Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation

I’ve heard so many amazing things about this foundation so I was really excited to try this.  I’ve only recently become acquainted with Illamasqua and having found the most perfect blusher in the form of their powder blush in Katie, I definitely wanted to branch out and try a few more of their offerings.  My lovely mum agreed to purchase a few Illamasqua goodies for me for Christmas (to see what else I got, have a look here) and included in this mini-haul was the Skin Base.

The first thing that made me a little bit nervous was what shade to choose.  I’m normally not one for buying foundations online, but I couldn’t face going into central London to try out the shades so I thought I’d do a bit of research to see what other’s thought.  Illamasqua do a shade guide which they compare to foundation shades from Mac and Bobbi Brown.  I thought this was fantastic at first, however, having mooched around online I found a few people complaining that the guide was inaccurate.  With Bobbi Brown I’m Warm Ivory during the winter months, which, according to the guide, would make me shade no3 for the Skin Base.  Unfortunately, this shade is far too pale for me, but I can usually still work with shades that are too pale by warming them up with bronzer or mixing them with other foundations nearer to my skin tone.  If this were the only issue I had with Skin Base then it would be no big deal.

Top 2 pics are as it comes out of the tube, bottom 2 are after it’s blended in. 

However, I’m just not thrilled with Skin Base as I don’t feel it does what it claims to do.  There’s a possibility that I was expecting too much from it, having read such amazing reviews, but Skin Base promises to be easily blendable, smoothing and softening.  Taking the shade issue out of it completely, it looked and felt very mask like, but without actually covering much.  It seemed to accentuate pores and blemishes due to the fact that it’s very thick and not at all easy to work with.  I’ve tried watering it down with serum and the result was that it just sat on the skin, so by the time I’d managed to forcibly blend it into the skin, I may as well not have bothered using a foundation in the first place.

It does have pretty good staying power and doesn’t make my skin look greasy, but I wouldn’t recommend it for dryer skins as I fear it would accentuate any dry patches as my nose is occasionally prone to dryness and Skin Base showed this up.

I do have skin that is difficult to please so maybe this is just a bad match for me.  However, having tried a few different foundations lately and got on really well with most of them, it’s a real shame that Skin Base didn’t work for me.  

Packaging-wise it’s a dinky little tube with a screw on lid that’s easy to use and I feel it would travel really well.

Obviously I’m disappointed with the results of Skin Base.  However, it hasn’t put me off Illamasqua as a brand and they still deserve their place in my top 2011 list here due to the fact that their blushers are amazing, as are their cream eye shadows, all of which I’ll review soon.

Skin Base is available from and costs £25 for 30ml.



  • Chrissy
    January 6, 2012

    This looks scarily yellow on the swatch picture. Such a shame, as I was just beginning to fall in love with Illamasqua, but it doesn’t look like the skin base lives up to its hype.

  • BeautyGeekUK
    January 7, 2012

    Thanks Chrissy, I think I forgot to mention that in the review but you’re right, it is seriously yellow so I can’t imagine it would work too well on most skintones. It’s a real shame as I really thought I’d love this foundation 🙁 xx

  • Anonymous
    May 4, 2012

    I’ve also just tried #3 as it was highly recommended to me. Well now I realise how many fine pores I have on my face as the foundation highlights them all! I don’t know if I’m applying it incorrectly and have read to mix it with primer. But so far I’m really disappointed, especially after reading fab reviews.

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