I tried this foundation and loved it. I feel like some of the people who are not liking this foundation and feel like it is too thick and mask like are applying it incorrectly. If you put it on with a brush or a sponge like you normally apply any other foundation, it will be thick and mask like. You need to either use their flocked sponge or use a Beauty Blender moistened. It will make a world of difference. I personally use the Beauty Blender and it goes on beautifully, it lasts all day and looks like a perfect airbrushed finish. I really love this foundation for the summer, it stays put until I remove it. I have normal to oily skin with monthly breakouts and some large pores around my nose and forehead. It truly makes my skin look perfect. It does take a little extra time making sure its blended well, but its worth it in the end. You need such a small amount to cover your whole face, its worth the price.
I own this in the Portofino Porcelain shade. Although this foundation may seem a little pricey for the amount in the tube, a very little of this goes a very long way. Also, the fact that it has an SPF of 21, means I don't have to spend extra $ on buying a separate sunscreen. I use about 3-4 dots worth and that covers my entire face. I only use this in the Summer months, when I don't want my foundation to sweat off or look greasy. The consistency of this is pretty thick so, I like to smooth on a layer of oil free face lotion, let that absorb completely, then put the foundation over that. It stays on until I wash it off with a really good cleanser. I would highly recommend trying out a set of the Illuminare- Trial Size Foundation Introductory Pack first, so you can test which formula/shade will work best for you, before investing in a full size tube.
Umm...so this kind of works like a concealer since a little goes a LOONNNGG LONG WAY...And I think I will continue to use this ONLY as a concealer and not for the full face just because of the poor blending ability. The bad blending ability makes some areas look chalky and leaves different color streaks where I couldn't blend anymore, which is my cheeks since I start from the center of my face and outwards. I'm wearing it RIGHT NOW in Sienna Sun and there is no oil control what so ever. After 30mins of applying it on, the oil literally wanted to come out so bad that it's like bubbling through this thick mask. I'm not even kidding. If you look closely at my nose area, there are like bubble forms of OIL trying to come out and once it does, I just look like a mess! The pores around my nose start to show cause of the oil coming out. To blend the streaky parts out, and to control the oil......I tried using Laura Mercier's Secret Finish Mattifer on top of it (cause it says you can put it over foundation). It worked because the product itself sucked too and smears my make-up. but in combination with THIS (Illuminare Ultimate All Day foundation), it was perfect! hahaha. GEEZ makes me angry! If someone is looking for a REAL mattifying foundation, go with Hourglass' Immaculate Liquid to Powder Mattifying foundation!!
this foundation is a long story because somehow i refused to throw them away.
i got mine in Sienna Sun and Florentine Fair because i am somewhere in between. i mix them together and i got (almost) perfect match for my skin tone.
the texture of this foundation is crazy. Florentine Fair has better blend-ability. Sienna Sun is almost un-blendable.
this blends better if i am using it right after moisturizing but i don't like moisturizing during the day because i have a VERY oily skin.
applying this after toner is challenging because of the poor blend-ability. what i did was i sprayed toner on the brush and i apply it super fast when my face is still moist and re-moisten the area where i wanna i apply this. (i don't like using this with the flocked sponge because the sponge shed on my face). at least this technique helped.
also, they are serious when they told you a little goes a long way. but will i get spf21 protection during the day if i am using microscopic size of this foundation?
recently, i mixed these with an spf30 sunscreen which has no blend-ability issues. i found that using it this way is the best way to go. it defeats the whole purpose of mattifying all day but ensure easy blend-ability and full spf protection.
Lastly, this foundation is challenging and tricky that mastering it made me think that i have earned a title of a 'MacGyver' in foundation application techniques and improvisation.
While I can't use this on my skin right now because it's too dry for this ultra-matte finish, I think this is a great foundation. It's an HG for anyone with serious oil problems, and it covers like a dream. However, unless you have seriously oily skin or moderately oily skin and it's really humid out, this probably won't work for you. I've been using retin-a and while I don't consider my skin dry, it's drier than it usually is, and this foundation dried it out even more, leaving it flaky and looking cakey and weird. I think this will work great for me in the summer when it's more humid and I sweat more. I've been using this as a spot concealer and it works good for that as well. For all over color I've been using the fantastic finish version and that works like a dream.
The reason I tried this foundation was because it is supposed to be good for oily skin. I did not notice a difference in my oiliness, I still had to blot at the same intervals as I do w/o any makeup at all.
I will say a little bit of this make up goes a loong way, and even just a little bit too much will make me look chalky.
I spent many days trying to get the application of this make up just right. When When I applied this to bare skin or skin with already absorbed moisturizer it looked TERRIBLE. It was like EVERY pore on my face was magnified!!!
I almost gave up, but then tried another application method:
I put on a mineral powder base, then dab on moisturizer (do not rub in) then I dab on the foundation, using the application pad. Then I blend both the moisturizer and the make up at the same time. I have found that this method gives me the best finish and helps the makeup not to settle in to every pore.
I have tried putting this on both with and without the fast application pad, and it does look much better with the pad, and also blends much much easier.
Overall, I am pretty happy with the foundation now that I have gotten a method down for making it look decent. However, I don't know if I will purchase again since I would like to have a foundation that meets my needs without me having to do extra steps just to make it look good.
I absolutely love this foundation! It really is for someone who has oily skin like me. I have medium-tan, oily skin and Sienna Sun is a great match for me. The tube is very convenient and sanitary for travel. I have a tube at home and keep another in my purse. As others have described, it is matte and stays on very well. This is the only thing that stays on me during the most humid weather. The spf is a bonus. It does not cause any breakouts or irritation to my reactive skin. To apply, I have used my fingers, the Illuminare makeup sponge, and the Illuminare brush. I defintely think the brush works better. With the brush, it looks practically flawless on me. I moisturize first, let that soak into my skin and then apply foundation. After I apply, it almost needs to settle into my face and I am good for the rest of the day until I take it off. Coverage is great and natural - it can hide my blemishes, scars, etc. With the brush I can control how sheer or heavy the coverage. When my skin is drier, I blend some of the extra coverage foundation in with the ultimate all day to make it apply easier. In the summer, when I'm more tan, I use Sienna Sun ultimate all day and blend with some Tuscan Toast extra coverage - perfect! I need to wash the brush often, otherwise the foundation will apply unevenly & heavier in some areas of my face. If you sign up online on their website they'll periodically send email coupons if you order off their website. Or you could try to find it cheaper online. To touch up, I just blot my face every now and then. This is HG for me!
This keeps me matte for about 5 hours during humid summer days. Not great but probably better than most other foundations.The coverage is medium. The finish is very matte. I'm definitely liking this better than any other MMU that I've tried. It's easy to apply if you follow the instructions on the video on the Illuminaré home page, and you have their fast pad sponge thing to apply it with. Do not use too much. I'm quite fair and can wear Portofino Porcelain and the next shade up which is Florentine Fair.
Expensive per oz but I don't need to use much of it, and the packaging is cheap looking. But overall, it's a pretty good foundation.
I like this foundation because I have always struggled with breakouts and sensitive skin and I was surprised that this has worked for me at preventing clogged pores and acne. I live in PR so I sweat alot and I haven't had a problem with this foundation. My skin has been ALOT better than with many other mineral makeup lines I have tried. I'm on my second tube of florentine fair. The only problem is it is tricky to apply. I apply a light moisturizer first because it can be drying and you have to REALLY blend it or else it will be streaky or blotchy, but a little goes a long way. If I have to cover a blemish I apply the foundation all over well blended and then I use a teensy tiny bit on the spot and blend a little. It covers well. I recommend buying it if you are looking for a mineral foundation for normal, combination, or sensitive skin. But not for those with dry skin, aged skin, or alot of acne as this makeup will be hard to apply. So this isn't for everyone.