I have sensitive/combination skin, and have switched back and forth over the years from Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer to new things like Sunday Riley's foundations. I had to switch to a foundation that has no plant extracts of any kind, so I looked into mineral makeup and tried Bare Ecsentuals powder and this Illuminare liquid. This foundation blends so smoothly and matches my color (Florentine) perfectly, is very light but also provides coverage that looks like I've been airbrushed. I first purchased the sampler and am now going to switchover to this brand as my main foundation. I don't use primer, I just use sunscreen and a moisturizer on occasion.
Yes, I've reviewed this before, but it's been a few years and I'm rediscovering it. I stopped wearing it a while ago when they seemed to be having a quality control problem and was pretty sad, because it had been about as perfect on me as I could ever have asked. WELL...It's as terrific as I'd remembered! I was a little nervous about using the more moisturizing formula, but over Monistat anti-chafe as a primer, it's simply amazing. Satin finish that glows, without sparkles, and lasts all day and then some. I'm glad, because I still have to mix Fair and Porcelain (used to be Florentine Fair and Portofino Porcelain), so it's rather pricey. It only takes a small pea for my whole face, so it really isn't all that expensive to use. Those little tubes last a long time. What's expensive is trying all those other foundations looking for something as good! I remember loving the blush as well, but I've got Clinique's blushwear in Shy that is very pretty, so I'll wait until that's finished. I am a very happy camper!
My skin: acne-prone, enlarged pores almost all over my face, hyperpigmentation/melasma and "irritations"/redness.
As you see, I have a real problem skin... I usually wear Everyday minerals loose matte Foundation combined with the Vichy normaderm teint foundation (the one for imperfections/acne). These two works with my skin, but I always like to try new stuff, so....
Now I've tried this foundation. My skin is NW15/NC15, and I found that the porcelain shade was the closest match.
Consistency: a little "thick", like a cream (not a fluid). A little harder to spread in that way. Also feels a little "sticky"...
Coverage: does NOT hide enlarged pores. Gives a "glowy"/moistured look, which is both good and bad for my strange skin: the skin is happy in the start but starts to look more oily and greasy faster than with a "mattifying" foundation. So even if I need the moisture, I also need something mattifying during a working day.... This does not keep the oil at bay...
The coverage is light to medium. Really not that covering. Still it looks better than the Youngblood liquid mineral foundation (which also is a "mineral brand"), cause the illuminaire doesn't enhance dry flakes as much.....
Price: Far too high for the small amount you get!!
Shades: The shade porcelain is the right shade for me when it comes to the lightness, BUT it is grey!! It contains too much of gray, and my boyfriend even commented that "this looks grey"... Yes, compared to other foundations this color is not too flattering. Unfortunately this is the problem with all their products, cause they don't have too many shades for them either.
Availability: hard to get here in Europe, very long shipping time if ordered directly from the company.
So: I won't order this again, it's just easier to use many other foundations. And cheaper.
This foundation is AMAZING.
I'm very pale, but also very very warm and yellow so I generally have one heck of a time trying to find a foundation that matches me well. If it's light enough, it's usually too pink and I look like Miss Piggy. If it's yellow enough it's usually too dark and I end up looking like a deranged jack-o-lantern. This foundation is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. Amalfi Alabaster is a perfect match for my skin and the first one I have EVER found. (Nars Sheer Glow in Siberia or Gobi come in a close second).
Fantastic Finish is supposed to have the least coverage out of all the foundations they carry, but I still find it to be medium coverage. I don't even need a concealer with it. It does go on feeling a bit thick, but once you have it spread out over your face that feeling disappears. I know people sometimes automatically connect the thick feeling to breakouts, but this has 0 pore cloggers and is pretty inert.
The only downside is that this comes in a TINY tube and it's $27 (I always order it from skinstore though, I constantly have 20% off codes for them). By the time you get the first drop out, the tube is already half deflated. I REALLY wish they would package it in larger quantities, but whatever. The tube is very sanitary and I like it enough to purchase several small tubes at a time.
I really hate wearing foundation... I don't like the heavy makeup feel. THIS IS PERFECT! I used to use Bare Minerals but it made my face itch. I ran into this at Whole Foods. I was not sure what shade get so I checked the website. illuminarecosmetics.com They offer for around $10 to get some samples to try out at home. I also recommend the the application pad. Every shade comes in 3 different levels of coverage. Fantastic Finish is the least coverage. The coverage is enough for me, but I could see occasionally using the next level up if I needed a bit extra coverage. It doesn't settle into lines and evens out skin tone. LOVE!!!
I've tried SO many makeups and still haven't found one that covers and lasts! The clerk at the Beauty Supply store in town swore by Illuminare because you only use a tiny bit (lie) and it lasts all day without getting shinny. I tried it last night for the first time and had to keep adding produce to cover my face! At almost $30.00 for .05 ounces, it's VERY expensive. I was only out for three hours but came home to find my face starting to get shinny! Then, I tried to wash it off - it was like cement. I had to actually wash my face twice to remove it all. AND this morning when I got up, I saw a few pimples on my cheeks! I'm glad it works for some women but I'm returning mine for a refund.
Initially gave it 5 star rating, now dropped it to 3. Loved it when I used the trial size and a little went a long way. Then I purchased the full size and noticeably I had to use about five times as much if not more...it just seemed the product was very diluted as compared to the trial size, and does not provide as much coverage. I know this as I still have the trial size and I have compared the two. Will not be repurchasing as I'm going through the full size tube very quickly and the coverage is not as nice.
Great foundation, got it in Almafi Alabaster, which is perfect for my too-pale-for-most-other-brands skin. One bit of advice, however...I'd originally ordered the foundation sampler pack (which only includes the middle 3 out of 5 shades available) and was initially surprised that Portofino Porcelain (the second to lightest shade) seemed to match my skin. Upon ordering and receiving the PP, I discovered that the color in the sample tube did NOT correspond to the color in the full size. But, I loved the finish so much that I ordered another in Almafi Alabaster, and it's perfect! For reference, I have normal to very slightly oily, acne-prone skin and this doesn't break me out. I also tried the Extra Coverage (accentuated some flakiness that I didn't even realize I had, but not terrible) and the All Day Foundation (postively horrid, unless you want to use turpentine to remove it).
A bit on the pricey side but worth the money.
I would have thought Ultimate All Day would be better for my skin type, it's combo and leans toward oily, but I've been using Retin-A lately, and while I don't consider it dry, it's drier than it usually is, and the ultimate all day dried it out more and made it flaky.
The fantastic finish is perfect for all over color. I use the extra coverage as my concealer for under my eyes and for spots. The combo of these two works great, I'm very pleased. One of the best foundations I've ever used.