With online beauty sales booming, it’s clear that we’ve learned to love buying make-up via our phones, rather than heading into a store (remember those?). But while it might be easy to add a favourite lipstick or trusted eye palette straight into that virtual cart, finding the best foundation online remains the final frontier. With so many nuances in shades, not to mention undertones, selecting a base product without an in-person swatching session remains risky.
This is where new tech-led beauty brand Il Makiage comes in. You’ve probably heard of them, or at least seen a slice of their major Instagram presence. Launched just two years ago, the brand wants to finally make shopping for foundation online a practical reality, using a comprehensive PowerMatch algorithm to lead you to your perfect bottle of its signature Woke Up Like This foundation, which comes in 50 shades.
The quiz itself is pretty straightforward: questions progress from your skin type (so far, so standard), onto your preferred method of application, and finally a set of questions to determine your exact skin tone.
But can a foundation seen only through a screen really live up to such high expectations? According to the 469,000 people who have left an independent 5 star review, yes. Not only do thousands of make-up wearers sing the foundation’s praises, but it’s also the most-reviewed product in the US – no big deal.
We had to see if the foundation lived up to the hype, so our beauty team put the famous formula to the test on camera…
That’s not all, either. While the brand’s signature foundation is clearly the star of the show, there’s also a sprawling collection of eye, lip and face products to explore. You can simply shop via product, or scroll through the brand’s endless catalogue of artists and influencers for a spot of inspiration, before clicking through to purchase their kit.
Let’s be honest here – when I first heard about the brand, I wasn’t completely sold. Anything that forces its way into my eyeballs via an aggressive #ad campaign generally makes me sceptical, and the fact that I can’t swatch half a dozen shades before selecting my best match always makes me lose interest.
But in the name of serious journalism, I took the quiz and waited patiently for my perfect foundation match to arrive at my door.
So, let’s talk about the formula. I’m loyal to light and glowy coverage (Kevyn Aucoin Stripped Nude Skin Tint, if you’re asking), so seeing all the completely poreless influencers backing this one brought me out in a bit of a sweat.
But I have to say, I actually kind of…love it? The coverage is indeed major, yet it doesn’t feel like a heavy-duty foundation at all: in fact, I completely forget I’m wearing it during the day. The finish is a little more matte and velvety than I’d normally go for, but it doesn’t feel dry or cakey, even after a full day’s wear. And the shade? Going against all expectations, mine was perfect. Embarrassingly, it’s better suited to my tricky-to-match, pale but warm-toned skin than the foundations I’ve chosen myself.
Would I buy it again? For days when I need to step up my coverage, absolutely. And while I’m there, I’d add these four similarly brilliant heroes to my order too…