July 18, 2008

Review: Illuminare Ultimate All Day Foundation/Concealer

I think, for once, I may have actually come across a foundation that is a little too full-coverage for me! As foundations go, Ultimate All Day ($27) is pretty amazing. And on really bad skin days I love it. But it is a little heavy for regular use. So on better days I prefer it as a concealer over a lighter foundation, or under a mineral powder foundation.

I found myself to be between Portofino Porcelaine (pic) and Florentine Fair in this formulation. Also, even when mixed, both shades lacked sufficient golden undertones and looked rather dull. However, once I dusted over a golden setting powder like SN Tempt Tryst, or GloMatte Finishing Powder, it looked absolutely, airbrushed, glowy perfect!

Its formulation is very thick, but as its mineral-based it feels dry-powdery when spread on. It's hard to explain, but I like it! It's thicker than Cargo's OneBase, and really does provide 100% full coverage.

I also found that this foundation doesn't spread as easily with fingers as it does with their unique Fast Application Pad. Initially, I was skeptical as to how necessary this furry plush pad was, but I found it to be truly fast, amazing for blending this foundation, and helps to provide a flawless finish! Also a tiny drop on this pad goes a long way, I found myself using more when I tried to apply with my fingers. To use the foundation as a concealer, I dabbed it on spots that needed more coverage with my fingers, and gently blended it out with the pad. Perfect!

At $10, this pad does seem rather pricey. But Illuminare promises that its long-lasting and can be machine washed. I'm not sure how necessary it is for the other less heavy formulas, but I really do recommend it for the Ultimate All Day.

With my oily skin, even with OC8 I found I could not get away without blotting and powdering. But it does last till lunch time which is great! However, I found that it doesn't seem to take too well to OC8 as when I use it over the primer, it turned patchy when I blotted! And as this foundation is full-coverage the patches were unfortunately fairly obvious.

I managed to blend it out again somewhat and cover it over with powder, but it was still annoying. Without OC8, this doesn't happen - but oil control only lasted 2-3 hours. Finally I tried smoothing OC8 over the foundation when i next blotted. This seems to work best overall.

Otherwise, this foundation does indeed last all day. And although it looked flat was initially applied. Once I dusted the golden-tinted powder over it immediately looked so glowy and lovely that I received compliments all day. On my SKIN. During that time of the month when it looked absolutely crap. I even had a huuuuge cyst on my chin and no one seemed to notice it at all. Amazing!

As I haven't tried the other formulations yet, I can't say for sure. But I would love to always have this foundation on hand for extra long days, or really bad-skin days. The only problem is that I'm between two shades. So I may eventually repurchase this in Portofino Porcelaine as a concealer, but I'm not sure if I would buy two tubes to use it as a foundation.


Faith said...


does it work well as an undereye concealer?

I'm still searching for my HG concealer. I don't really have "bluish" circles... its more dark brown. So I don't think a 'salmon' color is going to work for me.


kahani said...

Oh hi faith! I think this may be a little heavy for undereye concealing if you have bad dark circles. To find out whether you're a yellow or a salmon coloured concealer gal, go to TBS and use their testers. They have one yellow and one salmon undereye YSL type concealer. Try both and see which conceals better.If yellow works for you, try Benefit's Lemon-Aid.

Also, colour correcting concealers help, but need to be layered under a flesh-toned concealer. Finally, I have to admit that I have never found a good mineral concealer. I've tried all kinds and I'm back to regular concealers.

Good full-coverage concealers I can recommend are Clinique Airbrush concealer, Benefit Boi-ing, and Clinique All About Eyes. Good luck!

Faith said...

I agree!

At first go, I LOVED the "Sleep in a Jar" Medium by SN. But it has its drawbacks: the coverage is not as lasting and full as I would like it to be. Somehow I find myself going back to creams.

I'll take ur advice and go to TBS and try their concealers. I actually have Eve Pearl's Salmon concealer and I could not seem to make it go on smoothly. But the tone and coverage seemed good.

So I went out just now at lunch to buy a PROPER concealer brush from iNouvi. I tested it and I liked the finish it gave. So i'm hoping to recreate the same finish with my eve pearl concealer.

I'm also going to run to Benefit later and try lemon-aid and Boi-ing.

Mainly because I have a friend in US who is coming back on Thurs. I need to rush in my orders if I'm going to ask him to get them from US. Cheaper. haha.