Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Product Review:
Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation

Last week, I brought you part one in my review of the Illamasqua foundations. Now, continuing the "series", here's my opinion of the company's other liquid offering, which they call Rich Liquid Foundation.

I have the Rich Liquid in shade 135, which is a fair, very yellow based shade.

This has the same light, cake-batter scent that the Light Liquid has to it, and it's one that I quite enjoy. The plastic squeeze bottle is perfect to travel with- shatter-proof, yet sturdy enough that it won't accidentally squirt out all over the bottom of your bag!

The name "Rich Liquid" is very suitable for this formula. It is very thick, about the consistency of peanut butter thinned with honey (or so I imagine.) For any of you familiar with middle eastern cooking, I'd say the molecular weight of this foundation would have to be somewhat close to that of tahini. Please notice my lacking description, and feel free to take it to mean that this makeup is quite different than any other liquid foundation I've ever tried. Consequently, it has to be applied differently, but when done right it creates a flawless matte canvas, suitable for day or nighttime.

I will admit, it took me a few applications to understand this formula. You really need to work this makeup into the skin, but when you do, the full coverage is impeccable, yet unbelievably lightweight on the skin. Because of the texture of the makeup and the fact that it really needs to be spread and then worked into the skin a bit, I found that more delicately bristled brushes, like the MAC 187 or 131 had no chance. A traditional, stiffer synthetic foundation brush, like MAC's 190, will work, but the circular buffing motions that best blend this foundation will damage to this type of brush. After trying an arsenal of different application methods, I found that I prefer a dense, flat topped, natural bristle brush, like a small kabuki. An old school latex sponge wedge works well also.

Despite the thick texture and great coverage, Rich Liquid didn't feel even a bit heavy on my skin- it blended down to a powdery texture and a very matte finish. I will say that I feel this is best suited to those with normal or slightly oily skin. As I said, it has an extremely matte finish, which on dry skin (like mine) can call attention to any fine lines, flakiness, or uneven skin texture. I should point out that I do not feel that this product was at all drying to my skin- it just made my existing dryness more apparent.

I feel like I should also mention that the Rich Liquid Foundation is actually NOT designed to be a daytime makeup, as I was reminded by Illamasqua artist Aga, who works at the brand's Selfridges Oxford Street location in London. She mentioned to me that the full, opaque coverage is ideal for stage and night-time looks, and ensured that I was aware of what I was getting. Though I have used the Rich Liquid by itself, I have actually started mixing it with the 0- by Face Atelier and LOVE the results- it still gives fantastic coverage, but blending the two foundations gives me a much better color match, thins out the texture and gives it more of a satiny, natural skin finish.

I give this product a 7 out of 10, and honestly, if I had the correct shade the score could be higher. Indeed, if I was a fan of matte foundations, I'd likely rate this an 8 or 9. I like this foundation, and will be purchasing it again in an attempt to find my correct shade.

-Wide shade range available (25 shades)
- caused no irritation to my sensitive skin (despite the yummy cake batter scent!)
- Provides excellent coverage (no concealer needed, even on my worst days!)
- Absorbs excess oil and shine
- minimizes the appearance of pores
- long wearing
- feels light and soft on the skin
- blends well with primer or other mediums

-Limited availability; Illamasqua is currently only available in the US at the Sephora Times Square store, though 26 other Sephora locations in major cities will begin to carry the brand this month. Also available online at Sephora and Illamasqua's websites.
-not transfer resistant- I didn't detail this elsewhere simply because I can't think of a foundation that I've tried that was completely transfer proof, plus I can't know for sure that my custom blending of the product didn't produce this result.
-can emphasize fine lines, flakiness and uneven skin texture.
-Contains added fragrance, which is a known irritant. Not to mention the fact that you may not want to smell like baked goods (Neither were problems for me!)
-even for a pro artist like myself, it's virtually impossible to choose a shade online. Illamasqua's website offers no individual shade descriptions (not even a warm/cool designation), and shades do not necessarily appear to be arranged in a light to dark manner.
-after shipping, the price tops $43, making this pricey even amongst prestige foundations. (If you're a professional, Illamasqua does offer a discount.)


Musing on Beauty said...

gossmakeupartist is posting a vid on how to use it, he says you mix 1 part of it with 4 parts of moisturizer and apply with 188 for flawless result.
I sold mine because 135 was too yellow but I might give it another chance in the future (in 125.

Unknown said...

I definitely think if you thinned it out that much with moisturizer it would apply well with a 188. The Face Atelier 0- I've been blending it with is a very thin silicone based foundation and even a drop of that makes the Rich Liquid much easier to work with.

I'm on the verge of ordering Illamasqua's Satin Primer to try as well- I actually prefer less of a matte finish (since I have dry skin) and from what I've heard, the Satin Primer may be just the thing for me! I'll definitely have to check out Wayne's video though!

For those of you that aren't familiar with Wayne, he's a professional makeup artist in the UK. He knows his stuff, and wants you to know it too!

Check him out on his site:

or on YouTube:

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