February 23, 2012

Illuminare Concealing Mineral Foundation in Florentine Fair & Fast Application Pad: before & after, pics, swatches, review

Hello, Beautiful!

In this post I'll share with you one of my favorite full coverage foundations: the Illuminare Concealing Mineral Foundation. I've raved about this foundation back in November 2010, but I've been meaning to do an updated post with before & after pics. This was the one foundation that allowed me to feel normal again when my acne was even worse than it is now. Without this foundation I would not leave my house. It is a miracle! I'm not alone in thinking this is a must-have product; in the January 2012 issues of Fitness magazine, celebrity Brook Burke said this is a must have product too. It truly is a miracle concealing foundation; giving you full coverage quickly and easily.

Check out my pics, swatches, stats, and review...

Illuminare Concealing Mineral Foundation
Shade: Florentine Fair
Shade Description: This is their medium shade option, out of five shade options.

Illuminare Concealing Mineral Foundation
Before & After
I applied this foundation using a flat-top foundation brush, using circular motions. Please note: I did not use moisturizer or primer first, so my skin is a bit dry in some spots.

Illuminare Cosmetics Concealing Mineral Foundation PRO's & CON's:
PRO's: easily and quickly covers your flaws, a little goes a long way
CON's: limited shades, may not last all day without primer/setting powder

Basic Stats for Illuminare Cosmetics Concealing Mineral Foundation:
Formula: thick liquid
Wear: average; varies
Coverage: full coverage; buildable
Shade Info: currently available in 5 shades
Cost/Availability: $27.00 (0.5 oz full size). Available on the Illuminare Cosmetics website.
Packaging: squeeze tube with twist-off cap
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Kisses!

This is a thicker liquid foundation, which is oil-free and has SPF 20. Provides a semi-matte finish. Can be used as an all-over foundation (my preferred use) or as just a concealer.

Average wear, but it will vary on everyone. If I use a primer and setting product with this it will easily last through a normal day. However, since I have oily skin it tends to break down as the day goes on - which is why I need to use a setting product with this. I don't mind because it lasts as long as I need it to, and I will put up with re-touching if needed because this is an awesome product.

Full coverage, but you can certainly applying it medium coverage depending on application method. You can also seamlessly build the coverage where you need it most.

Shade Info:
Currently available in 5 shades. The shade I have, Florentine Fair, is their medium shade. It works well for my skintone, which for those that compare to MAC shades, I am NC30/NC25.

$27.00 (0.5 oz full size). Available on the Illuminare Cosmetics website.

Squeeze tube with twist-off cap.

Illuminare Cosmetics Concealing Mineral Foundation Review:
This is one of my favorite foundations of all time. My acne used to be so much worse than it is now, and there were days I didn't even want to leave the house, but I had to. This foundation saved my self esteem and allowed me to feel normal again. In seconds my skin transformed from ugly to flawless without the use of any other product or heavy layers. I normally don't use a concealer when I use this foundation because this provides all the coverage I need. When I have this foundation on my face I feel normal, no matter how bad my skin may be at that time. It's hard being nearly 28 years old and having acne like a teenager. I don't like dealing with acne, but it's part of my life; this foundation makes it easy to live with because I know I have a way to look and feel normal.

Because my skin is oily, I do need to set this foundation or it won't last all day. When I do prime my skin first, then set this foundation, it looks gorgeous and will easily get me through my day. It may last all day on you even if you don't set it. It just depends on your skin type and how foundations normally sit on your skin. There are times I wear this and look in the mirror 12 hours later and I look the same, while other days I wear this and after 5 hours I need a touch up. It varies, but most of the time I can count on this to get me through any normal day without touching up.

When I'm wearing this foundation and I tell someone I have problem skin they look at me like I have three heads, and tell me my skin looks great. Even the shampoo lady, while washing my hair in the sink at the salon, said I had good skin. They're always surprised when I tell them it's just really great foundation.

I've tried countless foundations over the years, especially searching for full coverage, and this is by far one of my top three best full coverage foundations. It may even be the very best full coverage foundation I own. It's hard to say. I guess I'll have to do a "full coverage foundation battle" one day, and compare the top three I own head-to-head against the same skin flaws.

As for the shade selection, there are only 5 shades so you may have trouble finding a great match or you may get lucky and find a perfect match with one of their shades (like I did). You can always mix shades if needed. The middle shade, Florentine Fair, is a perfect match (although right now I'm more pale than normal but it still works). You can buy a sample pack of their foundations, trying all three formulas they offer and trying three shades from each formula. The sample pack is just $10.00 and the sample sizes are generous (several uses each). In my November 2010 post about this foundation I showed the sample pack and swatches of the shades; click here to view that post - although keep in mind they are not the best photos, as I've since updated how I take photos for my blog (but you'll still get the point).

The price is really affordable too, especially when you realize how little you need. One tube will last you a very long time, especially if you only use this as a concealer.

Overall, YES, I would absolutely, without a doubt, tell you to go ahead and get this foundation!

Illuminare Cosmetics
Fast Application Pad
Description: Use this to apply their foundation, or any other liquid foundation you may have.

Basic Stats for Illuminare Cosmetics Fast Application Pad:
Formula: fabric and mesh pad
Cost/Availability: $10.00 (1 pad). Available on the Illuminare Cosmetics website.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Kisses

This applicator pad is soft fabric with an anti-bacterial mesh center, which doesn't absorb or waste product. It helps to easily and quickly blend foundation. You can even throw it in the washer (gentle cycle) and lay it flat to dry.

$10.00 (1 pad). Available on the Illuminare Cosmetics website.

Illuminare Cosmetics Fast Application Pad Review:
This pad works great for applying their Concealing Mineral Foundation, or any of their foundations. You can also use it for applying any other liquid foundation you currently use.

One side is decorative (the leopard print side), while the other side is for makeup application. It has an anti-bacterial mesh center, which Illuminare lists on their website that it won't absorb or waste product. I find that to be pretty true.

I don't always use this application pad when I apply this foundation, but I have used this to apply the foundation and I do like it. It's quick and easy, and gives a nice result.

I clean this with my regular makeup cleaner, but you can also throw it in the wash on gentle cycle and lay it flat to dry. I haven't tried that method yet.

Overall, I think it's a nice applicator pad to own and would be a great tool for applying their foundations.

Now let me know what you think...
What do you think of this foundation? Have you tried this or is this on your wish list? What about the Fast Application Pad? Discuss in the comments below.


  1. Looks like a really good concealer!! The pad is cute, too :)



  2. Thanks so much for this post. I have been looking for something for my sisters wedding and this looks slightly promising. A few cons are that its going to be in August and I get really shiny whenever I wear foundation, but I want to have an even skin tone in pictures. Which brings up the next con, the SPF. They say it washes you out in photographs. For the most part though, I have decent skin, just dark blemish marks on my chin and this would be just up my alley for that. Thank you.

  3. I just placed an order for the trial pack. I let them know I heard about it on you blog too:) Im excited to see how well the matte one works and I can test to see if the SPF washes out my face. Thanks again.

  4. @ sunnydee130: Yay! So glad you're getting the sample pack so you can try out all three formulas. You know the weird thing? I still have all the samples from when I originally purchased the sample pack and I haven't even tried the other formulas yet. I guess I should do that sometime, lol, but I fell so instantly in love with the Extra Coverage version that I didn't even think about the others, lol. Since you can use the Concealing foundation with the others too, I may try combining the Mattifying with the Concealing and see what results I can get.

  5. @ sunnydee130: Okay... just tried out the Mattifying foundation and WOW, it is incredible too! I can't believe I waited this long to try it out! It has almost as much coverage as the Concealing foundation, but it's still very great coverage! Certainly no need to set with any setting powder, as it dried down very quickly and has a matte finish. I don't think it would work well for those with dry skin unless they used a hydrating primer. In the summer, however, I think this will be a great option for you -- especially combined with the Concealing foundation.
    I volunteer at my son's school on Thursdays, so I will be testing out the Mattifying foundation today, using the concealing foundation underneath as a concealer - just to spot correct. I can't wait to apply this foundation for real instead of just for testing it quickly.

  6. So tempted to get this. The applicator pad is awfully cute too!

  7. @ Sarah S.: You can always start off with the sample pack. That's what I did after one of the makeup artists I work with recommended this foundation to me (after hearing me constantly complain about not having a full coverage foundation, lol).

  8. Wow this cover everything.

  9. I just ordered the sample pack, and based on your review, I"m very excited to try it!! The site has free shipping til the 29th too, so your review came just in time :)

  10. @ Anonymous: I had no idea they had free shipping going on right now, so that does work out perfectly! I hope you like this foundation, or at least one of the formulas!

    Also, just wanted to updated sunnydee130 and anyone else interested...

    I used the Mattifying Foundation today and I am in love with it! It's now 7 hours later and my foundation hasn't budged an inch! I was really busy today too - even was super hot and playing outside with the kids at recess. It didn't go anywhere!

    Also, I had put some on my hand earlier this morning before taking a shower. When I got out of the shower the foundation was STILL on my hand! I washed my hair, washed my face and body, and that foundation didn't go anywhere! I can't believe it! Looks like I'll have to do a full review post on this foundation in the future too!

  11. Thanks for this! I also just ordered the sample pack (was tempted to just order the full size). And there was free shipping and no tax so it was exactly $10! Can't wait to try it :-)

  12. How long did one squeeze tube last you?

  13. @ Liz Kaouk: I can't say for sure because I use many different foundations, so not using just one every single day. But you need very little product, so one tube will last awhile!


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