I’ve been meaning to write a review of Illamasqua’s Rich Liquid Foundation for ages now, but haven’t gotten round to it because, to be completely honest, I keep changing my mind about it. I think ultimately it’s one of those products people will either love or hate, and for me, it’s been a bit of both.
I’ve been using this foundation for about a month now, and as I said in my swatch post, I’m having to mix two different colours (RF120 and RF105) to get the right shade. This is probably the biggest drawback for me, although I’m told Illamasqua are aware of the issues with the existing shades, and are working on bringing out more, so hopefully the perfect shade will be created at some point in the future!
So, on with the review, and I’m going to start with the positives: the coverage. As the name suggests, this is a heavy-coverage foundation, in a rich, creamy formula. And, as such, it really does deliver: this covers freckles, blemishes, dark circles, you name it. I haven’t had to use a concealer with it for blemishes etc, although I have been using an under-eye concealer, because I feel the foundation is too heavy for that area. It has a tendency to crease around the eyes after a few hours, and as the skin around my eyes can be dry, it also clings to the dry patches and makes them look worse.
The skin on the rest of my face is fairly normal, and I had no issues with the foundation there: in fact, I was really pleased with it. The finish is matt (I haven’t been using powder with it because I don’t think it’s needed) and flawless, and although I know some reviewers have found it difficult to blend, I haven’t had issues there either. I’ve been applying it with a foundation brush, and although it is thick, I find it goes on smoothly and blends quite easily. A little goes a long way, too, so although it’s expensive, it will last a long time. After about four weeks of use, it hasn’t made me break out, either, which was something I’d worried about before buying it.
So far, so good, then. Such heavy coverage isn’t without its drawbacks, though. Although I find the foundation easy to apply and blend, it’s also very easy to apply too much of it, and if you’re not very careful, it can start to look caked-on. When I first bought this, there were a couple of occasions where I applied my makeup in my bedroom, as usual, and then walked into the brighter light of the bathroom, glanced in the mirror and immediately reached for my cleanser to wash it all off again because in the harsh light of day, it looked drag-queen esque. This isn’t entirely the foundation’s fault, obviously: it requires a light hand on the application, a very small amount of product, and I’ve also heard a couple of people recommend applying it with a sponge rather than a brush. (I’ve run out of sponges, so I haven’t tried this yet!)
As well as the dryness around my eyes, I’m also prone to the occasional touch of dryness around the nose and mouth, particularly when I’m stressed. When this happened, I had to abandon Illamasqua for a couple of days because even with the best efforts of my moisturizer and primer, it would still cling to the dry patches and be very visible. Mixing it with moisturiser may help here, but I’d prefer it to work right out of the box – or bottle, rather.
Ultimately, while I like this foundation, and LOVE the coverage it provides, it’s a lot of work to use and isn’t really a foundation you can put on in a hurry. It requires careful application, a good primer, and even then it’s not great on dry skin, so for me will probably be a product I’ll use on special occasions /good skin days rather than on a day-to-day basis.
If you want to try it our for yourself, it’s £19.50 and available direct from Illamasqua, although, as I noted in my swatch post, I really recommend visiting a counter first to choose your shade!