Hayley Fearnley

cruelty free beauty, veggie gal, alternative fashion blogger
beauty | Fashion and Beauty

Illamasqua Skin Base Review

March 22, 2017

Is it Vegan? Yes

Retail Price: £32.50, from Selfridges, Debenhams and ASOS.

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I recently bought the Illamasqua Skin Base as I wanted to give another high end foundation a try as opposed to my usual choice of Nars. I had already seen mixed reviews online about it, but thought I’d give it a try for myself anyway, how bad could it be?

My first impressions started off well, the foundation seemed to give me good coverage and I didn’t need to use a lot to get this full coverage. However, as time has gone on and I’ve used it more, I’ve started noticing problems with it.

Matte or Drying?

I think one problem with it is that it lives up to it’s claims of being matte like other foundations I’ve tried haven’t, so it felt a little unusual for me. As I have dry skin, it just emphasised this and the more I used it, the worse it started to look, especially when set with RCMA No Colour Powder, which of course makes it even more matte. If you have oily skin, I feel like this would work so much better on you, but for me it doesn’t look as “healthy” on the skin, and I’ve learnt I prefer the slightly more glowy effect my Nars Sheer Glow gives me, even if it still ends up matte when I put powder on it.



Another problem is that it gets weirdly patchy in some areas and also cakey. I applied it one day and only a few minutes after applying it, it went really cakey and patchy around my mouth and I hadn’t a clue why. I had to take it off and reapply it, I thought it might have been my primer or moisturiser, but I’ve tried so many since then and it’s still the same! It also gets really patchy around my nose and some days, it’s basically disappeared completely from my nose no matter how much powder I use and how well I prime it, or if I use no primer at all. I’ve never had this with any other foundation and my nose generally isn’t that oily, so it seemed strange it did this and wasn’t a cute look whilst I was out.


So, why not try Hydra Veil?

Hydra Veil is one of Illamsqua’s skin primers. I was recommend it in the store and a few people have recommended it since, as it supposedly works great for dry skin and helps to make the foundation look better on my skin. However, I feel that if I’m already paying £32.50 for a foundation, I shouldn’t have to pay another £32 for a primer to actually make it work for me. This may be fine for some people, but when every other foundation I’ve tried has worked well without a fancy primer, I’d rather just save my money and stick to those.

What about the shade range?

I was given 4.5 in store, which I think is actually the wrong match for me as it’s described as having a more olive tone online whereas I am pink toned. The lady at the counter asked if I wanted a more natural colour that matches my skin tone and I was like yes please! She picked up one the colours around 6 and I was like hmmm I mean, it looks way too dark for me which you could tell on first glance, so she picked this up and put it on my skin and I just went with it. It’s not noticeably bad but I just feel as though I could have been matched better which is frustrating when I’m paying so much for a foundation.


This being said, the shade range looked amazing. Shade 1 looks to be basically white from what I’ve seen and 18 looks pretty dark, so there’s a huge spectrum of colours to choose from with different undertones.

Would I Recommend this?

Whilst I haven’t given it a great review, I feel like it could still work for people with oily skin or people who are willing to spend double the money to get the Hydra Veil primer too. However, if you have dry skin and don’t want to pay another £32 for a primer, I’d tell you to stay away from it, as it just comes out cakey and not cute at all, which is sad as I love illamasqua as a brand and they do have a lot of shades to choose from compared to some brands! Some days, it does look great on my skin, but other days it just doesn’t seem to sit well. It’s very hit and miss, and I have to bake my nose like 3 times just to get the foundation to stay!

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