Sunday, 15 March 2015

Put your best base forward: Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint Review

Guys. I'm just going to come out and say it. I think the Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint is my favourite base product I've ever used. I know. Stay with me though...

A statement like that deserves a proper review. So here we go.

What Hourglass says:
• A supremely hydrating and firming foundation with a luminous finish that evens out skin tone, softens imperfections and boosts moisture levels in the skin.• Hourglass’ Hyaluronan Complex, powered by an advanced form of hyaluronic acid, plumps and tightens skin while filling in deep wrinkles over the course of a day.• Pearlescent pigments infuse the complexion with a luminous glow.• The whipped creamy texture offers medium-to-full coverage.• Broad spectrum SPF 15 sun protection.
Now, apparently this isn't new but it has been re-packaged (I think it was formerly the Illusion Tinted Moisturizer, which I haven't tried). I am yet to see this new version on UK sites, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. Why I didn't know about it sooner will remain a mystery, but hopefully I'll save you from the same fate! I'll preface my full thoughts by saying that from the description above I would assume this is aimed at drier ageing skins (e.g. not me) but I love it, and it does make me question if their actual target would feel the same or if there's a gap here. Unfortunately I can't really say from personal experience. But anyway...

Packaging: A squeezy tube that works perfectly for this thick cream. Lightweight and efficient. No complaints here.

Colour: I got this in Warm Ivory. I'm making a concerted effort to go for more yellow-undertoned foundations as of late because I was noticing a few of my existing products leaning a bit too pink for my liking in natural light. Anyway, warm ivory is a bit dark for my winter skin - I definitely need to bring a bit of bronzer down my neck - but I can get away with it and it makes me look less dead and sallow! It will be perfect for summer. Compare to my other shades here.

Texture and Application: It is indeed a thick creamy product, closest probably to Laura Mercier Silk Creme when you first squeeze it out, albeit slightly more whipped. I've tried brushes but prefer applying it with my fingers. I only need a pea-sized amount to cover my whole face. Even though the texture is thick, I don't find it very emollient. It doesn't slip and slide across your face, but somehow still spreads easily enough. It also doesn't have the opposite problem of drying too quickly or pulling on skin. I do find it looks best when really worked into skin, and when you do, it seems to 'sink in' rather than sitting on top of the surface. Which brings me to finish...

Finish: Despite the connotations of 'tint', this is indeed medium to full coverage. But, because it sinks into skin so nicely it has an uncanny ability to resemble skin. Unlike tinted moisturizers and other lightweight foundations that tend to feel heavier than they look, this is the opposite. You get a nice coverage in a little amount of product, and it ends up feeling very comfortable and barely there on the skin. I find sometimes with full cover foundations that you need a full face of makeup to match (and add back in some definition) otherwise your base looks like a mask. This does not have that problem. You could easily wear this alone on a the weekend and go for a bare faced or 'no makeup makeup' look, but it also perfects skin adequately for a night out. I think this is what I've always wanted (and never really got) from lighter coverage foundations - somehow perfected skin that doesn't look like you're wearing a heavy foundation. The finish has dimension but I wouldn't call it luminous. Certainly not dewy but also not matte. Again, skin like. It does not crease under my eyes, nor get crepey, and my emerging fine lines or smile lines are nowhere to be seen.

Longevity: Let's talk lasting power. I don't find powder necessary, but my T-zone can get a little shiny by late afternoon so I've been lightly powdering just down the centre with my (also new) Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. Also to keep my glasses from slipping around my nose. I've read a couple people saying this transfers, which I haven't found, but certainly a tiny bit of powder fixes that. Last but not least, this foundation looks perfect in the morning but also looks perfect in the evening. Not necessarily in a 'it looks exactly the same way' but it wears extremely naturally and somehow becomes one with your skin, so that it almost gets better - not worse - with extended wear. I can't make this stuff up.

I'm not sure if people with dry skin would love this as much as I do (it's an open question). My skin is combo and has been dehydrated from winter, but I think if you have very parched skin you may find you need to really prep skin beforehand. That said, if you do, the hyaluronic acid in this should hopefully keep you hydrated throughout the day. This review may sound fake it's so positive, but really I truly love this product. I don't really get how it does what it does but I'm certainly not complaining. It makes me love my skin. And surely, in the end, that's the whole point of foundation.

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