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It’s time again folks for a third round of the Foundation FIIIIIGHT! series. Last week, I reviewed Illamasqua’s new Skin Base Foundation (#15). Skin Base will go up against MAC’s popular Studio Fix Fluid (NC 45 + 50). If you are unfamiliar with this foundation face-off series, I wear two foundations at the same time, one on either side of my face for 10-12 hours. The purpose is to test the finish, coverage and durability in a real world situation (no sitting around the house all day). Wearing two foundations on separate sides of your face is a good way to compare products in real time instead of relying on your memory and photographs. Of course I’ve taken lots of photographs so that I can share my little experiment with all of you .
The two foundations I tested were MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid (NC 45 + 50) and Illamasqua’s Skin Base Foundation (#15). The former is marketed for oily skin and the latter claims to be suitable for all skin types. I wanted to test how these foundations would fair against each other on my super oily, acne-prone skin. Here are the products’ descriptions:
Studio Fix Fluid (30ml / 1.0 US fl oz, £19.50) :
The liquid version of our all-time classic Studio Fix foundation. Provides medium buildable coverage and flawless natural-matte finish. Includes SPF 15 for everyday sun protection. Oil-free and long-wearing. Best applied with a M•A•C brush.
Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation (30mL/ 1.0 US fl oz, £25.00):
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.
They are both water-based (Illamasqua’s does contain common cosmetic ingredient, mineral oil); provide medium buildable coverage; and claim to provide a natural finish. So how did they fare against each other? Stay tuned for images of both foundations, side-by-side over several hours.
This time, I did use a pore refiner to create an even and smooth surface for both foundations to counteract any differences in texture or problem areas on either side of my face. After testing out several different primers (including Illamasqua’s Matte Primer), the best I have found to work with Skin Base is Loreal’s Studio Secrets Professional Primer. The only products I used (besides mascara, blush, etc) are pictured above:
I applied one layer of both Illamasqua Skin Base (#15) and Studio Fix Fluid (NC 45 + 50) with my favourite brush, Illamasqua’s Blusher Brush 1. (Side Note: I ran out of NW43 so I had to mix NC 45 + NC 50 to get close). I set both foundations with a light dusting of MAC’s Mineralize Skin Finish Natural (Dark).
Both Skin Base and Studio Fix Fluid deliver medium, smooth coverage as promised. SFF however, is more matte while Skin Base is a bit dewy. Although both formulas give a silky smooth finish, looking at the side by side photos in artificial light, you can see the slight greyish cast from the Studio Fix Fluid due to an SPF of 15 being present in the formula. This is absent from the Illamasqua Skin Base formula, so it’s much more suited to professional photography. In natural light you cannot detect the SPF.
Coverage is usually not an issue for me unless my skin is spinning out of control. My biggest concern is always durability in a foundation. I am an oil slick from the moment I wake up in the morning. Below are photos of Illamasqua’s Skin Base and MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid after six hours and eleven hours, respectively.
On my forehead, the Illamasqua Skin Base side was slightly more oily than the Studio Fix Fluid side, but perhaps that’s because the SB formula is dewy. I also just felt oilier sooner on the Skin Base side. Neither of the foundations showed signs of aggravating my skin’s allergies.
Final Thoughts: For a long day that doesn’t involve photography, MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid held up better on my oily skin. However, the finish is matte so I believe that has a lot to do with it. Illamasqua’s Skin Base on the other hand gives a beautiful finish that looks great on camera and with flash photography (see tomorrow’s FOTD). For really oily skin, the dewy formula is not as durable for long days without needing to touch up. Both foundations will remain in rotation.
Do you use either of these foundations? Which do you prefer?