of two people (male and female) wearing that shade, which is quite helpful. I've worn it 4 times before writing this review, and am quite pleased to say it absolutely matches my skin. When first applying, it goes on very white, and I thought it wouldn't work. But I always allow a few minutes for my foundation to "settle in" - mineral foundation in particular always turns darker on me after a few minutes. This was no different. About 5 minutes later, it was like I had nothing on my face. WOW! I've read several reviews that said this shade is not a "natural" looking shade. It probably isn't on most people, but for those of us who have to mix in Meow's Snow Lynx or any color corrector to lighten up liquid, this is it.

Coverage - This is a full coverage foundation. I had a light rosacea day and a medium rosacea day, and on the light day it covered everything perfectly. On the medium day, it covered much better than anything else I've used with only one application. On heavy rosacea days, I'll probably need to apply a little cream concealer, but I'm so used to doing that it's no big deal. I felt it evened everything else out well.

Staying Power - lasted all day & well into the evening with no creasing around the eyes or any fine lines. I read a few reviews that said this foundation transferred easily but I did not find this to be the case. A small amount is all that's needed (the amount on the wedge above is what I used for my entire face), and buffed in with a makeup wedge, there should be no rubbing off. I could see how applying too much and not removing any excess would cause it to transfer.

Tweaking - no need to tweak on normal days. I can't believe I just said that! Really, it's amazing. I've NEVER had a traditional foundation match my skin, ever. A light dusting of green tinged finishing powder is all I've been using over this.

Overall - guess you all know I'm completely in love with this foundation. While I've been using the LORAC Breakthrough Performance Foundation for the last few weeks, I still need to apply a lighter mineral foundation over it or mix it in to get a better color match. No need to do that anymore! The very notion of applying a foundation right out of the bottle - what a novelty. I also bought the Illamasqua's Cream Foundation, so if I can tear myself away from the liquid for 5 minutes, I'll review that as well.

But even better - I've known about Illamasqua for some time - I have friends in the UK that use various Illamasqua products. But one thing that I really like about them is their SOPHIE page. They offer the SOPHIE pencil, £12.50 for a 0.05 oz black liner pencil, and donate £3 from the sale of each to the Sophie Lancaster foundation. They also offer SOPHIE wristbands, and have a "£1 DONATE TO SOPHIE" option. If you don't know about Sophie Lancaster or the foundation, just click here.

Hope you've found this review helpful!


  1. I'm so glad you tried it and that it works perfectly for you. That's awesome!

  2. I'm glad 105 worked for you, I consider myself pale but it was waaay too light for me. They introduced 115 recently and I really want to try that, as you say the formula is great, long-wearing and matte.

    If you wear it over their Satin primer, it becomes thinner, more glide-y and adds a more dewy look. But I don't like dewy looks on myself, I worry I look shiny...

  3. Anastasia, I saw their Satin Primer. I think their website is going to get me in trouble!

    I really do like the formula. As you can see by the amount I put on the wedge, you really only need a small amount. I did read a lot of reviews about it where people said it was too thick, masklike, and transferred easily. If there's a Sephora near you, see if you can test it first.

  4. I should mention those in the US can also order Illamasqua from BeautyBay.com. They offer the Rich Liquid Foundation for $28.60. They only carry 7 of the shades, but worth checking out.

  5. thanks a lot for your review on the illamasqua foundation. I´m very, very pale and it´s so hard to find a foundation that matches my skin. most of them are too yellow/orange. I´ve ordered the illamasqua rich liquid foundation in 105 a few seconds ago and can´t wait to receive it.

    the only foundation I´ve found which is very pale as well was the liquid foundation from NYX. unfortunately they took it off their new sortiment. :/