19 December 2011

Illamasqua Skin Base review

A few weeks ago I tweeted that I wanted to know if the much-talked-about Illamasqua Skin Base was suitable for oily skin.  At £25, it was too expensive to risk buying without being completely certain I would like it.  Cami of Cami loves Kiwi fame replied and very, very kindly sent me a sample pot as she had some already.  So, ever since then, I've been using Skin Base and have put it through its paces.  Cami sent me the shade 6, which has turned out to be a pretty perfect colour match for me.  Consistency-wise, it's quite light and a tiny bit runny but doesn't feel at all 'wet' when you apply it.  In fact, it's quite difficult to blend.  You really have to spend time buffing it properly into the skin.
I've been using my Sigma F82 kabuki to apply.  I dot it all over my face with my fingers (as above) and then use the Sigma brush to distribute the product over my face and buff it in well.  As you can see above, my skin is quite red and blemished at the moment.  I don't know if it's hormones, the weather, a change in my skincare that's done it but I'm not very happy with my skin at the moment, but if nothing else, it's a good way to demonstrate coverage.  I'd say Skin Base is a medium coverage foundation but you can add layer after layer and as long as you blend and buff like a pro, it will look good.
The same area of my face after application (one layer).  Not bad, eh?  I either go over my blemishes with concealer or, if they're not too bad, I just add a little more Skin Base and they're pretty unnoticeable. These two photos are pre-concealing/extra Skin Base, just for a true representation of one layer of product.  If you suffer at all from dry skin though, or have dry patches of skin, absolutely beware of this.  It will show them up dramatically so you really need to prep your skin well before applying this.
As a sufferer of oily skin, I'm always nervous about trying new foundations and am yet to really find one I love and that works well for me.  After a rocky start with this in terms of how well it lasted and how shiny I got throughout the day, I've found myself loving it more and more.  I don't actually need to use powder with Skin Base, which I have never been able to do before.  If I'm in a warm environment, I still get a bit shiny on my cheeks and nose but I can quickly swipe a blotting sheet over my face and that's fine.  The other thing I've noticed, and liked, is that (despite picture and text above) my skin has actually improved a little since using this.  As I said, I'm having troublesome bothers at the moment but (and I know it's Skin Base as nothing else has changed in my routine) over the last few days my blemishes have calmed right down and the redness I was getting is less noticeable as well.  As you may know, Illamasqua tout Skin Base as their version of a BB cream, so skin-enhancing benefits are to be expected.  I'm not sure I agree with it being like a BB cream as such but this certainly hasn't caused breakouts for me, which can often happen when I start using a new foundation.
Overall, I'm really quite impressed with Skin Base, enough for me to be planning to buy a full size when my (very generous) sample runs out.  I like that it doesn't look like a mask,  but that on days when I want extra coverage I can get it without it looking cakey at all.  The only thing I've noticed is that if I've been wearing it all day at work and then go straight out in the evening, it wears off and the redness in my cheeks, particularly, becomes visible (see below).  However, I'm yet to find a product that stands up perfectly to a 16 (17, 18, 19 depending on number of vodkas consumed...) hour day without wearing off eventually so it's certainly not something that puts me off buying it.
Have you tried Skin Base?  I'd love to know your thoughts and recommendations for other foundations for oily skins.


  1. I'm still debating whether to purchase this one or not. I went to Illamasqua and asked them to try it on my skin and whilst it was beautiful on, it was also late evening and I didn't get the chance to really test its longevity.
    I have oily skin and was shade 6 too, although in a few iPhone snaps I took it made me look too pale (strange as there is no SPF)
    The jury is still out for me, but thanks for this review - it has answered a few questions for me xx

  2. I think this would be bad news for my dry skin. It's in pretty good condition at the moment, but all it takes is a day where a dry patch as appeared on my skin, and it will annoy me! I think it looks lovely on you though. Great news for people with oily skin!

  3. Even though I'm prone to the odd dry patch, I rarely reach for anything else right now because I love the coverage. I find it so quick and simple because I don't need a concealer as well. I can whack it on with my fingers and go. When I was last at Illamasqua for the day course I won, Daniel suggested exfoliating the dry patches with an oil as most physical exfoliators aggravate rather than help my skin. I haven't tried it yet as I've been wearing shade 7 on my t zone only which misses the bits prone to be dry. In the summer I preferred the lighter 2 all over as more of my lighter body is on show. x