Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation – Review, Photos, Swatches

Product Breakdown:

Illamasqua Skin Base is a medium to full coverage, satin finish foundation. It comes in a wide range of shades to suit almost all skin tones, from the palest of pale to the very dark.

Illamasqua Skin Base 1

Illamasqua Skin Base 2

Illamasqua Skin Base 3

Illamasqua Skin Base 4


Skin Base provides a medium coverage level straight from the tube, and is easily buildable to a full coverage without appearing cakey or mask-like.

Illamasqua Skin Base 5
This is me with not a stitch of makeup on.

Illamasqua Skin Base 6
This is me with nothing but Illamasqua Skin Base on.

Illamasqua Skin Base 7
This is me with a full face of makeup including Illamasqua Skin Base.

Ease of application:

I generally like to apply foundation with a brush, however after much experimentation I have found that Skin Base applies best with my fingers.

When applied with a brush, Skin Base gives a much higher level of coverage, and it seems to set very quickly. If you’re not careful this can result in a patchy, unblended application. The work-around for this is to apply it with a damp brush. It helps to sheer out the foundation slightly and the dampness of the brush makes the foundation a little more malleable.

When applied with a Beauty Pod sponge, Skin Base provides a very full coverage. It looks completely flawless, but to my taste, is a little too perfect looking. I prefer a sheerer application of foundation.

When applied with my fingers, Skin Base provides the most natural looking, medium coverage finish. The warmth of my fingers massaging the foundation into my face helps it to melt into my skin. I found that if I want a sheer coverage, I can just mix it with a little of my favourite face primer and  it responds beautifully. If I’m looking for a fuller lever of cover I can let the first application dry and apply a second layer without it looking cakey.


Skin Base is not marketed as a long-wearing product. When applied onto my bare skin, it lasts 5-6 hours before it starts to fade. When I combine it with a good face primer it lasts around 7 hours. If I use a primer underneath it, and powder it, it can last easily 10 or more hours. The trade off with using powder of course, is that the finish of the foundation loses some of it’s skin-like freshness.

I have also found that the longevity of this foundation is improved by applying it with my fingers. I feel like the act of working this into my skin helps it to last longer.


Like almost all Illamasqua’s product, I love the look of the Skin Base bottle. It has the now iconic Illamasqua shape and looks beautiful on my dressing table.

I also appreciate the nozzle dispenser. It feels hygienic, and stops product wastage, because I never squeeze out more foundation than I need.

The only negative comment I have to make about the packaging of Skin Base foundation is that the plastic of the bottle is very firm. This means I need to squeeze it quite hard in order to get my foundation out. Not an insurmountable problem, but I do prefer the softer squeezy bottle of my MAC Face & Body.

Anything else worth mentioning?:

I was colour matched for Skin Base foundation at an Illamasqua counter, by a Makeup Artist I respect, and the colour is slightly off. I am very pale and pink-based in my skin tone, and I’m usually an NW15 or slightly paler. I was colour matched to shade SB05. SB05 is the second palest pin-based shade on offer, and although it is too dark for me, I feel like I can get away with it in summer. Come winter, or when I need a replacement bottle I will be picking up shade SB02.

The moral of this story is – always ask for a sample, or at least apply some foundation at the counter. Wear it for a day before you decide to purchase, just to make sure the shade is right for you.

What they say:

Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage.

The Ultimate ‘Skin Realism’ Foundation

Click here to view our shade comparison with other leading foundations on the market, including Mac, Bobbi Brown, Nars & YSL, to help you find your perfect Skin Base shade.

Available from:

Selected Myer stores in Australia.

A selection of department stores and independent retailers in the UK and Europe.

Dedicated Illamasqua concept stores in the UK.

Worldwide availability from



$65.00 AUD; 25GBP
This is a review of a purchased product. Makeup Utopia has no affiliation with any companies mentioned and has received no remuneration for posting this review. All opinions are those of the author.
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