As you will know if I've been struggling to find a cruelty-free foundation that doesn't disagree with my awkward and temperamentall skin. A lot of people presume that natural products are going to better for absolutely everyone, and you can understand the logic, but as someone who suffers with allergies and intolerances to salicylates, which are found naturally within a lot of fruit and vegetables, I can tell you that this isn't always the case.
I've tried various Cruelty Free foundations that had so such promise, brands that were reccommended by bloggers with similar skin types, and who upload honest and reliable reviews that I usually agree with. But when I went on to try them myself they either brought on a very notiecable breakout, drew attention to my fairly large pores, or not had sufficient enough coverage to mask my acne scars and discolouration.
But I've finally found my holy grail foundation in the award-winning Skin Base Foundation By Illamasqua. Feeling desperate and not wanting to have to settle with a non cruelty free brand, I put out a plee on Twitter. Many bloggers and friends tweeted the brands I'd already tried, or brands that aren't yet available in the UK, but then I got a slew of messages reccommending this particular one. So to you guys....THANK YOU!!
So the next time I was in London and before heading to a girly dinner in Soho I swung by their store which is quite literally a stones throw from Carnaby Street, to pick up a bottle.
I thought it would be one of those fly-by visits, a simple case of picking a colour that looked right, perhaps discretely testing on one of my cheeks, and then handing over my cash. But as as soon the sales assistant asked me how he could help it, I knew it would be a much more thorough procedure.
I was sat in one of their chairs in front of the mirror, with my face already fully made up for the eveneing of socialising and eating at Balons round the corner. When he asked if he could take off my foundation I have to admit I instantly felt a bit stressed. If you're someone that's not very confident about their bare face, you don't particularly look forward to the prospect of exposing your natural canvas to the public who can peek in through the window, or to a shop full of strangers. I was also seriously clock-watching as I had somewhere to be, and hadn't invisioned this task would take more than a couple of minutes. But when he pointed out that by testing it properly all over my face it would ensure we would find a perfect colour match. I figured if I'm going to spending more than my norm on a foundation, I ought to get the perfect one, plus I could see that there was only one other person in the shop. I decided to let him wipe off my thick veil of make up.
Once my face was bare and it's true blotchy self, he started applying some Hydra Veil (rehydrating gel) all over my face, but focusing on the areas that tend to sweat or expose pores. Part hydrator, part primer, Hydra Veil 'instantly hydrates and smooths skin through a self-levelling, futuristic clear gel'.
Utilising the power of Microalgae, Vitamin C and B3 which work together to help maintain skins hydration levels, the formula promises to create a healthy looking, balanced finish.
He put some on his hand which he then applied to my face using a brush, and my word did it feel refreshing. The plant extracts provide that calming and refreshing feeling. Once dried, which takes a matter of seconds as it sinks in to the skin in the same vein as a primer, you instantly see a smoother surface for the foundation to rest on.
Next we tried out a couple of shade of foundation on my cheek with us finally settling on 6.5 which has an olive yellow undertone. I know that a lot people struggle to find foundation's with yellow undertones, so I thought it was worth mentioning. I'm someone who looks fairly pale right now, but I tan incredibly well in summer, going quite a deep golden brown. There are an impressive 26 shades to choose from.
Knowing that I was off somewhere aftewards, he very happily obliged in finishing off my make up with some blusher and powder. He also was very generous in giving me a sample of the HydraVeil to take away with me, as well as an invite to come back and have my make up done, which I sadly couldn't do before the offer expired. Still a nice touch though!
Having lived with it for a number of weeks now I am just as impressed with it. In fact I love it even more since I've started applying it with a dense buffing brush. I'm going to sound like a complete loser now, but I genuinely get excited about putting my foundation on everyday, just because the transformation is so very satisfying. A little goes a long way too (if applied with a brush) , it dimishes the appearance of pores, covers discoouration very well, and lasts all day. Unlike many of my past foundations, it also doesn't tend to sit in the lines that come from my nose to the corner of my mouth either.
The greatest joy/relief upon discovering this foundation is that it doesn't worsen my acne, in fact I truly believe it reduces it. If I go a few days of not wearing it I definitely notice a few more of those buggers sprouting up. Perhaps that's because having foundation on prevents me from touching my face as much, or maybe there's something in the formula that is beneficial to spont prone skin...or maybe just my skin. Either way, I'm ecstatic about it.
But when I was having my make-up done professionally, ahead of the Fifty Shades Darker premiere, we were having a girly chat about our favourite foundations, and this of course was mentioned by everyone. However, one of the make-up artists did state that she tried it on a client who had very dry skin and it didn't work too well for her. So maybe if you skin is highly textured by dryness, maybe this isn't the ideal choice for you.
So a huge shout out goes to Illmasqua for not only creating cruelty free and (some) vegan products that do an amazing job, but also for having staff willing to put in the time and care to ensure their customers come away happy and confident in their purchases. It's also great knowing you're not sacrifying style or choice, the brand are famed for their stunning array of colours, proving you don't have to limit your make up creativity to be more ethical.
At £32.50 it's fairly expensive, but if something gives you confidence, improves the appearance and texture of your skin, AND it happens to be cruelty free, I think it is very much worth it. Before going Cruelty Free I used Clinique Anti Blemish which had a simililarly good effect on my troublesome skin, but lacked the full coverage of Skin Base, so even though it was cheaper I think this one is worth the extra few pounds.
What are your favourite foundations? I'd love to hear your reccommendations.
30ml 1FL OZ
price per 10ml £10.83
price per 10ml £10.83