Smokey Eyes MUA

Beauty News & Reviews

Illamasqua Satin Primer and Skin Base Foundation

Illamasqua have gained a cult following for their seriously dark and glamourous take on cosmetics, creating collections that are beautifully crafted, striking and inspirational for anyone who loves and appreciates makeup. I was disappointed when their counter left BT2, leaving us with online as our only option, but that hasn’t stopped die hard fans from snapping up the latest collections in their droves.

So I recently ordered the Skin Base Foundation and was then sent the Illamasqua Satin Primer to review so here’s my thoughts on whether they’re worth taking a leap and ordering without actually sampling the products first.

Illamasqua Skin Base:

The product: The sleek black packaging contains a nice clear shaped squeezy tube so you’ll always know when you’re starting to run low. I ordered Shade 02 which (as the number says) is the second shade up. The first is completely white so this is really the first true skin tone shade and is a pink based foundation and is incredibly close to the Teint Miracle Lancome foundation.

Application: It’s a creamy foundation but sets rather quickly so using my beloved F80 Sigma Kabuki, I buffed this in and found it gave a very nice finish that wasn’t at all cakey but offered good coverage.

Result: I did love this when I bought it but after realising I had too many foundations I ended up selling it to Melissa (fellow blogger and makeup student) for her kit (hence me not having swatches). It’s a move I kind of regret now as it’s lovely! For pale skin tones, shade 02 is perfect, it offers light but decent coverage and looks lovely on.

Score: 7.5/10

Pros: Good shades for the very pale (like myself) and darker skin tones, good product, light but decent coverage

Cons: You have to figure out your shade online which can be a little bit harder

Would I buy again? I actually would and will probably end up ordering this again at some point!

Illamasqua Satin Primer

The product: The sleek black packaging contains a nice clear shaped squeezy tube exactly like the foundation.

Application: The primer comes out white but blends into skin, leaving it with a heavy sheen all over. This seems quite shiny when you’re looking at it but once you put a product over it you’re just left with a soft sheen under the skin. This glides over skin, doesn’t accentuate any dry patches and dries into skin reasonably quickly. It doesn’t have a blurring effect like some primers, and doesn’t help disguise pores.

Result: This reminds me of the MAC Prep + Prime SPF 50 and Rimmel’s new primer except this is far dewier. Oily girls may not handle the level of shine it gives as well but if you’re using a normal foundation over it you’re left with a soft sheen that’s lovely. Kudos for Illamasqua putting an SPF 20 in their primer which I love for added protection. I’ve been using this with both a foundation and BB Cream and it helps keep my base looking fresh and in place throughout the day. Personally, I think this is better suited for drier skin looking for a shot of hydration and radiance to their skin but to be truthful, I’m not quite sure about this one.

Score: 7.5/10

Pros: This blends in easily, has an SPF, hydrates skin and adds radiance

Cons: May not suit oilier skin tones as well

Would I buy again? On the fence

Illamasqua can be purchased  from or buy from the Illamasqua website

So girls I’m always intrigued by primers, do you have any recommendations? Let me know!


18 comments on “Illamasqua Satin Primer and Skin Base Foundation

  1. Daniella
    May 4, 2012

    I do love the foundation but couldn’t get used to the primer, it made my dry patches really stand out which was a shame as I really wanted to love it!

    My favourite primers are smashbox photo finish, lancome la base pro and philosophy the present primer (I use a different one depending on how heavy my foundation is).

    • smokeyeyesmua
      May 4, 2012

      Thanks for the comment, which out of the three is best for lighter foundation??

      • Daniella
        May 4, 2012

        I use the smashbox for my light, lancome for a medium cover and philosophy for a full coverage.

      • smokeyeyesmua
        May 4, 2012

        Nice thanks for the recommendations:)

  2. Bobbinsbeautybox
    May 4, 2012

    I’ve never used Illamasqua foundations or primers, only their nail polishes.

    A good primer is the Smashbox photo finish primer, I’ve only used a few samples so far (trying to justify paying the guts for €40 for it).

    I used to use the Gosh velvet touch foundation primer but don’t anymore, it’s changed, it used to give a nice smooth finish, but now it just helps my make up to slide and looks greasy. It costs around €20, definitely not worth it IMO.

    Love your blog BTW 😀

    • smokeyeyesmua
      May 21, 2012

      Thanks so much, have heard good things about the Gosh primer so it’s a pity it’s changed! I’m about to repurchase my absolute favourite primer, Peter Thomas Roth max anti-shine gel, love it!

  3. MrAJBx3
    May 4, 2012

    I have to say this is my holy grail foundation in my kit, SB is a different kind of foundation and tbh you have to know how to work it to get the best out of it 😛
    Satin Primer is amazing for people with dry skin who want a dewy look but i would recommend Matte primer for those who have oily skin xD xx

    • smokeyeyesmua
      May 5, 2012

      Excellent, thanks for commenting! Think I must buy it back now:)

  4. Beauty Bird
    May 4, 2012

    I’ve been looking around at primers and at some point I’m going to order and try Smashbox Photo Finish Primer in Light. It has great reviews and they state it is suitable for spot/acne prone skin, which is exactly what I need 🙂 x

  5. beyoutifulmakeup
    May 5, 2012

    Satin primer sounds like a good one for dry skin would be handy to have in kit. I haven’t used 02 at all yet so let me know if you do want it back I can give it to you next sat. I don’t want it to go to waste ( not alot of people are that pale esp this time of year) and I could always repurchase when I need it. Let me know 😉 Good review;)

    • smokeyeyesmua
      May 5, 2012

      Haha I am a shade paler than most it’s true!:) I’ll let you know so!

  6. Tina B
    May 5, 2012

    Nice review! I’ve been using Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free since forever and it’s never let me down.

    • smokeyeyesmua
      May 5, 2012

      I’ve never actually bought Smashbox, probably the only person! Love the sound of their new hydrating one!

  7. Ellie
    May 6, 2012

    Great review. Heard some really great things about this foundation, would love to try it.

  8. budziak
    May 11, 2012

    I’m thinking about getting a higher quality foundation but I definitely don’t have light skin, I’m kind of medium. I think I might go with Chanel or Lancome. Thanks for the post. Any recommendations are welcome! 🙂

    • smokeyeyesmua
      May 11, 2012

      Illamasqua have a great shade selection so look up their swatches, they have good medium shades! The next one I’m trying out is Face Atelier Ultra Foundation, review will be up soon so I’ll let you know how I find it!

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